30 06 2008

Sorry – I have to do this. It’s not a great San Francisco place, or a hot tip, or even an event you can go to. It’s an event that already happened. But I gotta tell you about it!

Last night I went to see Charo perform. Yes, she’s still alive and looks 20, and even makes jokes about it. Here are some words for her: phenomenal, iconic, bold, crass, fun, funny, cute as hell, seasoned, heart-felt, kitschy, talented, and mostly, a master showperson. She had some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen. She had every single person at Herbst Theater in the palm of her hand.

Charo has gone back to her roots. As a child and teen, before she came to the US at age 16, she studied classical Spanish guitar with master Andres Segovia. Now that she has her own empire, half her show is dedicated to her flamenco guitar performance. She’s good!

What childhood icon do you want to see perform at Herbst Theater?





Whatever color your stripe is…

28 06 2008

pride flag

…Happy Pride!

San Francisco just wouldn’t be San Francisco without the last weekend in June. There are festivities all over town this weekend, culminating with The Dyke March at Dolores Park on Saturday afternoon/evening and the official 38th Annual San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration and Parade (pant, pant) downtown on Sunday.

Oh, there are so many pictures I could put with this post! I’ll just leave it with the flag and let you go experience the rest for yourself ;-)…


Spencer & Daniel’s? WTF?!

27 06 2008


I was just at the The Bargain Bank on Polk about a month ago. Have you ever been there? I used to work around the corner on California Street, and loved to stop by on my lunch break and see what was new. There was some dreck, to be sure, but it was always worth the trip. They had some great stuff for sale at ridiculously low prices… upscale cosmetics, cheapy kitchen stuff, gourmet chocolate, imported bath salts. Readers of both the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly named this store the best place to find a bargain in the Bay Area!

They also sell wine and other alcohol. So I guess that’s why when I went to check them out today I found out that they remodeled and changed their name to Spencer & Daniel’s Wine Outlet. Same management, same staff, same stock, new marketing strategy. They also say they’re located in Nob Hill, which is a bit of a stretch. But if they keep giving us good stuff at great prices, I’ll let them get away with it.

What’s your favorite place to find a bargain in the Bay Area?

Looking for something to do tonight? Try this!

26 06 2008

Curtis and Christine(

Christine McHugh and Curtis Coleman aren’t just two of my favorite people; they’re also one of my favorite couples of all time. They’re the kind of people who radiate that available, fearless, no-stone-unturned flavor of ALIVENESS.

Christine is a performance artist and life coach who helps people delve into their creative depths and come back out again with gems to share. She works with people one-on-one, and also teaches a class called “Rewrite Your Life,” where students explore the stories of their lives and craft short, self-revelatory performances out of them.  Curtis, an accomplished musician (among about a million other titles), took the class this time around.

Tonight, June 26, at 8:00pm at Theater of Yugen (next to Theater Artaud at 2840 Mariposa Street), Curtis and his classmates will share some of the stories of their lives. I haven’t seen this batch (yet!), but I’ve been to past class performances and have always been deeply, deeply moved.

If you’re looking for something to do tonight, come on by!  Way better than Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?!  Be sure to find me and say hi!


What have been some of your favorite performances in San Francisco?

Numi Tea Garden

23 06 2008


I once met a guy who was really into tea. He’d spend hundreds of dollars to import special teas from Asia and would offer an elaborate tea tasting to anyone who was interested. I was interested, but honestly, I couldn’t tell much difference. I’m glad there are people who do this – I’m not one of them.

Then a few weeks ago I found the Numi Tea Garden. Maybe it should be called the “New-Me” Tea Garden, because I have a new appreciation for special teas.

numi teasAfter getting lost with my sister in industrial Oakland, we found it. The environment could use some feng shui help (wink, wink), but they get points for trying. And everything else was great! We got there at the end of the day and were the only ones in the place. The receptionist also turned out to be our server, a friendly woman who was happy to answer all our questions about the teas and the traditional Chinese tea service she brought us. I ordered the Puerh Mini Tuocha Green Tea and felt like I’d just discovered a new continent. We also got a cheese plate to die for (get the soft cheeses!).

This is a fun and novel place to take out-of-town guests, or just to go and enjoy yourself. Bottoms up!


What’s your favorite tea experience?

Here’s another post on Numi Tea Garden.

Really cool event! Kirtan with Jai Uttal, Mirabai and the Shamanic Cheerleaders

21 06 2008

shamanic cheerleaders(

Kirtan is spiritual sing-a-long, a heart-opening ancient Indian tradition of devotional chanting. In celebration of the solstice, my friend Mirabai will be leading kirtan with the oh-so-lovely Jai Uttal tonight. 

What makes this event super-kickass is that the Shamanic Cheerleaders will be performing, too. Maybe “perform” isn’t the right word.  More like “get everyone hyped up and excited to live life!” This group of gorgeous women call themselves the “pep squad for the divine in us all.”  So much fun!

To join the festivities, show up tonight, June 21, 8:00-11:00pm at the Yoga Tree Castro (18th at Castro). $25 at the door.




The Castro Theater

19 06 2008

the castro theater


A film at The Castro Theater is rarely just a film.  A few weeks ago I saw Indiana Jones.  Mind you, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see it anywhere else, but since it was at The Castro it had a stamp of approval.  I knew that even if the movie sucked (it did), I’d have a great time (I did) and wouldn’t mind so much (I didn’t). 

Seeing a film at The Castro is one of those precious San Francisco-only experiences!  Where else can you see a film – whether blockbuster, old classic, obscure art film, foreign flick or animation – where what you get before the show, instead of advertising and previews, is LIVE WURLITZER ORGAN MUSIC??! The atmosphere feels just about right for an organ. Built in 1922, it’s cavernous compared to today’s theaters, and has beautiful touches like a curtain that opens dramatically at the beginning of a show, grand painting and plaster murals, a balcony and a chandelier. A few months ago, Hollywood restored the exterior to its 1970s glory for the filming of the movie “Milk,” starring Sean Penn and set to open in time for Thanksgiving this year.

One of my all-time favorite Castro Theater events (some might call them films, but many really are events) was the Sound Of Music Sing-A-Long, complete with a costume contest. I had so many favorites – marionette goats, people draped in curtains, Castro-style nuns… 

The Castro Theater also hosts tons of film festivals, which San Francisco is famous for. Tonight kicks off Frameline, the 32nd annual SF International LGBT Film Festival.  See you there?


What’s your favorite Castro movie experience?