Sandtray Room in Stinson Beach

31 08 2008

On the left-hand side of the main road when you’re just coming into Stinson Beach (at 3415 Highway 1), there’s a sweet little shop called The Healing Arts Store, full of books and art and all kinds of feel-good paraphernalia. It was just what I needed to welcome me into my mini-vacation last Saturday.

Just outside, my attention got pulled to a shed with an open door. On further investigation, I found out it’s a sandtray room – just sitting there open to whomever wants to visit. Sandtray is a form of expressive arts therapy that helps people give expression to things that don’t lend themselves easily to words. Basically, there’s a table with a box built on top that’s full of sand. All around on the walls are shelves and shelves of all kinds of miscellaneous items you can put in a basket and bring to the table. Once you’ve gathered what’s calling to you, you just start putting them down, moving things around, letting out whatever wants to emerge, telling some story that comes from deep inside.

The rest of the small grounds were lovely, too, with delightful surprises everywhere I looked. This is another one of those places that makes me so appreciative of the people who love something or some place so much that they offer it up to all the rest of us souls wandering around without expectation of anything in return. Thank you for the gift!

The same woman who runs The Healing Arts Store also has a wonderful and beautiful online resource, The Arts and Healing Network, that has tons of information on all things related to the healing potential of art.



Golden (and Blue, and Green, and…) Gates of San Francisco

27 08 2008

Here’s a collection of San Francisco security gates from the Apartment Therapy blog. Aren’t they wonderful? Who knew???

Poetry at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater – today!

24 08 2008

Dan Brady. Photo by Clara H., 2007

Remember a couple months back I shared about the aborted duck rescue in at Lake McNab in McLaren Park?  Just up the hill, through some trees, also in my stomping grounds, is the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, so re-named recently because Jerry Garcia grew up just on the other side of the park.

This afternoon there will be what promises to be a great event there: the Third Annual Poets with Trees Poetry Reading.  You can go to read your stuff, or just to listen and love the day. There will be poet laureates from around the Bay there, including Albert De Silver of Marin, Martha Meltzer of Pleasanton, Penelope La Montagne of Healdsburg, and Connie Post of Livermore.  Here’s their call to you:

Let your words be heard in the Greek-style theater.
On this day we affirm the dignity of human beings, the beauty of individuality and celebrate each culture and tradition by its language.
Bring poems of your own or by your favorite poets.  Read poems in your native tongue.
Sign up to read. We will do many rounds.
Bring your own lunch, and a goodie to share.

TODAY: Sunday, August 24, 2008  –  12:00 – 4:00 PM, FREE
What’s YOUR favorite public performance or participatory event?

Aging Beautifully

21 08 2008

Yesterday I gave my Aunt Peggy, visiting from NYC, a quickie insider’s tour of our town. In Hayes Valley, we stumbled on an interesting storefront 580 Hayes Street and decided to check it out. Inside, we found two delightful, hopeful, inspiring photography and art exhibits about aging.

First, Faces of Aging is a photo exhibit full of inspirational quotes and other thought-provoking, heart-moving tidbits. Here’s what they say:

Faces of Aging challenges our dominant cultural view of beauty by looking at the old and very old face in new ways. What if we couldn’t wait to be old, like a child can’t wait to be an adult?”


I could have spent hours absorbing the life stories of the artists in the other show, ELDERGIVERS’ Art With Elders Annual Exhibit. (Unfortunately, we were on the whirlwind tour.) Each artist is lovingly highlighted in a frame with their art work, photo, and a few paragraphs about their life. The diversity and depth and humor is so beautiful it makes my heart ache.

Boogie on over there soon. The show is on through August 31. Sun & Wed-Thurs, 12-6pm; Fri-Sat, 2-9pm.

 What exhibits in SF have you loved?


Gravel & Gold

20 08 2008

I think I just found my favorite store of all time. Kinda reminds me of a mini, gritty, girly version of ABC Carpet, with its mix of old and new and familiar and worn and artsy and plain and wonderful. Located on Treat Street at 18th (in the ActivSpace studios I just blogged about), Gravel & Gold is tiny but jam-packed with interesting things to fondle and buy. Here’s Lisa, one of the owners. Isn’t she cool? She’s even nicer than she is cool! Check out their blog for tasty tidbits and upcoming events.


See post on 18th & Treat Street Studios

18th and Treat Street Studios

19 08 2008

Glory! I started this blog to be able to share my excitement about people and places just like this! Last Thursday, at the behest of my friend, urban cowgirl, mistress of all that is good, and Spiritual Coach Elka Vera, I attended an open house a ActivSpace, aka the 18th and Treat Street Studios, where she has a new office.

And I mean new! Elka is one of 60+ tenants in this brand-spanking new complex erected by Seattle-based ActivSpace at, well, the corner of 18th and Treat Streets in the Mission. It’s an eclectic collection of entrepreneurs, practitioners, craftspeople, retailers, artists, artisans, consultants, designers, galleries, healers and more, all in one place.

Mark your calendar, because this was just the first of many “2nd Thursday Open Houses,” which will happen on, well, the second Thursday of each month from 5:00-8:00pm.


Who do YOU know in the 18th and Treat Street Studios?  Tell us about them!


15 08 2008

This photo on SFist today made me chuckle.