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What’s New in San Francisco - April/May 2017

“What’s New in San Francisco” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and other San Francisco stories and ideas are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website.

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SUMMER OF LOVE HIGHLIGHTS

May 13, 2017 - San Francisco “Flowers in Your Hair Day” at San Francisco International Airport

On May 13, 1967 the song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” was released.  It became the anthem of the era and invited the world to come and meet “some gentle people with flowers in their hair.”   

Travelers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) who are “going to San Francisco” on May 13, 2017 will be welcomed with flowers, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus performing the song of the day, Madame Tussaud’s likenesses of Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix, and many other surprises.  United Airlines has even created a flight #1967 to arrive at Gate 67 in honor of that seminal summer.

San Francisco Travel and the California Historical Society have joined forces on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. At www.summerof.love, the California Historical Society provides the detailed factual and cultural context for this landmark summer through its own exhibition and work with cultural partners such as the de Young Museum.   

To help visitors plan their “trip,” the San Francisco Travel Association has launched a special website, www.summeroflove2017.com, which provides an ever-expanding guide to the whole groovy scene, including events and itinerary ideas.  

More than 60 exhibitions, events and activities are part of the Summer of Love anniversary celebration region wide.  Some highlights of the next few weeks, with more to come:

For a guide to Summer of Love media resources, visit here.  Media contact: Laurie Armstrong, 415-227-2615, laurie@sftravel.com.

SAN FRANCISCO NEWS

Rugby World Cup Sevens Coming to AT&T Park in San Francisco July 20-22, 2018

USA Rugby has announced that the world’s best rugby sevens players will thrill U.S. crowds at the Rugby World Cup Sevens on July 20-22, 2018 in San Francisco.  Wildly popular around the world, rugby sevens is a fast-paced game that more than compares with the speed, agility and teamwork of American football and soccer.   Teams are made up of seven players playing seven-minute halves.

Iconic AT&T Park in San Francisco will provide the spectacular backdrop for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018. The three-day tournament features 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams competing for the title of world champions. The 42,000-seat ballpark, which is home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team and events year-round, is one of the most familiar and highly rated sports venues in the U.S. and is located in downtown San Francisco, along the waterfront overlooking the bay.  

Fans can begin planning their trip to San Francisco for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.  Tickets and travel packages for RWC Sevens 2018 will go on sale in July 2017.   More information is available at the new RWC Sevens 2018 website, www.rwcsevens.com.    To register for the Rugby World Cup Sevens newsletter, visit www.rwcsevens.com/newsletter. 

Media contact: Sarah Hawkins, USA Rugby, shawkins@usarugby.org

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Tops List of Most Visited National Parks During a Record-Breaking Year

Golden Gate National Recreation Area was the most-visited national park in 2016, a year that saw record-breaking visitation nationwide during the National Park Service centennial.  

More than 19 million people visited Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2016, including 2.3 million that visited Fort Point National Historic Site and 1.1 million that visited Muir Woods National Monument.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area spans nearly 83,000 acres, including 60 miles of coastline across Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties. The park encapsulates many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most-loved spaces, from the picturesque Marin Headlands, to history-rich Crissy Field and unobstructed views at Sweeney Ridge.

For more information about park visitation, visit the National Park Service visitor use statistics web page at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/.  Media contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, jenny_anzelmo-sarles@nps.gov, 415-561-4730  

San Francisco Ranks High on Most Pet-Friendly U.S. Vacation Destinations

San Francisco was ranked #2 onRewardExpert’s list of 2017’s Most Pet-Friendly U.S. Vacation Destinations – Fifty-three of the biggest cities across the country were analyzed based on 10 metrics divided into three dimensions: pet needs, pet recreation, and city profile. Traveling with a pet can be a hassle, and this data report helps families knows in advance which destinations are the most accommodating for the whole family, including Fido.   According to RewardExpert, “San Francisco tops our list in the Pet Recreation category. Travelers can choose from San Francisco's 15 dog-friendly beaches to let their four-legged best friends swim in the sun.”

For more information, visit www.rewardexpert.com. Media contact: Kaja Olcott, 347-227-0993, kaja@rewardexpert.com

FOOD & DRINK NEWS

San Francisco Bay Area Honored with 12 James Beard Awards Finalists

San Franciscans are holding their breath until May 1 when the James Beard Awards are announced.  The Bay Area is honored with 12 finalists: 

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

  • Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
  • Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Best New Restaurant:

  • In Situ, San Francisco
  • Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco

Outstanding Baker:

  • Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Outstanding Bar Program:

  • Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef:

  • David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
  • Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Restaurant

  • Quince, San Francisco

Outstanding Service

  • Terra, St. Helena, CA

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Benu, San Francisco

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

  • Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA

Best restaurant design or renovation in North America 75 Seats and Under 

  • SingleThread, Healdsburg, California
  • Leo’s Oyster Bar, San Francisco

For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org

April 22, 2017 – Region's Largest Cider Festival Returns to San Francisco

Cider Summit SF, the region’s largest cider tasting festival, will return to the Presidio on April 22, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. Cider Summit SF is an opportunity for guests to meet and greet with cidermakers and taste nearly 200 selections of cider, including popular and new releases. The event will also include a variety of cider cocktails prepared by selected cideries, along with apple spirits. To complement the cider, specially paired food selections will be available for purchase from vendors including Whole Foods Market Truck, Slow Hand BBQ, and other assorted small bites. Whole Foods Market will also host a cider and food-pairing pavilion featuring Sebastopol-based Golden State Cider and local food purveyors. 

For additional information, visit: http://www.cidersummitnw.com/.  Media contact: Yasemin Sussman, 408-823-3945, yasemin.sussman@gmail.com

April 29, 2017 – Eighth Annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff

At the Eighth Annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff, 15 professional chefs will partner with local charities in a culinary challenge to pair HALL Cabernet with creative and delicious dishes at the beautiful HALL St. Helena Winery in Napa Valley. The competition includes two awards sections, People's Choice and Judge's Choice. Each culinary creation will be paired with HALL’s 93-plus point rated 2013 Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon. The People's Choice award is determined by the attendees.  The Judge's Choice will be selected by a panel including celebrity chef Duff Goldman of FOOD Network fame, wine critic Virginie Boone of “Wine Enthusiast” magazine, Olympian Natalie Coughlin and Michelin-rated chef Ken Frank of La Toque Restaurant.  Participating chefs represent culinary landmarks such as One Market Restaurant, The Grill at Meadowood, Harris Ranch, Brix Restaurant and the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins. The action takes place at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 29, 2017 on the Great Lawn at HALL Winery in St. Helena, CA.  VIP tickets include a “Pre-Event Meet and Greet” with celebrity judges and Kathryn Hall to hear exactly what they are looking for in the winning pairing.

For more information, visit http://www.hallwines.com.   Media contact: Lisa Covey, 707-967-2623, lcovey@hallwines.com.  

June 10, 2017 – Taste of Yolo Festival Debuts in Davis

The first-ever Taste of Yolo festival is set for June 10, 2017 in Central Park in downtown Davis, 73 miles east of San Francisco. The festival celebrates the extraordinary bounty of Yolo County agriculture and cuisine. The event will run from 3-8 p.m. and offers a wide range of food, wine and beer tastings, celebrity chef demonstrations and other activities.

Nearly 90 exhibitors from Davis, Woodland, Winters, Clarksburg, Capay Valley and West Sacramento will have booths, with each community represented by a specific cluster of vendors. There will be restaurants offering bites from their menus, wineries, breweries, olive oil, nuts, honey, fresh produce and more, all from Yolo County producers. Festival attendees will also be able to buy products on site and take them home in a complimentary tote bag.

The Nugget Markets cooking demonstration stage will feature three guest chefs, including nationally known headliner Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. Also, appearing will be Chef Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento and Chef Fred Reyes of Buckhorn Steakhouse in Winters. 

For more information and tickets, visit www.tasteofyolo.com.  Media contact: Tiffany Dozier, 530-297-1900, tiffany@yolocvb.org

USA TODAY’s 10 Best Names San Francisco International Airport to Two Dining Lists

USA TODAY’s 10 Best named San Francisco International Airport to two dining lists.  The entire airport was number nine on its list of the 10 Best Airports for Dining, saying, “Food offerings at SFO are as diverse and reflective of the culinary landscape of San Francisco and the Bay Area as a whole. Travelers will find sushi, healthy fare, Mexican, local delicacies, nationally recognized brands and more. Truly something for everyone.”

Cat Cora’s Kitchen in the newly-redesigned Terminal 2 was number eight on the list of the 10 Best Airports for Sit Down Dining, commenting, “Cat Cora's Kitchen at SFO focuses on using fresh and organic locally-sourced ingredients on its sophisticated menu. Diners can also select fresh seafood items from a raw bar.” .  

San Francisco International Airport Named Best Airport for Local Eateries by RewardExpert.com 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was named the Best Airport for Local Eateries by www.RewardExpert.com, a free service that helps travelers fly for cheap by using miles and points.   For the 2017 Airport Dining Scorecard, Reward Expert combed through almost 75,000 customer reviews and studied menu data to determine which of the 20 busiest U.S. airports have the best dining experience for travelers, also researching the best experience for specific dining categories like vegetarian or gluten-free.   In addition to being named Best Airport for Local Eateries, SFO came in eighth overall, noting, “Aside from a Burger King, a Wendy’s and some staple coffee shops, nearly all of the San Francisco Airport’s restaurants originated in San Francisco. Napa Farms, SF Uncork’d, Mission Bar and Grill, and Lori’s Diner are just a few of the Frisco-based restaurants that can be found in the airport.” 

For more information, visit www.rewardexpert.com/blog.  Media contact: Kaja Olcott, 347-227-0993, kaja@rewardexpert.com.

Cook with the West Coast’s Most Innovative Chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

In May 2017, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay will introduce their new Global Cuisine Series. Executive Chef Xavier Salomon will welcome some of the most innovative talent of the culinary world to the property each month, as visiting chefs team up with Navio Chef Jason Pringle for an exclusive culinary retreat weekend celebrating unique global cuisine. The weekend will begin with a hands-on cooking class, where the attendees will prepare a menu driven by the visiting chef. They will then enjoy the fruits of their labor at an exclusive luncheon, paired with wines from the global destination featured. The visiting chef will also present two dishes on the Navio tasting menu for Saturday night, and will have a dedicated pop-up station at the renowned Sunday Brunch.

Visiting chefs will include Claudia Sandoval, winner of Master Chef Season 6; Charles Phan of The Slanted Door; Charles Olalia of Rice Bar (Los Angeles); and Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table. 

The Global Cuisine Series Package is open for up to 14 guests per month. Packages including the exclusive cooking class, luncheon, and $100 resort credit per night start at $950 per night plus applicable taxes and fees. A two-night minimum stay is required.

For a full list of visiting chefs and dates, visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com.  Media contact: Heather Noll, 510-922-9426, heather@chalkboardcomm.com

Crystal Jade Announces New U.S. Culinary Team

Crystal Jade restaurant, the 26 year strong MICHELIN awarded dining brand from Singapore, has a new U.S. culinary team with a strong local edge, and big plans for the brand’s San Francisco flagship restaurant.

The new culinary team includes U.S. Corporate Executive Chef Eddie Lam and San Francisco Executive Chef Jarvis Yuan. Both Lam and Yuan studied at the California Culinary Academy, and bring with them a strong sensibility for the local U.S.  market, as well as experience working internationally. 

At Crystal Jade San Francisco, guests can enjoy some of the Bay Area’s best Chinese BBQ dishesslow-cooked in our unique Applewood roasting oven. Highlights include their Signature Applewood Roasted Peking Duck & Crispy Pork Belly.  The restaurant’s Singapore Chili Crab is a unique Singaporean specialty made from a house blend of aromatics and seasonal Dungeness crab. This distinctivedish reflects the brand’s Singapore heritage combined with a dedication to quality local ingredients.  

Going forward the new culinary team plans to highlight creative new small plate offerings, as well as further adapting the menus for the local San Francisco market. The new offerings will remain true to the brand’s culinary focus of authentic Chinese cuisine with modern influences. 

For more information, visit http://us.crystaljade.com/.  Media contact: Catherine Fenelon, 415-399-1200, Catherine.fenelon@crystaljade.com

ARTS & CULTURE NEWS

Openings

April 21-30, 2017 – Let Loose at Bay Area Dance Week

Now in its 19th year, Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) is one of the nation's largest, most joyful and inclusive celebrations of movement and dance. This year's festival features nearly 400 events, all entirely free to the community, throughout San Francisco, the East Bay, North Bay, and South Bay.  BADW brings many opportunities to express oneself creatively and engage the body and mind. All bodies and backgrounds are welcome to attend workshops, performances, classes, open rehearsals and more. This 10-day festival, a gift from the dance community to the public, highlights the broad, all-embracing nature of the Bay Area dance community.  This year's festival kicks off with everyone's favorite flash mob, One Dance, led by Dancers' Group and Rhythm & Motion at San Francisco City Hall on April 21 at noon. One Dance is a flash mob created from crowd-sourced material and featuring dance "moves" from around the world. Participants can learn the dance online beginning mid-March at www.bayareadance.org, come to a rehearsal or jump in the day of the event. No dance experience is required.

For more information, visit www.bayareadance.org.  Media contact: Mona Baroudi, 415-615-2735, mona@monabaroudipr.com

April 26-Aug. 27, 2017 – Three New Spring Exhibitions at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

“Todd Gray: My Life in the Bush with MJ and Iggy” - MoAD presents the work of Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary artist, Todd Gray, who investigates the erasures and potentiality of imaging blackness through photography, sculpture and performance. Comprised of his most recent works in which Gray collages his archived photographs of Iggy Pop and Michael Jackson with his California Mission series, “Todd Gray: My Life in the Bush with MJ and Iggy” examines California as a site of new narratives and reflections of power. Interested in colonialism as both a psychic and material phenomenon, Gray explores blackness and labor within celebrity.Gray lives and works in Los Angeles and Ghana. He received both his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He is Professor Emeritus, School of Art, California State University, Long Beach. Recent solo and group exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Luckman Gallery, Cal State University, Los Angeles, Studio Museum, Harlem, NY, USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Tucson Museum of Art, Detroit Museum of Art, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago among others. Performance works have been presented at institutions such as the Roy & Edna Disney Cal/Arts Theater, REDCAT, Los Angeles, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, and the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles. 

“The Ease of Fiction” – Curated by Dexter Wimberly, this exhibition presents the work of four African artists living in the United States as the foundation of a critical discussion about history, fact and fiction. The exhibiting artists, ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982, Nigeria), Duhirwe Rushemeza (b. 1977, Rwanda), Sherin Guirguis (b. 1974, Egypt), and Meleko Mokgosi (b. 1981, Botswana), present recent paintings, drawings and sculptural works that explore issues of cultural identity, personal agency, and the very notion of “African art.”  The exhibition’s title evokes the idea that people are often more comfortable accepting or believing what is told to them by those in power, rather than challenging and investigating the authenticity of information presented as historical fact. Interweaving their personal experiences and memories into broader historical contexts, these artists create work that is in strident opposition to passive acceptance.  The artists’ cultural backgrounds, as well as geographic diversity, create an opportunity for a provocative examination of varied perspectives of the truth. Although these artists are from four different African countries, their work addresses universal issues that are relevant across all borders.

“Love or Confusion: Jimi Hendrix in 1967” - As Jimi Hendrix walked out onto the stage at Monterey Pop, he was also stepping out for his American Rock and Roll debut. Playing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he introduced himself to California at the festival before the U.S. release of his first album. Hendrix solidified himself as a music idol with a performance enlivened by rock theatrics, sexual flamboyance and magnetic guitar riffs. An integrated band with a black front man, The Jimi Hendrix Experience represented racial and sexual freedom as goals of the 1960s counterculture. Composed of photographs taken of Jimi Hendrix in 1967 by Gered Mankowitz, and Jerry de Wilde, this exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the infamous Summer of Love and the entrance of Jimi Hendrix as one the greatest guitarists of all time.  Free and open to the public in the first floor gallery of the Museum of the African Diaspora.

For more information, visit www.moadsf.org.  Media contact: Mark Sabb, 415-318-7148, msabb@moadsf.org

April 27-Sept. 3, 2017 – “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Roz Chast is one of the most celebrated cartoonists in the United States today. Since the 1970s, Brooklyn-born Chast has chronicled the anxieties, pleasures and perils of contemporary life in a body of work that includes over 1,200 cartoons published in The New Yorker and other magazines, several illustrated children’s books, and her award-winning 2014 visual memoir about the last years of her elderly parents’ lives, “Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?,” winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Autobiography and the Kirkus Prize for Non-Fiction.  The exhibition, making its West Coast debut at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, features approximately 250 objects including all of the original work for “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?,” original cartoons for The New Yorker and others, children’s book illustrations and storytelling rugs.   

For more information, visit www.thecjm.org or call 415-655-7800.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

May 5-27 and June 2-July 1, 2017 - “Ghosts and Shadows,” Vivarium” and “Eruption” at 111 Minna Gallery

Transforming with ever-changing art exhibitions, 111 Minna Gallery offers an impressive art exhibit line up this spring. May brings exquisitely rendered subjects by artist Michael Reedy balanced by a strong palette of progressive graphic designs and accompanied by non-objective, swirling landscapes delivered in charcoal and ink by Scott Tulay. As the weather warms in June so does the content in Minna’s art program as they present otherworldly landscapes by painter Adrian Cox, offset with the high energy, architectural elements present in the oil paintings of Oakland based artist Scott Greenwalt. 

Save the opening dates:

  • May 5-27, 2017 - “Ghosts and Shadows” by Michael Reedy and Scott Tulay   
  • June 2-July 1, 2017 – “Vivarium” by Adrian Cox and “Eruption” by Scott Greenwalt  

For more information, visit  http://111minnagallery.com.  Media contact: Micah LeBrun, 415-974-1719, micah@111minnagallery.com

May 12-June 11, 2017 – New Conservatory Theatre Centre Presents Del Shores’ “Sordid Lives” 

In May, “Sordid Lives” by Del Shores makes its San Francisco debut as New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) presents the play that spawned the huge cult comedy phenomenon. Three generations of a dysfunctional small-town Texas family gather after their elderly matriarch dies during a tryst in a seedy motel room with her much younger, much married neighbor. Fireworks are set off and bizarre truths exposed as the town prepares for what could be an embarrassing funeral.   After a hugely successful and award-winning long run in Los Angeles in 1996, “Sordid Lives” became a cult film classic in 2000, written and directed by Shores and starring Leslie Jordan and Olivia Newton-John. Later Shores followed the success of the film with a television series on Logo. “Sordid Lives” marks the third collaboration between Del Shores and NCTC, after lauded productions of his plays “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “Yellow.”

Tickets are available at www.nctcsf.org or by calling 415-861-8972.  Media contact:  Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org

May 24-Sept. 4, 2017 – “The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin” Exhibition to Open at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts

“The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin,” a traveling photographic exhibition about the life and work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009), will be on view May 24-Sept. 4, 2017 at the Innovation Hangar at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The exhibition features 56 newly commissioned photographs by leading landscape photographers of dozens of Halprin’s major works, ranging from recently rediscovered residential projects created early in his career in the 1950s to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. and capstone projects such as the Yosemite Falls approach and Stern Grove in San Francisco.  The exhibition both honors the influential designer and calls attention to the need for informed and effective stewardship of his irreplaceable legacy.

Lawrence Halprin was among the foremost landscape architects of the 20th century. The Brooklyn-born Halprin began his career in 1945 with a four-year stint working for Thomas Church in San Francisco, where he collaborated with architect George Rockrise on the renowned Dewey Donnell garden in Sonoma, CA.  He opened Lawrence Halprin & Associates in 1949, and his oeuvre initially included residential gardens, campuses and housing projects. However, by the mid-1960s, his firm had turned decisively to re-designing major urban landscapes. A series of innovative parks, plazas and pedestrian malls brought international notice and critical acclaim. 

For more information, visit http://tclf.org/sites. Media contact: Joey Kahn, 415-629-2559, joey.kahn@sfgov.org

June 2-July 2, 2017 - New Conservatory Theatre Center Closes Season with World Premiere of “warplay”

New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) will close its 35th anniversary celebration and 2016-17 aeason with the world premiere of “warplay” by JC Lee (“Luce” at Lincoln Center Theater, ABC's “How to Get Away with Murder”), directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle. Inspired by Homer’s” The Iliad” and the epic tale of Achilles and Patroclus, “warplay” is a shockingly funny, poetic and radical reimagining of one of the oldest love stories in all of Western literature. Two young men. A battle rages in the distance. Game on.  “warplay” was commissioned and developed as part of NCTC’s New Play Development Lab. 

Tickets are available at www.nctcsf.org or by calling 415-861-8972.  Media contact:  Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org

July 13-24, 2017 - Sunset Piano brings “Flower Piano” back to SF Botanical Garden This Summer 

This July for 12 days only, San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG) once again becomes the city’s own outdoor concert hall and everyone is invited to play and listen. During “Flower Piano,” July 13-24, visitors are encouraged to seek out one of the 12 pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within SFBG’s 55 acres and play what they like, from Bach to boogie-woogie.  On select days, professional pianists will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch the performances. Other special events associated with Flower Piano include a Summer of Love Sing-along on July 21, family-friendly performances and more. 

Back by popular demand and now in its third year, Flower Piano is a project of piano ninjas Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell who together launched Sunset Piano in 2013 when ffortissimo covertly rolled an old grand piano onto the bluffs over Half Moon Bay. Since then, Sunset Piano has expanded this impromptu musical and social experiment, temporarily placing pianos in a wide variety of unexpected natural and urban settings around the Bay Area every year, from the top of Montara Mountain to Market Street.

For more information, visit www.SFBotanicalGarden.org. Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com.

July 20–Oct. 22, 2017 – “Archie Rand: The 613” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Starting in 2000, Archie Rand (b. 1949), a painter and muralist from Brooklyn, NY, spent five years creating “The 613,” a monumental installation of 613 small canvas (20 x 16-inch) paintings arranged in a huge grid comprising 1,700 square feet. They reflect on the 613 laws governing traditional Jewish behavior and were described by Peter Steinfels of “The New York Times” as “rendered in the style of comics and pulp fiction book jackets, a dash of ‘Mad Magazine,’ a spoonful of ‘Tales of the Crypt,’ some grotesques, some superheroes, always action, emotion, drama.” This will be the first museum showing in the world of the full work, and, by invitation of Executive Director Lori Starr, Rand has created a new painting on what some consider to be number 614: never forget.  Rand’s work is displayed around the world, including in the collections of SFMOMA, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His graphic works and books are in over 400 public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information, visit www.thecjm.org.  Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

July 20, 2017–Jan. 9, 2018 – “In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art: Allison Smith and Christina Zetterlund “ 

The Contemporary Jewish Museum repurposes the centuries-old practice of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs—for the contemporary art community. Bay Area-based artist Allison Smith collaborates with craft and design historian Christina Zetterlund in the next installation of the exhibition series, “In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art.”  Smith has created a number of projects that consider traditional craft and historical reenactments in the context of the United States. For this project, Smith collaborates with Christina Zetterlund, a craft and design historian and theoretician based at the Konstfack in Sweden. Smith first met Zetterlund during her recent residency in Stockholm and they discovered a shared interest in the politics of handcraft and its use in both progressive and conservative social movements. Through a series of emails, shared texts, Skype sessions, and in-person visits in Stockholm and San Francisco, their exchanges will explore the role of traditional craft in constructions of nationalism and processes of colonization, culminating in an installation that plays with the conventions of period rooms and living history museums. 

Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

July 20, 2017–Jan.7, 2018 – “Kutiman: offgrid offline” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Kutiman (b. 1982) is an Israeli musician, composer, producer, and video mixologist on the cutting edge of contemporary composition. He is well known for his projects that knit together pieces of audio and video from the internet into seamless and exquisite works of art. Kutiman extends the traditions of assemblage, appropriation, and found art into the realm of music and sound composition.   The work “offgrid” is made up of 12 monitors that play a 38-minute-long video and music composition on a loop. It is made up of minutely edited snippets of music uploaded to the web played by soloists. Also on view will be Kutiman’s critically acclaimed videos Thru You, 2009 and Thru You Too, 2014.  Kutiman lives in Zicchron Yaacov, Israel. He studied music at Rimon Music College in Tel Aviv and in 2003 went to Jamaica where he worked with the Marley family. In 2006, he signed to a German label, Melting Pot, and began putting out recordings. In 2010, he won the ACUM (The Israel Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Musical Works) award for producing. Kutiman is best known for his viral video/audio mashup online albums Thru You and Thru You Too (2014) the latter of which was awarded a 2015 Webby Award.  

Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

July 29, 2017 – James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt at AT&T Park

Legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor & His All-Star Band will perform at four iconic ballparks this summer, including his first-ever appearance at AT&T Park in San Francisco on July 29, 2017. This very special evening of music will also feature Taylor's special guest, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt and her band. This is Taylor’s only California performance date this summer.

After a banner year that saw AT&T Park host three shows in 2016 – The Night Before featuring Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and San Francisco Fest On the Green – Giants Enterprises, in partnership with Another Planet Entertainment, are set to co-produce the July 29 performance at the home of the San Francisco Giants.

For more information, visit http://apeconcerts.com  Media contact:  Giants Enterprises - Rory Davis, rdavis@giantsenterprises.com, Another Planet Entertainment - Sarah Fink Dempsey, sarah@anotherplanetent.com

Aug. 13, 2017 - Lady Gaga in Concert at AT&T Park

Grammy and Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated Lady Gaga will perform Aug. 13, 2017 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA.   

A one-of-a-kind artist and performer, Lady Gaga has amassed an outstanding 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time.  Her fifth studio album "Joanne" was recently released and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking her fourth consecutive #1 album - the first female to do so in the 2010s.

After a banner year that saw AT&T Park host three shows in 2016 -  The Night Before featuring Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and San Francisco Fest On the Green – Giants Enterprises, in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, are set to co-produce the Aug. 13 performance at the home of the San Francisco Giants.  

For complete tour and ticket information, visit www.ladygaga.com and www.livenation.com.  Media contact: Rory Davis, 415-972-1800,  rdavis@giantsenterprises.com

Continuing

Through April 30, 2017 – “Diane Arbus: In The Beginning” at SFMOMA

“Diane Arbus: In The Beginning” considers the first seven years of the photographer’s career, from 1956 to 1962. A lifelong New Yorker, Arbus found the city and its citizens an endlessly rich subject for her art. Working in Times Square, the Lower East Side, and Coney Island, she made some of the most powerful portraits of the twentieth century, training her lens on the pedestrians and performers she encountered there. This exhibition highlights her early and enduring interest in the subject matter that would come to define her as an artist. It also reveals the artist’s evolution from a 35mm format to the now instantly recognizable and widely imitated look of the square format she adopted in 1962. Bringing together over 100 photographs from this formative period, many on display for the first time, “Diane Arbus: In The Beginning” offers fresh insights into the distinctive vision of this iconic American photographer.

For more information, visit https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/diane-arbus-beginning/.  Media contact: Jill Lynch, 415-357-4172.

Through May 28, 2017 - “Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty” at the Asian Art Museum 

Like the Roman Empire, China’s Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) forged one of the most powerful, advanced civilizations of the ancient world, and its elite had it all: unbridled luxury, technical innovations and courtly romance. “Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty” is an original exhibition of more than 160 intriguing works recently unearthed from the coastal heartland of classical Chinese culture. 

“Tomb Treasures” showcases these fresh archaeological finds, almost all never-before-seen outside of China. Surviving over 2,000 years underground, such outstandingly crafted royal burial goods reflect Han royalty’s daily lives and nightly pastimes, and confirm how the early Chinese courts sought to glorify their statures in this life and in the next one. 

Highlights include an extravagant jade burial suit made up of hundreds of “fish scale” tiles and sewn with gold threads (only a handful of these suits have ever been discovered); an exquisitely decorated lacquer and jade coffin, resplendent even after centuries underground; elegant bronze bells that still ring; and domestic wares that surprise us with their intimate reflection of private life and an abiding concern with grooming, hygiene, longevity and even sex during the Han dynasty. 

For more information, visit www.asianart.org/exhibitions/tomb-treasures.  Media contact: Zac Rose, 415-581-3500, zrose@asianart.org. Images available here

Through May 29, 2017 - “Monet: The Early Years” at the Legion of Honor

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will present “Monet: The Early Years” on Feb. 25- May 29, 2017 at the Legion of Honor. This will be the first major U.S. exhibition devoted to the initial phase of Claude Monet’s (French, 1840–1926) career. Through approximately 60 paintings, the exhibition demonstrates the radical invention that marked the artist’s development during the formative years of 1858 to 1872. In this period the young painter developed his unique visual language and technique, creating striking works that manifested his interest in painting textures and the interplay of light upon surfaces.  With a selection of works gathered from some of the most important international collections – the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections worldwide - “Monet: The Early Years” authoritatively demonstrates the artist’s early command of many genres, not only the landscapes for which he has become so renowned but also still lifes, portraits and genre scenes.

For more information, visit http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/exhibitions/monet-early-years.  Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org

Through May 29, 2017 - “Matisse/Diebenkorn” at SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is hosting the first major exhibition to explore the profound inspiration California artist Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) discovered in the work of French modernist Henri Matisse (1869–1954), featuring nearly 100 paintings and drawings – 40 paintings and drawings by Matisse and 60 paintings and drawings by Diebenkorn - from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe

For more information, visit www.sfmoma.org/press/release/matisse-diebenkorn.   Media contact: Jill Lynch, 415-357-4172, jilynch@SFMOMA.org

Through May 28, 2017 – SFJAZZ’ Fifth Anniversary Season

SFJAZZ is presenting its Fifth Anniversary Season since the SFJAZZ Center’s opening in January 2013. The Center has been recognized as one of the best performing arts centers in the country receiving numerous architecture, design, and acoustic awards.   A sampling of artists appearing in April 2017 alone includes Max Raabe and Palast Orchester, Hermeto Pascoal, Nels Cline, Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano and Juan de Marcos González and the Afro-Cuban All Stars.

For more information, visit www.sfjazz.org.   Media contact: Marshall Lamm, 510-928-1410, marshall@sfjazz.org. 

Through June 25, 2017 - Cary Leibowitz at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

New York–based contemporary artist Cary Leibowitz (b. 1963) creates comically self-effacing text-based works with a decidedly gay and often Jewish perspective that address issues of identity, kitsch, modernist critique, and queer politics. Since the early 1990s, when he became widely known under the moniker “Candyass,” Leibowitz has been one of the art world’s most delicious practitioners of this demonstrative self-abasement. 

In both his cheeky multiples and his irregular-format paint-on-wood “wood” works, Leibowitz mixes his obsession with popular culture, fine art and Jewishness with elements of therapy and self-loathing, interrogation and self-interrogation, institutional critique, social commentary and stand-up comedy routine. His brightly colored reductive paintings often reference seventies queer history, blending comedy and neurosis in such a way that questions about appearance and identity become a running gag.

The exhibition will feature nearly 350 original artworks and multiples from 1987 to the present: paintings, fabric works, multiples, installations, documentation, photography and ephemera related to curatorial endeavors and performance. 

For more information, visit www.thecjm.org or call 415-655-7800.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

Through Oct. 4, 2017 “Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja” at the Walt Disney Family Museum 

Explore the dynamic work of one of the most accomplished and versatile character animators of our time: Andreas Deja. This unique exhibition showcases original works on paper and maquettes of Deja’s most iconic characters, from menacing villains Scar and Jafar, and larger-than-life muscle men Gaston and Hercules, to the much beloved Mama Odie and Lilo Pelekai. In addition to his work for The Walt Disney Studios, Deja is known for independent projects, including his upcoming film “Mushka.” The film is animated in a colored pencil style, and is “a story of love and sacrifice set in Russia,” featuring a young girl and her tiger. Deja’s extensive career bridges the rich tradition of classic hand-drawn animation and animation’s innovative future.  

For more information, visit www.waltdisney.org.  Media contact: Sarah Rothstein, 415-345-6853, SRothstein@wdfmuseum.org

Through Dec. 31, 2017 – Rodin Centenary at the Legion of Honor  

Marking the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death in 1917, the Legion of Honor will present a completely new installation of its extraordinary Rodin holdings in “Rodin Centenary.” Approximately 50 objects in bronze, marble, and plaster—all from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s permanent collection—will be presented in a new context. The exhibition will examine the artist’s celebrated life and influential work—from his early days courting controversy with sculptures that bore unexpected levels of naturalism—to his later renown and lasting influence. “Rodin Centenary”is part of a worldwide series of major Rodin projects and will provide Bay Area audiences a significant opportunity to examine and recontextualize the legacy of the artist known as “the father of modern sculpture.” The Legion of Honor holds one of the finest collections in the world of sculpture by Rodin cast during his lifetime.

For more information, visit https://legionofhonor.famsf.org. Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Through March, 2018 – “Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American” at the Presidio Officers’ Club

“Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration” explores the major role the Presidio of San Francisco, then a U.S. Army post, played in the World War II incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. This year-long special exhibition includes images, video, historical documents and public programs. 

As the Army's Western Defense Command, the Presidio played a pivotal role in the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during the war. This exhibition marks 75 years since Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt signed Civilian Exclusion Orders at his desk in the Presidio along with other military directives that carried out President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066.

“Exclusion” invites visitors to consider the choices made by both people and institutions. How did leaders arrive at this decision? How did Japanese Americans respond to the violation of their civil liberties? And what, as a nation, have we learned that can help us address the present-day issues of immigration, racism, and mass incarceration? Curated with input from the Fred T. Korematsu Foundation and the National Japanese American Historical Society.

For more information, visit www.presidio.gov.  Media contact: Lisa Petrie, 415-561-5444, lpetrie@presidiotrust.gov

 ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES NEWS

June 17-18 - San Francisco’s Italian Culture & Heritage Shine at The 63rd Annual North Beach Festival 

The 63rd Annual North Beach Festival returns on June 17- 18 to San Francisco’s famed “Little Italy” neighborhood and will feature more than 125 arts and crafts booths, tasty food, two stages of live entertainment, Italian street painting, beverage gardens, kid’s chalk art area and the infamous blessing of the animals ceremony. New this year, on June 17, Circus Bella will bring its popular one-ring circus to the North Beach Festival. Featuring static trapeze, rope walking, a 9-person juggling act, contortion, hula-hoop, original clowning and more, Circus Bella is sure to uplift and entertain the audience.  

Now in its 63rd year, The North Beach Festival is considered one of the country’s original outdoor festivals. The festival takes place along numerous quaint streets in the heart of the North Beach district with its restaurants, shops, bookstores, galleries and more and runs along Grant Avenue, between Columbus and Filbert; and Columbus Avenue between Broadway and Green; and Vallejo and Green Streets between Grant Avenue and Columbus.

For more information, visit http://www.sresproductions.com  Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793, Denise@DeniseLamottPR.com

Giants Unveil “What’s New” for the 2017 Season at AT&T Park         

AT&T Park is widely considered one of the most beautiful venues in all of American sport. This year, the Fan Lot above left field has been updated to provide a better ballpark experience for the youngest Giants fans. The mini-field in the Toyota Fan Zone now features a Diamond Vision display, just like the pros have! The adjacent Toyota Stage will feature fun activations all season long.

San Francisco is one of the top culinary destinations in the world, and the food at AT&T Park is second to none. New food items for the 2017 season include: the first 100 percent organic menu of items from The Organic Coup which include a crispy fried chicken sandwich with seasoned cabbage slaw, tater tots, chicken tenders and organic caramel popcorn drizzled in chocolate.  CREAM, one of the Bay Area’s most popular ice cream sandwich shops will have a kiosk at the park featuring a variety of fresh baked ice cream cookie sandwiches.  The SF Soup Company will open their first location at AT&T Park featuring their Ladle & Leaf concept of fresh made soups and salads.  

When the Giants began their 18th season at AT&T Park on April 10, they welcomed the largest number of season ticket members ever in franchise history with 31,000.  They will also have entered the 2017 campaign with the longest consecutive regular season home sellout streak in the National League (489 regular season games, plus 25 dates in the post-season, for a total of 514) and currently, the longest active one in Major League Baseball.

The 2017 schedule features more than 30 promotional giveaways including new items such as the Pence on Board Plush Window Cling presented by See’s Candies (April 30); Collectible Tin Box presented by Chevron ExtraMile (May 13); Giants Car Flag (May 27); Buster Hug Blanket (June 9); 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Blanket presented by the de Young Museum (June 25); Kruk & Kuip Socks (Aug. 20); and a Cable Car Replica presented by AT&T (Sept. 3).  For a complete listing please go to sfgiants.com/promotions.

There are more than 40 special events planned throughout the 2017 season, which require a Special Events game ticket to receive the item.  In addition to many of the fan-favorite Heritage Night celebrations and College Night events, highlights for this season include the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love (June 25) in which fans with a Special Event ticket will receive a Giants-themed collectable.  The Giants will celebrate the influential work of one of the most revered comic strip authors and illustrators in history, Charles M. Schulz, with a 50th anniversary celebration of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (July 22) and a special-edition Charlie Brown sound chip bobblehead.  Chef Thomas Keller will be at the park in September for The Thomas Keller VIP Tasting Experience (Sept. 19) in which fans who purchase the event experience package will have the opportunity to attend a pregame tasting with Chef Keller and his team. For a complete listing please go to sfgiants.com/specialevents.

Media contact: Shana Daum, 415-972-2496, sdaum@sfgiants.com. 

Through August 31, 2017-  Big Wildflower Season Expected at San Francisco Botanical Garden  

After years of drought, the winter brought much needed rain to California, and some very wild flowers are getting ready to put on a particularly vibrant show this spring and summer right in the heart of the city at San Francisco Botanical Garden.  Many of the more than 8,500 kinds of plants in the garden’s collections are native to Mediterranean habitats worldwide, flowering brilliantly after a wet winter soaks ground parched during the rainless summer. Starting in April and extending through August, the largest portion of the garden’s collections comes into bloom.  The season will bring vivid and wild profusions of flowers in the Garden of California Native Plants, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Zellerbach Garden of Perennials. A spectacular variety of protea will explode with huge, fiery flowers in the South African Garden. In the Succulent Garden, the puya will send up massive towers of unearthly flowers that look like something from outer space. And nearby, a native of Mexico, the magic dogwood, will dazzle with spiraling, white flowers that perch on its limbs like exotic lanterns.  Visitors can take advantage of free must-see maps for both spring and summer, docent-led tours, and more, as well as unique classes and activities.

For more information, visit www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com

PIER 39’s 39-Week 39th Anniversary Celebration Continues with Weekly Events

PIER 39’s 39-week 39th Anniversary Celebration continues through October.  Each Friday brings something different, including discounts, giveaways or special events and more.  Another Month of Fun Ahead for PIER 39’s Anniversary Celebration

  • April 14: Spring Egg Hunt – Hunt for hundreds of colorful eggs and enjoy fun crafts at PIER 39’s free Spring Egg Hunt at 4-6 p.m. in PIER 39’s West Park. There will be two egg hunts, first for children who are walking and up to five years old at 4:30 p.m., and the second for children ages 6-10 at 5:30 p.m. Kids can also enjoy a fun crafting activity led by the Museum of Craft and Design.  
  • April 21: Birthday Party Giveaway –  Enter to win a birthday party on The PIER for 10 people.  
  • April 28: Free Outdoor Movie Night with “Big Hero 6” at the Carousel Stage at the bay end of the pier.  Visitors can grab a bite to eat at one of PIER 39’s restaurants or take advantage of special Movie Night discounts at participating PIER 39 businesses before the film starts at 8:15 p.m. To download Movie Night coupons, visit pier39.com.

Restrictions apply. Events and event activities are weather-permitting and subject to change without notice.  For more information, visit pier39.com/39.  Media contact: Alissa Giusti, 415-705-5562, afiset@pier39.com

April 16, 2017 – 26th Annual Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter

The 26th Annual Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter Parade celebrates and showcases the diverse community of San Francisco and features some of Union Street's best restaurants serving attendees in an outdoor bistro setting.

A variety of children's and family activities are the focus of the event and includes large inflatable bounces, kids' rides and games, a climbing wall, a bubble jump, the Easter Bunny, fun costumed characters, face painting, a petting zoo, a pony ride and musical entertainment.  For years, the event has been known as the Biggest Little Parade in San Francisco and reflects the unique community of the Bay Area.  The event is not the average street fair or parade. It can best be described as wonderful, wacky, elegant and fabulous, with everything from roller-blading butterflies and creative self-propelled mini-floats to garden areas, sophisticated fashions and beautiful classic and art cars.  

For more information, visit  www.sresproductions.com.  Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793, denise@deniselamottpr.com

April 22, 2017 – Alcatraz Cruises Celebrates Earth Day

Alcatraz Cruises along with Respect Our Planet will present a full day of free, family-friendly activities on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.  Partnering with local environmental companies, Alcatraz Cruises’ Earth Day festivities are free and open to the public and will take place at Pier 33/Alcatraz Landing in San Francisco.  Activities and featured interactive stations will include:

  • Discover the Bay - explore water samples from the bay and watch the microorganisms on a large-display microscope - learn what role living things play in our local marine environment.
  • Arts and crafts -  engage in educational and creative green art station for children to express their views of the Earth.
  • Gifts and giveaways -  enter to win drawings for children who fill out a passport of vendor visits; prizes for all children who fill out passport; spinning wheel for chances to win additional prizes.
  • Other activities including face painters, music and other entertainment.

Alcatraz Cruises was the first to run hybrid ferry service in the country. The company is considered “zero waste,” consistently recycling 90 percent of its waste and it is certified by several national agencies because the company has always and continues to perform at the highest levels for quality, environment, health and safety.

For more information, visit www.alcatrazcruises.com, call 415-438-8320 or email ac-marketing@alcatrazcruises.com. Media contacts:  Denise Rasmussen, 415-438-8320, drasmussen@alcatrazcruises.com and Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com.

June 3-4, 2017 – Union Street Festival Returns for its 41st Year as the Union Street Music Festival 

The Union Street Festival returns for its 41st year as the newly revamped, free Union Street Music Festival on June 3 and 4, 2017.  With a greater emphasis on free live music, this long-running San Francisco tradition will feature two days of local bands playing everything from jazz and blues to country, bluegrass and more. Live bands will be playing throughout the festival site on historic Union Street, allowing festivalgoers to come and go or sit and stay awhile to enjoy the music. As always, the festival will feature arts and crafts booths, festival food and beverage gardens, community groups and unique sponsors.  Foodies can choose to dine on tasty gourmet goodies from the dozens of fine food vendors within the festival or visit the established cafés, bistros and bars along Union Street. For this year’s festival the beverage gardens will be set up near the entertainment areas and offering a great selection of craft beers and fine wines. San Francisco's charming Union Street with its historic Victorians transformed into fashionable boutiques, art galleries and restaurants will also be open for business.  

For more information, visit http://www.sresproductions.com/events/union-street-festival/.  Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793, denise@deniselamottpr.com

New River Otter Debuts at Aquarium of the Bay 

Tahoe, a juvenile North American river otter, made his public debut at the Aquarium of the Bay on April 14, 2017 in the Aquarium’s North American River Otter Gallery.  The one-year-old joins popular river otters Shasta, Baxter and Ryer.  Tahoe was born across the Bay at the Oakland Zoo and is the half-brother of Baxter and Ryer, also born in Oakland. When he’s in the mood to romp and play, he’ll seek out his bros.  When he’s ready for a nap, he cuddles up to Shasta, resident otter elder and expert napper.  Tahoe has also displayed a particular talent for juggling ice, golf balls and other small items.  He has also been spending time developing relationships with Aquarium biologists. Aquarium of the Bay employs free contact training, a specialized training technique for zoos and aquariums, and one that requires a deep level of trust between the biologists and otters. Free contact training removes the barrier typically kept between otters and biologists, and lets them work directly together. This method is useful for biologists to track the health of otters and is beneficial for them when it comes time for veterinary checkups.

Tahoe, the other otters and the 20,000 fish, sharks, and other animals living at Aquarium of the Bay help share the message about the importance of the health and interconnectedness of our natural resources. North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) live throughout California and are an important indicator for the health of the waterways that feed into San Francisco Bay. By providing the opportunity for the Aquarium’s guests – including over 20,000 school children that visit for free each year – to connect with river otters, Aquarium of the Bay is working to build a connection between its visitors, the river otters, and a healthy watershed.

For more information, visit www.aquariumofthebay.org.  Media contact: Mallory Johnson, 415-623-5340, mallory@bay.org

Through June 30, 2017 – “Butterflies & Blooms” at the Conservatory of Flowers

Get eye to eye with a butterfly in the exhibit “Butterflies & Blooms” at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. The popular exhibit returned by overwhelming demand to San Francisco’s beloved Victorian greenhouse, transforming its Special Exhibit gallery into a beautiful and intimate cottage garden aflutter with hundreds of butterflies on the wing including magnificent monarchs, western swallowtails, painted ladies and more. Walk among a wide variety of brightly colored blossoms like zinnias and daisies while free-flying butterflies flit from flower to flower, drinking nectar and getting covered in pollen. These goodwill ambassadors of the insect world provide a fascinating demonstration of plant pollination in action. The Butterfly Bungalow at the entrance to the gallery also allows you to observe the pupae in their chrysalis stage. You never know, you may be lucky enough to catch the moment when one of these delicate beauties emerges.

Visitors also learn about the mysterious process of metamorphosis, butterfly anatomy, pollinators’ critical role in the life cycle of plants and more through fascinating interpretive signs throughout the gallery.

For more information, visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org.  Media contact:  Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, nina@sazevichpr.com.

Tour San Francisco on Foot in French

The new walking tour company San Francisco by Gilles offers guided “off the beaten track” tours of San Francisco in French.  A variety of tours are available for small groups and private parties with the option of tailoring the tour according to the party’s preferences. Each tour is a unique opportunity for francophone visitors to immerse themselves in the diverse neighborhoods and the history that have made San Francisco one of the world’s most fascinating cities. For a couple of hours or a full-day, a highly experienced French francophone guide – founder Gilles Lorand -  will lead visitors on a journey of discovery, bringing the past to life and revealing urban and architectural marvels hidden to the unaided eye. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” San Francisco by Gilles has created a two-hour “Summer of Love” tour in French through the streets of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. 

For more information, visit www.sanfranciscobygilles.com.  Media contact: Gilles Lorand, 415-509-4850, gilles@sanfranciscobygilles.com

Parts of Alcatraz Closed for Restoration in 2017

This year will be a unique time to visit Alcatraz Island.  Portions of the Cellhouse West Wall are temporarily shrouded while this important historic structure is repaired and restored. With the exception of the hospital wing, all areas traditionally open at this time of year remain so. There are limited areas on Alcatraz that are always closed, due to their fragile, potentially harmful, condition. Restoration of the cellhouse will be complete in early 2018.    

For more information, visit more information visit www.alcatrazcruises.com.  Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com

HOTEL NEWS

Hotel Zoe Debuts in San Francisco in Summer 2017 

Following a $16 million re-imagination by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust inspired by the luxurious yachts found in exotic ports across the globe, Hotel Zoe debuts as San Francisco’s newest sophisticated Fisherman’s Wharf hotel, offering guests a whimsical and authentic hospitality experience. Bordering popular neighborhoods Pacific Heights, Marina and North Beach, the new boutique hotel is near an array of historic landmarks, the former iconic Barbary Coast, attractions and activities, as well as shopping, dining and entertainment venues.  The comprehensive hotel redevelopment includes a full-service lobby bar, room refurbishments and upgrades and redesigned meeting and event spaces. Additionally, Hotel Zoe boasts 221 guestrooms - including 10 suites and two specialty suites; Pescatore, a modern Italian trattoria; and 1,950 square feet of usable meeting space. Pescatore serves pizzas made in the wood-burning oven, house-made soups, sauces and pasta as well as classically inspired preparations of fresh seafood and Italian favorites in a charming Mediterranean port-themed setting featuring an outdoor sidewalk cafe.  The essence of the Hotel Zoe comes from its muse – simply known as Zoe - a one-of-a-kind art installation located in the courtyard, which is equipped with outdoor fireplaces and communal seating areas for guests to enjoy. 

For more information, visit www.hotelzoesf.com.  Media contact: Glodow Nead Communications,  415-394-6500, HotelZoePR@glodownead.com

Claremont Club and Spa Welcomes Canine Ambassador Edie

Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel has appointed Edie, a seven-year-old Boxer mix, as the hotel’s official Canine Ambassador. In her new role, Edie greets visitors in the hotel lobby five days a week and serves as an ambassador throughout the local community.  Claremont Club & Spa is a pet-friendly hotel and encourages travelers to bring their own dogs when they visit.  

Edie’s striking white coat and friendly demeanor make her perfect for the iconic Bay Area resort, known fondly as the White Castle on the Hill. Edie joins Claremont Club & Spa following a successful five-year career at sister property Fairmont Pittsburgh. As a puppy, Edie trained in the assistant dog program at Circle Tail, Inc. in Ohio, but her friendly and outgoing personality proved to be better suited to the hospitality industry, and she joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2011.  

Like all colleagues at Claremont Club & Spa, Edie wears a nametag and even has her own email address so that guests can keep in touch. A comfy bed near the concierge desk provides a space to relax when she’s not welcoming guests. At the end of the day, Edie heads home with Claremont colleague Julie Abramovic Kunes. 

Once a shelter dog herself, Edie looks forward to partnering with local animal shelters and rescues and promoting the benefits of animal adoption with on-property events and fundraisers.

For more information, visit http://www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/.  Media contact: Julie Abramovic Kunes, 510-549-8530, julie.abramovic@fairmont.com. 

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

Manchester (MAN) is now SFO's second nonstop destination to England

On March 28, 2017, Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) commenced nonstop service to MAN and Thomas Cook Airlines UK (MT) will start seasonal nonstop service on May 14, 2017.

In addition to the 13 times a week (nearly double daily) nonstop service to London’s Heathrow (LHR), Virgin Atlantic Airways started seasonal service three times a week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) to MAN on an Airbus 330-300 aircraft on March 28, 2017.  Flight VS126 departs SFO at 5:30 p.m. and arrives in MAN at 12:05 p.m. the following day.  The return flight VS125 departs MAN at 11:55 a.m. and arrives at SFO at 3:15 p.m.  For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.virginatlantic.com.

Thomas Cook Airlines, one of the UK’s biggest leisure airlines, will offer nonstop seasonal service starting May 14, 2017.  Flights will operate twice a week (Thursdays and Sundays) to MAN on an Airbus 330-200 aircraft.  Flight MT2865 will depart SFO at 4:50 p.m. and arrive in MAN at 11:00 a.m. the following day.  The return flight MT2864 will depart MAN at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in SFO at 2:50 p.m.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.thomascookairlines.com.

Manchester Airport is the third largest airport on the UK, handling more than 22 million passengers a year making it the gateway to the North of England.  To learn more about Manchester Airport, visit www.manchesterairport.co.uk.  To learn more about Manchester, England visit www.visitmanchester.com.

Alaska Airlines’ Acquisition of Virgin America Yields Lots of New Service

Three months after its acquisition of Virgin America, Alaska Airlines is growing its Bay Area footprint, adding 13 new nonstop markets from San Francisco International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport. The routes mark the single largest new market announcement in Alaska Airlines history. With the additional flights, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will offer guests 125 daily nonstop flights to 42 destinations from the three major Bay Area airports.

"The 10 new San Francisco routes and three new San Jose routes offer something for both the leisure and business traveler, including exciting destinations like New Orleans, Baltimore, Austin and Kona, Hawaii," said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. 

The new flights build on previously announced Bay Area routes scheduled to begin in the coming months, which include San Jose-Newark, San Jose-Burbank, San Francisco-Orlando, San Francisco-Orange County, San Francisco-Minneapolis and San Francisco-Mexico City.

"With this announcement, Alaska and Virgin America have demonstrated their continued commitment to the San Francisco Bay Area," said Ivar Satero, San Francisco International Airport director. "Like both of these great airlines, we have a passion for creating exceptional travel experiences, and we are thrilled that our guests can now enjoy more destinations from Alaska and Virgin America."

Airberlin Adds Nonstop Flights to Berlin and Düsseldorf in May  

 Starting May 1, 2017, airberlin - Germany’s second largest airline - will operate four flights per week (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) nonstop to Berlin-Tegel Airport using an Airbus 330-200 aircraft.  In addition, airberlin will expand existing nonstop service to Düsseldorf, offering daily flights from SFO effective May 1, 2017.

Through Nov. 12, 2017 - “Stepping Out: Shoes in World Cultures” Exhibition Features 19th and 20th Century Shoes from Around the World

“Stepping Out: Shoes in World Cultures,” a free exhibition by the SFO Museum, is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport.  

This exhibition features shoes from the 19th and 20th centuries from a variety of countries and cultures. Western wedding shoes, early basketball sneakers, beaded moccasins, European clogs, Chinese children’s shoes, and Japanese geta are a few of the many types on display.

The online version of the exhibition is viewable at: www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/stepping-out-shoes-world-cultures

SFO Receives 2017 Acterra Award for Sustainability for All-Encompassing Environmental Achievements

Acterra, a non-profit organization in Silicon Valley dedicated to the promotion of a healthy and sustainable planet, has selected San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for their top sustainability award for 2017, the Acterra Business Environmental Award.  

In the Large Organization category, SFO was honored with the Acterra Award for Sustainability.  In its announcement, Acterra cited SFO as a nationally-recognized sustainability leader in the aviation industry for its history of climate action and sustainability reporting.

Acterra Executive Director Adam Stern said, “At a time when environmental policy is being challenged at the federal level, these award winners send a powerful message that Bay Area companies, public agencies, and schools remain committed to cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable business practices.  Acterra is proud to recognize the achievements of these innovative organizations.”

Despite its status as one of the fastest-growing airports in the United States, SFO has achieved significant success in reducing its carbon footprint.  Since 1990, the Airport has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from airport-controlled operations by 38%, already far exceeding a City and County of San Francisco goal of 25% reduction by 2017.  SFO has also reduced energy consumption by almost 11,000 megawatt-hours per year, and improved 558 acres of wetlands throughout the Bay Area.

Demolition of Former Air Traffic Control Tower Underway at SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has commenced the demolition of the former air traffic control tower, which was decommissioned in October 2016 upon the opening of the new 221-foot tower. The former tower, built in 1983, will be removed progressively with the aid of a crane, along with scaffolding on the upper floors of the building. Construction teams removed the top “cab” section of the former tower in March.

The project, budgeted at $55 million, will also remove the base structure below the former tower, which dates back to 1954 and does not meet current seismic requirements. In its place, the project will build new facility to include flexible office space, a café and a public observation area, as the location affords views of all four runways at SFO. The project scope also includes an additional aircraft boarding gate in Terminal 2, anticipated to be ready for use by the end of March. All phases of the project are expected to be completed by the end of January 2019.

For more information, visit www.flysfo.com/former-air-traffic-control-tower.

For more information about San Francisco International Airport, visit www.flysfo.com.  Media contact: Doug Yakel, 650-821-4000, Doug.Yakel@flysfo.com

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sftravel.com, read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets, and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.  

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 46 international cities on 39 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 79 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com.  Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and  www.facebook.com/flysfo.   

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