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What’s New in San Francisco - January/February 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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SAN FRANCISCO NEWS

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017

In 1967 nearly 100,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, turning San Francisco into the epicenter of a cultural phenomenon known as the Summer of Love. During this transformative time, music, fashion, art and new ideas flourished and there was a feeling that everything was possible. 

That feeling never left the city. The young hippies that gathered in the city 50 years ago, and the sons and daughters of those who wore flowers in their hair, went on to stand up for civil rights and the environment, dared to question authority and still flock to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, forever linking the city to the counterculture and the ideas it launched, nurtured and spread. 

For visitors to San Francisco in 2017, the 50th anniversary will be a celebration with major exhibitions at some of the region’s top museums, special events and concerts looking back at the Summer of 1967 and exploring what that period meant then and now.  The celebration will also include a range of service and volunteerism events inspired by the original Summer of Love.

San Francisco Travel and the California Historical Society have joined forces on the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Celebrating this rare moment in history, the California Historical Society provides the detailed factual and cultural context for this seminal summer through its own exhibition and work with cultural partners such as the de Young Museum.  San Francisco Travel is the go-to resource for visitors planning a trip, including must-see events, itineraries and tours that follow the footsteps of some of the greatest musicians of all time.

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.  The site also links to the California Historical Society, www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.  Media contact: Laurie Armstrong, 415-227-2615, laurie@sftravel.com.

Golden State Warriors to Break Ground for Chase Center on January 17, 2017

The Golden State Warriors and GSW Arena LLC have announced that the official ground breaking ceremony for Chase Center, the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex to be built in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, will be held on Jan. 17, at noon (PST) at the site of the future arena (300 South St.).

Chase Center, which is scheduled to open for the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, will play host to a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and conventions, in addition to Warriors basketball.

The 18,000-seat Chase Center will anchor a district of 11 acres of restaurants, cafes, offices, public plazas and other amenities the neighborhood currently lacks, along with a new five-and-a half-acre public waterfront park. Chase Center will be located on a major Muni Metro rail line with easy links to BART and other transit options. When complete, it will be the only privately financed facility of its kind built on private property in the modern era of professional sports.

Chase Center will be built on a vacant lot that has been slated for development since 1998. The team entered into an agreement to purchase the property at Third and 16th Streets in Mission Bay in 2014, and has spent two years participating in a public planning process. The project won approval from all regulatory agencies and city commissions, including a unanimous vote at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The Superior Court and, most recently, the California State Court of Appeals upheld the project, paving the way for breaking ground this month.

For more information on the Chase Center visit www.chasecenter.com.  Media contact: Raymond Ridder, 510-986-5384 or Lisa Goodwin, 510-986-2253.

FOOD & DRINK NEWS

Jan. 18-29, 2017 - SF Restaurant Week Returns   

SF Restaurant Week, presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, returns for its third year on Jan. 18-29, 2017. SF Restaurant Week celebrates San Francisco’s world class dining and is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy a special menu at a favorite spot or discover a new favorite restaurant. The list of participating restaurants is live at www.sfrestaurantweek.com and menus are posted there.  More than 100 great San Francisco restaurants across 27 neighborhoods and representing 29 different cuisines will offer two-or-more course lunch menus for $15 or $25 and/or three-or-more course dinner menus for $40 or $65.  Many of the participating restaurants are new to the program. Celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern will be participating in SF Restaurant Week, offering special dinner menus that highlight the restaurant’s signature fried chicken (described by Food + Wine magazine as “ridiculously good”).  Other program newcomers include: ‘Aina, Alembic, Babu Ji, Bellota, Black Cat, Blowfish Sushi To Die For, Boxing Room, Burma Love, Cassava, Chouquet’s, Delarosa, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, Fogo de Chao, the Grill at The St. Regis, Matador, Old Bus Tavern, Pier 23, the Rambler, The Fine Mousse, The Perennial, Tratto and more.  The program also welcomes back perennial program favorites like Isa, Roka Akor, 1300 on Fillmore, Aatxe, One Market, Namu Gaji, Locanda Osteria & Bar, Lolinda, Hog & Rocks, Sauce, and more. Diners can participate in the SF Restaurant Week interactive dining activity on the Facebook event page for the chance to get $1,200 in gift certificates to various restaurants.

For more information, visit www.sfrestaurantweek.com.

Media contact: Jenais Zarlin, 415- 781-3925, jenais@ggra.org

Feb. 10-19, 2017 - San Francisco Beer Week Celebrates America's First Craft Brewing Region

Craft beer - along with its runaway international hit, American IPA - was born of the Bay Area's spirit of innovation. More than 100 breweries now operate in one of the world's most creative regions. The Bay Area continues to be a hotbed of beer innovation, where trends and techniques are created, rediscovered and riffed on. SF Beer Week 2017 spotlights the ever-increasing innovation taking shape in breweries across the local landscape. The San Francisco Brewers Guild and Northern California's finest breweries will host hundreds of craft beer celebrations on Feb. 10-19, 2017. The Opening Gala for SF Beer Week 2017 will take place at Pier 48 on Feb. 10.  Flipping beer styles on their heads, wielding a growing influence on celebrity chefs' dishes and renowned restaurants’ beverage menus, adapting beer-making techniques, creating specialized businesses like fermentation-only facilities, embracing entrepreneurial endeavors as with California's first artisan malting company – it’s clear that innovation continues apace in the City by the Bay and the region.

For more information, visit www.sfbeerweek.org.  Media contact: Marina Harrison, 650-947-9296, marina@jpcutlermedia.com.

March 22-26, 2017 - Flavor! Napa Valley Returns

Visit Napa Valley, the official tourism marketing organization for the Napa Valley, has officially announced the programming for Flavor! Napa Valley, which returns March 22-26, 2017. The complete Flavor! Napa Valley schedule, as well as exclusive hotel packages at Silverado Resort and Spa may be found at www.FlavorNapaValley.com.

Flavor! Napa Valley, which takes place during Napa Valley’s “Cabernet Season,” November through April, celebrates Napa Valley and CIA graduate chefs and winemakers and includes cooking demonstrations, intimate winemaker workshops, a “Grand Tasting,” and exclusive experiences that bring out the best flavors of the legendary Napa Valley.

Program highlights include:

  • March 22, 2017 – First Taste – A Downtown Social, presented by the Downtown Napa Association
  • March 23, 2017 – Napa Valley Icons Dinner, presented by the Silverado Resort and Spa
  • March 23, 2017 – Chef and Winemaker Golf Tournament and Reception
  • March 24, 2017 – Rising Stars of the Napa Valley, presented by Robert Mondavi Winery
  • March 25, 2017 – Legendary Napa Valley, The Grand Tasting
  • March 26, 2017 – Bubbles and Brunch

 Individual tickets for the five-day food and wine festival, which support programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, CA, will be available for purchase online beginning Jan. 10, 2017 at www.FlavorNapaValley.com.

Media contact: Angela Jackson, Angela@visitnapavalley.com, 707-260-0114.

ARTS & CULTURE NEWS

Jan. 12-29, 2017 – SF Sketchfest, the 16th Annual San Francisco Comedy Festival

SF Sketchfest presented by Audible will celebrate the 16th annual San Francisco Comedy Festival Jan. 12-29, 2017, with more than 200 shows featuring top comedic talents performing in 20 venues across the city. The 17-day festival will feature major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming comedians from around the world for non-stop entertainment including sketch, stand-up, alternative comedy, music, improv, films, tributes, live podcasts, workshops, and panel discussions.  SF Sketchfest’s official sponser Audible will be presenting live versions of some of their original comedy series, including “Hold On with Eugene Mirman,” “The Guest List,” “Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency,” “Fresh Voice of Stand-Up” and more. 

For more visit www.sfsketchfest.com and www.audible.com/comedy. Media contact: Sheila Kenny, 512-487-5005, sheila@rightonpr.com.

Jan. 16, 2017 – Free Admission at Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MoAD will celebrate the national observance of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a Day of Service, providing free admission to the museum and programs throughout the day. Through film, art and musical performances, guests will reflect on the importance of free speech and diverse communities. Share your dreams, congratulate your personal heroes, and tell your stories through art projects and collaborative activities. Explore our special exhibitions, “Where Is Here,” “A Matter of Fact: Toyin Ojih Odutola,” “Nyame Brown: Classroom in Neveryon,” and “Urban Africa: David Adjaye's Photographic Survey.”  Members of Broun Fellinis (whose music is included in “Where Is Here”) will be leading jazz workshops and music demonstrations in the MoAD Salon throughout the day.

For more information, visit www.moadsf.org/event/free-admission-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-national-day-of-service-2/.  Media contact: Mark Sabb, 415-358-7200, msabb@moadsf.org.

Openings

Jan. 20-Feb.  26, 2017 – New Conservatory Theatre Center Presents West Coast Premiere of “Daniel’s Husband” 

In January, NCTC presents the West Coast premiere of “Daniel’s Husband,” the “devastating … beautifully crafted” (“Miami Herald”) new play by Michael McKeever directed by F. Allen Sawyer. Hailed as “impressive and important” (“The Buffalo News”) in productions in Florida and Buffalo, New York, McKeever’s play explores the profound relationship choices resulting from marriage equality. Michael does not believe in same-sex marriage. His partner Daniel does. As their love story unfolds in this “work of profoundly moving art” (“The Sun-Sentinel”), these two men learn the consequences of their points of view.

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

Jan. 26–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

Jan. 28, 2017 – 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/exhibitions/rodin-centenary  Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org

Feb. 2-25, 2017 - World Premiere Musical Comedy “The Revolution Will Not Be Harmonized” Presented by PianoFight’s Resident Sketch Comedy Group, Chardonnay

Two hundred years in the future, the land is ruled by the mighty “Spotif-Eye,” everyone is a freelancer with an inflexible work schedule and the end of humankind draws near. This dystopian musical comedy introduces us to three sisters, a hair-obsessed Lieutenant, a mysterious Elder who speaks in song lyrics and the one algorithmically perfect song that rules them all. Will the sweet sounds of sisterhood ring out and save humanity? Will they ever taste fresh kale juice?  Will the revolution, in fact, be harmonized? 

This “musical comedy that George Orwell never wrote” is presented by Chardonnay, a local female-led sketch comedy group that’s been winning over audiences with its biting wit and smooth, unoaked finish since 2009. Directed by Ellery Schaar, the cast features Cooper Carlson, Kate Jones, Giorgia Luisa, Jessica Mele, Kaeli Quick, Rachel Rockwood, Sharon Shao, Leah Shesky, Meredith Terry and Kitty Torres.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Harmonized” will be performed at PianoFight’s multi-stage, restaurant and bar venue at 144 Taylor St., San Francisco. For more information, visit www.pianofight.com.   Media contact: Kate Jones, 319-530-4329, kate@pianofight.com.

Feb. 4, 9 and 25, 2017 - African American History Month Events at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park 

The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park celebrates African American History Month with special programs on Feb. 4, 19, and 25. African Americans have played a major role in maritime history. From the earliest days of the nation to modern times, they have fought in wars, invented maritime tools, created maritime music, as well as built, crewed and captained ships.  Programs include:

  • Sargent Claude Johnson: The Color of Beauty
  • Sargent Claude Johnson: The West Coast Link to the Harlem Renaissance
  • Chance and Fair Play: A Dialogue about Maritime Equality and Opportunity
  • Chanteys: The African American and Caribbean Connection
  • Star of Alaska and the African American Experience
  • From Slaves to Sailors: The Voyage to Freedom through Whaling
  • Exhibit: African Americans in the Maritime Trades 

For dates, times, locations and more information, visit www.nps.gov/safr. Media contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006, lynn_cullivan@nps.gov.

Feb. 25-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

March 3-April 2, 2017 - New Conservatory Theatre Center Presents Premiere of “Leaving The Blues” About Singer-Songwriter Alberta Hunter  

New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) continues its 35th Anniversary celebration in March, presenting the world premiere of Jewelle Gomez’s “Leaving the Blues,” an NCTC-commissioned play with music imagining the life of legendary Blues singer-songwriter Alberta Hunter (1895-1984). In the new play by the “Gilda Stories’” author, Hunter is backstage preparing for a professional comeback, knowing just how many doors to the past it may open. Spanning 60 years, “Leaving the Blues” imagines a journey through the public life Hunter led as an African-American musician, the private life she hid as a lesbian, and the ghosts that won’t let her forget.   “Leaving the Blues” was commissioned and developed as part of NCTC’s New Play Development Lab, and will be directed by Arturo Catricala.  This is the second play in a trilogy Gomez is writing. The first was “Waiting for Giovanni,” written in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr., and was a dream play exploring the inner life of author James Baldwin. It premiered at NCTC in the 2011-2012 Season, and was also developed in NCTC’s New Play Development Lab.  For the world premiere of “Leaving the Blues,” NCTC partners with the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD). NCTC and MoAD presented special events for their members, including writing workshops with Gomez and a cabaret featuring a selection from the play and discussion with Gomez. 

For more information, visit www.nctcsf.org or call 415-861-8972.  Media contact:  Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org.

March 21, 2017–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.

April 1-March, 2017 - “Exclusion: The Presidio's Role in WWII Japanese American Incarceration” at the Presidio Officers’ Club 

This April, the Presidio Officers' Club opens a new exhibition - Exclusion: The Presidio's Role in WWII Japanese American Incarceration.  Learn about the decisions that lead to the internment of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans in the United States, and the Presidio's pivotal role in executing the military orders. The exhibition invites visitors to investigate these individual, civic and national choices and to consider alternatives to and consequences of each decision. In doing so, the exhibition encourages reflection and inspires action about present-day issues of immigration, racism and mass incarceration.   

For more information, visit www.presidio.gov/presidio-trust/press.  Media contact: Lisa Petrie, 415- 561-5424, lpetrie@presidiotrust.gov.

Continuing

Through Feb. 12, 2017 – “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50”

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) presents a major exhibition to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding on October 15, 1966, in Oakland. Presenting a contemporary view of the Black Panther Party’s legacy from multiple perspectives, “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” shows how the Party continues to inspire culture, social activism, and community empowerment efforts locally, nationally and internationally. Designed to create empathy and emotional resonance, the exhibition explores the Black Panther Party as a necessary, heroic and human response to societal needs. Informed by insights from former Black Panthers, artists, scholars and community members, the exhibition features art installations, historical photographs and media presentations, artifacts and contemporary works of art.

For more information, visit www.museumca.org.  Media contact: Lindsay Wright, 510-318-8467, lwright@museumca.org.

Through Feb. 26, 2017 – “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” at the de Young 

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco hosts “Frank Stella: A Retrospective,” a comprehensive presentation surveying the career of this towering figure in Post-war American Art. Approximately 50 works, including paintings, reliefs, sculptures and maquettes, represent Frank Stella’s prolific output from the late 1950s to the present day and reveal the artist’s dramatic influence on the cultural landscape over the last six decades. 

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

Through March 12, 2017 – “Danny Lyon: Message to the Future“ at the de Young

The exhibition assembles 175 photographs and related films and ephemera to highlight Lyon’s concern with social and political issues and the welfare of individuals considered by many to be on the margins of society. The presentation includes many objects that have seldom or never been exhibited before and offers a rare look at works from Lyon’s archives alongside important loans from major public and private collections in the United States. This is also the first exhibition to assess the artist’s achievements as a filmmaker.  

For more information, visit http://deyoung.famsf.org/exhibitions/danny-lyon-message-future. Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-357-4000, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Through April 2, 2017 – Four New Exhibitions at the Museum of the African Diaspora

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), presents four new exhibitions through April 2, 2017.   “Where Is Here,” curated by Jacqueline Francis and Kathy Zarur, presents the work of contemporary artists of African descent who are interested in claiming, making, and describing places. Toyin Ojih Odutola debuts a new body of work with “A Matter of Fact,” an exhibition that places her subjects in articulated environments and punctuates the detailed scenes with accents of vivid color. MoAD is also introducing the second annual Emerging Artists Program with Nyame Brown’s “Classroom in Neveryon.” An exhibition on the first floor showcases the photographic survey conducted by renowned international architect and designer, David Adjaye, of buildings in 53 cities across the continent of Africa with “Urban Africa.” Learn more at www.moadsf.org.  Media contact: Mark Sabb, 415-358-7200, msabb@moadsf.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.

Programming highlights include Julian Lage Trio, Billy Hart with Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner & Ben Street, Chick Corea with Eddie Gomez and Brian Blade, Ludovico Einaudi, GoGo Penguin, Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider with Joshua Redman, Joel Harrison 5 with Brian Blade, Van Morrison, Trumpet Festival, SFJAZZ Collective, Mariza, Diego El Cigala, Burt Bacharach, Chucho Valdés with the Joe Lovano Quintet, Dorado Schmitt & Django All-Stars, Petra Haden & Jesse Harris, Robert Glasper Experiment, Aaron Neville, New Year’s with Maceo Parker, Chris Botti, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, John Santos Sextet, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Cookers, Paris Combo, Dianne Reeves, Scott Amendola Quintet with Nels Cline, Goran Bregovic, Miguel Zenón Quartet, Destani Wolf, Tiffany Austin, Jackie Ryan, Laurie Antonioli, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade, Anoushka Shankar, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, Hermeto Pascoal, King Sunny Adé, ECM Festival, Nels Cline: Lovers, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, Juan de Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Dayna Stephens, Patrick Wolff, Howard Wiley, Mad Duran, Omar Sosa, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gerald Clayton, Eliane Elias, A Tribute To Ernesto Lecuona with Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Michel Camilo, and more.

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

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES NEWS

Jan. 15-March 31, 2017 -  San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Magnificent Magnolia Bloom

The start of the New Year in San Francisco offers a chance to be tickled pink by one of the city’s most breathtaking natural marvels as nearly 100 magnolias at San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park burst into bloom. Velvety silver buds on the often bare branches of these elegant trees, many rare and historic, open into dazzling pink, magenta, and white flowers, filling the wintery Garden with dramatic splashes of color and sweetly fragrant scents. 

The annual floral spectacle, with trees reaching 80 feet, is at its peak this year from mid-January through March, and visitors to the Garden can take advantage of free Magnolia Walk maps, docent-led tours, special signage, a magnolia mobile app, and more to celebrate and learn more about these magnificent magnolias. 

San Francisco Botanical Garden is home to the most significant magnolia collection for conservation purposes outside China, where the majority of species originated. Its current collection includes 44 species, 42 cultivars and 16 hybrids or varieties, including many important specimens from Asia.

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

Ten Things to Do at the San Francisco Zoo

Located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the city’s outer Sunset District, the San Francisco Zoo is an urban oasis. Home to more than 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species, the Zoo encompasses more than 100 acres. Check out these insider tips from a Zoo staff member to make the most of a zoo visit:

1.Get an up-close look at grizzly bears foraging for food at the 10:30 feeding.

2.Take a ride on the Little Puffer train and Dentzel carousel.

3.Discover and interact with animals along the Nature Trail (summer exhibit).

4.Pet goats, sheep and more at the Family Farm.

5.Go behind the scenes and learn insider information on a Wild Walk (weekends).

6.Watch animal keepers hand-feed the largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins at 10:30 and 3:30.

7.See spectacular giraffe up close during the Keeper Talk and feeding in the giraffe barn.

8.Burn off energy at the amazing Elinor Friend Playground, with play structures for all ages and abilities.

9.Look out for free-flying birds inside the South American Tropical Rainforest & Aviary.

10.Explore one of San Francisco’s few remaining earthquake shacks and learn the history at Greenie’s Conservation Corner.

For more information, visit www.sfzoo.org.  Media contact: Rachel Eslick, 415-753-7080, rachele@sfzoo.org.

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

Get eye to eye with a butterfly in the exhibit “Butterflies & Blooms” coming to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park this fall. The popular exhibit returns 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 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.

Wine Country Walking Tours adds Meet the Healdsburg Tastemakers Tours

Wine Country Walking Tours specializes in creative, fun, and entertaining adventures exploring fine wine and food while strolling through Healdsburg’s charming and historic downtown.  Get up close and personal with the chefs, winemakers, and culinary artisans who are creating new trends on Wine Country Walking Tour’s new Meet the Healdsburg Tastemakers tour.  Sit down with the winemaker for an in-depth conversation. Stroll the organic garden with the chef, discussing the sustainable growing practices that produce the best farm-to-table ingredients, then continuing the tour and discussion in the kitchen and restaurant.  This four-hour tour offers a variety of interactive, hands-on experiences in the kitchens, restaurants, tasting rooms, and food companies that make trendy Healdsburg a wine and foodie haven.  Tour itineraries will vary depending on which fresh and seasonal ingredients are being featured at the time. A typical tour might start with a tasting and discussion at Sonoma Cider, known for its distinctive organic flavored ciders. That could be followed by a kitchen and garden tour with a conversation with the chef at Mateo’s Cocina Latina. Next up might be a winemaker’s lunch at a renowned Healdsburg restaurant, followed by a mixology session crafting seasonal cocktails at Spoonbar. 

For more information, visit winecountrywalkingtours.com.  Media contact: Kirsten Jones, 707-758-4725, kirsten@winecountrywalkingtours.org 

Through Aug. 31, 2017 – National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park Program

Building upon the Centennial of the National Park Service this year, the NPS is extending the Every Kid in a Park program for a second year in 2017.  The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid through Aug. 31, 2017. After completing a fun educational activity on the website, the child can download and print a pass. 

Locally, the printed pass can be traded for a more durable annual Every Kid in a Park pass at the three national park sites with entrance fees: Muir Woods National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Pinnacles National Park

The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.   

Visit www.EveryKidinaPark.gov for more information.  Media contact: Nathan Hale Sargent, 415-561-4732, hale_sargent@nps.gov.

Presidio to Open New Visitor Center in February 2017

The new William Penn Mott, Jr. Visitor Center opens in February 2017, at the north end of the Main Parade Ground, a major milestone for the Presidio's Post to Park transformation and the exciting next phase of welcoming the public. The new center a distinctive partnership with the National Parks Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, will be the jumping off point to a day in the Presidio, orienting guests to its current activities and features. The historic building (1900) is refurbished to offer an information desk and interactive exhibits that will help tell the story of the Presidio through interactive touchscreen panels, a video wall, audio presentation, and an entire room dedicated to revealing the four areas of the park: Main Post, Golden Gate, Crissy Field and the Southern Wilds. Dates for the public opening will be announced in early January.

For more information, visit www.presidio.gov.  Media contact: Lisa Petrie, 415- 561-5424, lpetrie@presidiotrust.gov.

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  

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation Reveals Entirely Transformed Visage

Located just minutes from San Francisco International Airport, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., has completed a top-to-bottom renovation. The transformed hotel now features a sleek, modern design which unites refreshed guestrooms, public spaces and events spaces, as well as brand-new bistro, bar and market 3SIXTY, featuring chef-driven, local dining options. 

“We’re thrilled to reintroduce our hotel after this comprehensive renovation and welcome guests into completely reinvigorated spaces. We believe the renovation improvements will transform every aspect of the guest experience—from the moment they set foot in the upscale reception area, to the stunning atrium with the new bar-centric 3SIXTY, to the flexible modern meeting spaces, and the refreshed, tranquil guestrooms,” says General Manager Irby Morvant. 

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport has increased its events space with the addition of two new ballrooms, giving the hotel a total of 69,285 square feet of flexible function space. With these major improvements, the property can now accommodate groups up to 2,200.

For more information, visit www.sanfranciscoairport.hyatt.com.  Media contact: Adrienne De Vore, 818-437-8211, adrienne@devorecommunications.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 also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit www.sftravel.com.   

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 39 international cities on 34 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers free upgraded 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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