Author Archive

Takin’ It To the Street

August 16, 2010

Julie Flynn is the retail and communications program associate at La Cocina.  She man­ages all of La Cocina’s retail sales and handles communications and promotions.  She also supports the pro­gram par­tic­i­pants to help them grow and launch their food businesses.

The summer is in full swing, and the city of San Francisco has exploded with outdoor festivals, fairs, and markets. It seems that every weekend there is some fantastic, often delicious, community event going on in some part of this 7 x7 town.

Relatively new to this scene is the San Francisco Street Food Festival, which will celebrate its second year on August 21st in the Mission district.  The organization behind this much anticipated event, La Cocina, is a small non-profit incubator kitchen. La Cocina provides affordable commercial kitchen space and hands-on technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing, and formalizing food businesses. (more…)

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An Insider Talks Outside Lands

August 2, 2010

Danielle Madeira is the vice president of marketing for Another Planet Entertainment based in Berkeley, California.  In addition to producing the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival and the Treasure Island Music Festival, Another Planet is also the exclusive promoter for the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, The Independent in San Francisco, and Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre in Lake Tahoe.

What artist(s)/performers are you most excited for at Outside Lands this year?

This year is going to be tough since there are so many great live acts on the Outside Lands line-up.  I am really excited to see Phoenix. I saw them at the Fillmore a few months back and the show blew me away. I have been a fan of My Morning Jacket for a long time and their live shows never disappoint.  To have Golden Gate Park as their backdrop will be a perfect way to experience this band live. I think Al Green is another one not to miss. He is still an amazing performer and always brings out roses to the ladies in the audience – such a class act. Janelle Monάe is a new artist who has such style and energy – she’s one I’d recommend. She opened up for Erykah Badu at the Paramount and received a lot of buzz.

What can someone who’s never been to the Outside Lands Music Festival expect and be prepared for?

Outside Lands is so much more than music. We have created a food, wine and music festival with this two-day event. Definitely come hungry. We handpick local restaurants that are known for specialty food items that people love. It is definitely getting the best of the Bay in one place. This year we have Namu serving their Korean tacos; Farmer Brown’s Little Skillet serving their fried chicken and mac ‘n cheese; Anchor & Hope serving bbq and raw oysters; and so much more. The food is not your typical festival fare. In addition to the excellent culinary offerings, we can’t forget the wine. There will be more than 25 local vintners pouring wine in our Wine Lands area. The last thing to remember is bring your jacket. Summer in San Francisco can be foggy and cool, especially in the evenings. (more…)

Sonoma on My Mind

June 15, 2010

One of my favorite road trips involves Hwy 121 aka Arnold Drive in Sonoma.  Sonoma is a vast territory that spans from the San Pablo Bay in the south all the way up north to Santa Rosa and in between the Mayacamas Mountains and Sonoma Mountains.

Once referred to as the Valley of the Moon by the native Miwok, Pomo and Wintun peoples, the Sonoma Valley is now a mecca for wine enthusiasts, and all people in search for some Joie de Vivre.  Whereas Napa is seen as a little more upscale and refined, Sonoma is true to its country roots.  The Sonoma lifestyle is a little more casual and free-spirited.  It’s one of my favorite local getaways as it’s a quick 45 minute drive from San Francisco once you hit the Golden Gate Bridge.  My picks reflect places that hold great memories and are almost always on my itinerary when I make my way up north.

Angelo’s Wine Deli

Angelo’s is a small and unassuming outpost along the 121 also known as Arnold Drive.  If you’re not paying attention, you may miss it as you’re gazing at the surrounding vineyards.  Look out for the brown and white Hereford statue that graces the top of the sign to signal your arrival.  Most people know Angelo’s for its famous jerky.  It’s unlike any jerky I have ever had, instead of being dehydrated to the point of leather, it’s actually very moist and hearty, and comes in many different flavors. The VIP is my favorite.  Many people who are traveling to the wine country are maybe not in a position to buy perishable meats that need to be refrigerated, but the real treasure to be had at Angelo’s is their famous sausages that are hands-down the best I have ever had.  The Louisiana hot links and the Hawaiian Portuguese sausages are delicious and when braised in beer and onions and then placed on the grill for some charring – divine. (more…)

Beauty on the Road

June 4, 2010

Lori MacGregor is the PR & Marketing Director for LATHER, the California-based natural skin care brand. LATHER provides the Bamboo Lemongrass bath and shower amenities for Joie de Vivre Hotels.

Having worked in beauty PR for over a decade, I’ve become a bit of an expert on both business travel and the best products to help me look glamorous on the go. This has been helpful when packing for pleasure trips, too, when my look is a bit looser and I can let my (naturally curly) hair down.

There are two big beauty challenges I regularly face: one, packing a week’s worth of products into a single carry-on to avoid the dreaded “checked baggage” fees; and two, meeting the subsequent requirement that all carry-on liquids be under 3 ounces AND fit into a quart-sized Ziploc bag. That’s a tall order for anyone with contact lenses, curly hair, and combination skin. Here are my top tips for fitting it all in: (more…)

Sacramento Memento

March 31, 2010

Love in the City

February 12, 2010

Our February “City Flavor” writing contest with Trazzler and the SFCVB is picking up steam with “Love in the City” as the second of five themes to inspire your literary muse.  Our guest micro-essayist today is McKenzie Ward, who works in our home office in San Francisco.

I fell in love with the city of San Francisco many years ago as a child visiting friends and family.  I knew from a very young age that I would one day move to this great city and call it my own.  Eleven years ago I packed up the U-Haul and made my way south from Oregon ready for the next big chapter of my life.  Little did I know that San Francisco would not only be a main character for my own youthful adventures – but also for romance and love.

The streets of San Francisco were an ideal spot for meeting my soul mate, Scott.  The San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge were the backdrop to my engagement. My wedding took place in what in my view is the most romantic and iconic space in San Francisco – City Hall. And our friends and family celebrated our marriage with us on the 8th floor terrace at Hotel Vitale overlooking the San Francisco Ferry Building and the expansive Bay Bridge.  

For me, San Francisco has been the love of my life. It introduced me to my true love and brought us closer, and has been the always stunning (and full of heart) protagonist in my own tales of true romance.

My North Beach

December 21, 2009

I’ve lived in one of San Francisco’s most well-known neighborhoods, North Beach, for years. Many people fall in love with San Francisco through its neighborhoods, and North Beach is definitely one that tugs your heart’s strings. What’s not to love? It’s the city’s Italian-American neighborhood so it’s got amazing Italian food, coffee shops open ’til all hours of the night, charming bars, Washington Square Park, and Coit Tower, Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s tribute to her beloved firefighters. Oh, and we get lots of sunny days when the rest of the city is shrouded in fog. (more…)

Mommy’s Little Helper

October 29, 2009

McKenzie & GrantAmong the things nobody tells you before you have kids: traveling with them requires more than a little advance planning. A lot more. And not just for their comfort, mind you, but for your very sanity.

I find that having “Mommy’s Little Helper” along for the ride evens out the rough, nerve-jangling patches quite nicely. Mommy’s Little Helper is a bottle of wine, red or white – the varietal doesn’t really matter. Before embarking on a trip, I always make sure there is at least one bottle of wine tucked among the swimsuits and sippy cups. I find twist-offs work best for easy access. Please understand, I do not condone heavy drinking and parenting and I never imbibe a la “Mad Men” whilst taking to the open road, because that is dangerous. What I am saying is that when things get a little nutty, and they will when you travel with your child, it’s always comforting to know you can hand off the little one to a friend or spouse and reach for Mommy’s Little Helper. (more…)

Giddy Up, It’s Squash Season

October 15, 2009

squashI love the transition from summer to fall.  If you’re a San Franciscan like me, the idea of a real summer becomes exciting as the sun is no longer shrouded in fog and the temperature rises a bit during the day. Come October, it’s officially fall and the chill is in the air and the produce at the farmer’s market has begun to shift from juicy peaches and heirloom tomatoes to sweet grapes, crisp apples, leafy greens and lots of oddly shaped squash.  Some people get excited about the leaves changing colors or the return of football season – I get giddy over harvest time. (more…)