Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

I’m embarrassed to say that I had never been to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to see a performance. So I booked us tickets to see Program 2 (Dance Downtown) of ODC/Dance’s 41st annual home season. YBCA is such a beautiful, modern facility. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to see something. They have a never-ending list of events to check out: dance, lectures, film, theater, music.

During intermission, we took a stroll over to the Metreon for creamy gelato. Can’t believe Target is coming later on this year.

I had mixed feelings about the program. I enjoyed the first and last dance, but the middle one was a little too kitschy and over-the-top for me. I was hoping to catch a ballet that I’ve been dying to see in Austin, but I think poor Dean is probably over-cultured. And not sure the rest of our group would want to see a ballet either! I wanted to sign us up for a 5k historical city tour or the music tour, but no one liked that idea either. Bunch of lazy-asses.

San Francisco Ballet 2012 Opening Night Gala

We went to the SF Ballet’s gala last night which was splendiferous. The people-watching was like no other. Or at least for me since I don’t often mingle with high society. Ball gowns, tuxes, bow ties, and glitter. So fun seeing all these old people dolled up. When I say ‘old,’ I mean really old. They were so cute decked out in their diamond necklaces and high heels. Major bling!

My attendance at the gala hasn’t been consistent. Probably the last time I went was 2-3 years ago. This time, waiters were going around passing out champagne. That’s new to me. Plus the hall was more packed than I’ve ever seen it. Seeing all the limos and Lincoln town cars afterwards was a trip.

The gala is the show to attend. It’s like watching the full season compressed into two hours. We saw 10 vignettes. 6 dances in the first half, intermission, then 4 in the second half.

The SF Ballet is world-class. The breadth of dances performed–from classical to modern–was phenomenal. It’s must see SF arts & culture.

Christmas Festivities

I love Christmas time. Does it get any more festive than this time of year? This year seems to have zoomed by along with December so I feel like I didn’t get a chance to do everything I love doing like having holiday tea at one of the big hotels, ice-skating in Union Square, or watching the Symphony.

But I did manage to catch my nephew sing as part of the Golden Gate Boys Choir. The choir is comprised of elementary and high school kids from all over the Bay Area.¬†They had a concert at St. Francis in North Beach, singing all the classics: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, the Little Drummer Boy, O Come All Ye Faithful…

In addition to singing, they had bellringers who were the bomb. Older kids who played Carol of the Bells and the Coventry Carol. So amazing. I’ve never heard the bells played before. Click on the link below to a video.

Golden Gate Bellringers

I also got front row Orchestra seats to the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker which is supposed to be one of the best Nutcrackers in the world. We read that the first full-length Nutcracker in the U.S. premiered at the SF Ballet. Plus I adore ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan who played the older Clara. You won’t see anyone like her. The day she announces her impending retirement (she’s getting up there), I plan on watching every ballet that she’s in. It was a Tuesday night and it seems like all the SF dwellers made it to that show (I saw a bunch of people), including one of my exes who texted me.

Clueless and On Vacation

I think it’s sad that most people zone out when I talk about the arts. In New York, when I said I was going to the ballet, everyone asked where. Ummm, the Lincoln Center where it always is. Cmon people! When I talked about the galleries, it was like I was speaking in tongues. It’s not just a lack of interest by New Yorkers, this is an American epidemic. Travel is not just about seeing the sites like the Statue of Liberty or Times Square or ice-skating at Rockefeller Center. It ain’t the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman’s Wharf or dangling off of the Powell Street cable car. It’s the complete experience which includes local food and wine, the arts, theater, and the sites. Explore, enjoy, experience. Goodness, there is a whole world out there and it’s not about visiting the Eiffel Tower but also taking advantage of what your own locale has to offer. If you spent some time discovering, you will be delighted. Which is why I do not think San Francisco is boring! We have so many new gallery exhibits, a plethora of cutting-edge modern dance, theater beyond what’s playing at the Orpheum, and a shitload of food and wine festivals.

No I do not just take advantage of everything because I happen to be in NYC on vacation. I do that at home too.

Next time someone talks excitedly about a certain event, clue in, and venture out of your Netflix queue. Our own backyard is a vacation!