Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Snapshot: They’re still racing



Another photo of the America’s Cup from Inspiration Point in the Presidio. Did you just see that the Oracle team is now TIED with New Zealand?! And here, we all thought the race was pretty much over last weekend.

When we were down by the Embarcadero, the New Zealand team was walking around, handing out New Zealand flags. A bit presumptuous, no? Well, I hope you all caught this: Larry Ellison’s home (on Billionaire’s Row in Pacific Heights, naturally) being New-Zealand-flag bombed by a bunch of ninjas.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Snapshot: Hello, Bird



We are off to Sacramento this week, and so I’m furiously researching what to do with a baby in Sacramento. Have any ideas? Send me an email!

Also, this is a fascinating read if you’ve ever thought about women’s roles and interests in urban planning. Did you know women travel more than men and in typically unconventional patterns? I think the hundreds of women I come across every day, schlepping gym bags, groceries, brief cases, or kids would all agree this was a long time coming. To say nothing of those women walking around with mace in their bag or with their keys strategically placed between their knuckles (was everyone else taught that self-defense technique freshman year of college too?) Go read it.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All Your San Francisco Bay Area Food, Art, and Music Festivals — 2013/2014 Fall and Winter Edition

Safari West, Sonoma


And we’re back, with even more festivals this year, if you can even believe it. Old favorites are still here (your chili cook offs, your bacon and barbecue throw downs, candypaloozas, and Fog Fest) but this year I also found Kraken Con, a Star Trek Convention and a Lobster festival. There are over 175 festivals to pick from. You pretty much have no excuse to ever be bored, or hungry, in the Bay Area.




Sacramento Greek Festival, August 30 2013, Sacramento, CA

Gold Rush Days, August 30-September 2 2013, Old Town, Sacramento

One Love One Heart Reggae Festival, August 31-September 1 2013, Sacramento, CA

Adobo Festival, August 31 – September 1 2013, Union City, CA

Lebanese Festival, August 31 2013, Redwood City, CA

Belmont Greek Festival, August 31 – September 2 2013, Belmont, CA

Kings Mountain Art Festival, August 31 – September 2 2013, Woodside, CA

Sausalito Art Festival, August 31 – September 2 2013, Sausalito, CA

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival, August 31 – September 1 2013 Millbrae, CA

The 148th Annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games, August 31 – September 1 2013, Pleasanton, CA

Tejano Conjunto Music Festival, August 31 – September 1 2013, Sacramento, CA


Autumn Opera in the Gardens, September 2013, Hakone Estate in Saratoga, CA

Wine Country Ukelele Festival, September 6 2013, St. Helena, CA

Cloverdale Car and Motorcycle Show, September 6-7 2013, Cloverdale, CA

American Folk Art Festival, September 7 2013, Napa, CA

The 18th Annual Sebastopol Cajun Zydeco Festival, September 7 2013, Sebastopol, CA

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival, September 7-8 2013, Mountain View, CA

EcoFair Marin, September 9 2013, San Rafael, CA

28th Annual Pittsburg Seafood Festival, September  7-8 2013, Pittsburg, CA

Tracy Dry Bean Festival, September 7-8 2013, Tracy, CA



Lodi Grape Festival, September 12-15 2013, Lodi, CA

Firefighter Chili Cook Off, September 14 2013, Sacramento, CA

Ohlone Day, September 14 2013, Santa Cruz, CA

American River Music Festival, September 14-15 2013, Coloma-Lotus, CA

Autumn Moon Festival, September 14-15 2013, Chinatown, SF

Capitola Art and Wine Festival, September 14-15 2013, Capitola, CA

Coors Light Crawfish and Catfish Festival, September 14-15 2013, Sacramento, CA

The 56th Annual Armenian Food Festival and Bazaar, September 13-15 2013, Laurel Heights, CA

Contra Costa Greek Food & Wine Festival, September 13-15 2013, Concord, CA

Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, September 14-15 2013, Ghirardelli Square, SF

Wine Country Salsa and Bacchata Festival, September 12-15 2013, Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival, September 14-15 2013, Santa Clara, CA

San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival, September 14-15 2013, Treasure Island, CA

Modesto International Architecture Festival, September 14-22 2013, Modesto, CA

Aloha Poly Fest, September 15 2013, Golden Gate Park, SF


A Taste of Downtown San Rafael, September 18 2013, San Rafael, CA

The 57th Annual Newark Days: Country Jamboree, September 19-22 2013, Newark, CA

Walnut Festival, September 19-22 2013, Walnut Creek, CA

Oktoberfest by the Bay, September 20-22, Pier 48, SF

Bark in the Park, September 21 2013, San Jose, CA

Napa Valley Aloha Festival, September 21 2013, Napa, CA

Rancho Day Fiesta, September 21 2013, Redwood City, CA

Sonoma County Book Festival, September 21 2013, Santa Rosa, CA

Woodland Chili Throwdown and Brew Off, September 21 2013, Woodland, CA

Glendi International Food Festival, September 21-22 2013, Santa Rosa, CA

Greek Food Festival, September 21-22 2013, Modesto, CA

Hughson Harvest Festival, September 21-22 2013, Hughson, CA

Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, September 21-22 2013, Lafayette, CA

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, September 21-22 2013, Mill Valley, CA

The Polk Street Blues Festival, September 21-22 2013, Polk Street, SF

Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival, September 21-22 2013, Guerneville, CA

San Francisco Greek Festival, September 20-22 2013, Mission District, SF

Blazin’ Hog BBQ Competition, September 21 2013, Mariposa County, CA

Sail Away With Gesniarids Flower Show and Plant Sale, September 21 2013, Golden Gate Park, SF

Sumo Champions Exhibition, September 22, Japantown, SF


Oakland Underground Film Festival, September 22-29 2013, Oakland, CA

The 116th Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, September 27 2013, Sonoma, CA

Eat Real Festival, September 27-29 2013, Jack London Square, Oakland

Sonoma Valley CRUSH, September 27-29 2013, Kenwood, CA

Fancy Hats and High Tea in the Park, September 28 2013, Panhandle, SF

Kelseyville Pear Festival, September 28 2013, Kelseyville, CA

Orinda Jazz Festival, September 28 2013, Orinda, CA

SausageFest 2013, September 28 2013, Santa Cruz, CA

San Mateo Bacon & Brew Festival, September 28 2013, San Mateo, CA

Sonoma County EarleFest: A Celebration of Americana Music, September 28 2013, Santa Rosa, CA

Superhero Street Fair, September 28 2013, Mission District, SF

Italian Street Painting Festival, September 28 2013, Martinez, CA

Jelly Belly Candy Palooza, September 28-29 2013, Fairfield, CA

Redwood City Salsa Festival, September 28 2013, Redwood City, CA

The Lawn Party — Music Food and Wine: A Benefit for Meals on Wheels, September 28 2013, San Rafael, CA

Pacific Coast Fog Fest, September 28-29 2013, Pacifica, CA

World Veg Fest, September 28-29 2013, Golden Gate Park, SF

Alice’s Now & Zen Fest, September 29 2013, Golden Gate Park, SF

Japan Center Anime Festival, September 29 2013, Japantown, SF

ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival, September 29-30 2013, Sacramento, CA


Petaluma Fall Antique Faire, September 29 2013, Petaluma, CA




Mill Valley Film Festival, October 3-13 2013, Mill Valley, CA

St. Vartan Armenian Church Bazaar and Food Festival, October 4 2013, Oakland, CA

Bay Area Circus Arts Festival, October 4-6 2013, Alameda, CA

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, October 4-6 2013, Golden Gate Park, SF

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, October 4-6 2013, Santa Rosa, CA

Arab Cultural Festival, October 5 2013, Union Square, SF

Kraken Con, October 5 2013, South San Francisco

Oaktoberfest in the Dimond Craft Beer Festival, October 5 2013, Oakland, CA

Mole and Mariachi Festival, October 5 2013, Santa Cruz, CA

Suisun City Waterfront Festival featuring Art, Wine, and Chocolate, October 5 2013, Suisun City, CA

Giant Pumpkin Festival of Elk Grove, October 5-6 2013, Elk Grove, CA

Hoes Down Harvest Festival, October 5-6 2013, Guinda, CA

Lambtown USA, October 5-6 2013, Dixon, CA

Los Altos Fall Festival, October 5-6 2013, Los Altos, CA

Los Banos Tomato Festival, October 5-6 2013, Los Banos, CA

Millbrae Japanese Culture Festival, October 6 2013, Millbrae, CA

Sharktoberfest, October 6 2013, San Francisco

Arts and Olive Festival, October 6 2013, Redwood City, CA

Delta Art & Wine Faire, October 6 2013, Clarksburg, CA

A Day on the Water Music Festival, October 6 2013, Berkeley, CA

Fleet Week, October 7-13 2013, Marina, SF (Note that the Air Show has been cancelled this year.)


Union Street Wine Walk, October 10 2013, Union Street, SF

Diwali Festival of Lights, October 12 2013, Cupertino, CA

Kids Can Do It! Home Front Festival, October 12 2013, Richmond, CA

Venetia Valley School Fall Carnival and Supply Drive, October 12 2013, San Rafael, CA

The 18th Annual Lobster Feed at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, October 12 2013, Felton, CA

Zydeco by the Bay, October 12 2013, Sausalito, CA

The Great Contra Costa County Crystal Fair, October 12-13 2013, Walnut Creek CA

Annual Native Plants Fair, October 12-13 2013, Berkeley, CA

Peninsula Oktoberfest, October 13 2013, Redwood City, CA

Shichi-Go-San Festival, October 13 2013, Hakone Estate in Saratoga, CA

The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, October 14 2013 Half Moon Bay, CA

Pacific International Quilt Festival, October 17-20 2013, Santa Clara, CA

Welcome Back Monarch Butterflies Day, October 13 2013, Santa Cruz, CA


Brews on the Bay, October 19 2013, S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien at Pier 45, SF

Potrero Hill Festival: A Benefit for Neighborhood House, October 19 2013, Potrero Hill, SF

Campbell Oktoberfest, October 19-20 2013, Campbell, CA

Ceramics Annual of America 2013, October 19-20 2013, Civic Center Plaza, SF

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, October 19-20 2013, Half Moon Bay, CA

Treasure Island Music Festival, October 19-20 2013, Treasure Island, SF

24th Annual Fiesta on the Hill, October 20 2013, Bernal Heights, SF


Yolo Wool Mill’s Annual Mill-In, October 26 2013, Woodland, CA

Danville Fall Crafts Fair, October 26-27 2013, Danville, CA

Autistry Faire and Cardboard Carnival, October 27 2013, San Rafael, CA

Wharf Fest, October 26-27 2013, Fisherman’s Wharf, SF


3rd Annual Spooktacular Halloween Party & Trick-or-Treat, October 27 2013, Japantown, CA





American Indian Film Festival, November 1-10 2013, Embarcadero, SF

Fruitvale Dia De Los Muertos Festival, November 2 2013, Fruitvale, CA


Star Trek Convention, November 8-10 2013, Burlingham, CA


Napa Valley Film Festival, November 13-17 2013, Napa, CA

San Mateo Harvest Festival, November 15-17 2013, San Mateo, CA

Green Festival, November 9-10 2013, San Francisco, CA

Pioneer Quilters Quilt Show, November 9-10 2013, Roseville, CA

The 37th Annual International Railfair, November 9-10 2013, Roseville, CA

Celebration of Craftswomen: The Largest Women’s Fine Arts Craft Shows in the US, November 9-11 2013, Fort Mason, SF


Bucks for Ducks, November 15 2013, Davis, CA


Flavor! Napa Valley: A Celebration of Food, Wine, and Fun, November 20-24 2013, St. Helena, CA

BevMo Holiday Beerfest, November 21 2013, Marina, SF

Sacramento Harvest Festival at Cal-Expo, November 22-24 2013, Sacramento, CA

The 19th Annual Mandarin Festival, November 22-24 2013, Auburn, CA


Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony, November 2013, Ghirardelli Square, SF

Light the Menorah at Ghirardelli Square, November 2013, Ghirardelli Square

The San Rafael Annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland, November 29 2013, San Rafael, CA

San Jose Harvest Festival, November 29 – December 1 2013, San Jose, CA

The 34th Annual Charles Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party, November 23-December 22 2013 (weekends), Cow Palace, SF


The 30th Annual Holiday Open House in Sonoma, November 29 2013, Multiple Wineries Participating, Sonoma, CA




Union Street Holiday Festivities, December 7 2013, Union Street, SF

Swedish Christmas Fair (and Gingerbread House Decorating), December 7 2013, San Francisco


Noe Valley Wine Walk, December 5 2013, Noe Valley, SF

Holiday Arts Festival, December 8 2013, Richmond, CA


Holidays on the Ranch, December 14, 2013, Wilder Ranch State Park, CA

Kimochi Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire, December 14 2013, San Francisco




Sacramento Anime Convention, January 3-5 2014, Sacramento, CA


International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo, January 9-14 2014, Sacramento, CA


Santa Cruz Fungus Fair, January 2014, Santa Cruz, CA

SF Sketchfest, January/February 2014, San Francisco, CA


Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway, January 23-26 2014, Chico, CA

Zinfadel Experience, January 23-25 2014, San Francisco, CA




Union Street Has a Crush on You, Valentine Wine Walk, February 13 2014, Union Street, SF

San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, February 2013, Mare Island, CA (unconfirmed)

Russian Festival, February 21-23 2014, Lower Pacific Heights, SF

Santa Cruz Migration Festival, February 2014, Santa Cruz, CA (unconfirmed)


The 122th Cloverdale Citrus Fair, February 14-17 2014, Cloverdale, CA

The 13th Annual Spam Fest, February 2014, Isleton, CA (unconfirmed)


Almond Blossom Festival, February 2014, Ripon, CA (unconfirmed)

California Duck Days, February 2014, Davis, CA (unconfirmed)

Pacific Orchid Exposition, February 21-23 2014, Fort Mason, SF

Almond Festival, February 24 2014, Capay Valley, CA

Noise Pop, February 25-March 2 2014, San Francisco


(Looking for April-August festivals? Check out our Bay Area Festival guide for Spring/Summer 2013.)

Filed under: Attractions, Bay Area, Bay Area, Bay Area, Berkeley, Cities, Civic Center, Culture, Davis, Family, Fisherman's Wharf, Food, Fort Mason, Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Park, Itineraries, Japantown, Marina, Music, Napa, Neighborhoods, Petaluma, San Francisco, San Francisco, San Francisco, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, Sonoma County, Union Square, Wine Country, Wine Country by Maria
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Monday, September 16, 2013




My God my God my God. My thoughts are thousands of miles away today, with everyone in Southeast DC.

As some of you know, Dave and I used to live in Southeast. Actually, we lived a couple blocks from where the shooting was today. We still have many many friends who work next door to the Navy Yard. We passed the gates every day, waved at the sailors every day. I loved how they would neatly break formation in order to let me walk past them on my way to work, some of them letting shy smiles slip as I greeted them. I especially remember how young they all looked in civilian clothes when we’d see them at Molly Malone’s.

And as I’m writing this, there are still two gunmen loose in the neighborhood. Dear God.

Be safe, everyone.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Snapshot: America’s Cup via Inspiration Point



How was your weekend? We headed to Inspiration Point yesterday to watch some America’s Cup action. Tons of people showed up to see the race too (I heard it was quite a zoo lower down in the Presidio) but we still had a clear shot of the Bay and Alcatraz and as you can see, the day was spotless.

Of course, as the race got underway, Bean discovered shadows. And so while everyone lined up against the stone wall to take in the race, the two of us danced behind them making funny shadows, our little girl shrieking with giggles.


For those of you that have been writing in asking about the Fall/Winter 2013 festival guide, it’ll be out tomorrow! And I’ve added dozens of new festivals to the guide this year. There are so many festivals it’ll make you dizzy.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Snapshot: Look Up


Whenever we’re in the Financial District, Bean’s head goes flying out of the Ergo to look up at all the tall buildings. Her head literally snaps back like a Pez dispenser.

It’s lovely how her reaction so stimuli has made me slow down and take a second look around. Why is your face scrunched up? Oh, that’s the wind, Bean, you’re feeling it on your face. What are you looking? The leaves on the tree? You see them moving? They’re moving because the wind is blowing them. See, now they stopped. And now they’re blowing again.

We live at a very different pace these days, and it’s really quite exhilarating.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Snapshot: Fishing off Pier 14



Late Summer on the Embarcadero.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Snapshot: California Gold



Our Bay Area grass so pretty in this shot, you barely realize it’s just really dried out grass. It was quite the marketing ploy to call it “gold.” No, no, no, it’s not DRY grass! It’s GOLD grass!


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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Snapshot: Piers



I always love coming across this pier on the Embarcadero. It might as well be a Hollywood backlot, you half expect to see Brando getting into a brawl with mob thugs, a single light swinging just so, illuminating his square jaw determination.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Snapshot: Pretty pretty



Look at these shiny new things.

I’m half excited for all the new bicyclists in the city (maybe it’ll calm down the aggressive commuter bicyclists..a little? maybe?) but also terrified for them. Two girls passed us on Market the other day, swerving madly in the bike lane, giggling about how maybe they should get helmets?

Pray for all of us.

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