FOODSEEKR: Top December Food Events in the SF Bay Area

Fifth Floor Holiday Guest Chef Series | December 5-10 | Fifth Floor Restaurant

Having grown up in a pretty traditional Chinese household, I always wondered what other families ate over the holidays. Since I’m pretty sure they wondered what was going on behind the closed doors of my home as well, I’m glad Fifth Floor has decided to put a fine dining twist on this idea for their Holiday Dinners this week. Each night, a different chef from a renowned San Francisco restaurant hosts a five course holiday meal at David Bazirgan’s Fifth Floor that’s inspired by his/her unique cultural heritage, with part of the proceeds going to charity. Though it’s already Thursday, there are still  two guest chefs left for tonight and Friday night, as well as Chef David Bazirgan’s own Armenian holiday dinner on Saturday. Tonight’s dinner features Hoss Zare from Zare at Fly Trap, while tomorrow’s features Matt Accarino from SPQR. Call the restaurant at 415.348.1555 to make reservations. Holiday dinners are $95 per person.

Lower Haight Holiday Art Walk | December 9, 6pm-9:30pm | 400-700 Blocks of Haight Street

The Lower Haight Holiday Art Walk brings together shopping, drinking, eating and live music in a way that only The Haight could. Of course, I’d be focused on the food more than anything. Some of the vendors that will be there include Sour Flour Breads (they also occasionally host baking classes at La Victoria), Kara’s Cupcakes, Wing Wings and Chili Cha Cha.

Epicuring’s Behind-the-Scenes Holiday Sweets Crawl | December 14, 6pm-9pm | 1198 Illinois Street, San Francisco

Oh, shopping and food! Susie and Laiko of 7×7 Magazine have made it dangerously easy for you to OD on sugar this holiday season. This sweets crawl takes place in the Dogpatch, and features treats from three wonderful vendors (Mr & Mrs. Miscellaneous, Au Coeur des Chocolats and Kika’s Treats). At each vendor, you’ll be treated to a tour from the resident chef in charge, samples of their delicious wares, and a take-home goodie bag full of treats. Buy tickets here.

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Santas Gone Wild [Preview]

There’s no question that everyone celebrates the holiday season differently. Some gather with family as often as possible; others have White Elephant parties with eggnog and mulled wine; some watch Christmas movies from Thanksgiving to New Years. Personally, I started listening to Christmas songs a month ago. But if you’re looking for something less traditional, while still wanting to dress up as Santa, I have some nice – and naughty – suggestions for you.

Santarchy / Santacon PDX 2007. Photo by jesse.millian. CC BY 2.0

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Art Top 5: Exhibitions & Events December 2011

Beat by the Bay, San Francisco Visual Artists of the Fifties and Their Galleries, Ever Gold, December 8, 2011 – January 6, 2012

Everybody’s heard of the literary works produced by the great writers of the Beat generation, like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But that legendary countercultural movement also included visual artists, who without a doubt deserve the same recognition. Recall, for example, the staggering paintings of Jay DeFeo, such as “The Rose” (now in the collection of the Whitney Museum).  By organizing “Beat by the Bay” the Ever Gold gallery aims to reconnect the Bay Area with its own cultural heritage. It will show experimental pieces by artists who lived and worked here in the 1950s, as well as tell the stories of the alternative gallery spaces where those artists presented their output.

Jay Defeo, Courtesy Jerry Burchard Estate, c. 1957

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Batwoman Celebration at Isotope with J.H. Williams III & W. Hayden Blackman [Preview]

Batwoman and the New 52 | Saturday, December 3, 2011 | Isotope Comics Lounge | San Francisco

San Francisco is very rich and diverse when it comes to culture and art. Most comic book aficionados residing in this city already know about the Isotope Comic Lounge, and visiting comic lovers likely make it a point to stop at the store. James Sime, the store’s proprietor, has done a heck of a job over the years bringing comic creators into his shop for in-store events–current DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, Darwyn Cooke, Warren Ellis to just name a few. Sime and company even took The Walking Dead’s co-creator Robert Kirkman, as well as a gaggle of fans, along the streets of San Francisco for a zombie pub-crawl back in April as part of this year’s Wonder-Con festivities.

This Saturday, December 3rd, Sime welcomes J.H. Williams III to the store. Williams, one of the comic book industry’s best illustrators, has been a guest of honor at Isotope before. This time, he returns with W. Haden Blackman, one of his creative partners on their monthly comic book title, Batwoman, published by DC Comics.

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ARTSEEKR Events November 22 – December 5, 2011

Left Coast Leaning, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, December 1-3, 8pm This annual performing arts festival supports diverse forms of expression. The centerpiece of this year’s edition is perhaps a multimedia work by Alexandro Segade, which “takes place in a dreamlike, sci-fi L.A. cityscape where gay marriage is state-mandated and those who don’t conform are hunted down.” Also on the bill: slam poetry (Rafael Casal), tap dancing (Jason Samuels Smith), and dance performances that explore “the sexualized black body in the realm of the spectacle” (Anna Martine Whitehead) and “the awkwardness of human beauty and the struggles of intimate negotiation” (tEEth).

Alexandro Segade, Replicant VS Separatist, Pictured: Colin Martin and Justin Streichman. Credit: Scott Groller

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8 Tips for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade [Preview]

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade | Thursday, November 24, 2011 | New York

Breathe it in: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Does anything announce more loudly and cheerfully that the holidays have arrived? For me, the answer is “No.” Every Thanksgiving, I’d wake up to the sounds of the parade from the TV and the smell of delicious food from the kitchen. I loved everything about the event: the big balloons floating through the skyscrapers, the musical numbers, the people dressed in big coats, hats and scarves. As a kid in sunny Los Angeles, I always thought to myself, “Yes, now that’s what the holidays are all about.”

Kung Fu Panda in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo by Kent Miller.

It should come as no surprise then that when I was a college sophomore in Boston with nowhere to go on Thanksgiving, I grabbed my then-boyfriend (now-husband), packed up a bunch of warm clothes, boarded the Chinatown bus and  traveled to New York City. I didn’t care that we didn’t have enough money for the trip nor that we were going to be in NYC during one of the most touristy times of the year. I didn’t care at all because we were going to see the Macy’s Day Parade.

So, if you are like me, and the time has come to see the Macy’s Day Parade in person, here are some tips to ensure that the event is as magical as you always imagined it would be:

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Workin for the Weekend – eventseekr’s Top Picks for 11/18/2011-11/20/2011

Thanksgiving break is nigh upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the wonderful events going on this weekend. Katie K. and Lucia C. have found a little bit of everything, so grab your friends and start spreading some holiday cheer. It’s Wednesday and we’re getting ready for the weekend.

Taste & Tribute San Francisco @ Four Seasons Hotel | Friday, November 18

The 11th annual Taste & Tribute benefit gala for the Tibetan Aid Project is taking place this Friday at the Four Seasons. The event features a silent and live auction as well as a four-course gourmet meal. Inspired by the desire to aid Tibet, Chef Laurent Manrique first organized this event in conjunction with the Tibetan Aid Project in 2001, and it’s been a hit ever since. This year, he has brought together a star roster of 23 of San Francisco’s top chefs, and they will be cooking up a storm. Working in pairs, the chefs will prepare table-side meals for attendees. Proceeds from the event go to the Tibetan Aid Project, which works to preserve and perpetuate Tibet’s spiritual heritage.

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