Ariel Soto-Suver

Bastille Day at Sous Beurre? Oui, oui!

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I'm sure all the travel stories in this week's issue are making you jealous, especially when it's raining fog outside and acting rather un-summery. But I have a secret to tell you. One of the best things about traveling is the food, and if you can find a restaurant here in San Francisco with authentic enough dishes in their kitchen, eating out can be almost as good as getting a new stamp in your passport. Here is one of them.

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Live Shots: Eddie Vedder and Glen Hansard, Paramount Theatre, 7/11/11

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He sat surrounded by dozens of instruments, all of which were lovingly named in the playbill for the show. As Eddie Vedder made his way through an extensive repertoire of new and old songs, a fresh ukulele or guitar was switched out with each piece, giving the whole evening an ever changing sound and flavor.

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Ariel Soto-Suver's world of animals

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Pygmy elephants, Kinabatangan River, Borneo, Malaysia, 2010. My husband Sam and I spent three days along this river, spotting hornbills and proboscis monkeys. On the last day, we came across a herd of these gentle mini-giants, who played along the shore of the river for almost an hour, just 10 feet from our boat. Sadly, they are very much in danger of disappearing — the exploding palm oil business is decimating their habitat.

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Yelle at the Regency Ballroom, 5/19/11

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Major props to any super-hot French pop star who starts her set wearing a full body mop. That's just what Yelle's lead-singer, Julie Budet, did last night at the Regency Ballroom -- but it was to be expected since the group is consistently donning edgy threads in their eccentric music videos.

Budet has true star energy which fires her fans into hours-long dance fests at her concerts, despite the fact that probably the majority of them have no idea what her French lyrics are on about. 

But little matter -- it's not just about the music. Read more »

Live Shots: Kinna Grannis at the Swedish American Hall, 5/10/11-5/11/11

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It's rare these days to go to a concert and feel like you really saw something truly wholesome. It's more likely you leave smelling of booze, covered in dance-floor sweat, and with the beat of the drums still pounding in your ears. Luckily, there are still musicians like Kinna Grannis making beautiful, simple songs that can make an audience just sit in total silence as gentle guitar chords wave over them. Grannis is performing at the Swedish American Hall for two nights this week (last night and tonight, Weds/11). Read more »

Grrrl Brigade Stands Up! this weekend

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Back in the day, despite the fact that we went to a super jock high school, my friend Lex and I decided we would be part of the after school dance theater workshop. There were definitely some good times, especially when the big show came along at the end of the year, which gave us a chance to prance around on stage to “Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend,” while wearing Ring Pops covered in glitter and dresses that made us look like we should be on maternity leave. So last night when I stopped by the final dress rehearsal of Stand Up! A Show of Resistance at Dance Mission, there were a lot of reminders of those dance-tastic times, of getting to run around stage with friends and get dressed up in cool costumes, but then the dancing actually started, and all I could think was “Where the heck was GRRRL Brigade when I was in high school?” Read more »

Our very own Eco-Opolis: Earth Day at Civic Center Plaza

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“Have you been to Eco-Opolis?” a woman asked me as I leaned in to look at a miniature green city complete with recycled soap bottle skyscrapers and strawberry basket fences. The set-up was part of a phalanx of carnival booths with very green themes -- just one part of this year's Earth Day Festival in Civic Center Plaza.Read more »

Live Shots: Bomba Estéreo at the Independent, 4/19/11

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Do you ever go to a concert and realize that the lead singer is your new style icon? From the peacock feather in her hair to the flamingo tee-shirt and chipped red nails, Liliana from Bomba Estéreo has got definite style chops. But the sold out audience at the Independent last night, April 19, wasn't there just to see what hip threads Liliana might throw on. They were there to hear the band's utterly unique music, a mix of electronica and traditional Colombian beats.Read more »

Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, 4/17/11

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Every which way you turned, there was someone else you wanted to get your picture taken with, from the big wooly Totoro to people decked out in over-the-top anime costumes. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown was in full bloom this weekend, April 16-17, and everyone in town seemed to be there. The streets were packed with yummy eats, colorful clothing, and of course, lots of stands dedicated to raising money for Japan and their rescue relief efforts. Read more »

Live Shots: Fact/SF at The Garage, 4/14/11

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I remember when I was a little girl, I used to live down at my Grandma Kay's house in Belmont. She had a big living room, with floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the bay. I used to dance around on the wooden floors in my socks to her Peggy Lee and Patsy Cline cassettes, which I played over and over again. It was a strange time. Grandma Kay was sick with cancer and I was too young to totally understand what was going on. Read more »