Emily Appelbaum

Heated debate

Bikram hot yoga's campaign for copyright has implication for the Bay Area scene

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emily@sfbg.com

YOGA Open source is all the rage these days, from platforms to beverages to biotech. And when it comes to yoga, the East's oldest standby for health and well-being, open source has been the way for thousands of years. But all changed when yoga won over the capitalistic West, and the West Coast became a hotbed for many of today's popular yoga trends.Read more »

Down Dog break down

We rate the yogis -- which famous Bay Area yoga teacher is right for you?

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culture@sfbg.com

YOGA For a sizeable sector of our population, yoga is as much a part of the culture as burritos and biking to work. With more than 50 studios in San Francisco's 49 square miles alone — and even a brand-new yoga room in SFO, which claims to be an airport first — the Bay Area isn't short on options for a Saturday morning sweat sesh or Sunday night candlelight.Read more »

Live Shots: The old-timey escapades of the Edwardian Ball

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The Edwardian Ball, thrown by Rosin Coven and the Vau de Vire Society, never fails to amaze — and absinthe-addled though we were, we managed to take in all the sights, from petticoats a-plenty to splendid corsetry to handsome haberdashery from an era gone by.Read more »

Toeing the tiara line

Why compete in a beauty pageant? Miss City By the Bay explains

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culture@sfbg.com

BEAUTY Miss City by the Bay wants one thing to be clear: the Miss California USA 2012 competition is not about clogging, trained pigeons, or sparkly pink batons. Erika Ari Alexandra will be among those representing San Francisco in this year's pageant, but she doesn't need to break out any vaudeville to routine compete. "Special talents are for Miss America pageants. In Miss USA, our community service is our special talent," Alexandra says.Read more »

One Hundred Days of Spring: As Mid-Market talks, two organizers do

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All photos by Stephen Heraldo

Just beyond the scope of the perpetual debate of revitalizing Mid-Market — defined as the stretch from Fifth Street to Van Ness Avenue — an extraordinary project is quietly closing its doors on an oblique, no-man’s-land corner of Market near Franklin. There, for one hundred days and nights, an empty glass storefront opened up to spill a swath of light and music onto the cigarette-studded sidewalk — without funding, a business model, or (as founders Will Greene and Sam Haynor are the first to say) much of anything else.

“Ask us our mission statement,” One Hundred Days of Spring organizer Haynor challenges.

“We don’t have one,” Greene, his creative partner, cuts in.

“Well, yes we do,” says Haynor.

“Yeah, that not doing it seemed like a cop-out,” the pair concludes. Read more »

Women and circumcision: Leave me out of it

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Here’s the thing about the circumcision debate: Like everything else between men and their foreskins, women want nothing to do with it.

A while back, I was at a blues club when a tall, slim, blond fellow asked me for a dance. I’d seen him out on the floor and he seemed like a smooth mover (blues dancers, unlike your average oonst-oonsters, tend to trade partners), so I said yes.

Turns out, I was right. He was a good lead: firm but gentle, playful yet clear. The only problem was, about a minute into the song, he started urgently not-quite-whispering about circumcision. Like, did I know it was mutilation? Had I ever slept with a natural guy? Wasn’t it better?

When I told him I wasn’t accustomed to discussing my sex life on the dance floor, he assumed I didn’t and I hadn’t so I couldn’t possibly say – and, in a show of great evangelical fervor, handed me a card directing me to a website of one, Ms. Kristen O’Hara, who’d authored a book called “Sex as Nature Intended It.” Read more »

Sing out, sister

BAR CRAWLER: Dashing through choice karaoke dens

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culture@sfbg.com

BAR CRAWLER Until last week, I'd never set foot in a karaoke lounge. It wasn't exactly on purpose; it was just something — like using dryer sheets and eating those little lathed carrots prepackaged with swimming pools of ranch dressing — that never occurred to me.Read more »

Bedbugs and pickpockets: a non-travelers tale

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I am a hotel aficionado. I wrote my undergraduate thesis in a New Haven hotel lobby, watching the light fade from pink to orange to a deep purple-blue each night, sometimes not leaving until the floor-to-ceiling panes of glass began to brighten with the morning.Read more »

FEAST: 10 contemporary kitchen essentials

All you need to shift your cooking from serviceable to superb

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By now, you (hopefully) know the basic building blocks of good eating: fresh, in-season vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and — for the carnivorous set — lean, unprocessed meat and fish. Awesome. But unless you're an adherent of the new Paleo diet fad, which mimics the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it's going to take a bit more to transform this no-frills foundation into something you'd want to sit down to. Here are a few kitchen essentials that can quickly shift your cooking from serviceable to superb. (Emily Appelbaum)

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Tibetan monks make Sutter stop on world peace tour

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Five Tibetan monks from Sera Mahayana Monastery in Southern India crouch on the floor of the Don Soker Gallery on Sutter Street, scraping sand out of brass cones with sheep’s horn tools.

Their orange and wine-colored robes match the brightly-colored sand – tangerine and yellow and bits of royal blue – slowly filling in sections of a large, ornate mandala. They have been working on the sand drawing since their morning prayers, and they will continue to work on it all week.

On Saturday, the millions of sand particles will be swept away into the water. Impermanence is the point, one of the monks told me. Read more »