Emily Appelbaum

Beyond Fido

PETS ISSUE: SF's most unusual pet owners share their parenting tips

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culture@sfbg.com

PETS You can't keep a hedgehog, ferret, or sugar glider as a pet — legally — in California. But don't worry, there are still plenty of options when it comes to unusual creatures to keep your pad rad. Read on for exotic animals you can enjoy right here in the city.

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EcoTuesday goes Free Range

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If you’re one of the 12 million people whose enviro-mind was blown by the online video “The Story of Stuff,” you may have the opportunity to ask the film’s executive producer, Erica Priggen, for more insights into communicating the damage of global consumerism via viral animation.

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Step-step-shamrock-step: Swing Goth takes a Paddy's turn

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Pretty much the only problem with mixing swing dancing and post-punk music – and Swing Goth founder Brian Gardner agrees – is knowing what kind of shoes to wear. Saturday night’s Steam Punktrick’s Day at 50 Mason Social House, a newcomer to the TL bar scene, saw all kinds: the heavy, thick-soled studded boots that are a staple for SF’s Goth crowd, the cute button-up Victorian high heels that are the trappings of steam punk-ettes, and the flat kicks that swing dancers wear to get a good mix of slide, support, and traction. Read more »

Do the leprechaun swing

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Does the standard set of St. Patrick’s Day festivities leaving you feeling a little bit like boiled cabbage? We rounded up a shamrock patch full of St. Paddy's events this year, but you might also try celebrating the Celts with a bit more steam -- punk, that is. Get hep with San Fran swingers (dance, you filthies!) Swing Goth at the third annual Steam Punktrick's Day. The event will feature Nathanial Johnstone, intrepid violinist from steampunk band Abney Park, donning his fiddler’s cap with his side project, the Nathanial Johnstone Band.

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Bug artist under glass

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Kevin Clarke is riffling through drawers, tossing around their various contents and muttering to himself, “I can’t believe I can’t find the lingerie.”

On every surface of his Richmond home, which doubles as his studio, the instruments of his trade are scattered: pins, needles, razorblades and film. But this isn’t some sort of dungeon, and Clarke’s job isn’t to indulge clients’ fetishistic fantasies. His trade is insect art, and the lingerie is for his beetles.

Clarke is a trained conservation biologist who now spends his days boiling butterflies and spreading insect wings, creating whimsical dioramas and gorgeous butterfly wing necklaces he bills as “museum quality insect art.” This year marks the first that his company, Bug Under Glass, has been his sole source of income, but Clarke’s fascination with all things creepy-crawly started long ago. Read more »

Spa steals

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Hey pretty! We had so much Renew Issue we couldn't fit it all in the paper today. So below, please find assembled some of the best ways to spa yourself in SF on the cheap. Because it's easier to enjoy a nice steam without watching one's rent money go up in smoke.

 

Nob Hill Spa 

Located in the classy Huntington Hotel, the price of this spa's treatments are not for the thrifty-at-heart. Luckily, Nob Hill makes its facilities available to the average bear for the relatively humble cost of $35 a day, so that even without paying hundreds of dollars to be wrapped in seaweed like a man-sized maki roll, one can enjoy the use of an indoor pool, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, deck, work-out facility, tea service, and lounge mysteriously titled the “Zen Room.” Available Mon-Thurs, and on the weekends with a reservation.

1075 California, SF. (415) 345-2860, www.nobhillspa.com Read more »

Hoop dreams

RENEW ISSUE: Christabel Zamor's amazing transformation into HoopGirl -- now a national fitness franchise

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culture@sfbg.com

RENEW Christabel Zamor moves like a snake — eyes fixed, lithe body writhing, hips rippling back and forth — which isn't really surprising, considering the number of times she's shed her skin.Read more »

Dad, Millennium. Millennium, Dad

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San Francisco is composed of many worlds: in one, men and women wear suits and whiz up high-speed elevators to the top of the Transamerica building (until recently, I held to the belief that the uppermost floor is built entirely from Lindor truffles and boasts a wine fountain). In a cross-town galaxy, "Transamerica" might be a documentary on one's downstairs neighbor.  

But the great thing about the city is that its various worlds frequently overlap – in laundromats, at last call, and in the occasional rare dining experience that leaves everyone happy and full, even in the wallet. Case in point: Millennium, an artful mash-up of hippie and high class. Read more »

Viva la racy revolucion: SF's newest burlesque babe talks back

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You’re an Ivy League graduate who spends your days carrying a briefcase through the city’s marble halls. So how do you spend your nights? If your name -- stage name in this case -- is Sugar Magnolia, then the answer is burlesque dancing. Last Friday, Red Hots Burlesque made its weekly appearance at El Rio and among the false eyelashes and frippery emerged Magnolia's debut performance in San Francisco. We caught up with her to talk shop about the burlesque scene and bold brashness.

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Artistic boot camp looking for recruits

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With an average body mass index of 24.8 (measured in 2008), SF rates as the second skinniest city in the United States. Work it out people – all those bikes, parks, and beaches paying off, or at least putting us out ahead in America's race against obesity. But next to nearly every one of our yoga studios and muscle gyms is an art gallery. It's fair to say that art appreciation is as ingrained in San Francisco culture as athletic mastery – but where does one go to buff up one's rock hard appreciation of digital art film and radical myth iconography? Enter Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' new program, “YBCA: YOU”, currently accepting applications (this means you) for a free program that'll have you doing heavy lifting of the city's creative offerings in no time. Read more »