>>SEPHARDIC LINES Gorgeous and wide-ranging contemporary dance company Alonzo King LINES Ballet just announced its new season, taking place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oct. 14-23. Among its offering will be an as-yet-unnamed (it's that fresh) world premiere set to the music of the Sephardic Jewish tradition. We can't wait to see the bodies in motion accompanying this description: "After the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century, the ensuing Sephardic diaspora reached North Africa, the Ottoman Empire, and other parts of Western Europe, as well as the Americas. Sephardic music developed according to region ... In Morocco, we hear the explosion of Arab-Andalusian rhythms set to Judeo-Spanish and Hebrew lyrics, while in Turkey the sounds of Middle-Eastern a capella singing are infused with the santoor, 'oud, and nei. Solo voices and subtle instrumental accompaniments hint at the music's medieval roots in Spain. Sephardic music continues to be a living manifestation of the idea of convivencia: a fluid, creative, vibrant place of cultural crossing, which shows that art knows no boundaries."
>>A HURRICANE OF YIPS The great Chihuahua airlift of 2011 -- in which a planeload of unwanted West Coast pups were to be flown from L.A. to new homes on the East Coast (where "there is a demand for them"), dubbed "Operation: Chihuahua," has had to be delayed due to flight rescheduling around Hurricane Irene. But never fear small dog lovers (Chelsea gays)! Virgin is in the process of rescheduling what is surely the Saigon or Berlin airlift of our time, and even offering a "No Chuhuahua Left Behind" package -- "each ticket to Mexico booked by 11:59 p.m. Thursday will contribute $25 to support 'local dogs and future airlift flights.'" Read more »
>>HOLLYWARD Hayward got a little more flash this week with the addition of Andrew Kong Knight's two three-story-tall "Hollywood Meets Hayward" murals, which reimagine the town's city center landmarks as an annex of Tinsel Town.
>>WATER WORKS Everyone's abuzz about Ali Farzat, the Syrian cartoonist whose hands were broken after creating wildly popular illustrated works critiquing the government. The assault on Farzat is a reminder that art has the power to change minds and lives -- an idea that US artists with Estria Miyashiro's Water Writes mural series were fully with when they teamed up with young people to create eight environmental justice-themed murals at water purification sites in eight days in Gaza. The beleaguered city was the project's fifth stop -- including already-completed Phillipines and Hawaii walls, the Water Writes project will go to 10 worldwide cities in total. Read more »
>>COMIC ZEN We just want to breathe deeply and slow our caffiene mainline (ironically) when we read Paul Madonna's All Over Coffee comic strip (is it a strip when it's a single panel? More research is needed here). Shit is peaceful. Perhaps that's why the Zen Center is tapping Madonna for this talk on creative theory, highlighted by a slideshow of his luminous scenes from our city's vertiginous hills and boring flat parts. Read more »
>>JELLY JOY A San Francisco Kickstarter campaign has raised over $91,000 when it only set out to raise $3,000. Uh, and it has 19 days left to go. What does that tell us? That people really love their jellyfish. Jellyfish Art was founded by a Duke University marine biologist who was disturbed by the way standard aquariums would suck his beloved jelly creatures into the filtration system. He began retrofitting tanks, and just launched his fundraising campaign to create a jellyfish-specific prototype that can sit on your beside table. The company also stocks jellies to go with the jars, from Japanese sea nettles to the anemone-like upside-down jelly. Read more »
>>SCOBY SNACKS Lest you think that only barbarians and Bear Grylls eat their food alive, consider the case of fermentation. Sauerkraut, kombucha, bleu cheese, and kim chee are all living foods whose microbial make-ups diversify the tiny critters that live inside you (and we all know diversity is a good thing!) If we didn't just freak you out, this week is an optimal time to learn more about making and snarfing fermented foods. House Kombucha, Omnivore Books, Cafe Gratitude, and Happy Girl Kitchen are all hosting workshops to teach you the power of a biodiverse kitchen. But the kicker is the Ferment Change festival (May 14-22), a full week of East Bay bike tours to homebrewing abodes, cocktail parties, culture swaps, and appearances by the anointed god of Planet Fermenation, Sandor “Sandorkraut” Katz himself. Read more »
>>IF YOU WATCH ONE MOVIE THIS YEAR, DON'T LET IT BE THIS ONE Looking to revisit the magic that was 2009's cinematic syrup of ipecac – and looking for a fix for idle hands? Princess Animal, SF's sassiest eponymous yarn store owner, has lain down the gauntlet: whosoever shall craft the best human centipede shall receive a skein of locally-made Pigeonroof Studios “at only the cost of materials and your dignity.” Read more »
>>FINELY BREWED PROSE Though his boozy empire is no longer based in the Bay Area of his youth, we still have a soft spot in our hardened alcoholic hearts (or is that livers) for Jeremy Cowan. The founder of Shmaltz Brewing, Cowan has brought corny Jewish wit into the world of craft beers -- see the label for his nut brown Messiah Bold: "the beer you've been waiting for" -- and done so at a time when we all still considered Sam Adams a microbrew. He's written a memoir about his rise to beer lord, which he'll be back in the Bay promoting this week. Check out his signing at Omnivore Books on Sat/7, and tell him l'chaim for us. Read more »
>>BE STILL OUR WALLETS the Alameda Flea Market (ahem, Alameda Point Antiques Faire) was in full effect Sunday, a gently heaving behemoth of vans and makeshift shady areas packed with the finest in 20-plus-year-old posters, leather jackets, doilies, and more. Per usual though, our pulses raced for the clothes. 1960s hula wear, perfectly affordable granny boots, and darling handmade cardigans – all for very reasonable prices, for the Bay Area that is. If you're going to the next one on June 5, we counsel stopping by St. George's Spirits afterward for the $15 tasting menu, or at least a shot of the Firelit Coffee Liquer. Read more »