San Francisco

Acclaimed Artist Gary Komarin Unveils Cake Paintings at MARCH

Gary Komarin

Inspired by his mother, a consummate baker, and his father, an architect, Komarin’s Cake Paintings series cleverly explores the intersection of the domestic with the architectural. The water-based enamel and spackle paintings are rendered on paper bags.  The reoccurring cake iconography is endlessly evocative --lending itself to many layers of interpretation and the spontaneous, bold lines, combined with the unusual media, strike a delicate balance between sophistication and simplicity. 


How San Francisco’s Media and Mayor Turned a Family Affair into a Soap Opera

Rasa Gustaitis

Just about everyone in San Francisco has an opinion about the black-and-blue mark on the upper-right arm of Eliana Lopez, Venezuelan TV star and wife of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. A controversial videotaped image of that bruise has been in the news for five months now. Some believe it is evidence of abuse; others think it is being used by Mayor Ed Lee and his allies to unseat the newly elected progressive sheriff.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Celebrating the Genius of Fashion’s Enfant Terrible

Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

No other haute-couture designer has been as closely associated with popular culture as Jean Paul Gaultier. Where contemporaries such as Alexander McQueen imbued his designs with a dark, 19th-century romanticism, and Miuccia Prada became known for marrying clean lines to an effortless, luxurious elegance, Gaultier has always been heavily influenced by the street. 

Renowned Artist Xavier Viramontes Discusses His Career and Famous Political Artwork

Edgardo Cervano-Soto

Xavier Viramontes is a nationally renowned printmaker whose prints impacted many political movements and social justice campaigns during the 1970s. His prints are also part of the revolutionary canon of Chicano art produced at Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco. His most famous print, “Boycott Grapes, Support the United Farm Workers Union” from 1973, which depicts an Aztec warrior smashing grapes with his fists as the grape juice and blood drip over the title, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  He spoke with Edgardo Cervano-Soto about his career and art.

An Avid Cyclist Reflects on San Francisco's Glory Days as a Bike Haven

Peter Schurmann

The recent death of an elderly Chinese pedestrian after being hit by a cyclist has intensified a long-running debate in San Francisco about street safety and the unruliness of cyclists. Or cars. Or pedestrians. The fingers are pointing in all directions, and there’s little love lost on any one side.

Historic S.F. Restaurant, Home of ‘World’s Rudest Waiter,’ Shuts Down

Vivian Po

Opened shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, for more than 100 years Chinatown’s Sam Wo restaurant dished out cheap and tasty Chinese food to customers as famed as columnist Herb Caen, author Armistead Maupin, and Dr Sun Yat-sen, the “Father of China.” It gained national fame for being home to the “world’s rudest waiter.” As a result of various health violations, the restaurant has now shut its doors.

Selling Marijuana to Earn a College Degree and Pay the Bills

Donny Lumpkins

Long the United State’s number-one cash crop, estimates put marijuana sales somewhere in the vicinity of $38 billion annually. In San Francisco, a pound sells for roughly $2,500, though if shipped across the country the price jumps to between $4,000 and $10,000. Even those whose job it is to connect dealer and buyer or to transport the goods can earn upwards of $100 per transaction. It’s that kind of fast money – far more than what you can earn at a minimum wage job -- that’s attracting a growing number of generation Y and Z’ers to the weed game. 

Grisly Murders in San Francisco May Be Linked to Gambling Addictions

Ngoc Nguyen and Vivian Po

What drove Binh Thai Luc, 35, to be charged this week with slaying five people in a San Francisco home last week? The grisly murders have rocked the city and left investigators and the public  searching for a motive. News media reports have suggested that the killer may have been trying to collect on gambling debts. Although gambling addiction affects every group, researchers have found unusually high levels among Asians.

The Story of Liska Koenig: One of 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants

Alex Emslie

Liska Koenig is so San Francisco, she's got a tattoo of the Golden Gate Bridge on her left forearm.  She’s also an undocumented immigrant, and notwithstanding a forced trip back to her hometown of Hannover, Germany in 1997, has lived consistently in the Bay Area since 1989. Having exhausted all options for extending her current student visa, Koenig, 46, is now facing the possibility that she will have to leave. And while remaining an undocumented immigrant is a troubling prospect, talk of moving back to her native Germany forces a cringe.

Why Expectant Chinese Women Are Flocking to the U.S.

Summer Chiang

The Year of the Dragon is an auspicious time for Chinese parents, so much so that officials in Beijing predict a spike in the number of babies born this year. Expectant mothers, however, are rushing to Hong Kong to give birth so their children will have access to the island’s more modern schools and healthcare facilities. But as hospitals in Hong Kong approach capacity, and as disgruntled locals gripe about the influx of mainlanders, many soon-to-be mothers in China are increasingly turning their eyes to the United States.


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