Martuni’s was one of the first bars I ever went to when I first moved to San Francisco in 2006. I loved the charm of it at and I think I went a couple of times. The funny thing about San Francisco, though, is that there is always a different place to go and so somehow you don’t always end up back at the places you loved because you’re busy with other things. Somehow I’d never been back to Martuni’s again until recently, almost seven years later. I fell in love with it again.
Martuni’s is an open mic piano lounge that is open seven days a week. I was there on a random Sunday night and it was packed full of people who were willing to get up there with the live piano player and sing songs out of the numerous songbooks available there. These people don’t just sing bad karaoke either; the folks that do open mic at Martuni’s are almost all highly skilled singers. Many of them perform in musicals and on other stages and have voices that you just want to listen to forever.
I do love the music. I have a soft spot for showtunes and other campy music. But that’s not actually why I love Martuni’s. I love that it’s such a uniquely San Francisco thing that embraces the city and its history, multigenerational talent, the romance of song, the frivolity of playing together … I love the energy of the room as people sing along with the songs that they know.
And the drinks are good as well.
I was just going through some recent pictures that I hadn’t yet shared on the blog and realized that I never mentioned the Mother’s Day comedy show that I went to. Obviously Mother’s Day was a month ago but the all-female cast had some really funny performers worth mentioning since I’m sure they also perform at other times in the San Francisco Bay Area so I thought I’d go ahead and mention it anyway in a better-late-than-never kind of way.
The host of the event, shown above, was Pearl Louise. Each of the women was doing an impersonation of her own mother. It was this interesting celebration of our moms, the funny things that are kind of universal to all of us when dealing with our mothers. Many of the women took on the character of the mom criticizing the daughter herself, revealing the humor in the mother/ daughter relationship. The other women who performed were Trish Pandya, Valerie Branch, Allison Mick, Iris Benson, Gloria Magana, Katie Green and Aly Jones (*all shown below but not quite in the right order).
I’ve lived in San Francisco for more than seven years and I’ve lived near the Fillmore Jazz District for almost three years but for some reason I didn’t ever make it to the famous Yoshi’s restaurant and jazz club until really recently. I swear there are just so many places to see in San Francisco that there are always ones I miss out on for awhile even though I stay pretty active!
In any case, I actually still haven’t seen a show at Yoshi’s but I did go have dinner there (which you might have noticed in my post a few days ago on recent SF eats) and I checked out the art exhibit in the lobby which is about Sonny Buxton. Buxton is a local jazz radio personality and important member of the jazz community. He’s worked with many big jazz artists and was recently the recipient of the 2013 Jazz Hero award.
In addition to the Buxton photo exhibit there are some other music related art items on display in the lobby of the restaurant / club.
That piece of colorful musical art was one of my favorite pieces in the exhibit area!
I head up to The Haight once or twice a year to do some shopping. I take the time to stop in all sorts of stores and see if I can find some vintage clothes or random oddities. This trip around I came up with a pair of red shoes, a bunch of cheap patterned fishnet tights and a super cute pair of shorts with suspenders (from Gypsy Streetwear, shown below). But mostly I had fun trying on various dresses and hats I probably wouldn’t actually wear and just doing some people watching in the neighborhood. Have you been to The Haight in San Francisco?
What you see is me in front of the crepery I ate at to start the day, some art, one of the stores I shopped at, me being super proud that I won a chess game at Coffee to the People since I haven’t played chess in years and have never played it well, and a new danger sign: Inflammatory Literature.
There is a community rec center near my neighborhood that I walk by on the way to my library. I noticed recently that they added some new plants out front. Cute!
I was walking down an alley in San Francisco recently when I saw a set of collage art pieces in a window.
I paused to find out what I was looking at and discovered it was a window display by SFMoMA’s artist gallery. I am obviously familiar with SFMoMA but didn’t know about the artist’s gallery so I looked it up. It is apparently a non-profit art gallery showcasing the work of diverse artists in different stages of their art careers. The actual gallery is located at Fort Mason but this display was in SoMA near the main museum.
I went on to learn from a previous event mention on the Fort Mason blog that:
“SFMOMA Artists Gallery organizes the Windows Program using the SFMOMA garage’s street-level windows located at 150 Natoma and 147 Minna Street (Between Third and New Montgomery streets) to showcase artwork. The program invites some of the area’s most ambitious artists to transform these everyday spaces into compelling exhibitions that passersby can view round the clock.”
It was definitely cool work. It’s hard to tell but it had different layers and dimensions and mediums incorporated into it. I’m sure there must’ve been a sign somewhere that said who the artist was but I didn’t see it and haven’t been able to find out online. I’ll try to remember to check it out again the next time I’m over there and see if I can find out who it is to give proper credit!
Yesterday I shared a few photos from the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. I did check out other stuff while I was there, though. A few of those things:
I enjoyed the textile exhibit that showed batiks from the women of Java. This was a temporary exhibit that is actually over now so I’m glad I got a chance to see it.
It was Craft Wars night when I went, which meant that there were opportunities to use materials on hand to engage in crafting with others. I didn’t feel in the crafty mood that day but loved observing the armor, jewelry, flowers and other items people crafted.
From around the museum …
The Asian Art Museum isn’t one of the San Francisco museums that I visit most often but I’ve been there a couple of times and there are definitely some amazing historical pieces to see here.
There are just about two weeks left to see China’s Terracotta Warriors on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Luckily, I’ve already gone and seen them.
About the warriors, from the website:
“First unearthed in 1974, the underground burial complex of the First Emperor is a revelation for the ages, an astonishing discovery on par with Egypt’s mummies and elaborate tombs. Contemporary observers continue to be enthralled by his legacy, and it is through this ongoing interest that the First Emperor did indeed achieve immortality. This exhibition includes ten figures—a representative sample of the actual army, which is estimated to include more than 7,000 life-sized figures and over 10,000 weapons.”
I do have to say that I went on a really busy evening and it was kind of disorienting to try to see such large-scale majestic art when there was such chaos and such a party atmosphere around it but they were still really amazing pieces to see in person.
This is what my beautiful city looks like when you look at it from the top of Twin Peaks, which is right outside of San Francisco’s historic Castro district. I do love my city for so many reasons!
San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art is about to close down for a few years for renovations. I don’t go to MoMA too often but it holds a special place in my heart because it was the first big museum I ever went to (as a tourist, long before moving here) and the first San Francisco museum I ever saw. It’s grown in the years since I first saw it and now it will be growing and changing again. Although there will be pop-up exhibits (starting with a show at the Jewish Art Museum soon) the main museum won’t re-open again until 2016 so I wanted to go see some of the final shows. I saw the photography of Garry Winogrand … and here were a few of the other pieces throughout the museum that I found myself drawn to for one reason or another: