Our Psychedelic Conservatory of Flowers

You won’t want to miss the nightly Summer of Love light art extravaganza from sundown to midnight in Golden Gate Park. Bright colors, spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies and gorgeous plant-and-nature imagery transform San Francisco’s historic Conservatory of Flowers into a psychedelic illuminated canvas inspired by the rare tropical flowers within and the legacy of San Francisco’s flower children.

Now through Oct. 21, 2017, a series of exquisite, large-scale illuminated scenes will be projected onto the landmark glass-and-wood Victorian greenhouse’s elaborate dome and arch-shaped wings in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love.

According to San Francisco Travel, light show creator Obscura Digital has pushed gobo lighting tecnhology farther than ever before by applying video projection mapping techniques to the glass slides. The Conservatory building was laser scanned to create a 3D model, on which the studio used image warping and masking to conform the images to the details of the architectural geometry.

11 Great BBQ Joints in San Francisco

It’s summer. It’s BBQ time. But if you live in San Francisco, there’s a good chance you don’t own a barbecue, and even if you do own one, there’s a good chance you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to clean it.

We have a no muss, no fuss solution. Dine out! 7×7.com published a list of eleven drool-worthy joints that are sure to satisfy your BBQ cravings. For example, here are three that caught our eye:

To see the entire list — with descriptions, photos, and links — click here.

A Sneak Peek at the Transbay Transit Center

The Transbay Transit Center construction project is nearing completion.  The first phase is scheduled to be done December 22 of this year, with bus service in place in early 2018. In the meantime, sf.curbed.com recently published a sneak peek showing the transit center as it currently looks — lots of good photos and information with descriptions, details, and links.

The expectations for the transit center are enormous. According to the feature, here’s what you’ll see once it’s open to the public:

“The original Transbay Terminal was a Depression-era artifact—and quite a depression piece it was by the end of its life, rundown and seeing only a fraction of its former volume of commuters.”

“The new project wants to be all things to all people: not just a bus and train station, but also an architectural display far removed from the hunkered-down concrete design of the old building, a treatise on innovation as the planned terminus for the state’s high-speed rail project, a Union Square-grade retail hub south of Market, and a centerpiece for South Beach as a neighborhood.”

“Or as the City and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority prefer to think of it, Transbay as a neighborhood. ‘It’s an entirely new neighborhood,’ says facility manager Martha Aragon Velez. ‘How often does a city get to do something like that?’”

To see the entire report, click here.

10 Reasons to Visit Golden Gate Park this Summer

There are probably hundreds of reasons to visit Golden Gate Park, but sftravel.com just named ten for your consideration this summer. We think they’re on to something, so we thought we’d pass them along.

  1. Free Sunday concerts with the Golden Gate Park Band
  2. Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences every Thursday evening
  3. Flower Piano at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
  4. Friday nights at the de Young Museum for after-hour happenings
  5. Shakespeare on Strawberry Hill
  6. The “Photosynthesis” experience at the Conservatory of Flowers
  7. Bike and Segway tours of the park
  8. Boat rentals on Stow Lake
  9. The Dahlia Garden
  10. The Rhododendron Dell, a homage to John McLaren, the former superintendent of the park

For the whole story and more details, click here.

Alfred’s Steakhouse Reopens with Revamped Menu

Last week, SFGate.com reported that a few months after a basement fire forced San Francisco’s iconic Alfred’s Steakhouse to close for a brief remodel, the 90-year-old institution, with its red leather seats and white table cloths, reopened to the public.

According to the report, at the core of the revamp, led by Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, is an expanded menu with a starters and bar bites section that includes tater tots with smoked trout roe ($18), a riff on celery victor ($11), and fried shishito peppers ($10), among other things.

“We feel like every night at the restaurant should be a celebration, which is really what a steakhouse is all about,” Patterson said. “The changes we made to the food and drink menus were intended to reflect that spirit of fun and spontaneity.”

As before the fire, Patterson and his team want to keep the iconic elements of the space while moving the food forward into the more modern era.

This all sounds great to us!

Alfred’s, 659 Merchant, 415.781.7058

Old SF Neighborhood Has a New Name: The East Cut

The area around the Transbay Transit Center has recently been dubbed the East Cut, a name unveiled at a gathering at Solaire, a 32-story building at Fremont and Folsom streets. So says a recent SFGate.com report. The rebranding effort encompasses a growing section of the city; in the last decade, about 6,000 apartments and condos have been added to the neighborhood, with at least 2,000 more in the works.

Coming up with new names for sub-neighborhoods is a favorite San Francisco pastime. SFGate puts it perfectly:

“For a city of only 49 square miles, San Francisco is packed with a lot of neighborhoods. While Wikipedia puts the number at 40, locals would tell you there are at least a dozen more, from Lincoln Park to Balboa Terrace to Bayview Heights.”

Chronicle architecture critic John King East says developers explain East Cut is a reference to when Rincon Hill was bisected in 1869 to make Second Street a flat thoroughfare connecting downtown and the commercial waterfront. It may sound like a stretch, but who would have guessed the name Cow Hollow would catch on.