¡Oye! A LAtina perspective on food, fashion, familia and art.


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an unexpected journey

An unexpected journey.  From the start, this is what it was.  Coming out of a meeting with a fellow blogger, Byron said to me, “And I still want to go to San Francisco!”  Ah, one of the things I love about my partner in Simone Rey… her passion for ideas that just take off like a rocket. When I normally say, “How could we?”, Byron says, “We HAVE TO!”, and there we go.

The first time I ever went to San Francisco it was with my mom.  I totally forgot that it was with her.  The moment I saw the city, I had the strangest feeling I had come home.  I would live there for a couple of years eventually, and then I would really leave my heart there, as many of us do.  I still dream about it regularly… always searching, searching for my home when I no longer live there.  How does a city do that?  Magic?  Here, I look like I am searching again.

homemade scarf, homemade skirt, vintage Spanish boots, Moda International sweater

We woke up the first morning to a couple of IPad heads taking our pictures.  Photo shoot!  So fun.  No wonder it takes us forever to leave the hotel.  Hotel Monaco is SO San Francisco.  Just look at the colors and patterns!  When a girl says, “We have to get the bigger room!  The art, Laura, the art!” you know you’re in the right place with the right people.

After hot chocolates and coffee in the beautiful fireplace-warmed sitting room, we were ready – I guess – to run across the street and barely make a bus that was headed to our destination.  Out came the sketchbooks… and out came the more challenging aspects of urban transport.  We had to use our jedi mind tricks to avoid some shady characters on the bus.  But we wanted to do this the REAL way, and we were doing it.  After much confusion at our transfer corner, one chocolate croissant purchase, and a girl who said she needed a place to sit and eat her chocolate croissant, we decided to heed the advice of a nice San Franciscan resident and walk the rest of the way to our destination.

We had a beautiful, beautiful stroll up a hill in a lovely park.  It was truly magical.  My favorite trees surrounded us.  The wide open space.  Pretty old houses here and there.  Gentleman played golf.

We took to photographing everything.  The light was golden.  The air was so… northern.  Sigh.  While it was idyllic, the lack of real breakfast, the lack of memory on one six year old’s camera, the hill… it was all starting to wear on us.  We needed to get there.  It was beautiful, but we needed to get there, and we needed museum cafe food.

Ah, museum food.  Not just regular museum food, but nice San Francisco museum food.  San Francisco that appreciates taking your time in that nice European way.  San Francisco that has two Legion of Honor locations.  One has a David Hockney show that you have timed tickets for and one does not.  San Francisco that has Uber (“It’s fancy, Laura.”  “What’s fancy about efficiency, Byron?!” I was starting to get low blood sugar and had art show-missing anxiety setting in).  San Francisco that has happy Uber drivers that save you.  San Francisco that let’s you go to the cafe first when when you finally get to the right museum, and doesn’t care when you come into the timed, extremely popular art show because they see how hungry you are.  And San Francisco that has the fanciest coffee cart I have ever seen that has paper wrapped fresh baguette sandwiches, heavenly salads, and apple tarts.

An unexpected journey.  A beautiful thing.

by Laura E. Alvarez 


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wearing Hockney at Diego Rivera

First, we immersed ourselves in Hockney at the de Young in SAN FRANCISCO. How we got to the museum will be a whole other post on mistaken locations, unexpected journeys, and the genius of uber. I turned my nose up at uber as recently as two weeks ago, and in five minutes, in a tight pinch I became a devotee. Easy.

I’d been wanting to get to this show since I heard it was opening in October… I’ve been a long time fan of his work, loved his film, A Bigger Picture, and have been particularly interested in what keeps people interested and engaged in the new, in making things, in learning well past age 70… like my dad.

David Hockney is a life-long learner.  In a A Bigger Picture see how at an age when many people might just kick back, he moved back home to Yorkshire, U.K. and took up the Brushes App along with a new series of paintings.  He has long embraced experimenting with technology, so this is nothing new.  However, it reminded me of my dad, excited to get an IPhone in his eighties because he liked the camera… IPhone lessons commenced every Sunday.  The most recent lesson was how to access a Johnny Cash station on Pandora.  He loves it.  Ha!  I get it. Being open to the new, to change, and to being okay with not totally knowing what one is doing are ways in which we can stay young.  Willing to take risks is so Reggio, an education approach that has long guided my teaching and all around living.

David Hockney iPad Drawing printed on six sheets of paper (71 3/4 x 35 3/4 in. each), mounted on six sheets of Dibond,
143 1/2 x 107 1/4 in. overall. © 2013 David Hockney

Like the six year old I toured the almost four hundred works with said, “It’s almost all like fantasy because you’ve never seen a purple tree.”  Yeah.  That’s what I’m talking about.  If you’re going to make art, you might as well take advantage and make stuff up, but that’s just me.  This is why touring major exhibitions with six year olds is so essential.  They should be available at the entrance as private guides… wait, no that’s silly!  They could just do the audio for the headset tours.  Once again, do not, I repeat do not have a kid for the exclusive reason of having them give you tours of major exhibitions.  You’ve got to think these things through.

J Crew girl’s dress 

Who told this nine year old to wear an IPad drawing-like dress to the show?  Was there a memo?  No, just some indigo child fashion psychic powers at work here.  Might as well use those psychic powers for good, right?

This artist is soaking MORE art in at the Diego Rivera gallery post-Hockney.  A fresco in a deserted hilltop gallery at San Francisco Art Institute is just the ticket to balance out the bright screens and colors of a crowded, blockbuster exhibition.  Yes, this is a trip for serious art lovers.  Where a Rivera is like a nice cafe de olla after a Yorkshire dinner.

Ash ‘Babe’ Sneaker

We talked about how Frida used to bring Diego lunch while he worked on this mural… wearing shoes like these.  Okay, she didn’t wear shoes like these, but you couldn’t see her shoes because she had those awesome long skirts on.

The artist also picked up a lovely hat at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop.  But that’s a whole other post as well.  Oh, San Francisco.  So post-rich you are.  It’s a traffic jam of posts!  Stay tuned for more…

The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City (“Making a Fresco”) (1931) is one of four murals in the Bay Area painted by Mexican artist Diego Rivera (1886-1957).

 

by Laura E. Alvarez