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What’s New in San Francisco

“What’s New” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website.


Dec. 1, 2015 — “What’s New” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website,


San Francisco celebrates the holiday season in practically every way imaginable.  Here are just a few of the ways to make merry from San Francisco Travel, with more to come at

Five Must-Sees for San Francisco’s Holiday Season

15 Reasons Why San Francisco is Awesome during the Holidays

Where to Find the 12 Day of Christmas in San Francisco

Four Neighborhoods (and an Outlet) That Are Perfect for Holiday Shopping in the San Francisco Bay Area 

Five Tastes of the Holidays in San Francisco

Eight Great Drinks for a Chilly Day in San Francisco

Holiday Tours in San Francisco

Eleven Unique Gifts You Can Only Find in San Francisco 

Experience the Lights and Sights on Five Free Illuminate SF Festival of Light Tours 

During the third annual Illuminate SF Festival of Light, from Thanksgiving 2015 through New Year’s Day 2016, art lovers can embrace the power of light and tour San Francisco’s public art installations by a diverse range of local and world renowned light artists.  Five free tours are scheduled during the 36-day program.  

The 2015 Illuminate SF Festival of Light celebrates 27 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations — 11 more than last year and three times the number of the inaugural celebration in 2013 — accessible by public transit and free for all. Held during the longest nights of the year, Illuminate SF Festival of Light features free light art tours, nighttime neighborhood walks, artist talks and participatory experiences. Many of San Francisco’s intimate neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities.

The works come to life at dusk with a luminescence that will turn any evening into an illuminating adventure, especially when combined with exploring San Francisco’s world-class restaurants, clubs and cultural events in neighborhoods along the waterfront, in North Beach, Civic Center and Central Market, the Inner Sunset, SOMA, Potrero, Mission Bay, Bayview, Golden Gate Park, and even flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Dates and details are available at  Media contact: Laurie Armstrong, 415-227-2615,


The Game Before the Game - Foster Farms Bowl Returns to Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 26, 2015
The Foster Farms Bowl, matching teams from Power 5 conferences Pac-12 and Big Ten, kicks off Saturday, Dec. 26, at Levi's Stadium.  Kickoff is 6:15 p.m. [PST] and the game will be shown to a national audience by ESPN.  Last year's contest saw Stanford defeat Maryland, 45-21.  Tickets in all price ranges are available via the Bowl website,  Media contact: Doug Kelly,, 916-202-0552.

Tickets for the Super Bowl 50 NFL Experience Now on Sale
The National Football League will showcase NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai at Moscone Center North and South in San Francisco on Jan. 30-Feb. 7, 2016. NFL Experience is the most exciting continuous event surrounding Super Bowl 50 — pro football’s interactive theme park offering participatory games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL Shop and free autograph sessions from NFL players. NFL Experience also will debut new attractions in San Francisco including personalized digital photos, upgraded 40-yard dash and vertical jump against NFL players on LED screens, a virtual reality experience, an enhanced Super Bowl rings display and a new NFL Draft set.  Read more.

Tickets are now available at  or by calling 866-TIX-4NFL (849-4635) or at the Moscone Center box office one hour prior to doors opening on Jan. 30 – Feb. 7, 2016. To avoid lengthy lines at the box office, the pre-purchase of tickets online or over the phone is recommended. Ticket prices include all games and attractions inside the NFL Experience.

Media contact: 

San Francisco International Airport’s SFO Museum presents “The Nation’s Game: The NFL from the Pro Football Hall of Fame”
Few could have imagined the phenomenal popularity of today’s National Football League when representatives from four Ohio football clubs gathered nearly a century ago in Canton, OH, to establish a new standard of professional football.  Today, each NFL game attracts nearly 70,000 attendees, more than any other professional sports league.  Professional football remains the nation’s favorite spectator sport by a large margin and its popularity shows no sign of abating.  The league’s annual championship game, the Super Bowl, has become a secular holiday for many Americans, and more than one million people are expected to attend the week-long festivities in the San Francisco Bay Area leading up to Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.  

To celebrate this momentous event, SFO Museum presents a selection of memorabilia and artifacts from each of the league’s 32 franchises.  Among the objects on display are game-worn items belonging to Hall of Famers from across generations and throughout the league, including Joe Montana’s home jersey, Walter Payton’s helmet, and Jim Brown’s shoulder pads.  All objects and images on exhibition are presented courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame unless otherwise noted.

The online version of the exhibition is viewable at:’s-game-nfl-pro-football-hall-fame.

The Nation’s Game: The NFL from the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F from September 26, 2015, to February 28, 2016. The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3.  There is no charge to view the exhibition.

Media contact: Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport,, 650-821-4000.

San Francisco Symphony and NFL Films Celebrate Super Bowl 50 with “A Concert of Champions” Feb. 3-4 at Davies Symphony Hall
The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) joins the San Francisco Bay Area’s Super Bowl 50 festivities with two events celebrating the intersection of sports and music on Feb. 3-4, 2016 in Davies Symphony Hall. Hosted by NFL Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, the concerts feature the iconic music and filmmaking of Emmy Award-winning NFL Films, with conductor Joshua Gersen leading the Orchestra in live accompaniment. Images captured by NFL Films’ cameras over the years will be projected on the stage. The concerts are part of the NFL’s week-long Super Bowl 50 celebration leading up to the big game on Feb. 7 at Levi’s Stadium. 

The San Francisco Symphony will provide live orchestral accompaniment to a selection of short documentaries produced by NFL Films, featuring original scores by composers David Robidoux, Thomas Hedden, and Sam Spence. These short films cover topics including the history of the NFL, Super Bowl moments, the life of NFL Films founders Ed and Steve Sabol, and the best of NFL Films’ well-known football follies. The SFS will also perform a selection of orchestral works, to be announced at a later date. 

Prior to the Wednesday, Feb. 3 performance, elevated dinner packages are available for guests to experience a tailgate like no other. Dinner package tickets include a 5 p.m. cocktail reception in Davies Symphony Hall’s Wattis Room and a 6 p.m. dinner held in Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall A. The pre-concert dinner is chaired by Karen & Ronnie Lott and Marcia & John Goldman.  

Proceeds from the Feb. 3 dinner benefit the San Francisco Symphony’s educational and community programs, which reach hundreds of thousands of people of all ages throughout Northern California, touching a broad economic and cultural cross-section of the population. Concert tickets: $50-$195. Includes access to the pre-concert lobby activities in Davies Symphony Hall. These tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 415-864-6000, at, or at the box office located on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.

Formal dinner packages begin at $1000 and include a 5 p.m. cocktail reception and 6 p.m. dinner in the Wattis Room and Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall A, respectively. Dinner packages are available by contacting the Volunteer Council at 415-503-5500 or online at

Media contact: 415-503-5474,

Super Bowl Exhibit Now Open at Levi’s Stadium  
The 49ers Museum presented by Sony at Levi’s® Stadium recently opened a new Super Bowl exhibit, “Super Bowl Memories.” This temporary exhibit showcases artifacts and anecdotes from all five of the 49ers Super Bowl victories in a spectacular visual representation.

This exhibit – with original artifacts, highlight reels and captivating design elements – supplements the Super Bowl content already featured in the museum such as the 49ers signature film, Heritage Gallery artifacts and, of course, the Super Bowl Gallery, home to all five Lombardi Trophies won by the 49ers. The Super Bowl Memories exhibit includes well-known artifacts like the Super Bowl XVI jersey worn by Earl Cooper when he caught Joe Montana’s first-ever Super Bowl touchdown pass, John Taylor’s Super Bowl XXIII practice jersey, and a vintage flag that once flew over Candlestick Park.

Guests can view highlight reels of the greatest moments of each 49ers Super Bowl and take in newspaper headlines proclaiming each victory. The exhibit additionally features lesser-known artifacts like the Waterford crystal trophy presented to Head Coach Bill Walsh after the team’s Super Bowl XXIII victory. “Super Bowl Memories” also includes the women’s versions of the championship jewelry from the 49ers wins in Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV, and an array of souvenirs such as game programs, ticket stubs, and pieces that capture the identity of the host cities are included to evoke the fan experience of the 49ers and the first 49 years of the Super Bowl.

The 49ers Museum – a celebration of the 49ers past, present and future – features 11 unique gallery and exhibit spaces spread out over 20,000 square feet inside Levi’s® Stadium. The journey begins in the main lobby at the Trending Gallery, where fans will learn what’s new with the team and the space. From there fans move to the Morabito Theater to watch the 49ers signature film and then into the Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame to walk amongst the 49ers greats. The Museum’s Heritage Gallery innovatively illuminates the history of the team through artifacts and multimedia exhibits and leads perfectly into the active In the Game Gallery on the lower level.  

Read more at Media contact: Bob Lang,, 408-562-4949.

Levi’s Stadium Offers Super Bowl Tours through Jan. 7, 2016
As the host venue of Super Bowl 50, Levi’s® Stadium exclusively features public and private Super Bowl 50 tours through Jan. 7, 2016. Learn about the history of the Super Bowl and the San Francisco 49ers five Super Bowl victories and explore the “Super Bowl Memories” exhibit now open at the 49ers Museum presented by Sony.  Read more at  Media contact: Bob Lang,, 408-562-4949. 


San Francisco Travel Launches Nine International Websites
The San Francisco Travel Association has launched nine websites in languages reflecting the city’s top international markets.  San Francisco received four million international visitors in 2014, representing 23% of the city’s 18.01 million visitors.  

There are two websites in Chinese, hosted by Brand USA.  For traditional Chinese, the address is and is in simplified Chinese.

China became San Francisco’s top overseas market in 2014 with 364,400 visitors, an increase of 22% from the previous year.  Visitation from China has grown 62% since 2012, faster than any other overseas market.  Visitor volume is expected to rise over the next few years with the continued growth of China’s middle class and the recent announcement by President Obama of a 10-year visa approval for China.

Chinese visitors generally book their trips months in advance so the yuan devaluation will probably not have an immediate impact on visitation.  Travel companies in China put together their packages even further in advance and are unlikely to adjust their prices once they are set.

Seven new websites are available in the other languages most often spoken by international visitors: 


San Francisco Travel also has a Facebook page for Brazil:

These sites mirror San Francisco Travel’s English website which was relaunched in 2014 after a complete redesign with a wealth of information and inspiration for visitors, meeting planners, travel professionals, media and San Francisco Travel partners, all in a format that is intuitive, objective and deeply curated. 

The websites use a responsive design to adapt to any screen size, from laptop to tablet to smartphone.  No matter the size of the screen, the user has access to the complete website and its functions with scrolling and swiping functionality.

Through a partnership with, the world leader in booking accommodations online, lodging reservations can be made from the home page and throughout the site and San Francisco hotel deals are easy to find.  

San Francisco’s top 20 markets outside the United States are: Mexico, China, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, India, Scandinavia, Japan, North Korea, Brazil, Taiwan, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Argentina and Israel.  Media contact: Elisabeth Wieselthaler-Toelly, 415-227-2603,

San Francisco Travel and Macy’s Union Square Partner to Open New Visitor Information Center 
San Francisco Travel, the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco, has partnered with Macy’s Union Square, the top-notch department store offering a magnificent selection of the hottest season’s fashions, world-class events, top-notch services and gourmet restaurants. This is the first time Macy’s has joined with a visitors bureau on the West Coast to offer a full service, co-branded visitor information center.

The new 1,500-plus square foot center inside Macy’s Union Square offers visitors personalized information and recommendations from trained staff.  Two interactive kiosks provide information via touch screens. Visitors can purchase attraction tickets and make hotel reservations at the new center.   San Francisco Travel’s Official Visitors Planning Guide, maps and brochures from partner businesses are also available.

The center is located in The Cellar on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square, adjacent to the U.S. Post Office and near elevators and escalators for easy access.  Macy’s previously operated a smaller visitor center on the sixth floor of the store.  

San Francisco Travel continues to operate the Visitor Information Center (ViC) on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza which has been open since 1976.  

For more information, visit  Media contact: Laurie Armstrong, 415-227-2615,


Top Chef Returns to San Francisco Where It All Began
Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef” embarks on an epic gastronomic road trip up the coast of California, kicking off with a two-night premiere event on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 2015 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. With nearly 1,000 miles traveled, the unprecedented six-city expedition challenged the “cheftestants’” culinary skills like never before as they journey across the Golden State, stopping in San Francisco, where the series first began, along with Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland and the Greater Palm Springs area.   

The chefs go knife-to-knife in iconic destinations and agricultural regions across the state to prove they have what it takes to out-cook their competition.  Along with the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge, the culinary showdown ups the ante this season with the most daunting Restaurant Wars ever.  Additional pressure-filled challenges include a final California elimination paying homage to Hubert Keller’s San Francisco institution Fleur De Lys. 

Throughout the season, the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: Martin Yan, Traci Des Jardins and Hubert Keller.  

Learn more at  Media contacts: Elizabeth Schmidt, 212-664-5276,, Rebecca Boswell, 323-965-6709,

San Francisco Brewers Guild Tees Up Two Collaboration Beers for SF Beer Week and an Opening Gala 'Beer Bowl'
For the 2016 San Francisco Beer Week (Jan. 22-31, 2016), the San Francisco Brewers Guild and its members will be rolling out two collaboration beers for a playful competition pitting San Francisco craft brewers from north of Market Street against those south of Market Street, the well-known dividing line that cuts through the heart of the city. All Guild members will be participating in this friendly face-off.   Each team is creating a standout collaboration beer to be released at the official San Francisco Beer Week Opening Gala on Jan. 22, 2016, at San Francisco's Pier 35.  For more information, visit click here.  Media contact: Joanne Marino, 415-689-7228,  

The Keystone Honors Restaurant’s Past with Shareable Dishes in a Social Space
The Keystone, a social house featuring contemporary Bay Area fare layered with international influences, opened its doors mid-August 2015 at 68 Fourth St. Originally built in 1913 as part of the Keystone Hotel, the restaurant was purchased along with the hotel by Charles W. Mosser in 1981. After nearly three decades as Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro, the Mosser family decided to open a new concept with a name inspired by the original building. The Keystone embraces the history of the space it occupies and pays tribute to the many decades of service with small touches in design elements from wall décor to check presenters.  

Executive Chef Banks White has created an approachable all-day menu with twists on American favorites. Taking inspiration from his Southern roots and his extensive travels across the globe to places like Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong, Chef White brings an international flair to all-American classics. With a focus on the bounty of the Bay Area and access to local farms, the menu features shareable American comfort food.  

Beverage Director Kelly Naughton has created a distinct beverage program that includes high quality spirits and rare flavor combinations. Highlights of his program include: a large selection of whiskeys, rye and scotch; herbal elements, such as tinctures, bitters and herbs; 70% California wine and 30% global wine; and 20 beers on tap.  

In the main dining room is a large, communal, high-top table made of reclaimed wood and cast-iron that seats 12  guests. The bar with gray slate countertops includes a chef’s counter near the open kitchen and seats six guests. The private dining room, which includes presentation capabilities for both corporate and social events, accommodates groups from 15 to 50 guests and buyouts can entertain up to 250 people. 

For more information, visit   Media contact: Kerryn McDonough,, 415-781-5700.

Chef Philippe Striffeler, Food and Beverage Director at Hotel Nikko San Francisco, Receives Prestigious Antonin Carême Medal
Phillippe Striffeler, chef of the award-winning Restaurant ANZU at Hotel Nikko San Francisco, was named as one of five 2015 recipients of the Antonin Carême Medal presented by the American Culinary Federation’s San Francisco Chapter on Nov. 16, 2015 at the venerable Cliff House Restaurant. 

Striffeler, who also serves as the Food and Beverage Director of Hotel Nikko San Francisco, accepts his medal along with fellow 2015 recipients Heinz Hoffman, Chief Operating Officer, Hotel Laguna; Dan Hountalas, Proprietor of the Cliff House; John Bogacki, Executive Chef, Westwood Country Club; and Susanna Pascual-Guerrero, Owner, The Craving Group.

The Antonin Carême Medal program was founded by The Chefs Association of the Pacific Coast, Inc. (now the ACF San Francisco Chapter) in 1969. The program honors those rare individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the culinary profession, particularly to education and the advancement of gastronomy and the culinary arts. Prospective recipients demonstrate unequaled culinary excellence along with the highest compassionate, humane qualities. The medal bearing the likeness of Antonin Carême was designed by the late chef-artist Jean Joaquin.  Julia Child, Bradley Ogden, Nunzio Alioto are just a few of the incredible culinary leaders who count themselves among the prestigious award’s past recipients, and Striffeler’s medal marks just the 170th awarded since its inception in 1969. 

For more information on the Antonin Carême Medal program, visit  For additional information on Hotel Nikko and Restaurant ANZU, please visit  Media contact: James Smith,, 415-296-0677.


San Francisco Arts Commission unveils four new commissions at San Francisco International Airport's newly remodeled Terminal 3 on Nov. 18, 2015
The San Francisco Arts Commission is unveiling four art installations, completing the ambitious public art program for SFO's new Terminal 3, when it opens to the public on Nov. 18, 2015. The new artworks include a sculpture by internationally renowned artist Ursula Von Rydingsvard, a ceramic mural by Louisiana Bendolph and two series of two-dimensional works by Bay Area artists Sanaz Mazinani and Vanesa Marsh.  The latest additions to Terminal 3's art collection join two installations that were completed earlier this summer: a 109-foot mosaic mural by San Francisco-based artist Amy Ellingson and a series of reconfigured maps of San Francisco neighborhoods by Hayward artist Lordy Rodriguez.

"The Terminal 3 East Concourse at SFO is the embodiment of our goal to create an exceptional airport experience for our guests," said Airport Director John L. Martin. "With thoughtful features and amenities, locally-sourced concessions, and inspiring works of art commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission, Terminal 3 East truly provides travelers an environment that is second to none."

The concourse features spacious new gate areas, a host of new shopping and dining concepts, a simplified security screening checkpoint and new United Club, inspiring works of art commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission, and engaging museum exhibits from the accredited SFO Museum team. For more information, visit:

NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technology Through Jan. 17, 2016 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) presents the work of nine Bay Area digital artists in NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technology, an original exhibition that looks at the rapidly evolving relationship between artists and technology over the past five decades.  The 1960s program Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) was a turning point in art’s relationship with science as artists and scientists worked together on new, creative projects. The CJM’s Chief Curator Renny Pritikin with consultation from Paolo Salvagione, curate NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technology, acknowledging that seminal event and celebrating the Bay Area’s leading role in bringing digital innovation into the fine arts. NEAT features nine Bay Area artists, representing three generations of practitioners. Each artist has been commissioned to make a new piece, or update an older artwork, that demonstrates how digital programming is a central, yet just the latest, tool for artist creativity. Learn more at  Media contact: Nina Sazevich,, 415-752-2483. 

Chasing Justice at the Contemporary Jewish Museum Through Feb. 21, 2016
Chasing Justice, on view Nov. 19, 2015–February 21, 2016, was inspired by the biblical exhortation of Deuteronomy (16:20) to “pursue justice and justice alone.” Three artists have produced bodies of work exploring different approaches to this Jewish commitment that have resulted in engagement with the government. Arnold Mesches has created a large suite of collaged paintings inspired by and incorporating excerpts of his FBI files that he received using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Joby Barron also used the FOIA to obtain images of the abstract paintings on display in the hallways of the CIA. Robbin Henderson has made a suite of drawings based on the memoir of her grandmother, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who became the leader of the first strike in Detroit against the auto industry and was arrested at the time.  Learn more at  Media contact: Nina Sazevich,, 415-752-2483. 

History Flows in “Pour Crever,” a Fountain of Memories by Trimpin, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum 
In 1940, all Jewish residents of Efringen-Kirchen in Southern Germany were deported to France and then sent on to Auschwitz. German-American artist Trimpin’s Pour Crever commemorates the 75th anniversary of these tragic events. In this ongoing installation of suspended water tanks, a computer-controlled mechanism developed by the artist releases sheets of water which spell out the names of the deported residents of his town; they fall through space and disappear forever into the pool below.  Learn more at   Media contact: Nina Sazevich,, 415-752-2483.

Janet Cardiff’s “Forty Part Motet” at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s New Gallery 308 Through Jan. 18, 2016
Acclaimed media artist Janet Cardiff’s immersive and moving sound installation “The Forty Part Motet” makes its California debut, co-presented by Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Considered Cardiff’s masterwork, “The Forty Part Motet” is a reworking of 16th-century English composer Thomas Tallis’ transcendent Spem in Alium. The exhibition is Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s inaugural presentation at Gallery 308, a newly renovated historic space with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, and SFMOMA’s final On the Go program before the museum’s new building opens in spring 2016.  Advance tickets are recommended, available at  

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC) is a nonprofit operating within a Historic Landmark District along the northern waterfront of the San Francisco Bay. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, FMCAC hosts an ever-evolving rotation of artistic programming for more than 1.2 million annual visitors that includes theater and dance performances, art installations, as well as educational and cultural classes. As part of Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s commitment to supporting San Francisco’s artistic community, FMCAC provides approximately $2.5 in annual grants to local arts organizations.  In addition to the thousands of events that occur each year on campus, FMCAC hosts nearly two dozen nonprofit and arts organizations as permanent residents. These residents receive annual grant support from FMCAC, allowing them to focus on producing original artistic programming. Current residents include the Pulitzer Prize winning Magic Theatre, City College’s Fort Mason Art Campus, BATS Improv, the SFMOMA Artists Gallery and the internationally acclaimed Greens Restaurant.

A pioneer in the reuse of military bases, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture has been honored by the California Preservation Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for preserving and activating the historic San Francisco Port of Embarkation.  Media contact: Nick Kinsey,, 415-345-7530.

Ranu Mukherjee Confronts the Legacies of the California Gold Rush in “Extracted” Through Aug. 14, 2016 at the Asian Art Museum    
Bay Area artist Ranu Mukherjee maps new terrain, layering Asian art, local history, mythology and contemporary culture to question the legacies of the California Gold Rush in a new exhibition at the Asian Art Museum. Curated by Marc Mayer, senior educator of contemporary art, Extracted is on view Nov. 6, 2015–Aug. 14, 2016.

Extracted explores the story of gold and its impact on natural resources, labor and shifting international economic power. “The exhibition speaks to the nature of speculation,” explains Mayer, “both in the economic sense—that of a risky financial investment with the expectation of a substantial gain—and also the contemplation of ideas around the unknown. In many ways, it is emblematic of the cultural and economic landscape in the Bay Area.”  

With a neo-futurist perspective, Mukherjee weaves together a cosmography—a geographical framework blending together empirical fact, hearsay, and broader imaginings to describe features of the heavens and earth. Inspired by an ancient Chinese mythological text, The Classic of Mountains and Seas, the artist attempts to map the near and the distant, and the visible and the hidden, to explore the unknown histories of the Gold Rush, from Chinese mining sites along the Yuba River to the implications of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. Extracted resets the viewer’s compass, to eclipse notions of East and West and create a new orientation within a landscape where strange creatures dwell and historical events manifest in the eternal present of mythical time. 

Learn more at   Media contact: Annie G. Tsang, 415-581-3560,

Bay Area Children's Theatre Presents Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal, Dec. 5, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016
Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) presents a stage version of Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal, the hilarious adventure of a lump of coal who wants to be an artist.  This world premiere, inspired by Lemony Snicket (pen name of San Francisco writer Daniel Handler)  at his tongue-in-cheek, story weaving best, plays weekends, Saturday, December 5, through Sunday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. at the Children's Creativity Museum, 221 Fourth St. Recommended for ages 5 and up.  

BACT serves more than 72,000 children and adults each year with professional productions specially designed to engage young audiences and with a thriving theatre education program for students ages 5-15. 

For tickets and information, visit or call (510) 296-4433.  Media contact: Vivian Auslander, vivianauslander@gmail.com510-524-2941.

Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking at the Legion of Honor through Jan. 10, 2016
Through Jan. 10, 2016, the Legion of Honor presents Art and Innovation in Watchmaking, an exhibition that explores the history of the watch and clock maker, on view at the Legion of Honor beginning September 19, 2015. The company’s cutting-edge innovations transformed the nature of personal timekeeping, and the exhibition will include displays describing the technology that exemplify Abraham-Louis Breguet’s reputation as “the father of modern horology.”

From its beginnings in Paris in 1775, Breguet advanced great technical developments such as the self-winding watch, the first wristwatch, the repeating mechanism and most notably, the tourbillon—a revolutionary movement that neutralizes the negative effects of gravity on pocket watches. Breguet played a key role in the history of watchmaking, elevating the craft to its zenith by producing finely made watches that were a pleasure to handle and use.  Learn more at Media contact: Erin Garcia, 415-750-8904,

Alcatraz Island Exhibit “Prisoners of Age” Extended Through June 2016
The National Park Service has announced that the award-winning “Prisoners of Age” exhibition will be extended through June 2016. This special display was designed by photographer Ron Levine and designers Michael Wou and Russel Volckmann and will be on view for an additional six months due to the overwhelming response from visitors to the island. This exhibit marks the next in a series on Alcatraz that focuses on aspects of crime and punishment, incarceration, freedom and social justice.   

“Prisoners of Age” is an evocative series of photographs and chronicles of elderly men and women, taken over a period of 18 years, at prisons and prison-wards for geriatric offenders in the United States and Canada. Prisoners of age comprise the fastest growing age group in the United States. One-in-10 inmates is 55 or older. A decade ago, that was one-in-20. Existing prison space is in serious decline and medical costs are soaring. Incarcerating geriatric men and women in prison is becoming prohibitively expensive- up to nine times the cost of a younger inmate.  As Federal and State prisons begin to look more like high security nursing homes, the people who manage North America's prison system worry about how to handle the imminent explosion in the geriatric population. Through photography and interviews, “Prisoners of Age” offers a microcosmic glimpse of what lies ahead in this new millennium.

The exhibition features 60 larger-than-life photographs and revealing narratives from conversations with the inmates, guards and prison officials.  

Displayed in the New Industries Building, the exhibit is open to the public visiting Alcatraz Island during daytime hours for no extra charge.  For additional information, call NPS Alcatraz at 415-561-4900.  

Tickets to Alcatraz frequently sell out many days in advance. They are only available through Alcatraz Cruises, the official park concessionaire for ferry service, 90 days in advance: or 415-981-7625. 

Media contact: Molly Blaisdell – 915-300-7252,, Marcus Koenen - (415)781-9380,

Conservatory of Flowers Trains Celebrate 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition through April 10, 2016
The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park features a new garden railway exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of San Francisco's legendary 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition through April 10, 2016.  

In an enchanting display landscaped with hundreds of dwarf plants and several water features, model trains will wend their way through the festive fairgrounds, zipping past whimsical recreations of the fair's most dazzling monuments and amusements, including the Tower of Jewels, Palace of Fine Arts and more.   

Interpretive signs, memorabilia and interactive activities throughout help visitors to understand the colorful history of the grand fair that signaled San Francisco's recovery from the 1906 earthquake.  Learn more at  Media contact: Nina Sazevich,, 415-752-2483.

de Young Museum Launches Official App with Interactive 3D Mapping and Indoor Positioning Technology
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have unveiled the official de Young Museum app. The de Young collaborated with Guidekick, a local start-up that offers a mobile application platform focused on visitor experiences to create an app that takes advantage of Apple’s indoor positioning technology. The de Young is the first museum to take advantage of this new technology. 

The de Young Museum app serves as a personal tour guide for museum-goers, featuring a 3D map of the building that pinpoints a visitor’s location to ease navigation and way-finding. The app also offers thematic tours of the permanent collection using images and audio from the museum’s curatorial team. This original content is available exclusively through the app.

The app allows a user to select a thematic tour that carefully leads them to a curated selection of works, or to navigate the galleries more freely, as location-aware alerts notify them when they pass by key artworks. The app includes selections from the museum’s collection of art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas; early American and contemporary American art; and special features on the unique architecture of the building.

Unlike many audio tours the de Young app automatically triggers content without requiring the visitor to take an additional action, such as typing a number or scanning a code. The app has also been carefully designed to help visitors engage with artwork without visual distraction, and to avoid disrupting the experience of other patrons. Users put the phone to their ear to trigger the recording, which then plays privately, mirroring the receiving of a phone call. 

The app also offers insights into the visitor experience, helping the de Young to build richer, more tailored experiences for visitors.  To download, visit the iTunes Store

Media contact: Erin Garcia,, 415-750-8904, Miriam Newcomer,, 415-750-3554 


Odysseo combines horses, riders, acrobats, dancers, musicians and stunning visual effects at AT&T Park
“Odysseo,” the latest production of the internationally known entertainment company Cavalia, continues through Jan. 10, 2016 under the White Big Top at AT&T Park. The $30 million extravaganza is the world’s largest touring company and features 75 magnificent horses and 45 riders, acrobats, dancers and musicians. Equestrian arts and high tech theatrical effects unfold under the largest touring tent on Earth. Media contact: Teodor Buzea,, and Josianne Lefebvre,

KQED and Detour Reveal Essential Stories of Iconic San Francisco Neighborhoods in New Interactive Audio Tours
Public radio station KQED is partnering with Detour, an iPhone application that reimagines audio tours, to produce a series of three location-based documentaries about some of San Francisco’s most iconic neighborhoods. The first is The Haight,, as told by Peter Coyote, one of the founders of The Diggers, the legendary Haight-Ashbury street theater group. Detours through Chinatown and The Mission District will launch in 2016.

"We see Detour as a powerful way to use technology to help audiences connect more deeply to San Francisco's iconic history,” said Holly Kernan, executive editor of news for KQED. “KQED has lifelong ties to San Francisco history, and we’re excited to develop walks that bring the magic of this place to life for both locals and new visitors alike.”

Detour uses the iPhone to deliver the audio tour, creating a cinematic walking experience that transports listeners to a different time and ensures they’ll never see even a familiar place in quite the same way. The Haight walk takes you from the Panhandle through Haight-Ashbury, one of the most famous intersections in the world. In the pop culture version of the 1960s, the Summer of Love is all tie-dye, peace, and free love. But on this Detour, Peter Coyote shows us how the social revolution it spawned lives on all around us.

You’ll meet the San Franciscans who paved the path forward and walk through the heart of the Haight with Coyote -- from the site of Jimi Hendrix’s first San Francisco concerts to the parade route where Coyote and his pals declared the whole scene dead and tried to bury it. Along the way, he shares anecdotes and insights like feeding whale meat to hundreds of people in a park, tearing it up with the Hell’s Angels, turning tie-dyed shirts into a fashion statement, and sparking radical social changes that have become mainstream.

"With KQED's deep experience documenting Bay Area history, they're the ideal partner for these stories," said Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Detour. "We're proud to be working with them."

For more information, visit  Media contact: Haris Butt,

Madame Tussauds San Francisco Gets Its First Feline, Grumpy Cat, and Stephen Curry, 2015 NBA MVP
Irreverent Internet sensation Grumpy Cat will be the first ever cat to be immortalized at Madame Tussauds in Fisherman’s Wharf.   “This is truly an honor…” said a distinctly unimpressed Grumpy Cat. “I hate it.” 

Grumpy Cat shot to stardom when her photo was posted on Reddit on Sept. 22, 2012. To dispel suspicions that the image had been Photoshopped, she posted two videos to YouTube. The videos went viral, making her the darling of meme-loving macro-makers everywhere. 

In step with Grumpy Cat’s digital celebrity, her figure will be an animatronic with five different movements. The animatronic will be unveiled at Madame Tussauds’ San Francisco location on Dec. 8, 2015,  in typically aloof fashion by Grumpy Cat herself. After a short stay at Madame Tussauds San Francisco, the animatronic will tour the remaining five Madame Tussauds attractions across the U.S.

A video of Grumpy Cat’s session with the sculptors is available on YouTube. 

Madame Tussaud’s has also announced that 2015 NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has scored a wax figure at Madame Tussauds San Francisco and will be unveiled in early 2016.

Media contacts:  Kari Martin, 415-757-2720,, Beth Schnitzer, 415-221-2875,


Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman’s WharfCompletes Multi-Million Dollar Renovation 
New Name: Pier 2620 Hotel
Formerly: San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf
Location: 2620 Jones St., 94133
Fisherman’s Wharf
Rooms: 233
Remodel budget: $17 million
Completion date: Guestrooms in November 2015, exterior in 2016
Media contact: Troy Jones, 415-268-5948,,   Beth Schnitzer Spritz 415-221-2875,

Pier 2620 Hotel has completed a $17 million renovation to its 233 updated guestrooms, with the exterior revitalization planned for 2016.  Located in the heart of San Francisco, at the crossroads between historic North Beach and renowned Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 2620 prides itself on speaking the language of the locals, and sharing the best that San Francisco has to offer. The property is designed to make every aspect of the guest experience warm, colorful and memorable through intuitive use of technology combined with seamless integration into the San Francisco culture. Previously the San Francisco Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf, the hotel’s operations and management were acquired by Fillmore Hospitality, LLC and reopened in late 2013.  Pier 2620 Hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a well-equipped, glass-enclosed fitness center overlooking the courtyard, and multiple meeting and event spaces. The hotel also boasts a wide selection of world-class wines available at its EvenKeel Lounge.

Axiom Hotel Introduces Seamless and Innovative Design 
New Name: Axiom Hotel
Formerly: The Powell Hotel
Location: 28 Cyril Magnin St., 94102
Union Square
Rooms: 152 
Completion date: Fall 2015
Media contact: Lani Vaill, 415-274-2510, and Janice Yu, 312-943-6900, 

The Axiom Hotel, located at 28 Cyril Magnin Street in San Francisco’s Union Square, is now accepting reservations to welcome guests to the property’s eagerly-awaited late fall 2015 opening. Travelers may now reserve rooms at for stays beginning in January 2016 and beyond.   

Located steps from the Powell Street cable car turnaround, the Axiom Hotel will offer a new food and beverage concept, a fitness center, a customizable state of the art meeting Hub, and a vintage arcade center on the Cloud level. Featuring 152 guestrooms with contemporary design from Stonehill & Taylor, there will be four room styles available, each named after tech dimensions including Nano, Mono, Meta and Mega. The property was developed by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and is managed by Kokua Hospitality, LLC.  

Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Union Square Opened September 2015
Location: 761 Post St, 94109
Union Square
Rooms: 166
Completion date: September 2015
Media contact: Debbie Kapson, 

After an extensive renovation of an early 20th century building, the new Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Union Square offers 166 guestrooms on 17 floors, many with city views. Hotel features include complimentary high speed wireless Internet access, a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and the Boardroom, which can accommodate up to 12 attendees.  Guestroom amenities include luxury bedding, 39-inch flat screen LCD televisions with expanded cable options, mini-refrigerators, coffeemakers, irons, ironing boards and hair dryers. The Bistro serves Starbucks coffee with food and cocktail options and adjacent outdoor patio space. Valet parking is  available. Located on Post Street just a few blocks from Union Square, many fine dining options and world-class shopping are within walking distance, as well as cable car lines to Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Westin San Francisco Airport Completes $10 Million Renovation
Location: 1 Old Bayshore Hwy. 
Millbrae, CA
Phone: 650-692-3500 
Rooms: 397
Completion date: September 2015
Media contact: Renee Roberts, 415-407-7424,    

The Westin San Francisco Airport, owned and operated by Ultima Hospitality, has completed an extensive $10 million renovation.  The new design combines relaxing yet invigorating elements creating an environment ideal for business and leisure travelers alike.  The arrival experience is welcoming and efficient with the hotel’s public space, restaurant and lounge flowing seamlessly into the meeting room layout. The renovated lobby integrates numerous natural elements including a soothing water feature which subtly directs traffic flow as well as a new stone fireplace helping to delineate space and add a beautiful focal point for gatherings.  The botanical themed carpet and living wall complement the surroundings and maintain an organic feel throughout the space.  The Westin San Francisco Airport evokes a resort atmosphere balanced with convenience and connectivity designed for the savvy traveler. The hotel features a variety of dining options. The upgraded Runway Café is ideal for families on their way out to enjoy the sights as well as the business traveler on the go. The Café is a full service coffee bar offering items prepared to order and freshly packaged meals for expedited service. The Grill & Vine Restaurant serves three meals daily, featuring delicious, locally sourced and sustainable meat and produce. The lounge is active and welcoming and feels very much part of the lobby ambiance. The renovation added a private dining room to Grill & Vine creating a perfect spot for parties or dinner meetings.   The new Westin San Francisco Airport guest rooms have a wonderful richness that is noticed the moment you arrive. The warm woods, textured fabrics, contemporary sconces and mixed metal finishes, used in the 397 rooms, welcome and delight.  Knauer Inc. the designers, led by Warren Stetson, blended two Westin color palettes to layer a clean, fresh and inviting aesthetic throughout the guest rooms.  Neutral tones are mixed with environmental greens and blues, creating a serene surrounding. The Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Shower complete the experience.


San Francisco Premium Outlets
With the addition of 185,000 square feet, San Francisco Premium Outlets is now the largest outdoor outlet center in California. Located in Livermore, 42 miles east of San Francisco, there are 170 stores including the addition of 10 new luxury and brand-name retailers: Gucci, Versace, Tod’s, Ted Baker, Bally, CH Carolina Herrera, Roger Viver, All Saints, Sarar and A/X Armani Exchange. Tri-Valley Rapid buses connect to the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station.  

SFO & United Airlines Unveil New Terminal 3 East Concourse and United Club
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines have unveiled the newly-renovated Terminal 3 East Concourse, featuring a dramatic 53,000 sq. ft. expansion that creates additional circulation space, new concessions and enhanced amenities for airport guests.  The $253 million renovation, open for passengers on Nov. 18, 2015, is comprised of a concourse connecting Boarding Areas E and F, a consolidated central security checkpoint, three additional aircraft boarding gates, and a new United Club location.

Terminal 3 East features eight new retail and dining outlets, including small businesses based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Free Wi-Fi, 230 power outlets, and 200 USB outlets will allow guests to stay connected and productive.  Four new art installations, provided through the San Francisco Arts Commission, along with lounge-style seating areas, transform the space into a relaxing, inspiring environment.  Guest restrooms even feature private changing rooms, an unexpected perk.

At just over 6,000 square feet, the newest United Club at San Francisco International Airport will offer a panoramic view of airport operations and a gallery of photos of United’s history.  Comfortable seating can accommodate more than 130 people who will be able to enjoy a complimentary menu with seasonal choices, such as fresh zucchini, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes; hearty butternut squash soup; dressed spinach salad; and a variety of fresh meats and cheeses.

Scheduled to open on Nov. 18, the new Terminal 3 East club will operate in addition to United Club locations in Terminal 3’s Concourse F and in the airport’s International Terminal G.

Cathay Pacific Opens Newly Expanded San Francisco Lounge
Cathay Pacific has opened an extension to the existing business and first class lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The new space, implemented by global design firm Gensler based on Cathay Pacific design, epitomizes Cathay Pacific's focus on flawless hospitality within its signature environment of comfort and elegant simplicity.   Cathay Pacific's first and business class lounge is located on Level 4 of the International Terminal.

First-ever nonstop flights between San Francisco and Delhi to begin Dec. 2, 2015, on Air India
Air India will begin the first-ever nonstop flights between San Francisco International Airport and Delhi on Dec. 2, 2015.  Air India officials said the airline plans to launch service with three flights per week, on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, using Boeing 777 long-range aircraft.

“I am pleased to welcome Air India to San Francisco – the Innovation Capital of the World – after the productive visit by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Mayor Ed Lee.  “By creating the first-ever nonstop service between San Francisco and Delhi, Air India has united two great cultural and economic centers of the world.  As the only nonstop flight between India and the West Coast of the United States, I fully expect this new service to be a success.”

“I am excited that Air India has selected SFO for their newest route in the United States,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “This service firmly establishes our Airport as the premier gateway to Asia and the Subcontinent, and provides an unparalleled level of global access to our guests.”

Air India is the national flag carrier of India, serving 31 international and 59 domestic destinations over four continents.  The airline is a member of Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance, comprised of 28 international airlines serving 192 countries and 1,330 airports around the world.

SFO Welcomes airberlin Nonstop Service to Düsseldorf in May 2016
airberlin, Germany's second largest airline and member of oneworld©, is expanding its route network to the United States, adding San Francisco to its network in May 2016.  airberlin will fly five times from San Francisco to Düsseldorf, the airline's main long-haul hub.

“By re-establishing nonstop service between San Francisco and Düsseldorf, airberlin is strengthening the link between two booming centers of technology and innovation,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee.  “airberlin’s return cements SFO as the premier international gateway to the Bay Area, and I am pleased to welcome them back to San Francisco – the Innovation Capital of the World.”

“I am excited that airberlin has selected SFO for its new service,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “With seamless connections to more than 100 U.S. cities, world-class terminal facilities, and easy access to both San Francisco and Silicon Valley, SFO is the right airport for travel to the Bay Area and beyond.”

The Düsseldorf – San Francisco route will return to the flight plan as of May 6, 2016 and will initially feature three flights per week, then increase to five weekly flights starting in June, operating every day of the week except Tuesday and Saturday.  By adding San Francisco to the network, airberlin once again has two California destinations in the network: Los Angeles and San Francisco.  The new routes are planned to be included into the codeshare agreement with American Airlines.

The new routes will be promoted with a special offer starting from Nov. 13 until and including Nov. 23.  Within this booking period, tickets are available starting from $799 for example for a roundtrip to Copenhagen via Düsseldorf including all taxes.  As airberlin is a network carrier with an extensive route network in Europe, special fares for various beyond destinations such as Berlin, Milan or Zurich are also available and accessible with only one stop and convenient connection times – bookable through, the airline’s service center (866-266-5588, toll free) and travel agencies.  The special offer is available at selected dates. 

SFO Receives Travel Weekly’s Gold and Silver Magellan Awards
Travel Weekly, the premier publication of the travel industry, has recognized the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with Gold and Silver Magellan awards for excellence.  In the “Airports and Airlines” category, SFO was named the Gold Award winner for the “Extra Swiss” social media contest, and achieved a Silver Award for leadership in environmental sustainability.

SFO has long been recognized as an industry leader in environmental sustainability, having garnered multiple awards for reductions in greenhouse gasses, the first LEED® Gold-certified passenger terminal in the United States, and progressive programs focused on employee wellness.

The “Extra Swiss” social media contest, held in May 2015, celebrated additional flights at SFO on Swiss International Air Lines with a prize package comprised of two round-trip economy tickets on SWISS from SFO to Zurich, two eight-day first class Swiss Travel Passes, and three-night accommodations at the Steffani Hotel in St. Moritz.  The contest saw unparalleled levels of participation on social media.

The Travel Weekly Magellan Awards honors the best in travel and salutes the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.  Winners were featured in October with a section dedicated to the 2015 winners.  Winners also received a custom-produced statuette made by the same company that produces the Oscar® and Emmy® awards.  SFO was previously recognized with Gold and Silver Magellan awards in 2012 for its environmental and social media programs.

Media contact: Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport,, 650-821-4000.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit or call 415-391-2000.  There are two Visitor Information Centers, one located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround, and the other on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square. 

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and

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