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What’s New in San Francisco - June/July 2016

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



June 17–Sept. 18, 2016 - Asian Art Museum Serves upa Sumptuous Summer of Pork

An icon in its homeland, the celebrated Qing-dynasty “Meat-shaped stone” will make its U.S. debut this June in the Asian Art Museum’s summer blockbuster, Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei (June 17–Sept 18). 

The stone — a hunk of jasper carved and dyed to resemble a portion of braised pork belly fresh from the pot — exemplifies how food, just like art, is a beautiful way to share culture. 

In tribute to this “Priceless Pork Belly,” 13 San Francisco chefs, including Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s, Anthony Myint of Mission Chinese, and Michelle Mah of The Slanted Door, have created signature pork belly dishes inspired by the uniquely appealing masterpiece. These dishes will be featured in their restaurants for a month-long porkfest starting June 17. 

Diners can also celebrate pork at two special events hosted at the museum which explore the connections between art and cuisine: 

Tasting Menu: The Chairman on June 23, 6:30–9 p.m..

PORK on July 7, 6–9 p.m.,

For more information, visit  Media contact: Zac Rose, 415-581-3560,

Early Bird Tickets Now Available for Eat Drink SF, Aug. 25–28, 2016   

Eat Drink SF, San Francisco’s premier annual food, wine and spirits festival presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), launched Early Bird ticket sales on May 9. Eat Drink SF, Aug. 25-28, 2016 celebrates the Bay Area’s world-class chefs and restaurants through four days of curated events and elevated culinary programming.

Throughout the weekend, more than 160 restaurants participate and guests will enjoy bites as well as unlimited pours of beverages from more than 70 bars, distilleries, breweries and wineries. Festival weekend kicks off with Taco Knockdown presented by Milagro Tequila, a unique taco battle entering its second year at the Folsom Street Foundry on Aug. 25.

This year, Eat Drink SF has added a special Grand Tasting on Aug. 28, to celebrate the GGRA’s 80th anniversary and honor the legacy restaurants that have been open for 25 years or more in the Bay Area, such as Scoma's, Sutro's at the Cliff House and Goat Hill Pizza. Additionally, the San Francisco Brewers Guild will be pouring local craft beers at all Grand Tastings in a dedicated beer garden at “Backyard Bites.”

Early Bird tickets are available for purchase at, starting at $75.  Media contacts: Shawna Sund and Danielle Logan, 415-274-2510, and

San Francisco Breweries Launch Free Brews & Baseball Shuttle

Local breweries near AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, have always been popular watering holes for baseball fans prior to games. Now there’s an easy way to visit more breweries and enjoy a wide variety of great local beer without having to worry about public transit or the cost of ride sharing.   

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Harmonic Brewing and Magnolia Smokestack have launched a free Brews & Baseball Shuttle to Friday night Giants games this season. The shuttle is operated by SF Adventure Tours.

The Brews & Baseball Shuttle is free for any rider holding proof of a same day Giants game ticket. It will run from 3:30–7:30 p.m. prior to each Friday night home game. Riders can hop on or hop off at any brewery location or Pier 48 near AT&T Park. The shuttle will arrive every 30 minutes and run on the following dates during the 2016 season.

  • July 29
  • Aug. 12, 19, 26
  • Sept. 16, 30

More information about the Brews & Baseball Free Shuttle, including a route map, posters and postcards can be found at each participating brewery or visit  Media contact: Brian Stechschulte, 415-642-3371, ext.1011,

Baron Stelling of The Shady Lady Saloon is 2016 Star of the Bar

The National Restaurant Association has announced Baron Stelling of Paragary’s Midtown and The Shady Lady Saloon in San Francisco as the 2016 Star of the Bar, a national cocktail competition hosted by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) at the NRA Show. For the first time, the competition was held live at BAR’s Main Stage in McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center, and was emceed by Spike TV’s Bar Rescue Host and Executive Producer Jon Taffer.

Stelling won with the creative Stag Savior cocktail, blending Jägermeister with gin, lime juice, grenadine, apricot liquor, dashes of bitters and absinthe, topped with a lime wheel and mint sprig garnish. Stelling was one of six finalists from the Regional Star of the Bar Market Challenge, who created drinks using Jägermeister, exclusively imported and distributed in the U.S. by Star of the Bar sponsor Sidney Frank Importing Company.

Finalists from each market were flown to Chicago to face off in front of show attendees and a panel of judges, including “World’s Best Bartender” winner Charles Joly, industry veteran Natalia Cardenas, and Eater Chicago Editor Daniel Gerzina. In addition to bragging rights as this year’s Star of the Bar, Stelling earned a $5,000 prize for his creation.

After six regional finals — held in Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Charleston, New York City and San Francisco — Stelling then conquered the finals at BAR at the NRA Show, in front of the judges and amongst a crowd of BAR attendees, ultimately winning the title. 

For more information, visit   Media contact: Ana Espinoza, or Danielle Giuliano, 312-943-6900,


Through July 5, 2016 - Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution at the Contemporary Jewish Museum 

The first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991) is now on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through July 5, 2016.  Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock and roll legends in the 1960s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock and roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.  

Learn more at Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483,

Through Sept. 5, 2016 - Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen at the Exploratorium

This spring West Coast audiences will have a unique opportunity to see and experience the global phenomena known as Strandbeests (“beach animals”), the wind-powered creatures that blur the lines among art, science and engineering. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, this temporary exhibition will debut to the public on May 27, 2016 and close on Sept. 5, 2016.

Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen features large-scale kinetic sculptures, including Jansen’s newest Animaris Umerus Segundus, as well as artist sketches, immersive video and the lyrical photography by Lena Herzog, who spent more than seven years documenting the Strandbeests’ evolution. The exhibition, organized by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), is the first large-scale museum presentation of Jansen's Strandbeests in the Americas. The Exploratorium serves as the exclusive West Coast venue.

First conceived as a thought experiment in the spirit of Albert Einstein, Strandbeests have evolved over the last 20 years through Jansen's passionate process of prodigious tinkering, iteration and adaptation. Made entirely of PVC pipe and zip ties, the animals were originally inspired by the threat of rising sea levels; the mechanical creatures were functional and able to pile sand back up on the dunes. Over time, the animals evolved as Jansen became more fascinated with exploring ideas around the origins of life.

For more information, see  Media contact: Shannon Eliot,, 415-528-4444.

Through Sept. 11, 2016 - Wild West: Picturing America’s Frontier Special Exhibition at the Legion of Honor 

Mined from the wide-ranging collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Wild West explores artistic responses to the natural and cultivated landscapes of the western United States from the frontier era to the present. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, historical artifacts and ephemera in a thematic presentation that celebrates the abundance and diversity within the region’s physical environment. This is a companion exhibition to Ed Ruscha and the Great American West on view this summer at the de Young. Artists on view will include Albert Bierstadt, Maynard Dixon, Eadweard Muybridge, Chiura Obata, Frederic Remington, Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud.

Media contact: Erin Garcia, 415-750-8904,,

Through Sept. 18, 2016 - Emperors’ Treasures at the Asian Art Museum

Behold a treasure trove of emperors’ prized possessions, including artworks they themselves created in Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum. Passed from dynasty to dynasty and once sheltered in Beijing’s Forbidden City, these masterpieces of Chinese art were conveyed to Taiwan amid conflict and now reside in the National Palace Museum, Taipei. 

Discover more than 150 objects from one of the world’s greatest collections of Chinese art, more than half of which will be on view in the U.S. for the first time. Rarely seen outside the court at the time of their creation, these artworks inherited an aura of mystery that has fueled an enduring fascination. 

Characterized by their extraordinary splendor, beauty and richness, these objects represent the highlights of China’s artistic accomplishments. Through exquisite paintings, ceramics, jades and more, Emperors’ Treasures explores the identities of nine rulers who reigned from the 12th through 20th centuries. By examining each ruler’s contribution to the arts and the eras’ changing styles, this exhibition reveals how emperors’ personal tastes shaped the evolution of art in China. 

For more information, visit  Media Contact: Zac Rose, 415-581-3560,

Through Sept. 18, 2016 – Dandy Lion: (Re)articulating Black Masculine Identity at MoAD

Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity is a traveling photography- and film- based curatorial project that features the images of photographers and filmmakers from throughout the African Diaspora. Their subject matter is cis-gender Black men in urban, rural, literal and abstract landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity within the Black community. Its discourse intersects class, gender formations, ethnicity, ideology and style. Dandy Lion confronts the hyper “thug” narrative and is a portrait of the multi-varied alternative identities that have always existed in Diasporic communities.

For more information, visit   Media contact: Mark Sabb, 415-318-7148,

Through Sept. 25, 2016 - Altered State: Marijuana in California at Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California presents the first-ever museum exhibition to focus on the science, history, sociology, politics and issues that surround marijuana in California today and make it one of the state’s hottest topics. Designed as a catalyst for conversation and reflection around the marijuana plant, its uses, evolving public attitudes, and the complex policy and social issues surrounding it, the exhibition explores the many ways that people consider cannabis, presented through the perspectives, knowledge, and opinions of a diverse range of community members and groups. With marijuana increasingly in the news, and California on the verge of making important decisions around marijuana that will impact people living in this state, the exhibition provides a community space where people can come together to learn, question, discuss, and add their voice to the different points of views surrounding this complex and evolving topic. Divided into ten sections, the exhibition explores topics such as “Sacred Ganja,” “Profitable Pot,” “Criminal Dope,” “Medical Marijuana,” “Evil Weed” and others.

For more information, visit  Media contact: Scott Horton, 510-229-9739.

Through Jan. 9, 2017 - Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio at The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio, on view through Jan. 9, 2017.  This never-before-seen exhibition created by the museum allows visitors to discover the artistic process and step behind-the-scenes to explore how one of the most influential animated films in history was produced: Walt Disney’s 1940 feature-length masterpiece Pinocchio.

Guest-curated by John Canemaker—an Academy Award®, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author—this immersive exhibition invites the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into how legendary animators worked and thought. Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibition allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios to create the stunning work featured in the film.

Featuring more than 300 objects, this unique, original exhibition takes a closer look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, style and costumes of this remarkable film, which has dazzled audiences for more than 75 years.

Learn more at  Media contact: Victoria Rainone, 415-660-9971.

Through Jan. 30, 2017 - New Ansel Adams Exhibit Debuts at Cavallo Point Lodge Mercantile and Art Gallery

Cavallo Point Lodge, an upscale environmentally sustainable resort set within Golden Gate National Parks, has announced a new exhibition from legendary photographer Ansel Adams in the Mercantile and Art Gallery. The show   features two of Adams’ Portfolios (II & IV), in conjunction with the lodge’s sister property, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA and The G2 Gallery in Venice, CA.  Portfolio II “The National Parks & Monuments,” one of seven limited-edition portfolios produced by the famed photographer, will be on display for the general public at Cavallo Point through early fall and then moves on to The Post Gallery at Post Ranch Inn, which is currently exhibiting Portfolio IV.

Over the course of his long and storied career, Ansel Adams produced seven limited-edition portfolios, referring to the 90 photographs all told as “an excellent cross section of my work.”  Portfolio II contains photographs from national parks all over the country, reflecting Adams’ passion for preserving and protecting those areas for generations to come. 

The complete portfolio is on sale for $125,000, with a percentage of the proceeds to benefit Turning Green and Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. 

For more information, visit  Media contact: Kelsey Gummow, 415-986-7212,

June 30–Oct. 30, 2016: Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum 

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange are just a few of Stanley Kubrick’s films that are now considered to be among the most influential masterpieces in motion picture history. Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, the first dedicated to Kubrick’s life and work, presents materials from the private estate of the film director, inaccessible until 2003, and covers the breadth of Kubrick’s practice, beginning with his early photographs for LOOK magazine, taken in the 1940s, and continuing with his groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1950s through the 1990s.

Some of the approximately 800 objects on view include annotated screenplays, production photography, lenses and cameras, set models, costumes, and props. Among the iconic items are the little dresses of the sisters from The Shining, the “Born to kill” helmet of Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket, and a model of the centrifuge from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In addition, the exhibition explores Napoleon and The Aryan Papers, two projects that Kubrick never completed, as well as the technological advances developed and utilized by Kubrick and his team.

 For more information, visit Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483,

July 2-Sept. 25, 2016 - Surf Craft: Design and the Cultureof Board Riding at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (SMVA) is kicking off the summer with their unique new exhibition “Surf Craft: Design and the Culture of Board Riding.”  Curated by surf historian Richard Kenvin, 60-80 surfboards created in the late 1940s to contemporary times capture the evolution of the art of surfboard making and its myriad global influences. From the alaia boards of ancient Hawaii to the surf bathing boards of England, Japan and Africa and the pioneering post-war work of Bob Simmons, traditional crafts, minimalist design and hydrodynamic engineering converge in a fascinating exhibit of surf craft.

Originally displayed at San Diego’s Mingei International Museum in 2014, “Surf Craft” will be at SVMA from July 2-Sept. 25, 2016. Exciting exhibition programming spanning curator talks, forums, workshops, and film screenings will bring a who’s who of the surfing and shaping worlds to Sonoma, including Bob Simmons, Carl Ekstrom, Steve Lis, Terry Hendricks, George Greenough, Stanley Pleskunas, Skip Frye, Danny Hess, and Jon Wegener.  

For more information, visit Media contact:  Michael Coats, 707-935-6203, .

July 15, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017 – Shortening: Making Irrational Rational, New Art Exhibition by Nelson Saiers on Alcatraz

Alcatraz, best known for the historic federal penitentiary and occupation by the Indians of All Tribes, also has a long tradition of welcoming artists to provoke thought about freedom and incarceration.  Starting in mid-July, the National Park Service and Nelson Saiers - artist and math Ph.D. - are opening an installation called Shortening: Making Irrational Rational.  The exhibit will be installed in the New Industries Building, which will be open July 15, 2016 through Jan. 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.  Access to the exhibit is included in the ferry price and can be purchased at Alcatraz Cruises.

Shortening: Making Irrational Rational incorporates properties of the number Pi, prison vernacular and NFL football jerseys to weigh in on the "irrationally" long prison sentences given for minor, nonviolent drug offenses and the need to shorten those sentences.  The installation will show the first 200 digits of PI on 100 NFL football jerseys.  

For more information, visit Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252,

July 21-October 16, 2016 – Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall at the GLBT History Museum

From July 21 to Oct. 16, 2016, the GLBT History Museum will present a historical retrospective of erotic illustrations by artists who worked for gay men's magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. "Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall" originated at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. The San Francisco show is its only scheduled West Coast appearance. 

Curated by artist Robert W. Richards, this exhibition of a largely forgotten body of work not only explores the male form, but also offers an examination of erotic fantasies as experienced through publications that were available at nearly every newsstand in America, but that men often hid under their mattresses for fear of being discovered. The exhibition will feature originals of illustrations from the magazines, along with related work that has never been seen publicly.

"Many of the early magazines pretended to be bodybuilding, strength and health journals," says Richards. "Sometimes they were called anatomy guides for artists. However, most of the men bought these magazines because they were gay. It was nearly their only opportunity to see handsome, well-made, virtually naked men. Buying one of these publications required an act of courage, especially if the small-town drugstore owner had known the buyer and his family most of their lives."

For more information, visit  Media contact: Marke Bieschke, 415-517-5910,

Sept. 6, 2016-May 28, 2017 – SFJAZZ’ Fifth Anniversary Season

SFJAZZ is excited to present its Fifth Anniversary Season since the SFJAZZ Center’s opening in January 2013. The Center has been recognized as one of the best performing arts centers in the country receiving numerous architecture, design, and acoustic awards. 

The Fifth Anniversary Season kicks off Sept. 8 with four evenings with Pat Metheny, the 20-time Grammy-winner and towering figure in the world of jazz guitar.

Other programming highlights includeJulian Lage Trio, Billy Hart with Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner & Ben Street, Chick Corea with Eddie Gomez and Brian Blade, Ludovico Einaudi, GoGo Penguin, Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider with Joshua Redman, Joel Harrison 5 with Brian Blade, Van Morrison, Trumpet Festival, SFJAZZ Collective, Mariza, Diego El Cigala, Burt Bacharach, Chucho Valdés with the Joe Lovano Quintet, Dorado Schmitt & Django All-Stars, Petra Haden & Jesse Harris, Robert Glasper Experiment, Aaron Neville, New Year’s with Maceo Parker, Chris Botti, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, John Santos Sextet, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Cookers, Paris Combo, Dianne Reeves, Scott Amendola Quintet with Nels Cline, Goran Bregovic, Miguel Zenón Quartet, Destani Wolf, Tiffany Austin, Jackie Ryan, Laurie Antonioli, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade, Anoushka Shankar, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, Hermeto Pascoal, King Sunny Adé, ECM Festival, Nels Cline: Lovers, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, Juan de Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Dayna Stephens, Patrick Wolff, Howard Wiley, Mad Duran, Omar Sosa, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gerald Clayton, Eliane Elias, A Tribute To Ernesto Lecuona with Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Michel Camilo, and more.

For more information, visit   Media contact: Marshall Lamm, 510-928-1410,

San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society to Receive Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibition from the New York Historical Society, Closing for Summer to Install Unprecedented Showcase

San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society of America has announced that the New-York Historical Society is donating its Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion exhibition materials to the organization. This outstanding showcase, which recently had impressive runs at New-York Historical and the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, will be the Chinese Historical Society’s largest ever undertaking. The museum will close for three months during its installation and re-open in late summer.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity and an unprecedented gift for us,” said Sue Lee, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society who orchestrated the acquisition. The exhibition features reproductions from the New-York Historical Society’s holdings, interactive media, evocative re-creations, and CHSA’s own historic Chinatown paintings by Jake Lee.

Exhibition details and a definitive opening date will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit Media contact: David Perry, 415-676-7007, / Ines Aslan, New York Historical Society, 415-485-9263,


July 16, 2016 - Tenderloin Museum Celebrates One Year Anniversary 

The Tenderloin Museum will mark its first anniversary on July 16, 2016 with a free community day celebration from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with free hourly programming from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.   “Our first year has been exceptional because of all the incredible partnerships we’ve forged with other museums, non-profit organizations, artists, local businesses, and our neighbors. Our first anniversary will be spent celebrating those partnerships,” said Program Manager Katie Conry.

The program will include a Youth Magic Class with Magician Mike Della Penna, presentation from the Asian Art Museum, performance by Larkin Street Youth Services’ Vocal Chords, the California Historical Society presentation on the Black Panther Archive, Don Herron speaking on author Dashiell Hammett, Skywatchers, Café Society SF and Aunt Charlie’s Dream Queens Revue Drag Show.   

All of previous resident artists will be featured in the  Museum Store. Featured artists will include Ryan De La Hoz, Jacinto Castillo, Kelly Nicolaisen, Nan Castle, Darwin Bell, and Temporal Cities.

For more information, visit  Media contact: Katie Conry, 415-351-1912,

Twilight Zone: Deep Reefs Revealed opens at the California Academy of Sciences

Descend into a deep underwater realm more mysterious to scientists than the surface of the Moon in the California Academy of Sciences’ groundbreaking new aquarium exhibit, Twilight Zone: Deep Reefs Revealed. Visitors can discover the beauty and importance of the little-known reefs that exist 200 to 500 feet below the ocean's surface—deeper than the range of traditional scuba gear but shallower than depths typically explored by submersibles. 

From never-before-seen reef fish that dart in and out of the darkness with vivid pops of neon to alien-like comb jellies that Academy scientists have dubbed “sea peeps” for their cartoonish resemblance to the popular marshmallow confection, newly displayed species and captivating media showcase the diversity of life at depth. While marveling at rarely seen fish and invertebrates, visitors will learn how color changes as depth increases and how flashy hues help these Technicolor creatures camouflage where light is scarce and predators loom. 

In addition, the Academy will also debut updates to the aquarium’s Coral Reefs of the World gallery, home to its iconic 212,000-gallon Philippine coral reef tank, the deepest indoor exhibit of living corals in the world.  

For more information, visit  Media contacts: Kelly Mendez, 415-379-5133,, Haley Bowling, 415-379-5123,

July 15-16, 2016 - Annual Salsa Festival Returns to the Fillmore

Feel the heat of San Francisco’s premier Latin dance party at the Annual Salsa Festival, July 15-16, 2016, 6-10 p.m. in the Fillmore district.  Live performances by different bands are featured each night, including Montuno Swing, Salson and DJ Carlitos Way.   Each evening kicks off with free dance lessons, dance performances and outdoor concerts at the Fillmore Center Plaza, 1475 Fillmore St.

For more information, visit Media contact:  Roy Bennett, 808-352-4315,

August 14, 2016 – Jerry Day

Jerry Day is a civic and cultural event that celebrates one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco native son – Jerry Garcia. This event captures the true spirit of Jerry Garcia as they celebrate his legacy, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and recognize his childhood roots from the Excelsior District of San Francisco. By uniting the diverse communities of San Francisco through Jerry’s music, they're creating something extraordinary for Jerry’s childhood neighborhood – the Excelsior District, McLaren Park, and the City and County of San Francisco.

For more information, visit Media contact: Tom Murphy, 415-272-2012,

Sept. 10-11, 2016 - 26th Annual AT&T Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown

The 26th Annual AT&T Autumn Moon Festival, produced by the Chinatown Merchants Association, returns Sept. 10-11, 2016.  For two days, San Francisco’s Chinatown on Grant Avenue will be filled with arts and crafts booths, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, food, and more.

Festivities open with a grand parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. on California Street and Grant Avenue led by civic officials, beauty queens and cultural performers. The famous dragon appears Sunday at 5 p.m. as the grand finale. Festival-goers can also experience AT&T’s latest devices, such as an interactive booth featuring their augmented reality app. 

The festival will be a bargain shopper’s dream, with thousands of arts and crafts, jewelry, and more for sale. Vendors will be selling many ethnic foods and sponsors will be on-hand to provide free gifts, games and raffles.

For visitors unfamiliar with this Asian tradition, the festival (celebrating the summer harvest, moon, and myth of the moon Goddess, Chang-E) is a conglomerate of Chinese culture from Chinese opera singers to traditional dancers and martial artists. The Moon Festival is often compared as a “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and abundant food, including the popular moon cake. 

For more information, visit  Media contact: Eva Lee, 415-982-6306,

Alcatraz Vies for Grant in Partners in Preservation: National Parks 

Alcatraz is participating in Partners in Preservation, a community-based partnership of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places, which is embarking on its first national campaign in the program’s 10-year history. In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial, the 2016 Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign will award $2 million in grants to historic sites in need of preservation within national parks units, as decided by popular vote.

As one of 20 historic places selected, Alcatraz Island hopes to be one of the winners of the campaign. Winning a $250,000 grant will help restore historical rifle slit window openings and install replica doors to revitalize the structure to its 1920s appearance. The project will also provide additional interpretive opportunities of the island’s military history. 

The deadline to vote is July 6, 2016.  To vote, go to, the online portal hosted by National Geographic.

Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252,

TripAdvisor Names Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in 2016 Travelers' Choice Awards for Landmarks in the United States

TripAdvisor recently revealed the winners of its 2016 Travelers' Choice Awards for Landmarks in the United States, for which the Golden Gate Bridge was named number two and Alcatraz was named number three (number one was the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool).  For the complete list, visit

Wolf Canyon Now Open at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens 

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens recently cut the ribbon and opened the brand new exhibit Wolf Canyon featuring three Mexican gray wolf brothers.  The exhibit was carefully designed to enrich the animals with terrain they might encounter in their natural environment like dirt mounds, water features, trees and plants.  The dynamic design offers plenty of opportunities for the wolves – named Prince, David Bowie and Jerry Garcia - to make choices and get comfortable within their habitat.  Visitor experience was also enhanced by adding viewing glass from the ground up and a covered inlet that provides 270 degree views within the canyon.   

Mexican gray wolves are the most endangered wolf subspecies.  In 1976 there were only five remaining individuals in the wild, but thanks to a concerted conservation effort, the population has grown to about two hundred in captivity and one hundred in the wild.  San Francisco Zoo’s wolf trio is part of a collaborative Species Survival Plan with a goal of strategically growing the population and ultimately releasing viable candidates into the Mexican Wolf Recovery Area.  At Wolf Canyon, visitors see the gorgeous animals and learn how the zoo is participating in the conservation of a species. 

For more information, visit  Media contact: Rachel Eslick, 415-753-7201 x 8129,                                                                                                                                       

Nob Hill Spa Introduces Bamboo Massage Treatment

The highly-acclaimed Nob Hill Spa has introduced the new Bamboo Massage Treatment. When the spa wasdesigned, its furnishings, colors, accessories and artwork were influenced by the four main cultures that formed San Francisco’s character: Victorian, Chinese, Japanese and Italianate. These cultural dynamics, blended with the use of feng shui, form a rejuvenating union for a vibrant health and beauty escape. These elements are dispersed throughout the spa, and with the strategically selected location of the pool overlooking the city, guests enjoy a sense of euphoria in this luxurious refuge. The spa’s new Bamboo Massage is reflective of The Scarlet Huntington’s connection to Chinese and Japanese influences, which is also evident in the hotel design. In Asian culture, stalks of bamboo symbolize life energy, eternal youth, prosperity, fertility and strength. The warmth of the Bamboo Tools, combined with the specialized techniques, create an exceptionally therapeutic massage that expedites the melting away of ischemic tissues. Bamboo Therapy increases relaxation, decreases muscular contraction, reduces trigger point formation and helps restore proper posture. Stimulation of the tissue by the bamboo sticks relieves "sluggish states," by dissipating the accumulation of toxins and poor circulation, similar to what would occur through deep-tissue work or acupressure. 

For more information, visit Media contact: Kelsey Gummow,, 415-986-7212.

Extranomical Tours Adds Gourmet Food and Wine Pairing to Redwoods & Wine Country Escape

Extranomical Tours’ Redwoods & Wine Country Escape is already offering a sensational combination of Muir Woods National Monument, Sonoma Valley as well as Napa Valley. The company is now taking their wine country experience to the next level. Extranomical Tours is launching a Gourmet Food & Wine pairing where guests have the option to indulge in an exclusive three-course gourmet food and wine pairing.

Tour-goers start the morning exploring Redwood Sequoia trees in Muir Woods before heading to California’s renowned Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley where guests will enjoy tastings at three family-owned boutique wineries. For lunch, the tour stops at the historic Sonoma Plaza. Guests can choose one of two lunch options - venture out on their own and try one of the many cafés and restaurants located in the plaza or upgrade their wine country experience with a private seated gourmet food and wine pairing experience at a local restaurant. They will enjoy delicious local food paired with a collection of California wines. After being greeted with Sonoma Valley cheeses and sparkling wine, guests may select a course such as tomato bisque, pasta with almond-arugula pesto or grilled salmon with seasonal vegetables and balsamic reduction.

For information and reservations, visit www.extranomical.comMedia contact: Linda Bauer, 415-357-1022,


Hotel Grace Opens Near Union Square 

Hotel Grace is officially open in San Francisco. One of seven properties owned and managed by Pacific Northwest-based Pineapple Hospitality Company, Hotel Grace is the first Pineapple hotel to open in San Francisco. Located at 580 Geary St., the fully modernized 93-room property was designed with a respect for the building’s 103-year-old history.

Hotel Grace welcomes guests with an impressive 5000-square-foot interactive lobby experience including an inviting front desk and a stylish sitting area with elegant furnishings and expansive ceilings. Indulge in daily cupcake and coffee service, while a “musical mezzanine” complete with a Ferrari red piano floats above.

Each guestroom provides a cheerful palette of yellow against muted gray with custom fabrics, furnishings, and modern touches like complimentary WiFi, air conditioning, and thoughtful lighting, plus traditional touches of dark wood floors, elegant lamps and custom designed furniture. Discover the Naked Experience™ that has become an integral part of the Pineapple Hospitality guest experience. 

Pineapple Bistro & Bar on lobby level serves an all-day selection of refreshments including coffee and espresso drinks to start a day of sightseeing or business. Local beer and wine are on tap with a selection of cocktails to enjoy at the bar or lounge.

For more information, visit Media contact: Trisha Clayton, 415-706-3462,  

Hampton by Hilton in South of Market/Convention Center Neighborhood 

Hampton by Hilton San Francisco Downtown/Convention Center, 942 Mission St., is situated in the city’s hip and edgy South of Market district with plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment nearby. The Moscone Convention Center is just two blocks away and the Financial District and Union Square are only four blocks from the downtown San Francisco hotel, making it an ideal base for business and leisure travelers. Discover shopping at Westfield Shopping Centre and take advantage of the close proximity to the theater district, museums, movie theaters, bowling alleys and more. Enjoy easy connectivity throughout the city and all the way to the famous Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf via the nearby BART and cable car.  Relax on the clean and fresh Hampton bed, browse channels on the flat-screen TV and check emails with free WiFi at the ergonomic desk. Wake up to Hampton’s free hot breakfast buffet featuring their famous waffles or grab a free Hampton’s On the Run Breakfast Bag, Monday through Friday. Enjoy free tea and coffee in the welcoming lobby and ask the friendly staff for recommendations of things to do in San Francisco. Energize in the free fitness center and watch favorite channels on the personal TVs.

For more information, vist  Media contact: Nathalie Toribio, 415-546-3110,

Summer of Family Fun at the Palace Hotel

The historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco celebrates summer with fantastic family fun experiences through Sept. 5, 2016.  Within the legendary Palace walls are numerous activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.  When ready to venture outside the hotel – the Palace is within walking distance of the best dining, shopping and attractions in San Francisco.  

Make a splash at the pool that has been voted the Best Indoor Pool in San Francisco.  Enjoy a sweet treat at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop or Freezie Fridays at the Palace pool. Meet three legendary San Francisco doormen and five Les Clef d’or Concierges who are waiting to share all the fun and exciting adventures San Francisco holds. Take in classic Palace experiences with a History Tour, Saturday Signature Tea or delicious burgers in the Pied Piper restaurant.  Become a master sushi chef at a Kid’s Sushi Session with Chef Jack or a travel expert at a Travel Tips for Kids seminar given by the Palace Chef concierge.  

For reservations and more information, visit  Media contact: Renee Roberts, 415-407-7424,

Pacific Grove’s Asilomar Conference Grounds Installs New Water Recycling System 

Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif. has just installed a new, rare technology called Aquarecycle® that will reduce water usage by 75%. This new system will allow the property to reuse laundry wastewater, which will reduce energy and water costs and improve water conservation. 

Asilomar is one of only 300 hotels across the U.S. and the only hotel in the Monterey area that has installed this new system. With plans to recycle 1,174,500 gallons of water per year, the Aquarecycle system is monitored remotely with smart meters to measure flow and probe sensors to detect important chemistry parameters.

Asilomar Conference Grounds is a leader in sustainability holding an ISO 14001 certification for environmental performance. With 30 buildings, 312 guest rooms and 28 meeting spaces, Asilomar represents more than 100 years of rich California history and is registered as a Historical Landmark, protected as a state park and features the largest collection of Julia Morgan-designed buildings in the world. The conference grounds hosts groups and leisure guests and is set among Monterey Pines just steps from the beach.

For more information, visit  Media contact: Leslie Sonnenklar, 602-462-2215,


First-Hold Brings the Events Industry into the 21st Century

Announcing the launch of, the event space management platform that enables venues and planners to work online, in real-time, as the patent-pending technology automates the hold-challenge-release and booking process.  

First-Hold provides a planner with the ability to check a venue's availability, place holds or book at any hour of the day. The platform saves time spent on this necessary stage of venue sourcing by the click of a button. It's as easy as booking a hotel room. Venues publish availability. Planners hold or book a venue's availability.

In today’s high tech world, this part of the events industry has lagged.  The founders of First-Hold, who are current veterans of the industry, sought an answer to the question: Why was this seemingly simple function of the events industry not technologically advancing?  Currently there are content sites with venue pictures, menus, floorplans – but they realized these did nothing for the online, real-time function of holding or booking space.

With the launch of First-Hold, planners are now able to check dates and hold space online, in real-time, anytime. First-Hold currently has a portfolio of trusted and vetted San Francisco event venues on board, and are continuing to expand.

For more information, visit  Media contact: Molly Webster,, 415-553-0032.


SFO Welcomes WOW air Nonstop Service to Iceland

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has welcomed WOW air, the ultra-low-cost transatlantic airline from Iceland, and their new nonstop service between San Francisco and Reykjavík, which began June 9, 2016.  The airline operates service between SFO and Iceland five times per week, using new Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

WOW air was founded in 2011 by technology and telecommunications entrepreneur Skúli Mogensen, initially offering service to 20 major European cities before expanding operations to North America.  With the addition of service to San Francisco and Los Angeles, WOW will service six cities in the United States and Canada, using new Airbus A330 aircraft with 340 seats in a single-class configuration.

WOW flights between San Francisco and Keflavík International Airport are scheduled to allow for connecting flights on to other European destinations. WOW expects to double its capacity in this year, serving over 1.8 million passengers worldwide.

SFO Global Entry Enrollment Office Will Soon Be Open 24/7

The U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have announced a pilot program to expand the hours of the current Global Entry Enrollment Center at SFO to become the first such facility in the nation to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  A 60-day pilot program to evaluate 24/7 access began on June 12, 2016.

“As one of the fastest-growing U.S. airports for international traffic, we are committed to providing our guests with a host of time-saving options when they arrive at SFO,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “These include the deployment of Automated Passport Control kiosks, the Mobile Passport Control mobile app, and improved signage and queuing in the Customs facility.  The Global Entry program lets travelers speed through the customs process, and we are proud to be the first airport in the nation to offer 24/7 access to enroll in this program.”

The Global Entry Enrollment Center at SFO is located pre-security on the arrivals level of the International Terminal.  The facility already offers permanent hours of 7 a.m.-11 p.m. and expanded to 24/7 on June 12, 2016 for a 60-day pilot program.  The expanded hours will offer an additional 826 appointment slots for travelers to enroll.  For more information, visit:

Global Entry is a voluntary program for pre-approved low-risk international travelers coming into the U.S. allowing members to bypass the traditional CBP inspection process to expedite their processing.    U.S. citizens, nationals and lawful permanent residents may apply for Global Entry as well as citizens of certain countries with which CBP has trusted traveler arrangements, including Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Upon arrival in the United States from abroad, Global Entry members bypass the traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States.  Travelers scan their passport and fingerprints, answer customs declaration questions using the kiosk’s touch screen and proceed with a receipt to the exit - the whole process takes only about one minute.

USO San Francisco Airport Center Celebrates 50 Years of Service with a New Facility for Military Service Members and their Families

For 50 years, the USO Bay Area’s center at San Francisco International Airport has kept service members connected to family, home, and country by providing services 24 hours a day/365 days a year.  The center provides a touch of home to over 30,000 service members and families that travel through the airport each year. 

On June 16, 2016 USO Bay Area marked 50 years of partnership and service at San Francisco International Airport by celebrating new center opening.

The center has been relocated and expanded to more than double the size of the current location to accommodate more service members and their families.  The new facility provides the comforts of home with a dedicated family room, lounge area, snack bar, quiet room with large reclining chairs, TV and gaming areas as well as free access to computers, phones, and more.  The new center at SFO will allow USO Bay Area to provide a first class environment and better serve those that protect and defend our country every day.

SFO Honored in CIO Magazine’s Annual “CIO 100” Awards

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has been selected as a 2016 honoree by IDG’s CIO magazine, a globally-recognized resource for Chief Information Officers and information technology leaders.  In its 29th annual “CIO 100” awards, the magazine recognized SFO’s Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITT) group for their innovative use of information technology to create and deliver business value.

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


JUNE 2016

JUNE 16-26
Frameline 40, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival
Castro Theatre, 415-703-8650
Legendary showcase of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema screens groundbreaking documentaries, features, touching short films and cinematic classics. 

Stern Grove Festival 
Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., 415-252-6252
The Stern Grove Festival celebrates the season of free Sunday concerts featuring renowned music and dance groups set in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater in the heart of San Francisco.

JUNE 25-26
San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade
Embarcadero to Civic Center, Market St., 415-864-0831
San Francisco's 46th annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride culminates with a festive parade from the Embarcadero to the Civic Center on June 26.

JULY 2016

JULY 2- OCTOBER 2 (Weekends only and Labor Day Monday) 
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
San Francisco, Pleasanton, Cupertino and Redwood City, 415-558-0888
Bring your family, friends, a blanket and a picnic to enjoy “A Winter’s Tale” in a beautiful park setting!

JULY 2-3
Fillmore Jazz Festival
Fillmore St. between Jackson and Eddy Sts.
Three stages of continuous jazz performances, more than 300 artists’ booths, and international food courts with some of the best food and beverages that San Francisco has to offer. 

JULY 4     
Fourth of July Celebration at The Pier
PIER 39, 415-705-5500
Dazzling fireworks, local bands, food, arts and crafts ignite this annual waterfront party. Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m., weather permitting. Dress warmly.

JULY 15-16     
Salsa Festival on The Fillmore
Fillmore Street, various venues
The Salsa Festival on The Fillmore closes off three city blocks and features free concerts, salsa lessons and outdoor dancing at the Fillmore Center Plaza. 

JULY 15-24  
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Custom Made Theatre
Local and national playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs and designers work with the Bay Area’s top actors to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play.

JULY 16-17    
The Renegade Craft Fair   
Fort Mason Center
The best makers of handmade goods from the Bay Area and beyond assemble for this free-to-attend marketplace for indie-craft culture, featuring interactive workshops. 

Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park
This annual walk to raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS foundation has inspired thousands of people to walk and donate in support of fighting HIV/AIDS.

JULY 21-24
San Francisco Frozen Film Festival
Roxie Theater
Showcasing the year’s best new independent avant-garde pop culture films, the Frozen Film Festival takes its name from the distinct chill of the San Francisco summer.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Castro Theater and other Bay Area venues, 415-621-0556 (info), 415-621-0523 (tickets)
Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture. The festival is the first, oldest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world.

JULY 22-24
J-POP Summit Festival
Fort Mason Center, Union Square, New People Cinema and Castro Theatre
This one-of-a-kind summer festival brings the latest of Japanese popular culture to San Francisco. In its seventh year, the J-POP extravaganza will expand to Fort Mason Center as well as Union Square presenting another lively two-day program jam-packed with music, fashion and fine foods.

JULY 23-24
Sake Summit
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
Let sake flow! Sake tasting events feature a variety of major sake brands of Japan as well as key players in the sake business in the Bay Area, from distilleries, distributors to retailers. 

JULY 23-31    
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco 
New People Cinema, 1746 Post St.
Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is the first and only fully dedicated annual Japanese film event in the San Francisco Bay Area. Showcasing the latest in anime, live-action and documentaries straight from Japan, this week-long festival will take place in San Francisco's historic Japantown. 

San Francisco Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk 
Ferry Building, The Embarcadero
Enjoy the amazing city of San Francisco by taking part in one of the world's great marathons. The USAT&F Certified course is a "best of San Francisco" tour and includes a loop over the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose from running the marathon, half marathon, progressive marathon, 5K run/walk races or really take on the challenge with the “Worth the Hurt” 52.4 double marathon.

Up Your Alley Fair
Dore Alley between Folsom and Howard and adjoining block of Folsom between Ninth and 10th streets, 415-777-3247
Similar to September’s Folsom Street Fair, which is the climax of Leather Pride Week, this event has a more local appeal for leatherfolk and draws some 12,000-plus attendees.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit, read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit   

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 39 international cities on 34 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers free upgraded 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 SFO on and

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