Thursday, August 15, 2013

Out and About: Alameda Point, Alameda

Of Note:
 Enrich your historical perspective with a visit to the Alameda Naval Air Museum, 2151 Ferry Point Road, Bldg. 77. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free-$5. (510) 522-4262,

Alameda Point, Alameda: Jets once roared down the runways of the Alameda Naval Air Station, located on the western side of this island city. Decommissioned in 1997 and renamed Alameda Point, its vast stretches of land contains an appealing mix of diversions. Remnants of its military past remain, especially aboard the imposing USS Hornet Museum and at the Alameda Naval Air Museum.

-Stephanie Wright Hession

All photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession copyright 2013.

1. USS Hornet Museum

707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3: The Hornet, now an aircraft carrier museum, contains fascinating artifacts from the Apollo moon missions. It was the recovery ship for Apollo 11, and the exhibits include a mobile quarantine facility used by the Apollo 14 astronauts. You can also take a five minute ride in a Flight Avionics’ flight simulator. Flight simulator schedule: 11-11:30 a.m.; 1-1:30 p.m. and 3-3:30 p.m., daily. Schedule may change due to special events. $6-$9. USS Hornet Museum: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (gate closes at 4 p.m.). Free-$16. (510) 521-8448,

2. Ploughshares Nursery

2701 Main St.: A hummingbird darts about orange blossoms in this retail nursery, which specializes in organic, edible, drought-tolerant and native plants. A nonprofit business venture of the Alameda Point Collaborative, it also offers job training. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (510) 755-1102,

3. Cityview Skatepark

1177 W. Redline Ave.: Against a backdrop of shipping cranes, a teenage boy and his skateboard fly off a ramp at this popular skate park. Operated by the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, it's open from dawn to dusk daily. Helmet, elbow pads and knee pads required. (510) 747-7529.

4. Hangar One

2601 Monarch St.: In this cavernous space, Hangar One Vodka is hand-distilled. This includes fresh fruit-infused versions such as citron Buddha's Hand, mandarin blossom and kaffir lime. Tastings noon to 7 p.m. Wed.-Sat., noon to 5 p.m. Sun. ($10 fee). Distillery tours: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 p.m., Wed.-Sat. and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m., Sun. (510) 769-1601,

5. Alameda Point Antiques Faire

2900 Navy Way: In the early hours of the first Sunday of every month, thousands of people arrive, eager to peruse more than 800 booths of vintage and antique items. It's an exhilarating and overwhelming experience. 6 a.m.-3 p.m. first Sun. (510) 522-7500,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Out and about: Bodega Highway, Bodega

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock  filmed scenes from his 1963 thriller "The Birds" here, the rural hamlet of Bodega has attracted his fans, who stop by the old Potter School and St. Teresa of Avila Church. In rugged and beautiful western Sonoma County, Bodega retains the rustic charm that reminded Hitchcock of his native England.

-Stephanie Wright Hession
All photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession. Copyright 2013.

1. Potter School

17110 Bodega Lane (off Bodega Highway): Opened as a two-room school, multipurpose room and community hall in 1873, the Potter School continues to be known as the setting for one of Hitchcock's most chilling scenes from "The Birds," when screaming schoolchildren flee in terror from attack by a crazed flock of birds.

2. St. Teresa of Avila Church

17242 Bodega Highway: Situated on a grassy hill above Bodega, this Roman Catholic church was the subject of photographer Ansel Adams’ work “Church and Road, Bodega, California” and briefly appeared in "The Birds." Constructed by New England shipbuilders and dedicated in 1861, it’s the oldest, continually operating church in Sonoma County. (707) 874-3812,

3. Bodega Landmark Studio Gallery

17255 Bodega Highway: For almost 30 years, photographer Lorenzo De Santis has exhibited works by regional artists in his gallery, where seascapes and landscapes dot the walls. These include paintings by Philip Buller and etchings by Stephen McMillan. Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fri.-Mon. (707) 876-3477,

4. Bodega Country Store

17190 Bodega Highway: Hitchcock fans stop by to see “The Birds” memorbilia here and day trippers, campers and locals stop in at this country store—opened in 1874—for basic groceries, deli items, beer, wine and spirits and more. (707) 377-4056,

5. U.S. Post Office

17160 Bodega Highway: The building's flat, wooden facade appears to be a 19th century structure, but it actually dates to the mid-1970s. It was intended to blend in with the town's buildings dating back to the 1800s. (707) 876-3186.

Of note

The Potter School is a private residence and is not open to the public.

Subterranean Shakespeare presents the world premiere of “Shakespeare: Night at the Blackfriars (London Idol 1610),” October 18-November 17

Subterranean Shakespeare presents the world premiere of “Shakespeare: Night at the Blackfriars (London Idol 1610)” written by George Crowe and directed by Robert Currier.

Geoffrey Pond as Richard Burbage and Debi Durst as Christopher “Kit” Marlowe in "Shakespeare: Night at the Blackfriars (London Idol 1610).” Photo by Kevin Moore.

Between the plague and rumblings of war, impresario and actor Richard Burbage is struggling to keep his Blackfriars Theatre open. 

So he launches a playwriting contest and fuels an intense competition between the most lauded writers of 1610—Will Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Tommy Middleton, Francis Beaumont and the ghost of Christopher “Kit” Marlow. 

As each debuts a one page cover play fashioned after one of Shakespeare’s beloved plays, while vying to be the London Idol of 1610, the results are comedic.

Performance times: 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m., Sundays, October 18-November 17.The Phoenix Arts Association Annex Theatre, 414 Mason St., S.F. (510) 276-3871,

Out and about: San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, S.F.

On a recent summer day, the mist of a thick bank of fog caressed the faces of visitors at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. On pathways winding through the 55 acres of this living museum, nature enthusiasts explored landscaped gardens and open spaces, lush with more than 8,000 species of plants, from the familiar to the exotic.
All photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession. Copyright 2013.
1. Garden Bookstore

Just inside the Main Gate, you'll find this petite bookstore. Out front, nose through packets of nasturtium, morning glory and other seeds, along with pots of native California plants. Then browse a collection of garden books, field guides and posters, including one with images of matilija poppies and titled "Attack of the 8-Foot Shrub!"

2. Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture

Both newbie gardeners and seasoned horticulturists will relish this library, with its extensive collection devoted to all things flora. The children's section houses 1,600 books and offers a free Story Time and Family Walk at 10:30 a.m. on the first and third Sunday of every month.

3. Garden of Fragrance

In this sensory garden, a woman reaches over a low, stone flower bed, pinches off a leaf of pineapple sage, holds it up to her nose, closes her eyes and breathes in. Others rub French lavender or rosemary leaves between their fingers to release aromatic oils or smell the fragrant leaves of rose-scented geraniums.

4. Garden flowers

A favorite garden activity is spying the multitude of flowers, from soft, pastel varieties to those fantastical and brilliantly hued, while wandering through the Australia, Zellerbach Garden of Perennials, Moon-Viewing Garden, California Native Plants and other gardens here. It's also a way to garner some ideas for your own patch of dirt at home.

5. Ancient Plant Garden

Brushing past the massive leaves of Chilean gunnera offers a glimpse of how land plants evolved through time. A pair of diagrams give the basics and walkways branch off into sections devoted to the Eocene, Late Cretaceous, Early Jurassic, Pennsylvanian and Early Devonian periods.

Of Note

Garden hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., daily. Library: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Mon. Bookstore: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. 

Admission is free to residents of the city and county of San Francisco. Non-S.F. residents: $7 for adults, $15 per family. Admission is free for everyone the second Tuesday of every month and on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Group Exhibition: "Evidence: Artistic Responses to the Drug Cartel Wars" at Intersection for the Arts through Aug. 31

Intriguing and powerful, the mixed media group exhibition, "Evidence: Artistic Responses to the Drug Cartel Wars," at Intersection of the Arts presents the reactions of artists to this conflict from the perspective of its victims via painting, photography, printmaking and video by Miguel A. AragónRoberto Gomez HernandezFiamma MontezemoloErnesto Ortiz, Gianfranco Rosi and Charles Bowden.

 Visitors observing "Evidence: Artistic Responses to the Drug Cartel Wars," at Intersection of the Arts. Photo courtesy of Intersection for the Arts. 

Works by Roberto Gomez Hernandez. Courtesy of Intersection for the Arts.

A work by Fiamma Montezemolo. Courtesy of Intersection for the Arts.

Works by Miguel A. Aragón. Courtesy of Intersection for the Arts.

Through Aug. 31
Noon to 6 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays.
Intersection for the Arts 
925 Mission St. S.F.
(415) 626-2787,

Friday, August 2, 2013

"Last Light" and "Life Forms" exhibitions opens Friday, August 2 at 111 Minna Gallery

With bronzing powder, earth pigments, resin, acrylic, oil paints and other mixed media on canvas and birch panel, Ivy Jacobsen creates luminescent landscapes for “Last Light,” her solo exhibition in 111 Minna’s Second Street Gallery.

The companion exhibition, “Life Forms,” features paintings by Tobias Tovera in a collaborative show with fashion designer Abbey Glass and musician Tim Carr, which analyzes process and color through painting, fashion and music. 

At the opening reception beginning at 5 p.m. tonight, and during the run of “Life Forms,” Glass premieres seven of her dresses made with textiles informed by Tovera’s paintings from her freshly minted couture dress collection. Carr will also perform songs from his new album, “Through the Color.”

-Stephanie Wright Hession

111 Minna Gallery, (415) 974-1719,

Images courtesy of the 111 Minna Gallery.

“Forest Mist” (2013) by Ivy Jacobsen.

“Tropical No. 2” (2013) by Ivy Jacobsen.

“Eventide (Underwater)” (2013) by Ivy Jacobsen.

“Celestial Tide” (2011) by Tobias Tovera.

“Rupture” by Tobias Tovera.

“Nectar” (2011) by Tobias Tovera.

Lamplighters Music Theatre performs Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Iolanthe” opens Friday, August 2

Sonia Gariaeff as the Fairy Queen (double cast with Cary Ann Rosko), William H. Neil as Willis (double cast with Sean Irwin), Molly Mahoney and Michele Schroeder as fairies (double cast as Iolanthe). Photo by David Allen.
What happens when the House of Lords and a group of gutsy fairies get into a tussle? Find out when Lamplighters Music Theatre performs Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Iolanthe,” opening Friday, August 2 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Stage directing by Barbara Heroux; musical direction and conducting by Baker Peeples and choreography by F. Lawrence Ewing.

-Stephanie Wright Hession

Cary Ann Rosko as the Fairy Queen (double cast with Sonia Gariaeff). Photo by David Allen.

Michele Schroeder as Iolanthe (double cast with Molly Mahoney) and Rick Williams as the Lord Chancellor (double cast with F. Lawrence Ewing). Photo by David Allen.


8 p.m., Friday, August 2 and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, August 3 and 2 p.m., Sunday August 4 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. (925) 943-7469,

8 p.m., Saturday, August 10 and 2 p.m., Sunday, August 11 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. (650) 903-6000,

8 p.m., Friday, August 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, August 17 and 2 p.m., Sunday, August 18 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. (415) 978-2787,

8 p.m., Saturday, August 24 and 2 p.m., Sunday, August 25 at the Bankhead Theatre, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, 2400 First St., Livermore. (925) 373-6800,

Sonia Gariaeff as the Fairy Queen (double cast with Cary Ann Rosko), Molly Mahoney and Michele Schroeder as fairies (cast together as Iolanthe). Photo by David Allen.

Bodytraffic performs the Bay Area premiere of Barak Marshall’s “And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square…,” Richard Siegel’s “o2Joy” and a preview of “Kollide,”a new work by Kyle Abraham,  at the ODC Theater, Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29.

Barak Marshall’s “And at midnight, the green bride floated through the village square…” Photo by Christopher Duggen.
Founded in 2007 by Lillian Rose Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, Bodytraffic is a nonprofit dance company based in Los Angeles.

Performance times: 8 p.m., Thursday, September 26; 8 p.m., Friday, September 27; 8 p.m., Saturday, September 28 and 7 p.m., Sunday, September 29. $20-$35.

ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. (415) 863-9834,