SF LIFE: Book Tour, Brews & Botanicals, Cherry Blossoms, Fairs, Amadeus
Hooray, it’s spring and you can tell by the sometimes-itchy eyes and runny noses, that the plants are a bloomin! One particular tree you will want to witness in all its glory is the Cherry Blossom – the festival celebrating its arrival is here. And for more blooming fun, head to the Conservatory of Flowers for beers and endless beauty. With the arrival of spring come the festivals, here are a few you might enjoy. That incredible film of the 80‘s AMADEUS is showing with the SF Symphony playing along. Delightful! Lastly, our own Head Tomato Cheryl Benton will be in SF bay area for a book tour for “Can you See us Now?” on May 17th, so SAVE THE DATE! Happy Spring in the Bay to all my tomato pals.
The Book Every Tomato Should Read
Cherry Blossom Festival
Spring is in the air, thanks to all of the rain and sun that keeps our trees a growing and that means the annual Japantown Cherry Blossom festival is here. One of the largest cultural San Francisco festivals this month is held over two consecutive weekends. SF is only one of three states to have a Japantown, so let’s go and celebrate. Every year, the Japanese celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms with big fanfare, as these flowers signify spring in all its verdant glory.
You can get a taste of Japanese culture as you watch the taiko drumming, traditional dances, tea ceremonies, and sample the yummy fare. Experiencing a traditional tea ceremony will help you appreciate the customs of Japan and have you looking at your tea leaves in a different way! If you are a parade fan, the Grande Parade takes place on Sunday April 22. starting at City Hall around 1 p.m. April 14 – 15, April 21 – 22. www.sfcherryblossom.org
Brews & Botanicals
Sip a brew amongst the beauty of the Conservatory of Flowers – why not? Here’s a different happy hour for you. Every third Friday from spring through summer and fall, the Conservatory transforms into a beer garden where guests can discover the unique tropical plant collection through the lens of craft brews.
The Bay Area’s finest craft brew masters set up shop, telling tall tales of botanical brewing. Get there early to claim a picnic table and soak up the breathtaking views of the Conservatory and its valley or sip the night away in the galleries. On select nights, host brewers will serve up special brews inspired by the Conservatory. This year’s series also includes a new experience: an exclusive tasting featuring acclaimed host breweries. Perfect for beer lovers, guided flights by expert craft beer makers will explore the varieties and flavors of craft beer. Conservatoryofflowers.org.
As usual when the rain dries up (fingers crossed) the outdoor fairs and festivals spring into life. Here are a few that might interest you.
April 14: Sidewalk Arts & Crafts Show
Head to West Portal’s 30th annual fine arts and crafts show to wander the neighborhood and take in work from over 40 artists ranging from photography to painting, ceramics to jewelry, and more. 10am to 5pm, 32 West Portal Ave. (West Portal), pacificfinearts.com
April 14: Bouquet Market
Think the best of flea markets and maker fairs coming together in a single event. The Bouquet Market curates local vendors in a collection of handmade apparel, home goods, jewelry, art and gorge vintage pieces all at affordable prices. Best of all, it’s in the heart of Fourth Street in Berkeley, so after perusing all the booths, you can pop into any of the other cute shops and tasty restaurants for a snack or dinner. 4th St. (Berkeley), bouquetmarketplace.com
April 15: Irish-American Crossroads Festival
A literary, musical, and cultural fest, the annual Irish-American Crossroads will have a plethora of things to do from listening to virtuoso Irish fiddle player Tony DeMarco play some sweet tunes to hearing tales from the Peig Sayers, queen of Irish Storytelling. There will also be a mini film festival and more. It’s always St. Patrick’s day for the Irish in us. // United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave. (Outer Sunset), irishamericancrossroads.org
April 15. Amadeus at the SF Symphony
If you have not yet been to the SF Symphony to watch a movie, yes you heard me correctly, run don’t walk. AMADEUS is showing with the symphony reprising their role in the film’s original soundtrack. Live orchestrations accompany this eight-academy award winning 1984 movie. It was one of my favorite movies of the 80’s as it depicted a man and a time in history with dramatic flair and fab costuming.
It wasn’t a strict biography but rather an examination of a boorish man-child seen through the eyes of his fiendishly jealous rival. Tom Hulce was the giggling prodigy and his over the top performance is something you will want to revisit. Remember the upside down piano playing? The authentic yet somewhat garish costuming? The soundtrack is almost entirely made up of Mozart, and to hear it live by our own symphony is sure to be a winner. Monday April 16th at 7:30 p.m. www.sfsymphony.org