SF LIFE: Cherry Blossoms, Beer, Glamping, More Summer of Love  

It’s cheery, cherry blossom time again! With all the precipitation, the blossoms are spectacular so don’t miss the festival! And there is another festival happening for you lovers of brew, Fort Mason hosts the International Beer Festival – cheers! Want a staycation? Visit the coolest cupcake camper in Oakland for a weekend away. And speaking of cool, one more way to celebrate the Summer of Love 50th anniversary is at the De Young – so groovy!


April 8 – 9, 15 – 16. Cherry Blossom Festival

What tomato doesn’t love beautiful blossoms?  Or perhaps tea, or sushi, tempura or Taiko Drummers.  All of these and more can be found in Japan Town this month. The annual festival is one of the largest in North America and features the most talented musicians, chefs and dancers. I love the Taiko drums that were originally used as a way to ward off evil spirits and pests from harming the crops.

The skill was passed down through generations but faded away. Fortunately, it is enjoying resurgence in Japan as well as all over the world. Another popular music instrument is the Koto, a Japanese harp, and you can experience its dulcet tones along with traditional Japanese folk dance and song, If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing a true Japanese tea ceremony, there will be several opportunities to watch and learn this sacred tradition. Get more information.


Aril 8. San Francisco International Beer Festival

It may seem difficult to imagine, but this Beer Festival was created many years ago by parents at the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School. The Festival allows the Tel-Hi Co-Op to keep tuition very reasonable, helping families afford to stay in an increasingly expensive city. SFIBF is organized and staffed by parents of the school and other volunteers.

All of the amazing beer and food is donated from generous sponsors allowing all the money raised at this festival to fund 90% of the costs associated with the teaching and learning programs at this oldest co-op parent run preschool in the city. No way could you manage to taste all of the beers represented. If your friend likes beer and you don’t you can always find Kombucha on tap as well, or non-alcoholic varieties or ciders. Yes, it’s all there.  And the food – let’s just say you won’t leave hungry! Only in San Francisco can you support early childhood education by drinking beer responsibly.

Fort Mason Center Saturday April 8th, 7 – 10 p.m.  Get tickets and more information.


Now – Aug. 20. Summer of Love at The De Young

Break out your tie-dyed shirts, your floral headpieces, those old bell-bottoms and get ready to celebrate a groovy decade. There will be many events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the summer of love so keep your eyes peeled on this column for all the hip details. Tomorrow The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll opens at the De Young. An exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes textiles and more will definitely titillate all of your senses (without any drugs!).

This detailed curated event explores the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of “67. Tomatoes will remember this period in time with the groundbreaking developments in art, fashion, music and politics. I was but a pre-teen, but still recall the music, the flowers in my hair and lava lamps. This exhibit will make you want to have Twiggy eyelashes, dress like Mary Quant and share the love.

Now through August 20. Get more info.


Glamping in Oakland

Ok my tomato pals, I am so not a camper, but this adorable converted cupcake food truck has made me a glamper. A very cool couple purchased this vintage truck online and had an ahah moment. Ginger and Lewis fully restored and customized the camper from the wheels up. Being avid travelers, they discovered it was easy to visit a place, but hard to visit a time. This is their take, “If you want to experience a city that’s alive, where something is happening –where the glory days are here and now – then Oakland is where you want to be”.

They give visitors a taste of real living in Oakland; they have a garden and a flock of chickens, loaner bikes, and amenities such as ridiculously local eggs. They also have a small cottage onsite for renters. A great way to make a community as you staycation. Oakland is such a vibrant city, fab 4 star restaurants, breweries galore, and of course Lois The Pie Queen – a famous greasy spoon diner. Fun way to stay in the bay.  Check it out on airbandb.

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