SF LIFE: Chowder. Slippers, Mind Matters, Cinequest Fest  

Ah Tomatoes, yes we long for rain, but we do enjoy our sun and we also still have chilly days (not like back east of course). The annual chowder fest and cook off in Santa Cruz might just hit the spot. Two fab tomatoes opened a luxurious store on Union Street sporting indoor elegant slippers. you must check them out. A most worthwhile gala comes to City Hall next month to benefit Minds Matter – benefit of the year! And Cinequest Film and VR Festival is hitting theatres in Redwood City and San Jose – a unique take on films from our perch in Silicon Valley. Enjoy!

Feb. 24-25. The Chowder Cook Off  SF LIFE: Chowder. Slippers, Mind Matters, Cinequest Fest  

How long has it been since you ventured to “the Boardwalk?” Probably too long, so grab your appetite and go this weekend. The summer throngs are still hibernating, now is your time to visit beautiful Santa Cruz and slurp Chowdah. Year 37 of the Chowder cook off and fest takes place this weekend (rain or shine). Amateur and pro chefs will employ their culinary secrets for this briny delicousness and cook these soups right on the boardwalk.

Lactose intolerant? No prob, as both Manhattan and New England varieties will be competing – for the prizes and your taste buds. Entrance to the Boardwalk is gratis and tasting kits are a mere $10. The purchase of the kits benefits the Santa Cruz Parks & Rec department, a win-win for everyone. Amateur teams compete Saturday while the pros hit the boardwalk on Sunday. Such a tasty weekend!  Get the details.

The Slippers Meghan Markle Loves

SF LIFE: Chowder. Slippers, Mind Matters, Cinequest Fest  

Two years ago, Tomatoes and Birdies founders Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey launched their line of luxury slippers for indoor entertaining. Little did they know that the VC fellows would take to this, largely thanks to Meghan Markle (Mrs. Future Harry), who took the shoes to Instagram success. Of course, we love anything “she” endorses, as her style is above and beyond.

Gates and Sharkey first launched their line via trunk shows, but knew they needed a brick and mortar. Their brand is touted as a way of living. They like to say that their brand is a “Come together, open a bottle of wine, order a take-out, connect, put your phone down and your Birdies on.” Well I think we can all get behind that. The store is minimalist and filled with art – I mean shoes. Be on the lookout as I can see in my crystal ball that they will soon move beyond indoor slippers, at least I hope they take to the streets soon! www.birdiesslippers.com

Feb. 1- March 11. Cinequest Film and VR Festival

SF LIFE: Chowder. Slippers, Mind Matters, Cinequest Fest  

A true film festival gem returns – the highly acclaimed film and VR festival is back.   There are over 200 cutting-edge films from 50 countries and 29 virtual reality experiences. You would almost think the bay area was Hollywood with the impressive roster of stars that will be seen around the south bay. Cinequest’s opening night starts off with William H. Macy who will join the festival at the California Theatre to screen a film he directed and starred in called “Krystal.” The film, about a sheltered young man who develops a crush on a stripper, stars Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Kathy Bates and Felicity Huffman. After the screening, Macy will have a conversation about the film alongside select cast and crew.

Cinequest will also host a handful of Hollywood stars at San Jose’s California Theatre to honor with the prestigious Maverick Spirit Award, which includes Andie MacDowell and John Travolta.

The closing night film will be the documentary “Brothers in Arms” about the making of Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” directed by Paul Sanchez and narrated by Charlie Sheen. Both Sanchez and Sheen will join the festival for a discussion on the film. The stars will be out and about and you won’t want to miss the quality films being showcased. www.cinequest.org

March 10. Mind Matters Gala

SF LIFE: Chowder. Slippers, Mind Matters, Cinequest Fest  

Tomatoes who love a good benefit (and frankly who doesn’t?) will definitely want to attend the gala for Mind Matters .The organization is committed to helping low-income, high achieving students in the Bay Area reach college success. The greatest part is that 100% of the students who are assisted through Minds Matter, have thus far been accepted into 4-year colleges.

Students participate in a rich variety of programs and are provided with professional mentors, academic planning programs and study help with the ACT’s and SAT’s. The annual Gala takes place on March 10th with great tunes, food and an open bar. The locale can’t be beat either, as our gorgeous City Hall is the venue.www.mindsmatter.org


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