Hands down the
best art exhibit in the City is Candacy Taylor's photo series, "Making
Connections: Career Waitresses of San Francisco." Taylor is a graduate
of San Francisco State and the California College of the Arts. "Making
Connections" grew out of her CCA thesis on labor issues and career
An artist and writer, Taylor presented a paper at a conference of
the American Society on Aging in Philadelphia earlier this year. "Making
Connections" calls to mind the book "Nickled and Dimed" by Barbara
Ehrenreich, but here a face is worth a thousand words and then some.
You can see Taylor's extraordinary photos on display at City Hall.
One career waitress of San Francisco, Paula Hazzauri, said goodbye
to the Buena Vista Cafe this week after 20 years of service. Congratulations
and good luck to a BV legend! My unreliable attempt to calculate the
number of Irish coffees Paula has served in her career topped out
at over 30,000. Make that 30,003 and you will understand what made
my method so unreliable.
A visit last week to a favorite diner in the Castro had me frozen
in my tracks. Over the decades, The Cove Cafe has lined its walls
with framed photos of people from the community. The gallery became
a defacto museum and a record of the customers who over the years
made the Cove a neighborhood kitchen. Some of the subjects, including
Harvey Milk, are no longer alive.
On this particular day, the walls of the Cove were bare. Not a single
photo graced the freshly painted walls. The new color is a buttery
one, fitting for a favorite breakfast joint. But what of the Walls
of Fame? As I composed myself, the staff explained that the number
of images had long since outgrown the space. The photos will return
shortly, but with a 21st Century update. Rather than displaying the
more than 2,000 images a few hundred at a time in rotation, all of
the photos will soon be displayed as a continuous slideshow seen on
three video monitors. Call it "Making Connections: Career Customers."
Is Tappe's Sutter Street Bar and Grill bewitched? Since Mike Tappe
passed away earlier this year, regular customers have been aware that
Tappe's heirs will likely sell the restaurant - a 50-year institution
in the Tenderloin - before the end of the year. The customers' reaction
has been typical of San Francisco, where change is a four-letter word.
But this was Mike's place, Mike's "Cheers," Mike's life; and now Mike
Two weeks ago, when a runaway rental car plowed into the front of
the restaurant, the car crashed head-on into a framed photo and Tappe's
obituary that were displayed in the window. The incident has some
regulars convinced that this was Tappe's message from beyond the grave,
telling everyone that it's okay to let the joint go. PS: No one was
hurt in the accident.
Yes, that was Mayor Gavin Newsom singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"
from the mayor's balcony at City Hall last Tuesday. Newsom was taping
an interview as part of a video program for Oracle's Open World conference,
which comes to Moscone Center in the fall. The mayor became so effusive
in his praise for his favorite City and yours that he burst into song
along with cast and crew. By the way, the co-hosts for Open World's
video production are Kris Kosach of the Travel Channel and TechTV,
along with yours truly, "Heart of the City."
Between takes, Newsom stopped to pose for photos with and offer congratulations
to some newly married couples. His advice on wedded bliss, "Last longer
than I did, please."
A couple of great new shows are here or coming up. These are worthy
of sharing before another weeks passes between us.
Milliner, author, and producer Ruth Dewson of Fillmore Street brings
the musical "Crowns" to the Marines
Memorial Theatre through August 21. Mrs. D. tells me this is a hit
with "hattitude" and says if you want to stir your soul with gospel
music that's sung, stomped, and testified from the heart - and all
in hats - then this is your ticket. Mrs. Dewson hosted a rousing kick-off
event Tuesday at Union Square.
The curtain rises on Help is on the Way XI, a benefit for the Richmond/Ermet
AIDS Foundation, on August 1 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. This
year's theme is the music of Jule Styne and Harold Arlen. Performers
include Tim Hockenberry, Paula West, Meg Mackay, Lorna Luft, Nancy
Dussault, Debby Boone, Mary Jo Catlett, and Susan Anton. Help is on
the Way always delivers memorable TV stars, but this is no cheesy
"Love Boat" reunion. Most of these people became stars when talent
was still required. Are you listening, Paris Hilton?
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