San Francisco Social Diary: SFMOMA Modern Ball 2018

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s second biannual “Modern Ball,” after reopening in 2016, was a hugely successful bash.

SAN FRANCISCO MOMA MODERN BALL 2018 RAISES $4 MILLION

The biannual Modern Ball at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—always high on my must-attend list—was once again a spectacular event, this year raising $4 million for education and exhibition programs, including free admission for all visitors under age 18.

The new SFMOMA Snøhetta-designed building (2016) is visible behind the original red-brick Mario Botta-designed structure (1995).

Some 2,000 reveler-supporters came to have a ball at the ball—a fabulous, international, festively attired mix of all ages and types: VIPs, museum dignitaries, directors, and curators; artists, designers, and gallerists; collectors and art lovers; techies; and the old guard and the new.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Treasures of China’s Heritage Part 5

On a uniquely enriching and memorable trip to China, I explored some incredible off-the-beaten-path historical sites, including several sacred temples such as this Shuanglin complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund
(
Fifth of a Seven-Part Series)

Fujian and Shanxi

In anticipation of a return to China, I’ve been revisiting my past travels to the country. Some of my best memories of the “Middle Kingdom” include my nine-day tour of historically significant sites with the Palo Alto-based Global Heritage Fund (GHF)—an organization devoted to supporting underdeveloped rural areas worldwide.

DAY 6: HISTORICAL TEMPLES IN THE ANCIENT WALLED CITY OF PINGYAO

After spending a third day in historic Pingyao, we wrapped up our exploration of this ancient walled city with tours of several historically significant Taoist and Buddhist temples in and near the Old City.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Winter Art Events

San Francisco’s winter social season was in full swing with a glamorous pair of artistic events—a “celestial” Ballet Gala and the FOG Design+Art Fair.

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET 2018 OPENING NIGHT GALA

Befitting the “Celestial” theme of the 2018 San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala, the ladies’ gowns sparkled, the décor set the room aglow, and the performance by the world-class SF Ballet dancers was heavenly.

It was all a spectacular success under the leadership of Gala Chair Kathryn A. Huber, Gala Dinner Chair Betsy Linder, Décor Chair Catherine Bergstrom, and Honorary Chairs Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger.

Gala Committee members Jane Gazzola, Laura Miller, Pamela Bradley Preston, Rada Brooks, Andi Valo Espina, Lori Harmon, Catherine Bergstrom, Monica Moscoso, Kathy Huber, Claire Kostic, Betsy Linder, Ali Siever, Pam Zaragoza, Christine Desanze, Carolyn Koenig, and V’Anne Singleton.

SF Ballet General Manager Debra Bernard, Gala Chair Kathy Huber, SF Ballet Board Chair Carl Pascarella, and Yurie Pascarella.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Celebrating Henry Segerstrom in Orange County, CA

The late Henry Segerstrom, public arts champion and founder of Orange County luxury shopping center South Coast Plaza, was honored during the Plaza’s 50th anniversary celebration that culminated in a Mariinsky Orchestra performance in Segerstrom Concert Hall.

On the 50th anniversary of the prestigious South Coast Plaza luxury shopping center in Costa Mesa, California, Elizabeth Segerstrom and her family honored the memory of her late husband, developer and plaza creator Henry Segerstrom.

Three days of activities and celebrations in Orange County culminated on October 30 in a concert at Segerstrom Hall by the Mariinsky Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev, general and artistic director of the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Valery Gergiev (left, with Russian pianist Denis Matsuev) is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, and artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg.

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Exploring Palm Springs, Part II

Palm Springs, long a glamorous retreat for Hollywood stars, is now a flourishing arts community that has recently drawn a new surge of tourists.

I want to abandon New York this winter and join the international snow birds in flying to Palm Springs, in Southern California’s Coachella Valley (which locals call just “The Valley”), to enjoy the ultimate in resort pleasures: natural beauty, year-round sun, golf courses, tennis facilities, spas, hiking, gambling, and vibrant nightlife.

The nine desert towns that compose The Valley include Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella.

It’s just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles and San Diego to Palm Springs, situated amid the dramatic peaks of the Santa Rosa, San Jacinto, and Little San Bernardino Mountains.

The temptations of the city’s Uptown Design District include shopping, dining, and cultural events.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Art Happenings in Palm Springs, Coachella Valley (Part I)

Palm Springs, long a glamorous retreat for Hollywood stars, is now a flourishing arts community that has recently drawn a new surge of tourists.

ART HAPPENINGS IN PALM SPRINGS, COACHELLA VALLEY (PART I)

I’m making vacation plans now to leave Manhattan once winter arrives. One of the places that beckons is Southern California’s Coachella Valley, the desert resort area that lures international snow birds drawn by its natural beauty, year-round sun, golf courses, tennis facilities, spas, hiking, gambling, and vibrant nightlife.

The Coachella Valley (locals simply call it “The Valley”) is a string of nine desert towns — the best-known Palm Springs, as well as Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella.

A mere two-hour drive from Los Angeles and San Diego, Palm Springs is surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Santa Rosa, San Jacinto, and Little San Bernardino Mountains.

The Uptown Design District of Palm Springs offers tempting shopping, dining, and cultural events.

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San Francisco Social Diary: The SF Opera Opening Ball

Artist David Hockney designed stunning sets for Turandot, kicking off the San Francisco Opera’s 95th season and its Opening Night Gala.

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S 95TH SEASON LAUNCHES WITH TURANDOT AND AN “IMPERIAL PALACE” THEME

At the 2017 San Francisco Opera Opening Ball, one of the West Coast’s premiere philanthropic evenings, more than 3,000 opera fans enjoyed a champagne promenade, dinner in an “Imperial Palace,” a performance of Puccini’s Chinese-themed Turandot, and a hopping after-party.

The Ball kicked off the 95th season of the SF Opera and the last season for which Maestro Nicola Luisotti will be company music director.

Though he’s leaving the SF Opera, Maestro Luisotti will return for future engagements as a guest conductor.

Opera Guild President Jane Mudge and Event Chairs Courtney Labe and Maryam Muduroglu hosted the Ball, along with Honorary Chairs John and Cynthia Gunn and Diane Wilsey. Alex Petalas and Victoria Weatherford co-chaired the BRAVO! Gala (for the younger set).

Opera Ball Co-Chair Courtney Labe (in Lily Samii), Opera Guild President Jane Mudge (in Marchesa), and Opera Ball Co-Chair Maryam Muduroglu (in Lily Samii).

Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock (wearing a vintage Armani suit from a SF Opera production of Lulu), Kate Shilvock (in Lily Samii), fashion designer Lily Samii, Rita Simonini, former General Director David Gockley, Linda Kemper, and Music Director Nicola Luisotti.

BRAVO! Board members Anjali Menon, Laurie Diab, Kari Coomans, Alex Jakle, Shannon Eliot, Xanadu Bruggers, Victoria Weatherford, Laura Della Guardia, Alexander Petalas, Katie Bryant, Susan Walker, Leah Fine, Rachel Lem, Aris Damji, and Nicole Jiam.

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San Francisco Social Diary: More Art Celebrations in The City by The Bay

Among San Francisco’s recent artistic events: the de Young Museum’s “Summer of Love” exhibition opening, kicking off a months-long celebration of the summer of 1967.

San Francisco’s de Young Museum seemed to be in a “flowers-in-your-hair” mood with a pair of exuberant parties, including a French garden motif for its annual “Bouquets to Art” launch, and a Bohemian-chic dress code for the opening preview of the museum’s “Summer of Love” 50-year anniversary.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Art Celebrations in the City by the Bay

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art celebrated with a Birthday Bash that featured Grammy-winning singer Solange Knowles.

SF MUSEUM OF MODERN ART’S BIRTHDAY BASH

Over 2,000 revelers showed up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to celebrate the first-year anniversary of its expansion with a lavish Birthday Bash night, which brought the art and tech worlds together.

The bang-up Birthday Bash included an installation by artist Judy Chicago, an actual tattoo parlor, and live performances by Helado Negro and Les Twins. The night ended with a Late-Night Bash with opening act Lil Buck followed by a headline performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Solange Knowles.

Asked to dress in monochromatic outfits, guests complied, adding to the spirit of this colorful, fun, and spectacular 7-hour celebration.

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Charleston Social Diary

The 1853 Isaac Jenkins Mikell House is an example of the historical antebellum-era Greek Revival architecture common in Charleston, South Carolina.

THE CHARMS OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Charleston, South Carolina: The five days I recently spent here—my first visit to the “Palmetto City”—weren’t enough. There was so much more I wanted to see and do that I’m determined to return soon. Meanwhile, I’m sharing some highlights.

Jeanne Lawrence in front of some of Charleston’s architectural marvels, which run the gamut from Federalist to modern.

Visitors enjoy traversing Charleston’s orderly grid of streets on foot, by pedicab, bicycle, in a horse-drawn carriage, and even by Uber.

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