San Francisco, Volume 21 Number 2 April 2010

San Francisco

Editor’s Note: To save space and aid in speed of downloading this page, photos originally included in this issue are available on our “The Artworld Selects” page.

Paris this spring? Why not San Francisco instead? Beginning May 22, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, will present the first of two consecutive exhibits featuring the crème de la crème of the d’Orsay’s treasures at the de Young Museum. The April opening will celebrate The Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, which will run through September 6. Nearly 100 works, including Manet’s Fife Player, Whistler’s Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1 (“Whistler’s Mother”), The Dancing Lesson by Degas, Saint-Lazare Station by Monet, plus many more of the familiar works you would expect to encounter in Paris. The second exhibition will debut on September 25 and run through January 18, 2011. It is titled Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, and will feature Van Gogh’s legendary Starry Night Over the Rhone, and The Artist’s Bedroom at Arles, plus Seurat’s great Circus, Gauguin’s Yellow Christ and much, much more!

The two exhibits are traveling the world briefly, while the Musée d’Orsay is partially closed for renovation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2011, but San Francisco is the only city to host both: a remarkable eight-month adventure. These exhibits comprise the grandest French holdings in Impressionism/Post-Impression and most scholars would have wagered that they would never leave the country en masse! The project certainly presents a huge challenge to the hospitality of the de Young’s still relatively new Herzog & de Meuron design. It is an opportunity for it to truly shine.

Many still view architect Gae Aulenti’s conversion of the d’Orsay train station, built for the 1900 Paris International Exposition, a series of difficult display decisions — unable to forget how beautiful the pictures in the Jeu de Paume. Perhaps the d’Orsay renovation will solve some of the awkward space issues and create a splendid new Paris destination, which will cap this exhibition tour with laurels.

So, it will be “Paris by the Bay,” until next year, and, to heighten the fantasy, two special contextual projects will be on view at the (California Palace of the) Legion of Honor simultaneously. Impressionist Paris: City of Light (May 22-September 6) will transport you “to Paris circa 1874,” through paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and other objects selected from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and private collections. Then, The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism will arrive in the fall (September 25-January 2). And, as if that were not enough, we must remember that the Palace itself is a three-quarters scale “imitation” of Paris’ own Palais de la Légion d’Honneur. Designed by Applegarth and Guillaume, after a model of the Hôtel de Salm in Paris, which had appeared in the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition, the Palace was completed in 1924 and gifted to the city by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, wife of the sugar baron and queen of San Francisco society. Now, if only the grand old 1896 Beaux-Arts landmark, the City of Paris department store, could be reincarnated from the ashes of the 1981 demolition by Neiman Marcus, the picture would be complete. At least you can make a pilgrimage to Geary and Stockton and stand in the original rotunda under the legendary stained-glass dome (preserved in Philip Johnson’s design for Neimans) and meditate upon all things Parisian!

Not for a moment — in our real or faux French travels — should we forget that there is another landmark, year-long event being celebrated in art circles: the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For those of us who remember its home for the first sixty years — the upper floors of the War Memorial Veterans Building in Civic Center, where the founding director Grace McCann Morely served from 1935-1958 — it has matured and expanded beyond all expectations. In this anniversary year, the joy over the fact that Doris and (the late) Donald Fisher’s truly stunning collection will come to the museum is palpable, as is the excitement over a new addition to the 1995 Mario Botta building to house it. As we go to press, architects rumored to be on the short list include Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Zumthor, David Adjaye, and Steven Holl — all bold-face names, many of whom account for some of the world’s finest museum designs. Other firm names we hear mentioned include Diller, Scofidio & Renfro; Foster & Partners (Sir Norman Foster); and TEN Arquitectos (Enrique Norton). The museum has not yet released a formal list, so stay tuned. The Botta design is surprisingly aggressive behind its minimalist façade, and a compatible expansion will demand top talent.

The comments being heard in museumland focus on the notion that the Fisher Collection (The Gap) will place SFMOMA on a plain heretofore occupied only by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Modern, London. The collection is, in fact, astonishing in both its depth and quality. At Gap Headquarters it is beautifully installed and standing as a discrete museum, on its own, at the moment. And the artists have been collected in such depth that each room (or series of rooms) offers a thoughtful retrospective view. When the Fisher works arrive, they’ll join a fine survey of modern and contemporary art, rich in works by such artists as Richard Diebenkorn, Andy Warhol, Clyfford Still, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, Marcel Duchamp, plus a whole host of works by important photographers assembled, beginning during the 1970s photo renaissance, by the extraordinary curators Van Deren Coke and Sandra Phillips. Since Ms. Morley’s long tenure, the museum has had six distinguished directors: George D. Culler; the indefatigable California art scholar Gerald Nordland; the transformative Henry Hopkins under whom the word “Modern” was added; John R. (Jack) Lane, who expanded the curatorial and exhibition programs brilliantly, and opened the new Botta facility; David Ross, author of a greatly expanded collection and the birth of art/technology programming; and Neal Benezra, whom we thank for many of the achievements being celebrated during this anniversary — most especially the completion of the Fisher agreement! See “Calendar” in this issue for the dates of the various anniversary exhibits.

When you plan your San Francisco itinerary, don’t miss the Asian Art Museum. What a strange coincidence that in 2003 it moved from its residence at the de Young to a location once dominated by SFMOMA — in a facility (the former City Library opposite the Civic Center) redesigned by Gae Aulenti, the Italian architect of Musée d’Orsay fame. This Aulenti design has been highly praised both for its beauty and its practicality, as it gracefully houses some 17,000 works, 2,500 of which are on display — representing South Asia, West Asia (including Persia), Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea, and Japan. Chicago millionaire Avery Brundage donated the original collection, which opened to the public in a wing of the de Young in 1966, and each year since it has become an increasingly important fixture on the scene.

Beyond our favorite art museums, there are San Francisco’s must-see architecture destinations — number one being the California Academy of Sciences’ new design by Renzo Piano. The best place to enjoy a bird’s-eye view is from the Herzog & de Meuron tower of the de Young Museum, just across the parkway in Golden Gate Park. Don’t pass up the opportunity for a panoramic view of Piano’s verdant, greenery-carpeted roof punctuated by enchanting rows of fish-eye apertures—solar windows that open and close automatically to regulate the building’s climate. It’s the greenest museum on earth — and it’s magical. Save time while you’re there to dine in the museum’s Moss Room — so named for its original growing-moss wall. The acidic environment needed for the great koi pond at the foot of the wall — so goes the story — killed the moss, so presently the replacement consists of strategically placed ferns. Never mind—the cuisine and atmosphere are first rate.

Also on the architecture list are Daniel Libeskind’s new Contemporary Jewish Museum (look for the tipsy blue steel cubes); the 2007 San Francisco Federal Building by another Pritzker Prize-winning architect. Thom Mayne (joining Piano and Herzog & de Meuron in this San Francisco Pritzker group); and, nearby Libeskind’s design, the Mexican Museum by the acclaimed Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. This is not to say we don’t love the Victorian “painted ladies,” or historic buildings like the Beaux-Arts Palace of Fine Arts (now the Exploratorium) by the hugely influential genius Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957), the primary architect of the Bay Area Arts and Crafts movement. Finally, I never land in Union Square without making the half-block pilgrimage down Maiden Lane to Number 140, Frank Lloyd Wright’s exquisite little study for the Guggenheim. In November, the current resident, Xanadu Gallery, was fenced and padlocked, so my ceremonial peek-in was postponed. I hope it is unlocked for your visit!

The cultural riches in San Francisco extend well beyond the visual arts, and our travelers keep a close eye on the music and theater offerings. This June, the splendid San Francisco Opera will offer Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West, and Wagner’s Die Walküre in the 2010 summer season; and A.C.T. (the renowned American Conservatory Theatre) will present the world premiere of The Tosca Project (June 3-27), a dance-theater work that is sure to be a sell-out.

Surely, now it’s time for a bit of shopping and fine dining. It is easy to stay focused on the familiar, big-name shops in the Union Square area — think Gumps (always a unique treat), Neimans, Saks, Max Mara, Babette, John Varvatos, et al. But the most interesting finds are often tucked away in unexpected places. Our latest favorite stop is CARROTS, in Jackson Square, where the carefully curated selection for both women and men—clothing, accessories, shoes—includes goodies from designers Peter Som, Stella McCartney, Notify, and more. Across the street (on Montgomery) is the finest, museum-quality emporium for Japanese antiques and rare designs — Japonesque—which, for many years, has been the choice of museum curators and notable connoisseurs.

Or follow Alice Waters, as she has tea in the Imperial Tea Court, markets in the Ferry Building, has lunch at Zuni, and shops across the street at kooky little Bell-occhio, where ribbons, linens, French antiques and unusual jewelry are choc-a-bloc. Her favorite hotel is said to be the Vitale — new and sleek with glorious views of the bay. It’s right across from the Ferry Plaza, so consider a reservation at the very popular (read noisy) Slanted Door. One of the top restaurant choices at the moment is Boulevard — a James Beard nominee as we speak. Jardiniere, chef Traci des Jardins’ house of French/California cuisine in a gorgeous setting remains a destination of choice, as does the traditional, always marvelous Masa’s; while new entries Anchor & Hope (where chef Sarah Schafer is a Colicchio prodigy), and Wexler’s, with Michelin-starred chef Charlie Kleinmann, bear exploring. And then there is the favorite of ARTExpress friends Dallas Price-Van Breda and Bob Van Breda: Spruce, where chef Mark Sullivan cooks directly from the freshest garden.

Among the great places to rest after a very full day by the Bay are the aforementioned Vitale, Campton Place, The Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons, and the historic St. Francis — in one of the large, original, turn-of-the-century rooms overlooking Union Square. These last rooms, while not by any means the grandest, may well be the most charmingly nostalgic. They speak of the history of America’s most romantic city — arguably the most beautiful.

Focus San Francisco

HOTELS
Hotel Vitale, 8 Mission Street, Tel. 415-278-3700. The Vitale is intimate, contemporary, exquisitely designed and beautifully sited with stunning bay views (request a bay-view room). It’s directly across from the Ferry Building, so market fun is close at hand.

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, 222 Sansome Street, Tel. 415-276-9888. You can always count on a Mandarin Oriental and San Francisco’s will meet all of your expectations. It is located in the Financial District, on the top eleven floors of one of the city’s tallest office towers, so you can imagine the heart-stopping views. Silks is the Pacific Rim-style restaurant and you’ll love the focus on local ingredients.

Four Seasons San Francisco, 757 Market Street, Tel. 415-633-3000. Situated in the Yerba Buena Cultural district, two blocks from Union Square and around the corner from SFMOMA, the elegant Four Seasons is extraordinarily well located. Its large and luxurious rooms are its hallmark.

Campton Place, 340 Stockton Street, Tel. 415-781-5555. Just off Union Square, this Taj Hotel is composed of two early 20th-century buildings that, joined, exude luxury, European charm and warmth. With 110 rooms, it has a boutique ambience, an award-winning restaurant, and an unusually welcoming staff.

The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell Street, Tel. 415-774-0124. Perhaps the most historic hotel in San Francisco, the St. Francis opened its doors March 21, 1904 and instantly became the center of business and social life in the city. The magnificent 6,000-square-foot original lobby with its great malachite-colored marble columns is one of the loveliest public spaces in San Francisco. The Beaux-Arts building facing Union Square has enjoyed many additions since, including a luxurious tower, but it remains the most poetic evocation of San Francisco’s la belle époque.

RESTAURANTS
Slanted Door, Ferry Building, The Embarcadero at Market Street, Tel. 415-861-8032. The toast of the Ferry Building, the Slanted Door is hip, incredibly popular, noisy, and lavishly praised for its modern Vietnamese/American food.

Boulevard, One Mission Street, Tel. 415-543-6084. Chef Nancy Oakes, a James Beard Foundation award winner, presides over one of the best-loved restaurants in the city. The 1889 French-style Audiffred Buiding with fresh design by Pat Kuleto is the frosting on a wonderful cake.

Jardiniere, 300 Grove Street, Tel 415-861-5555. In a gorgeous, memorable setting, inventive chef Traci des Jardins works her magic, creating a unique take on French/California cuisine that confirms she is one of the top toques in town.

Anchor & Hope, 83 Minna Street, Tel. 415-501-9100. The Rosenthal brothers, in their third SoMa restaurant, got it just right. The New England-style seafood is served in a hidden, former mechanic’s shop in the Minna Street alley. Chef Sarah Schafer comes from a stint with Tom Colicchio but is adding her own California spin to the East Coast fare.

Masa’s, 648 Bush Street, Tel. 415-989-7154. Just above Union Square lies this icon of modern San Francisco fare. For almost 30 years, it has set the standard for nouvelle cuisine and chef Gregory Short (formerly of the French Laundry) is breathing new life into this classic. Try one of the three inventive prix-fixe tasting menus.

La Folie, 2316 Polk Street, Tel. 415-776-5577. Small quarters, refined décor, and a friendly atmosphere don’t hide the fact that this is one of San Francisco’s top restaurants. We loved the dungeness crab salad, heirloom tomato soup, Liberty Farm Duck breast and truffle-crusted veal loin — to mention just a few delights.

The Moss Room, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Tel. 415-876-6121. In an unexpected basement space saved as a seeming after-thought (just beneath the front entrance to the new California Academy of Sciences by Renzo Piano). After being featured in virtually every architecture magazine, the moss wall of the same name gave up the ghost, but the room is lovely and the food excellent. Ours ranged from Country-Style Pork Terrine, and Roasted Eggplant Ravioli, to Bullfeathers Farms Partridge, followed by Coffee Gelato Vacherin.

Spruce, 3640 Sacramento Street, Tel. 415-931-5100. With chocolate mohair walls, faux ostrich chairs, and Baccarat chandeliers, Spruce is a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach. Chef/partner Mark Sullivan does wonders with the freshest local ingredients.

Zuni Café, 1658 Market Street, Tel. 415-552-2522. An enduring favorite since 1979, in today’s cafe chef Judy Rogers mixes her French/Italian leanings with the vaguely Mexican bent of Zuni’s beginnings for a wholly personal take on the new, locally oriented cuisine. A favorite of Alice Waters, it certainly is with us.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 200 Larkin Street, Tel. 415-581-3500. One of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world.

California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, Tel. 415-379-8000. A renowned center for scientific exploration — for all ages — and the largest cultural renovation project in the city’s history, with design by the most famous of the signature museum architects, Renzo Piano. From the amazing Coral Reef to the Amazonian Rainforest, and the Living Roof, it is a must. Monday-Saturday 9:30-5, Sunday 11-5; $24.95 for adults, free for children under six.

M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, Tel. 415-357-3330. Opened in 1895, following the Exposition of 1894, the original building began to deteriorate during the 1940s and was finally so seriously damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that the decision was made to rebuild. Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with Arup engineers, designed the new structure, which opened in 2005. Sheathed in perforated copper and capped with a 144-foot tower (a glorious viewing platform), the museum holds the city’s collections of pre-Hispanic works from Teotihauacan and Peru, tribal art from sub-Saharan Africa and a small modern and contemporary collection with important Bay Area works. The European collection was transferred to the Legion of Honor during the reconstruction. A number of important public art commissions were also installed as part of the new design.

California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, Tel. 415-863-3330.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third Street, Tel. 415-357-4000. In 2009, the Museum completed a roof-top sculpture garden that showcases works by Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Mario Merz, Kiki Smith… and more. It’s a great place for a time-out while celebrating the busy 75th — and the cakes in the tea shop are Thiebaud-style designs.

Also: Be sure to take in some of our favorite galleries as well: Fraenkel, John Berggruen, Paule Anglim, Rena Bransten, Stephen Wirtz, Hosfelt, Braunstein/Quay, Paul Thiebaud… and more.

PERFORMING ARTS
San Franciso Opera, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue, Tel. 415-864-3330. In addition to the summer season, behind-the-scenes tours will be conducted June 9, 12, 19, 25, 30 at 10:30 AM, 11 AM, and 11:30 AM (each 1½ hours), tickets $10; tickets: 415-565-3204.

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), 415 Geary Street, Tel. 415-749-2228. The Tosca Project, created and staged by Carey Perloff and Val Caniparoli; June 3-27.

SHOPPING
Carrots, 843 Montgomery Street, Tel. 415-834-9040. The sisters Grimm (note: not brothers!), Melissa and Catie, have a winner in this creative boutique. From shoes to shawls, everything is carefully curated.

Japonesque, 824 Montgomery Street, Tel. 415-391-8860. For 25 years, we have loved Koichi Hara’s Japanese store/museum!

Bell’occhio, 10 Brandy Street, Tel. 415-864-4048. Antiques, curiosities — the beautiful, the rare, the weird! We love it.

News

Each spring since 2006, the city of Istanbul has planted three million (yes, million!) tulips in parks,
traffic roundabouts, avenues, anywhere that a bulb will fit. The city becomes its own work of art, with
brilliant splashes of color everywhere you turn. The tulip has been a traditional symbol of Istanbul for
centuries — its own historical version of tulip-mania having preceded that of Holland’s, and it was just as
delirious (and bank-account draining) as the more famous Dutch version. We at ARTExpress would
love to find ourselves in this hottest of travel hot spots this spring, but since we are off to other
adventures, we are sharing tips in a special ARTExpress News contribution from globe-trotter and
friend Pamela Haynes, a writer and tour guide currently living in Istanbul, as she sets up her own
organic olive garden and day spa on the Greek island of Ikaria. (Note that all of the towns mentioned
below are considered part of Istanbul proper.)

If you missed Istanbul’s biennial this past fall, and can’t wait for the 2011 version (12th International
Istanbul Biennial, September 17-November 13, 2011), or this year’s Contemporary Istanbul (November
25-28), then try to catch the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art exhibition From Traditional to
Contemporary: Cultural Memory in Modern Turkish Art—an up-to-the-minute who’s who of Turkish art,
along with a fascinating look at the modern historical traditions these artists are reinterpreting. It’s a
Turkish primer of past/present traditions highlighting everything from calligraphy to installation, from
video to ceramics. Bonus: a contemporary photography exhibition running concurrently that you don’t
want to miss — Time Within Us: Photographs from Turkey, Russia, and Greece, 151 works by 15 artists
(5 from each country). The locally beloved Modern is located in a converted warehouse in the Tophane
district, and the exhibitions run through May 23.

In Beyoğlu, the 19th-century European district, find the Pera Museum (Pera Muzesi), housed in what
was originally a glorious old hotel. The ornate façade remains intact, while inside you’ll find rotating
contemporary and modern art exhibitions, in addition to the permanent collections, which are based
largely on a gift of historic ceramics and tiles donated by the Kirac family. Also in Beyoğlu, find the
Borusan Center for Culture and Arts. Although they closed their exhibitions gallery in 2006, it’s still
worth a visit to check out the artists-in-residence programs (open studios), and to see the amazing job
that GAD’s architects performed in preserving the building’s 1875 façade as they inserted a
contemporary box structure within, allowing for an open floor plan to achieve maximum programming
flexibility. You can also take in a performance by one of the house orchestras (for performance
schedule, click here).

At the upper end of the Golden Horn in the Eyüp district (the oldest industrial area of Istanbul), you’ll find the arts and cultural mega-complex Santralİstanbul, opened in 2007 as an initiative via Istanbul Bilgi University to stimulate education as well as the arts in the region. Urban revival is also at the heart of the project — it’s a converted power station — and its whopping size allows for (nearly) all things cultural, including a library, classrooms, restaurants, open-air performance spaces, artists’ studios, cinemas, dance hall, and more.

Other favorite art venues include Galeri Nev, featuring leading-edge work from both Turkish and
international artists; and Galeri Apel, a standout contemporary outpost located in a maze of streets in
the Caddesi neighborhood, known for showing everything from urban street art to traditional
landscapes.

Turning your culinary focus on Istanbul, start in Ortaköy, as it’s (arguably) the most beautiful part of
the European-side of the city. Dinner is an event at the Banyan Restaurant (Seaside), the first Asian
fusion restaurant in Istanbul. Its outdoor fire pit is spectacular, as are its views of a mosque, and one
of the bridges that spans the Bosporus.

Close to the town of Emirgan, home to a 100+-acre park with several Ottoman pavilions and
renovated kiosks that now serve as cafes, is the Rumelihisari, a castle fortress sitting on a picturesque
hill, which once guarded the European side of the Bosporus. For a tasty breakfast, go inside the castle
and find Lokma, named for the popular donut-like dessert that is ubiquitous here, but whose specialty is the healthier kuymak, the Turkish version of polenta.

The college town of Bebek (Bosporus University) is home to many outstanding upscale restaurants.
We like Il Porto Bistro for Italian/Turkish cuisine and its view of the Bosporus — in fact, you’re practically
sitting on it. Stellar gourmet pizza and pasta plus specialty cocktails make for a fun (if expensive)
evening.

Near Taksim Square, considered the heart of modern Istanbul, is one of our favorite spots for
traditional Turkish cuisine, but with an interesting twist: Changa. Opened in 1999 in an old (to us, not
the Turks!) Art Nouveau townhouse and presided over by renowned New Zealand chef Peter Gordon,
its trademark is the glass-roofed kitchen, where you are invited to take a stroll and watch from above
as your dishes are prepared.

Our strongest dinner recommendation is saved for Çiya, located on the Asian side of the city.
Founder/chef Musa Dağdeviren creates his own combinations from locally produced but obscure
vegetables, such as goosefoot! His experimental cuisine — based on Anatolian food culture — was
launched as a salvo against the encroachment of fast food on the native cuisine. It has taken hold, and
deserves all the praise it receives.

Throughout Istanbul proper, keep your eyes peeled for The House Café nearest you. This chain of chic
bistros outfitted by Autoban, the top Turkish interior/architectural design team, has a melting-pot
approach that takes Ottoman Empire for a spin to bring it into contemporary urban territory. Our pick
amongst them is The House Cafe Teşvikiye. At lunch, you will find yourself dining with the
contemporary artists of the trendy Nişantaşı neighborhood, who often take a break here.

For shopping, it goes without saying that a tour of the bazaars is a must. Start at the Grand Bazaar,
which claims to have 4,000 shops — we think it’s somewhat short of that but not by much — and end up
at the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, with time out for taking in the exquisite Rüstem Pasha Mosque (one of
Istanbul’s architectural wonders) along the way.

Speaking of architectural wonders, try to save a day for the famed Topkapi Palace. Get lost in time as
you explore a museum complex that includes four separate courtyards, and serves as home to the
most holy relics of the Muslim world. Don’t skip the special tour of the harems, even if the line is long.
(Click here for a virtual tour to give you an idea of what you would miss.)

To recover from tiptoeing through Turkish tulips (not to mention bazaars and harems), you probably
guessed that we’d recommend the Four Seasons Hotel. But how many times can we recommend a Four
Seasons that is housed in what was once a city prison? Soak up the historic atmosphere as you enjoy
all of the usual outstanding amenities.

Another luxury hotel, the Grand Hyatt Istanbul, situated in the new city center, offers its own
world-class spa, Gaia, in addition to the traditional Turkish baths, or ‘hammam.’ And it may not be a
five-star resort, but we love the Adamar, a little boutique hotel of 25 rooms in the old city center, with
its own rooftop restaurant. The minimal interiors — with bits of oriental luxury found throughout — make
for a soothing stay. And even smaller than the Adamar, the Witt Istanbul Suites (17 rooms) also ranks
high. Located in the arty Cihangir district, its cutting edge architectural style is provided by none other
than the aforementioned Autoban design firm.

This May, you will find yourself surrounded by the sounds of jazz — if you’re in Atlanta, Georgia. The
Memorial weekend festival is huge, and offers some of the world’s best jazz. In this, the festival’s 33rd
year, the city will again offer the popular 31 Days of Jazz program, combining fun (and fine) dining
with performances during the days leading up to festival weekend. Check their website to see who will
be playing where.

Get to know the locals with a visit to the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). The current photography
exhibit, produced in collaboration with Georgia Tech’s Industrial Design Portfolio Program, LoveNests:
Photographs and Objects
presents some “colorful” Atlantans (some you know, such as Andrew Young;
some you don’t, such as 8-year old harmonica genius Aidan Hornaby), via the objects they can’t live
without. This oddball exhibit is both thought-provoking and endearing. While at the High Museum, we
look ahead to their June offering: European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century, the first
assessment of Western European design from 1985-2005. The Wall Street Journal has raved that it just
might “redefine Modernism and Postmodernism.”

Great Addresses

IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Liman Işletmeleri Sahası, 4 Antrepo Karaköy, Tel. 90-0212-334-73-00. Hours: Tues.-Sun. 10 AM-6 PM; Thurs. 10 AM-8 PM; closed Mon.

Pera Museum, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 65 34443 Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Tel. 90-0212-334-99-00. Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 AM-7 PM, Sun. noon-6 PM, closed Mon. Right now you can catch Picasso: Suite Vollard, and dine in the Pera Café on Picasso’s favorite dishes, based on Ermine Herscher’s cookbook, Dining with Picasso.

Galeri Nev, Macka Caddesi 33, Macka, Tel. 90-0212-231-67-63. Hours: 11 AM-6:30 PM. Contemporary art by Turkish artists. Closed Sun.-Mon.

Galeri Apel, Hayriye Cad. No: 5A 80060 Galatasaray, Tel. 90-0212-292-72-36. Hours: 11:30 AM-6:30 PM. Closed Mon.

Santralİstanbul, Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali, Kazim Karabekir Cad. No: 2/6, Eyup, Tel. 90-0212-311-78-09. Sprawling mega-complex of all things arts, both Turkish and international — something for everyone.

Borusan Center for Culture and Arts, Istiklal Caddesi No: 213 34433, Beyoğlu, Tel. 90-0212-336-32-80. Visit artist’s studios, or enjoy a concert in the ultra-contemporary performing arts hall.

Contemporary Istanbul, Tel: 90-0212-244-71-71. The fifth edition of Contemporary Istanbul happens Nov. 25-28, 2010. Billed as the most extensive “modern and contemporary art” event in Turkey, Contemporary Istanbul aims to promote the cultural and artistic life of the country.

Banyan Restaurant (Seaside), Salhane Sok 3, Ortaköy, Tel. 90-0212-259-90-60. Enjoy creative Asian Fusion with either magnificent views of the Bosporus by day, or fabulous fire pit dining by night. Good wine list; don’t miss the spring rolls.

Lokma (inside the Rumelihisari castle), Yahya Kemal Caddesi 42, Rumelihisarı, Bosporus, Tel. 90-0212-263-53-05. Castle hours: Thurs.-Tues. 9 AM-noon & 12:30-4 PM. A Turkish home-style breakfast inside a famous castle is our favorite way to start the day. Desserts here are also a delight — our favorite is the cheesecake.

Il Porto Bistro, Bebek Mh. Yahya Kemal Cd. 34342 Beşiktaş, Tel. 90-0212-287-95-34. Known for their upscale pizza and pasta—although our dish of choice is the salmon kebabs—with deck seating atop the Bosporus.

Çiya, Caferaga Mah. Güneslibahce Sk. 48/B Kadiköy, Tel. 90-0216-336-30-13. Open all week, 11 AM-10 PM. Opened as a run-of-the-mill kebab joint in 1987, founder and chef Musa Dağdeviren has since fashioned a bulwark against the encroachment of fast food (we’re firmly on his side). As everything is fresh and local, the menu changes daily, but if you get a chance, the roasted eggplant is to die for!

Changa, Beyoğlu, Sıraselviler Caddesi, 47 34433 Gümüşsuyu, Tel. 90-0212-249-05-81. Updated Turkish classics with a twist, from Kiwi chef Peter Gordon. Watch your meal being prepared over the cooks’ shoulders from the glass-roof of this charming Art Deco building. Finish your meal with either the green tea champagne jelly, or the chili pepper poached pears with buffalo cream.

The House Café, Tel. 90-0212-259-23-77. House Cafés are located throughout Istanbul proper. We love them for a coffee or lunch break, and to check out the very latest in Turkish interior design from Autoban. Our pick, The House Café Teşvikiye, is located in an old apartment building set against a beautiful backyard garden (Atiye Sokak No: 10-1 Nişantaşı, Tel. 90-0212-259-2377).

Topkapi Palace, Soguk cesmesk, 7, Tel. 90-0212-522-44-22. Hours: 9 AM-5 PM, closed Tues. Topkapi was built in 1465 to serve as the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans, and they stayed for about 400 years. You’ll be amazed by the fabulous array of porcelain, jewelry, miniatures and other treasure they left behind.

Grand Bazaar, 42 Sultanahmet, Tel. 90-0212-514-00-45.

Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Located in the Hasircilar Market in the Eminönü district (near the Egyptian Market). Rüstem Pasha was Süleyman the Magnificent’s Grand Vezir (Prime Minister), son-in-law, and friend. He was also a smart man, who knew to build his mosque smaller than Suleyman’s! Now it’s known as the Little Gem Mosque (for its relative size) and dazzling tile work throughout.

Four Seasons Hotel: Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1, Sultanahmet-Eminönü, Tel. 90-212-402-30-00. Close to the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. The usual Four Seasons amenities are outstanding, plus a beautifully landscaped garden in the Seasons Restaurant creates a restful oasis. (For luxury in a former waterfront palace, we also recommend Four Seasons Hotel: Istanbul at the Bosphorus, Çırağan Cad. No. 28, Beşiktaş, Tel. 90-0212-381-40-00.)

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taskisla Caddesi, Taksim, Tel. 90-0212-368-1234. If you’re looking for luxury in the modern part of the city, you’ve arrived. Close to the action on Taksim square.

The Park Hyatt Hotel, Tesvikiye, Bronz Sokak No. 4, Sisli, Tel. 90-0212-315-12-34. If you want to decamp to a delightful spot where you’ll have easy access to both Asia and Europe, try the Park Hyatt, as it’s situated at the exit of the Bosporus bridge, which links the two continents. The Art Deco exterior belies updated luxe interiors within, and you’re in the fashionable Nisantasi shopping district, to boot.

Adamar Hotel, Eminönü, Yerebatan Caddesi, 47 Alemdar, Tel. 90-0212-511-19-36. A lovely little hotel with an amazing panoramic view of the Hagia Sofia.

Witt Istanbul Suites, 26 Defterdar Yokuşu, Kılıçalipaşa, Tel. 90-0212-393-79-00. A tiny boutique with outstanding design pedigree.

IN ATLANTA
High Museum, 1280 Peachtree Street Northeast, Tel. 404-733-4444. Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri.-Sun. 10 AM-5 PM; Thurs. 10 AM-8 PM, closed Mon.

Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), 285 Peachtree Center Avenue Northeast, Tel. 404-979-6455. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, and the only museum devoted to design in the Southeast.

Atlanta Jazz Festival. Events scheduled throughout the city during the month of May, leading up to the Memorial Weekend festival.

Floataway Café, 1123 Zonolite Road, Ste. 15, Tel. 404-892-1414. French/Mediterranean/Italian cuisine with an assortment of great after-dinner cheeses and desserts—if you can’t decide, go for the murcott mandarin orange tart with crème fraiche.

Bacchanalia, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Tel. 404-365-0410. Straight from the (organic) garden and onto your plate. Consistently Zagat rated, and voted the best restaurant in Atlanta year after year by just about everybody. Four-course prix fixe menu available.

Watershed, 406 West Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur, Tel. 404-378-4900. Southern comfort fare, but based on seasonally available, local produce. Chef Scott Peacock may have left to begin a second career writing cookbooks, but we’re happy to report that his signature pimento cheese sandwich will remain on the menu. If you’re a fried chicken fanatic, be here on Tuesday, and order early.

Nam, 931 Monroe Drive Northeast Atlanta, Tel. 404- 541-9997. Described as “extraordinary” by Zagat, Nam offers a refreshing alternative to the Southern-style house of steak and barbeque that is ubiquitous here. Special prix-fixe menu available every Wednesday evening. Try the tuna carpaccio appetizer and the green mango salad entree.

Los Hermanos, 4418 Hugh Howell Road, Tucker, Tel. 678-937-0660. Yes, it’s a humble taqueria, but it’s also one of our guilty pleasures and we have to include it here. A mini-chain in the Metro Atlanta area, founded by six Mexican brothers, Los Hermanos cooks up truly authentic Mexican food. Be warned, though, that hot here is no-foolin’ chili pepper hot. The seafood enchilada is the must-try: made with crayfish and shrimp, topped with five-alarm sauce. Save room so you can cool down with a luscious piece of tres leches cake.

IN CHICAGO
The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-443-3600. Hours: Mon.-Wed.,10:30 AM-5 PM, Thursday 10:30 AM-8 PM (free admission 5-8 PM, member-only access to Matisse), Friday 10:30-8, Sat.-Sun. 10 AM-5 PM. Adults: $18; children, students, and seniors: $12; children under 14 are free, as are members.

XOCO, 449 North Clark Street (enter on Illinois St.), Tel. 312-334-3688. Another taqueria, this is the best street-smart Mexican food you’ll find in the Midwest. Breakfast ’til 10 AM, tortas after 11 AM, and churros all day.

The Publican, 837 W. Fulton Market, Tel. 312-733-9555. Designed by James Beard Award-winner Thomas Schlesser, with an eclectic farmhouse-chic menu courtesy of chefs Paul Kahan and Brian Huston.

Travel Bookshelf: San Francisco

Guides
Marlene Goldman, et al. Art/Shop/Eat San Francisco, 2005.
The Little Black Book of San Francisco
, 2007.
Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants 2009
.
2009 San Francisco
Bay Area & Wine Country Restaurants & Hotels (Michelin Guide).
Michelin Travel Guide San Francisco
, 2008.
Tom Downs. Walking San Francisco: 30 Savvy Tours Exploring the City’s Distinctive Enclaves, Colorful History, and Back Alley Intrigues, 2007.
Bonnie Wach. San Francisco As you Like It: 23 Tailor-Made Tours for Culture Vultures, Shopaholics, Neo-Bohemians, Famished Foodies, Savvy Natives & Everyone Else, 2004.

History & Literature
Rand Richards. Historic San Francisco: A Concise History and Guide, 2007.
Gene Wright. San Francisco Love Affair: A Photographic Romance (Gene Wright Images 1949-2000), 2006.
Peter Beren (ed.) Vintage San Francisco, 2003. (30 years of historic images by the photographers of Moulin Studios, beginning with the Great Quake of 1906.)
Nathaniel Rich. San Francisco Noir, 2005. (A historical guide to noir movies set in the Bay Area.)
Mick Sinclair. San Francisco: A Cultural and Literary History, 2003.
Dave Eggars. McSweeney’s No. 33: The San Francisco Panorama, 2010.
Allan Ginsberg. Howl and Other Poems, 2001.
Armistead Maupin. Barbary Lane: A Tales of the City Omnibus, 1990.

Art & Architecture
Therese Poletti. Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger,  2008.
Susan Cerny. An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area, 2007.
City by Design: San Francisco: An Architectural Perspective of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area
, 2009.
Sidra Stich. art-SITES San Francisco: The Indispensable Guide to Contemporary Art, Architecture, Design, 2003.
Thomas Albright. Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980, 1985. (The last published work by the influential critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.)
Caroline Jones. Bay Area Figurative Art: 1950-1965, 1989.
Jane Livingston. The Art of Richard Diebenkorn, 1997.
Susan Landauer. Elmer Bischoff: The Ethics of Paint, 2001.
Susan Goldman Rubin. Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud, 2007.

and… strictly for fun…

Mysteries
Dashiel Hammett. The Maltese Falcon, 1989.
John Miller, Tim Smith (eds.). San Francisco Thrillers, 1995. (Collection of short mysteries set in San Francisco.)
Jeff Kraft, Aaron Leventhal. Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco, 2002. (Walks the reader through the exact locations Hitchcock used for his films set in San Francisco.)

Calendar

Through Apr. 18 High Museum, Atlanta John Portman: Art and Architecture
Through Apr. 25 MACBA, Barcelona John Baldessari
Through Apr. 25 Museu Berardo, Lisbon Robert Longo
Through Apr. 25 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Johannes Vermeer: The Art of Painting
Through Apr. 25 Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek Pipolitti Rist...

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