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Category Archives: New York Times
San Franciscoâ€™s Bookstores and Readings Reflect a Lively Literary Scene
December 1, 2010
ON a balmy fall evening in the Mission District of San Francisco, hundreds of people spilled onto Valencia Street, where they chatted happily for a few minutes before pouring back into bookstores, cafes and theaters. It was a giddy, animated crowd, but most of all bookish â€” a collection of fans and believers, here to listen to the written word.
The occasion was an event called Litquake, which, over the course of nine days, would draw some 13,000 residents and visitors to readings by scores of authors, many of them â€” like Maxine Hong Kingston and Daniel Handler (a k a Lemony Snicket) â€” local celebrities. The â€œLit Crawlâ€ finale alone featured more than 400 readings at bars, laundromats and even the police station in a single evening.
Small Bay Area Coffee Roasters Spread Out
April 9, 2010
Coffee has been part of Bay Area culture from the start. Folgers and Hills Brothers started by providing java (a term coined on San Francisco’s piers) to thirsty 49ers. And there have long been boutique roasters like Caffe Trieste in North Beach, which has made Italian-style espresso since 1956, and Peet’s, which introduced its characteristic dark roasts in Berkeley in 1966 and led, through its descendant Starbucks, to a wholesale revision in the way America drinks coffee.
Today the pattern is repeating itself as small local roasters are expanding to make their marks in distant cities.
At Pop-Ups, Chefs Take Chances With Little Risk
February 11, 2010
Lung Shan is an unremarkable Chinese restaurant in the Mission District. But on Thursday and Saturday nights it’s rocked by an invasion of diners and chefs with much more than sweet and sour pork on their minds.
On those nights, Lung Shan becomes Mission Street Food, one of a number of pop-up restaurants that have opened in the Bay Area over the last couple of years in spaces not normally used for fine dining.
On a recent Thursday, Tommy Halvorson, the chef that night, ignored Lung Shan’s huge woks as he worked pans crammed onto its small stove. Behind him, Anthony Myint assembled sea urchin into sashimi with young coconut and candied pecans ($8).