|MID-WINTER GALA FOR THE JUNIOR COMMITTEE
by Jeanne Lawrence
San Francisco. “Who ARE these glorious creatures?” Any onlooker would have wondered, viewing the wildly attractive crowd at the recent Sixth Annual Midwinter Gala held by the Junior Committee of the Fine Arts Museums.
This mostly under-40 set spends its days making things happen in executive and professional suites or caring for their offspring (it seems there’s always a new mother to be). But when they come out for the night — boy, do they shine!
|Honorary chairpersons for the evening gala were Trevor Traina and Vanessa Getty, who paired Bulgari earrings with a gown of her own design.
The co-chairs were Allison Speer and Kathryn Lasater, wearing, respectively, Dolce and Gabbana and Carolina Herrera.
Among the spectacularly gowned-and-bejeweled and impeccably-tuxedoed guests were Billy Getty (Vanessa’s husband), Alexis Traina (Trevor’s wife), actor Don and Kelly Johnson who flew in from LA, Connie Nielson with Metallica band’s Lars Ulrich, Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins, Maxx Traina, Nicola Miner with husband Robert Anderson, Dr. Fred Moll, Bo Lasater, Daniel Diaz, Damion Smith, Kate Harbin, Jennifer and Doug Biederbeck, and Juliet and Andre de Baubigny, Jr.
|The talk of the night was about the official engagement of Thomas Keller (chef/owner of famed Manhattan’s Per Se and Napa Valley's French Laundry) with his long-time General Manager and girlfriend Laura Cunningham.
Other beautiful people enjoying the beautiful evening were Jeana Toney, Boris Putnanec, Becca Prowda, Daniel Lurie, Kendall and Gardner Robinson, Victoire and Owsley Brown, Christina and Jad Dunning, Summer Tompkins, Vandy Boudreau, Elizabeth and Paul Touw, Lisa and Jim Zanze, Amber Marie Bently, Lisa Sardegna, Allyson Jackson, Brad Harrington, Brian Wilsey, event designer Stanlee Gatti, Peter Svennilson, Kim Miller and Michael Polenske, and Dr. Jordan Shlain.
|BALBOA CAFÉ – THE CLUBBIEST SALOON IN TOWN
San Francisco — For both the cognoscenti and the locals in the Cow Hollow/Marian neighborhood, the place to dine is the Balboa Café at 3199 Fillmore and Greenwich.
Opened in 1913, the Balboa probably looks much as it did back then, with its long wooden bar, planked floors and the paneled walls.
It’s got the clublike feel of New York’s Swifty’s, the chi-chi Upper East Side watering hole owned by Robert Caravaggi and chef Stephen Attoe, combined with the informal style of “Cheers,” the Boston pub that inspired the popular TV show.
|Singles, married, ladies who lunch, businessmen, families all come and mingle together as this is a neighborhood pub. And the classic saloon selections— crab cakes and burgers, chicken potpie and Cobb salad, roast salmon and roast chicken and the like—and the gentle pricing suits them all.
A companion enterprise across the street, PlumpJack Wines, keeps the Balboa supplied with a well-priced and varied selection by the bottle and almost three dozen choices available by the glass.
eking boy toys. How would I know? My regular spot is the quiet rear dining room.
|When I stop by, I inevitably catch up with friends. On recent trips I’ve run into Dodie Rosekrans, my favorite grande dame—she divides her time between her homes here, in Paris, and in Venice—and said hello to collector John Traina, dining with NY’er Gerald Hill of Sotheby’s, Rhea Friend who has her annual ladies Halloween luncheon here, and on my last trip Symphony patron Barbara Brookins-Schneider hosted a luncheon in my honor at the Café.
Pat Kelley, who’s been called “the face of the Balboa Café,” tells me that the bar scene on the weekends lures a few “cougars,” which —sheltered me!—she had to explain was shorthand for mature women se
|A Celebration of International Women's Day at I.M.O.W.
San Francisco. The International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W.), a social change museum offering global online exhibitions to serve a worldwide community, hosted more than 400 guests at its fifth annual gala.
Celebrating International Women’s Day, with which the Museum shares parallel purposes, the sold-out event took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel
Emmy-winning journalist and community leader Jan Yanehiro emceed the event, chaired by Stacey C. Fleece and Marie Louise Hurabiell and under the presenting sponsorship of Wells Fargo Bank.
|Proceeds went to support 2009 exhibitions and programs of the I.M.O.W., which plans to open a permanent physical exhibition site in San Francisco in 2012.
Elizabeth L. Colton, chairman of the museum’s board, described the current online show, “Exhibiting Change,” and images of reception guests describing how they themselves exhibited change played on giant screens during dinner.
The keynote speaker, Zainab Salbi, a member of the museum’s global council, held the audience rapt as she described growing up in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and how those experiences made her into an activist for women war survivors.
|The gala’s Honorary Committee, a veritable who’s who of California politics, was chaired by Jennifer Siebel Newsom (an I.M.O.W. board member) and her husband, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom. Other committee members included California and San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Mailliard Shultz and George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan.
International Women's Day, first held in 1911, celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women around the globe and in the past, present and future. March is Women’s History Month in the United States.
|Photographs by Drew Altizer, Aubrie Pick, Jeanne Lawrence. New York-based Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in Shanghai and San Francisco, and wherever else she finds a good story.|