Monday, July 28, 2008

The state of the plate

When it comes to dining out, is San Francisco becoming a Valhalla or a Vegas with hills? Josh Sens looks back on a confounding 12 months of meals and takes the measure of a region and its restaurants.

By Josh Sens, Contributing Writer, San Francisco Magazine

Whatever its effect on other industries, the subprime mortgage crisis has yet to result in a subprime rib crisis. New York strip is selling briskly, too.

This became apparent a few weeks back, when I finally made my way to Epic Roasthouse, Pat Kuleto’s splashy steakhouse by the bay. I sat in a broad-backed leather chair in the bar upstairs, carving a slab of meat large enough to feed a puma and feeling like I should have worn a business suit. It was midweek at 8 p.m., and the place was packed: in every corner, postwork happy people; in every hand, a drink. Through a window to the east, the Bay Bridge reached out gracefully toward Treasure Island. To the west, in fast-rising Rincon Hill, gleaming residential towers poked their heads up through the fog.

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17

Celine Dion, She Went On and On

New York Times
Published: December 17, 2007

LAS VEGAS — For the final performance of “A New Day,” Celine Dion’s show at Caesars Palace here last weekend, M J Wylie, 49, a health-care consultant from Denver, decided to go formal.

She wore a floor-length black gown and a sparkly white shawl; around her neck was a silver pendant in the shape of the show’s first logo, an elongated figure of a woman.

Inside her $3,400 Judith Leiber clutch, bought at the gift shop adjacent to the theater and also bedazzled with the logo, were several autographed photos of Ms. Dion with Ms. Wylie.

It was an undeniably elegant ensemble; the only problem, Ms. Wylie said, was that her dress hid her commemorative “New Day” tattoo.

It was her 62nd time at the show.

On Saturday night about 4,000 fans bid farewell to “A New Day,” which has been running in the custom-built Colosseum theater at Caesars since March 25, 2003.

Monday, November 19, 2007

November 19

Gay Mexican cowboys still semi-underground
Vaquero contest is largely an outlet for immigrant men to express themselves without fear
By Alison Satake, Bay Area News Group correspondant

Backstage in the dressing room, the nervous energy was high as each cowboy primped before a vanity mirror.

For some, like "Antonio Rios," the nerves came from more than a little stage fright.

"Antonio Rios is 24," said the worker from the avocado orchards of Michoacán, Mexico, who is actually 21.

He assumes the fake identity when he goes to gay clubs. "I don't like using my personal name because my family and straight friends don't know I'm gay," he said. "People might come looking for me at work, too."

Despite his coyness, there's one thing Rios is not shy about: his quest for the title of Mr. Gay Vaquero 2007.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tips From Web Greats On Becoming a Legend In Your Spare Time

By Lee Gomes, Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2007

It's sad, really sad, to see so many Americans work hard and play by the rules without ever getting ahead.

YouTube is bulging with videos from citizens, especially young ones, who want nothing more than the American Dream: celebrity status without appreciable talent. They work long hours chasing the dream, doing take after take of their mash-ups, their parodies, their response tapes. But at the end of the day, they're no more famous than when they woke up, most likely in a bedroom in their parents' home.

If this sounds like you, you're probably telling yourself that you've just had bad luck. But real-life Web celebrities know better: They got where they are today not just because they were lucky, but because they knew a few secrets you probably don't.

NEW YORK ( Fortune) -- Like a supermodel past her prime, Victoria's Secret is showing its age.

The company, which did for lingerie what the Wonderbra did for cleavage, is facing an onslaught of new competition at a time when its strategy of store expansion and high-octane advertising looks tired.

Even the company's marketing juggernaut, the orgy of flesh that is its annual fashion show, which takes place Thursday night and will be broadcast Dec. 4 on CBS, is losing steam.

"In many ways, Victoria's Secret is a victim of its own success," said Paul Lejuez of Credit Suisse First Boston. "They've created this lucrative business that a lot of people are chasing after."

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