49 Hours of SF: December Decisions
By: Cindy Hu
There’s PLENTY to keep you busy with holiday festivities the next few weeks. As this wonderful, tumultuous and sometimes challenging year draws to a close, we’ve decided to focus on the very last day of 2012. Set the stage for fresh starts and highlight some of our favorite toasts (although it may be hard to beat midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Castro Theatre).
Speaking of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, don’t break out the black garter belt and lace-up vest just yet. A 50th anniversary restoration of the epic film Lawrence of Arabia will be showing at the Castro Theatre Dec. 29-31, and right after that Walt Disney’s classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is on the big screen, Jan. 1-6, 2013. The film will also run on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. and The Walt Disney Family Museum, which is paying tribute to Disney’s first feature-length animated film with more than 200 pieces of concept art, model sheets, cels, animations and more.
So the moment arrives. The corks pop. The bubbly is bubbling. You see a stranger across a crowded room. What to say, what to say? Here are a few that come to mind: “Champagne for my friends and real pain for my sham friends” (Tom Waits); “Come quickly ... I think I’m drinking stars!” (Dom Perignon, savoring his first taste of Champagne); “In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want.” (Irish); “Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring happy bells, across the snow. The year is going, let him go. Ring out the fast, ring in the true.” (Lord Alfred Tennyson).
Ring Out the Old
“Ring out the old, ring in the new” is a particularly powerful practice at the Asian Art Museum where for more than 30 years participants have been able to take turns ringing the museums 16th-century bronze bell. The ritual on Sunday, Dec. 30 which will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra by Rev. Gengo Akita. Tickets to ring the bell are available at the admission desk.
Although the Contemporary Jewish Museum closes early at 4 p.m. they will offer a full day of family friendly activities starting at 11 a.m. Stop by the Family Table in the Grand Lobby to learn about the museum and its family offerings for the day including: I Spy Museum Bingo, California Dreaming: The Game (on iPad), and Family ARTpacks. Delve into the world of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats and explore Keats-inspired art techniques including collage, watercolor and marble paper. Plus, contribute to an ongoing Keats community mural every time you visit. From noon to 1 p.m. watch Keats’s stories come to life on the big screen, featuring animated versions of favorite classics including The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie and Peter’s Chair.
Express Yourself to the Marin Headlands
The view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline from the Marin Headlands has long been one of remarkable beauty. Muni’s 76 X Marin Headlands Express service to the Marin Headlands is being expanded to include Saturdays, in addition to Sundays, as well as select holidays including New Year’s Day. Route 76X will provide bus service for park visitors and employees from the Montgomery BART Station in San Francisco, with limited stops in the city, to the beach, hiking trails, Fort Barry Hostel, and the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. It’s $2 and the view is priceless.
“Put down the knitting, the book and the broom, it’s time for a holiday … “
And with a nod to Liza with a z, may we suggest a few glitz and glam options for New Year’s Eve. Among the most treasured is the San Francisco Symphony Masquerade Ball. The celebration starts at 8 p.m. with one of San Francisco’s favorite bands, The Martini Brothers in the main lobby, followed by a San Francisco Symphony concert and dancing throughout Davies Symphony Hall. There’s also a New Year’s Eve extravaganza at The Westin San Francisco Market Street; the San Francisco NYE International Ball at the Palace Hotel, and events at the W San Francisco, Champagne Resolutions at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Midnight in Paris NYE at the Lodge Ballroom and a new event at the Westin St. Francis, Passport to the World. Commodore Events, the Harbor Queen and Hornblower Cruises & Events also offer options for celebrating on the bay.
Beach Blanket Babylon New Year’s Eve Show
Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon, the nation's longest running musical, rings in 2013 with two New Year's Eve performances at 7 and 10:15 p.m. Augmented by chocolate truffles and party favors, both performances include a one-night-only pastiche of the characters and events of the last year. The 7 p.m. show ends at 8:45 leaving plenty of time to have dinner and attend other parties; the 10:15 p.m. show will end at the stroke of midnight followed by dancing until 1:30 a.m. Maybe you finally work up enough nerve to ask the Christmas tree for a dance.
Fireworks by the Bay
The City and County of San Francisco’s New Year’s Eve free, midnight fireworks show will be staged from barges located 1,000 feet out in the bay off of Pier 14 (foot of Mission Street on The Embarcadero). The best public viewing locations are the wide sidewalks that run on both sides of The Embarcadero between Mission and Howard Streets. The pyrotechnics can also be viewed along The Embarcadero in the vicinity of Washington Street and Justin Herman Plaza. There is zero tolerance for alcohol at this family friendly event. And remember Muni rides are free from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012 until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2013.
Brought to you by the letter “R”
You’ve no doubt noticed that a lot of the energy we expend at the end of the year is directed to tasks that start with the letter “R.” Recharge, refuel, review, refocus, reflect, refresh, resolve, relax, remember and maybe best of all, rejoice. It’s been quite a year, San Francisco!
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