A Case of the Human Condition

I’m Barbara Falconer Newhall and I’ve got an incurable Case of the Human Condition. And since you do too, I’m counting on you to laugh and cry along with me as I riff on life as we know it . . . Below you'll read about my creaky, old fifties house, my forays into home gardening, my shopping stories, my spectacularly low-fashion wardrobe -- and more.

The Sad State of the Supermarket Strawberry

An oversized red strawberry is bigger than the bowl of the spoon it rests on. Photo by BF Newhall

One of the strawberries Jon brought home: bigger than the bowl of a teaspoon. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I’m worried about the strawberry. It’s too late for the tomato. Its innards were transformed into colorless, flavorless – but easily shippable – pulp decades ago. Which is why I’m concerned about the strawberry. Is it going the way of the tomato?

Jon brought home a plastic bin of them the other day. They were huge, almost [Read more...]

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The de Young This Week: Bursting With Art — And Flowers

At the de Young Bouquets to Art show, Kren P. Rasmussen of Bloomster's interprets Diebenkorn's, Berkeley No. 3, 1953. Photo by BF Newhall

At the de Young Bouquets to Art show — Kren P. Rasmussen of Bloomster’s playful comment on Richard Diebenkorn’s, “Berkeley No. 3, 1953.” I like the way this arrangements lets you see the painting through it, while elaborating on the painting. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Art. Bouquets. More art. More bouquets. And crowds and crowds of people. My idea of a good time. I spent the day yesterday at the annual Bouquets to Art show at the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park — joined by two friends who enjoy flowers and art as much as I do. [Read more...]

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Stalking Superman

Actor Christopher Dennis dressed as Superman on Hollywood's Walk of Fame with Jon Newhall. Photo by BF Newhall

Spotted on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame: My girlhood hero — Superman! On the left, my husband Jon. Photos by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

There he was. In the flesh. Tall and slender and muscled and oh-so-handsome. Sigh. It was Superman. The Man of Steel of my girlhood fantasies. My dream man. [Read more...]

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The Funky Charms of East Austin, Texas

The sign over a gayly painted convenience store in East Austin, Texas, reads, "Beer, Wine, Smokes, Peace." Photo by bf newhall

The sign over the driveway reads, “Beer, Wine, Smokes, Peace.” Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

East Austin has everything it takes to be a first-rate hipster neighborhood — street art, food trucks, farmers markets, coffee shops, affordable (so far) housing, parks, artists’ studios, walkability — and, most important, a carefree, offbeat vibe.

Brooklyn has its Williamsburg neighborhood. Los Angeles has Silver Lake. Portland, [Read more...]

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For China’s Young Fashionistas the Cultural Revolution Is So Over

Two teenaged Chinese girls gettingt their picture taken in Beijing. One has dyed her hair orange.

These two girls outside Beijing’s Forbidden City wanted us to take their picture . . . Is that a real tattoo? And how did she achieve the orange hair — peroxide? Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Until very recently, when I thought of modern-day China, I didn’t think of fun. I thought of the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, when traditional Chinese men were forced to cut off their queues, and intellectuals were banished to the countryside to till the soil and be reeducated into the proletariat. [Read more...]

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