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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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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Christmas Eve in Mexico — It’s All About the Baby Jesus

Hand painted clay creche with Joseph, Mary, Jesus & Star of Bethlehem, Mexican folk art. Photo by BF Newhall

I bought this hand-painted clay folk art creche depicting Joseph, Mary and Jesus a few days before Christmas in San Miguel. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

If you wanted a Santa-Clausy Christmas this year, complete with tinsel, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and abundant gift-buying opportunities, Santa Claus, Indiana, might have been your destination of choice.

But if it was the Baby Jesus you were looking for, [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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Photo Ops: China’s One-Child Families — They’re for Real (For Now)

In Shanghai's Old Town, a proudly smiling grandmother holds up her grandson. Photo by BF Newhall

One of the many doting grandmothers we spotted in China. Photos by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

China’s one-child families may soon be a thing of the past. But for now, they are very real. Jon and I saw them everywhere during our trip to China in September. [Read more...]

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