Category archive - Blog

This Weekend: Jun 23 – Jun 24, 2018

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael, to the TreasureFest’s Summer of Love on Treasure Island to the Annual Lake Fest at Lake Merritt. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now

Recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that now is a great time to sell your home. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item is realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high.

Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed to sustain a normal market for over a year at this point. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from NAR revealed that there is currently only a 3.6-month supply of houses on the market.

Supply is currently very low!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report(which sheds light on the number of buyers who are actually out looking at homes) disclosed that “foot traffic grew 10.5 points to 52.4 in March as the new season approaches.”

Demand is currently very high!

Bottom Line

Waiting to sell will only increase the competition between you and all of the other sellers putting their houses on the market later this summer. If you are debating whether or not to list your home, contact a local real estate professional who can explain the conditions in your market.

Source: KCM.com

Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art

This summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors will walk through the doors of the Exploratorium to discover gigantic, fantastical, air-filled art works inspired by the natural world. The renowned San Francisco museum is partnering with art, design and visual culture blog Colossal to present something huge: “Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art,” on view May 26 – Sept. 3, 2018.

 Exhibit Information

“Inflatable” features the works of five innovative artists: Amanda Parer, Jason Hackenwerth, Jimmy Kuehnle, Shih Chieh Huang and design collective Pneuhaus.

Even visitors familiar with the Exploratorium will see the space in a new way. Massive air-filled, human-like figures will fill the building from floor to ceiling, making the West Gallery feel at times like a dollhouse. Visitors will be able to enter an inflatable camera obscura dome, offering a view of the world from the compound eye of an insect.

Visitors to the exhibition will contemplate the possibilities of combining art and science and the various, unexpected forms our world can take.

General Information

Special exhibits such as Inflatable are just another reason to visit to the Exploratorium, one of San Francisco’s iconic attractions.

The Exploratorium is conveniently located along the Embarcadero, near PIER 39 and the Ferry Building. Access to Inflatable is included with museum admission. Tickets may be purchased online or on-site during open hours. For more information on this special exhibit, and general information on the Exploratorium, please visit the Exploratorium online.

Source: sftravel.com

Parents Say Kids’ Opinions Matter Big When Buying a Home

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and released by SunTrust Mortgage found that “55% of homeowners with a child under the age of 18 at the time when they purchased their home said that the opinion of their offspring played a major role in their home buying decision.”

When the results were broken down by the parent’s age, millennials (those 18-36) led the way with 74% of homeowners saying that their child’s opinion was a factor in choosing which home to buy. Eighty-three percent of renters believe that their child’s opinion would be a deciding factor when looking to purchase a home.

So what features in a home are most important to kids?

Coming in at 57%, it should come as no surprise that gaining their own bedrooms was the top most-desirable feature of any home for kids, followed by a large back yard to play in at 34%.

Todd Chamberlain, Head of Mortgage Banking at SunTrust explained the reasoning behind the survey,

“As a parent of two kids, I know from experience that including children in the home buying process is not only fun for the whole family, but also educational for our homebuyers of tomorrow.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, make sure to highlight all the kid-friendly features your home has to offer so that you can sway the real decision makers.

Source: KCM.com

Eat Drink SF Returns for Your Enjoyment

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association‘s annual Eat Drink SF celebration returns in 2018 on Aug. 23-26. The premier annual food, wine, and spirits festival for the city was founded in 2009 to celebrate the Bay Area’s world-class restaurant community. Held over four days, Eat Drink SF presents tastings, demonstrations, and signature event sessions that allow chefs to connect directly with more than 8,500 food lovers and culinary aficionados. Sommeliers, brewers, and top mixologists are on-hand as well to complement delicious dishes and satisfy taste buds.

Tasting sessions at Fort Mason:

  • Friday Evening Grand Tasting. 7:17 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday Afternoon Grand Tasting. 12:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Saturday Evening Grand Tasting, 7:45 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
  • Sunday Afternoon Grand Tasting. 12:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Tickets, including VIP early entry options, are available for purchase online now.

Stay tuned here and on Eat Drink SF’s official site for more information as August approaches.

Eat Drink SF is a quintessential San Francisco experience for food enthusiasts and a chance to eat one’s way through the best that the city has to offer.  For galleries from past years, please visit Eat Drink SF’s website.

Source: sftravel.com

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home!

Every year, the New York Federal Reserve publishes the results of their Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Each survey covers a wide range of topics including inflation, labor market, household finance, credit access and housing.

One of the many questions asked in the housing section of the survey was:

Assuming you had the financial resources to do so, would you like to OWN instead of RENT your primary residence?

Over three-quarters of respondents under the age of 50 said that they would prefer to own their home, rather than rent. While only 52.6% of those over 50 would prefer to own. The full breakdown can be found in the chart below.

When renters were asked what the average probability of owning a primary residence at some point in their future was, 66.4% of those under 50 believed that they would eventually own their home, while only 23% of those over 50 did.

Bottom Line

Many had wondered if young Americans had lost their desire to own a home, but for those renting now, that dream is still alive.

Source: KCM.com

This Weekend: Jun 16 – Jun 17, 2018

This weekend provides a lot of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From Juneteenth Parade & Festival in the Fillmore Dist., to the Northern California Pirate Festival in Vallejo to the Presidio Kite Festival. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

Discover Nightlife at San Francisco Bay Area Museums

San Francisco has plenty to offer visitors after dark: trend-setting restaurants, world-renowned performance venues, and bars and nightclubs that cater to every crowd. But did you know that San Francisco Bay Area museums are some of the hottest spots for a memorable night out? Check out the full list below for the best opportunities to learn a little while having a lot of fun.

Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin St.)
On Thursdays in the mid-winter through fall, the Asian Art Museum stays open to 9 p.m. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy special exhibitions, fun talks and encounters with the artists themselves. Drinks are served at a cash bar and DJs keep the music playing. Schedule: Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.| Admission: $5 after 5 p.m. Surcharges may apply for special exhibitions. www.asianart.org

Autodesk Gallery at One Market (One Market St., Second Floor)
At each Design Night at the Autodesk Gallery explore a new and unexpected theme and discover how tech is transforming it – all with a bar, food, music and activities. Design Night events are held periodically in San Francisco and around the world. Schedule: Visit website for schedule. | Admission: Visit website for informationwww.autodesk.com/gallery/design-nights

California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Dr.)
A new adventure unfolds every Thursday night at California Academy of Sciences. You can explore the seas and the stars without leaving the building or your cocktail. Rock out to live music or listen in on talks about cutting-edge science. It’s all here, with additional seasonal specials and options for group/private events. Schedule: Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. | Admission:$15 per person ($12 for Academy members). Open to adults age 21 and older. www.calacademy.org

California Historical Society (678 Mission St.)
Dedicated to inspiring and empowering people to make California’s rich past a part of their present, the California Historical Society offers a variety of evening programs and events. Schedule: Third Thursday of every month. | Admission:$5-10 per person (free for members) www.californiahistoricalsociety.org

Chinese Historical Society of America Museum (965 Clay St.)
The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the history and contributions of the Chinese people in America. The Museum hosts special evening events throughout the year. www.chsa.org

Contemporary Jewish Museum (736 Mission St.)
This dynamic and welcoming space offers visitors a chance to experience art, music, film, literature, debate and—most importantly—people. CJM’s evening programming, “Night at the Jewseum,” features live music, crafts, and other activities usually associated with current exhibitions that allow visitors to mingle and enjoy each other’s company. Schedule: Quarterly; look for updates on program page. | Admission: Free with museum admission, $5 after 5 p.m. for adults 21 and older. www.thecjm.org

de Young Museum (50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.)
After-hours Fridays at the de Young are “happenings” that feature live music, dance, discussions, in-gallery art making and opportunities to interact with local artists. Extended bar offerings and a special social media lounge are part of the fare; the museum’s famous observation tower stays open until 8 p.m. Schedule: Every Friday, 5:30-8:45 p.m.late September through end of November | Admission: Discounted admission. www.deyoung.famsf.org

Exploratorium (Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street))

Museum of Craft and Design (2569 Third St.)
Opened in 2004, the museum provides innovative exhibitions and programming around craft and design that engage and stimulate visitors. Evening programs for adults are frequently offered. Check the museum website for full details. www.sfmcd.org

Museum of the African Diaspora (685 Mission St.)
Dedicated to providing local artists the opportunity to showcase work reflecting the artistic and cultural richness of the African Diaspora, the museum hosts public dialogues, artist open houses, and film discussions intended to stimulate conversations on race, identity and culture. Visit the museum website for full details. www.moadsf.org

Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St., Oakland)
Just a short ride across the bay is the Oakland Museum of California, which combines art, history, and the natural sciences to tell the story of California’s evolving character and identity. On Fridays, the museum offers family-friendly programming into the evening hours, with hands-on activities, live music, and a variety of food and wine vendors. Schedule: Fridays, 5-10 p.m. | Admission: Half-price gallery admission for adults; ages 18 and under are free. Food and beverage prices vary. www.museumca.org

Presidio Live (The Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., Presidio Main Post)
The Presidio Officers’ Club offers free programs and performances that can be enjoyed with a cocktail from the bar or the adjoining Arguello Restaurant. Presidio Live features films, literary readings, music and dialogues by notable authors, artists, and conversation starters exploring themes from ancient history to current events. Schedule: Every Thursday, 7 p.m. | Admission: Free www.presidio.gov/officers-club

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (151 Third St.)
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is open until 9 p.m. every Thursday evening. However, throughout the year, look for special programs such as the three-week Modern Cinema mini-film festival. Co-presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and SFFILM, Modern Cinema screens films on select evenings in SFMOMA’s Phyllis Wattis Theater. The series often focuses on a singular director and/or genre. In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, SFMOMA also offers its monthly Public Knowledge series. Hear from a diverse range of speakers invested in the Bay Area’s urban culture as they discuss civic life today. Special lectures and presentations are also often scheduled as part of current exhibitions. Schedule: Open until 9 p.m. every Thursday. Admission: Reserve tickets now; free for 18 and under. www.sfmoma.org

 

After Dark at the Exploratorium combines aspects of a gallery, a theater, and a cabaret to create a unique experience for visitors. Each evening showcases a different topic—from music to sex to electricity—but all include a cash bar, live music, and access to hundreds of interactive exhibits. Where else can you find an intellectually stimulating playground for adults? Schedule: Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Open for ages 18+ | Admission: $17.95, $19.95 at the door (free for After Dark Members). www.exploratorium.edu

Tenderloin Museum (398 Eddy St.)
The newest museum in the city celebrates one of its most overlooked neighborhoods. A melting pot that played host to some of the city’s most historic events, the Tenderloin Museum celebrates the individuals who shaped this community and the world beyond it. Special event details can be found on the museum website. www.tenderloinmuseum.org

Yerba Buena Gardens (760 Howard St., Terrace Level)
Get your culture on in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood with arts, food, and drink. Take a walk around Yerba Buena Gardens and visit the nearby galleries and museums to pick up your wristband for all-night happy hours at participating bars and restaurants. Schedule: Third Thursday of every month, 5-7 p.m. | Admission: Free www.yerbabuenagardens.com

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (701 Mission St.)
A nationally recognized leader in connecting audiences and arts programming, YBCA also presents special initiatives that nurture local artists, provide youth education, and create unique experiences for members of the community. Events covering the visual and performing arts, film and video and civic engagement are offered year-round. Visit their website for a full schedule. www.ybca.org

Photo by Tosh Chiang / CC BY

Source: Sftravel.com

East Bay Adventures That Are Perfect for the Summer Months

From a thriving culinary scene and world-class cultural institutions to the breathtaking, diverse landscape, the East Bay offers countless reasons to extend your adventures beyond San Francisco’s city limits. Discover the can’t-miss things to experience this summer in the Tri-ValleyBerkeley and Oakland.

Tri-Valley

From the top of Mt. Diablo, you can see the region’s three valleys (hence the name) and four cities: PleasantonLivermore, Dublin and Danville. Just 35 minutes east of San Francisco and graced with views of the surrounding golden hills, the Tri-Valley is full of events, restaurants, wineries and shops.

Wine Country
With more than 55 wineries in close proximity to each other throughout the area, you can plot out stops and make a day of wine tasting in the beautiful East Bay countryside. One must-see is Livermore’s Wente Vineyards, the oldest family-run winery in the United States. Boasting a variety of fantastic whites and reds, some featured only on-site, Wente has plenty of room in the tasting area to sample all the different options. Be sure to check their event calendar for upcoming concerts at the vineyard, too.

Craft Beer
Though less well-known than Tri-Valley’s wine country, Pleasanton’s hop history is equally impressive. The Pleasanton Hops Community utilized 1,900 acres of wetland from the late 1800s until the first World War and Prohibition. The tradition lives on today through a great variety of local microbreweries and brewpubs. You can sample flights, learn about food pairings and chat with brewmasters on the Tri-Valley Beer Trail, which includes more than 20 stops from Danville to Livermore.

Outdoors
The Tri-Valley boasts some of the best hiking, biking, golf and water sports in Northern California. Get your heart pumping on the trail to Murietta Falls or take in an incredible 360-degree panorama of the area at Mt. Diablo State Park. The summit offers awesome vistas toward San Francisco and across the valleys.

Concord and Walnut Creek

If you’re looking for an affordable and convenient place to stay while visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area, try Concordor Walnut Creek. Located in the East Bay, both cities are a short BART ride to San Francisco and provide easy access to major roadways. Concord is a hidden gem, with its welcoming downtown, burgeoning arts and culinary scenes, delicious craft breweries, scenic mountain trails and family attractions such as Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord. Walnut Creek offers over 100 restaurants and nightclubs, world-class shopping, the highly-acclaimed Lesher Center for the Arts, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in a picture-perfect setting at the foot of Mt. Diablo.

Berkeley

Free speech and flower power are forever in Berkeley’s DNA, and the city has evolved into a modern and inspiring cultural hub. It’s home to the gorgeous UC Berkeley campus, as well as renowned visual and performing arts venues, local restaurants and outdoor recreation.

Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) makes for a fun field trip within easy reach—just one block from the BART station and 21 minutes from downtown San Francisco on the Richmond line. Opened in 2016, BAMPFA gives you an exhilarating taste of the eccentric and diverse spirit that thrives in the Bay Area. At the heart of it all is the museum’s collection of 19,000 works of art, dating from 3000 B.C. to the present. The film and video collection is one of the best in the nation, complemented by two state-of-the-art theaters screening more than 400 films a year.

You can extend your visit into the evening on Friday and Saturday nights, when BAMPFA keeps the galleries open until 9 p.m. Afterward, it’s just a quick stroll over to Tupper & Reed for a nightcap. The stylish two level bar and lounge is known for its delicious craft cocktails, handcrafted mixers and festive speakeasy vibe.

Oakland

In Oakland, you’ll find beautiful views and historic neighborhoods, as well as art, architecture, music, restaurants and bars to rival those of its sister city across the Bay. Dynamic and diverse, Oakland is a destination in its own right.

Historic Bars
If you like bars with character, you’ve come to the right place. Oakland has a bevy of watering holes that value history over trendiness. Exhibit A: Heinold’s First and Last Chance, a ramshackle saloon built in 1883 from the remains of a whaling ship. Heinold’s street cred is hard to beat, as a young Jack London hung out there working on “The Call of the Wild.” On the corner of Telegraph Avenue and 66th Street, the otherwise unassuming White Horse holds the honor of being the oldest gay bar in the nation, with more than 80 years of continuous operation. Walk past the chichi bars and restaurants on Grand Avenue and step back in time at the Alley, one of Oakland’s few remaining piano bars, established in 1933.

Jack London Square Fare
Head over to Oakland’s Jack London Square to sample offerings from some of the city’s top culinary talent. You can do a self-guided tour of the square, including the expertly brewed java at Blue Bottle Coffee (300 Webster St.) or handcrafted pizza served around an intimate outdoor fire pit at Forge (66 Franklin St.). Indulge your sweeter side at Miette (85 Webster St.), an adorable pastry shop with irresistible cakes, cookies and confections. Don’t miss plank (98 Broadway), the one-of-a-kind entertainment venue and restaurant with 18 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a beer garden and a patio overlooking the Bay.

For extra guidance navigating Oakland’s food terrain, check out Edible Excursion’s walking tours.

Further Oakland Explorations
Once you’re good and fed, work off some of those extra calories with a walk around Lake Merritt, Oakland’s lovely fresh- and saltwater lake. Clocking in at 3.4 miles, the perimeter is flat all the way around, making for a gorgeous, easy stroll. If you have kids in tow, walk on the wild side at the Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo, home to more than 660 native and exotic animals.

For an indoor excursion, spend a few hours at Oakland Museum of California. OMCA brings together collections of art, history and science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. With more than 1.8 million objects, it’s a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area. Stop by Friday Nights @ OMCA from 5-9 p.m. for a family-friendly take on a festive night market featuring Off the Grid food trucks, music and more.

Source: sftravel.com