TOP 10 LIST favorite things from 2016*

top 10 list fr 2016

Happy New Year & Happy Epiphany! 

Once again I offer my list of 10 or so favorite things from 2016* which I hope bring you as much pleasure as they brought me.

May these suggestions lead you & your loved ones to more wonderful opportunities to live ever better ~

A word about this list: COMMUNITY

This is not meant to be ‘pro-consumerism’, rather it is meant to introduce wonderful high quality – predominantly local – resources you may have yet to come across. So.. have at it, folks!

*Caveat emptor As always, advance apologies for any incompatibility or disagreement you may experience in accepting one/any/all of the following suggestions.

With that said, let’s begin…

  1. Boonville Hotel & Table 128– Nirvana. Shangri La. HEAVEN. Casual, cozy, luxe. Summer Sundays’ Oyster Bar & Paella fest is the place to be. Minutes fr a bevy of wine tasting options. Don’t miss Navarro and Philo Apple Farm ‘s stay & cook getaways.
  1. Carmel-By-The-Sea’s fantastic new-ish Italian Restaurant Il Tegamino Sigh. Don’t miss the polpette bar. Walk-in only, but well worth the drive.
  1. Bulletproof coffeeMission Heirloom. mold-free coffee beans + grass fed Straus butter + brain octane. Say no more.
  1. Sure, we all Can’t Feel Our Face When I’m With You, but have you ever stopped to wonder exactly what other The Weekend lyrics you or the impressionable young mind sitting in the passenger seat is hummingflubbing along with Clyfford Stumme, The Popstar Professor to the rescue! In this new post-fact era, I appreciate his desire to seek out meaning in the sounds that surround us every day.
  1. KALW The Spot– Sunday @ 2PM Ashleyanne Krigbaum’s fabulous weekly storytelling – not to be missed.
  1. The best most deliciously fabulous therapeutic face serum oil you can possibly findVintner’s Daughter.
  1. The Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF)– what better way to take a weeklong vacation (of the mind) – a mere bridge away, without jet lag? Enjoy this glorious far-ranging exploration of independent films fr around the world before they hit the big screen (some can only be seen here). Meet & interact with actors, directors, writers from the films and get a deeper understanding of the process. Highlights I recommend:

LaLaLand – sweetly melancholy Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling musical in modern day LA.

Girl Flu – tour-de-force storytelling about one girl’s awkward transition into womanhood. (Juno for middle-schoolers.)

Lion – heartbreaking epic journey, one boy’s search to find his way home after being abandoned 25 years earlier. Dev Patel amazes, Nicole Kidman’s quiet performance shines.

Neruda – a slightly hallucinatory dreamlike meandering exploration of Chilean poet and political activist, Pablo Neruda. In person, Gael Garcia Bernal – utterly charismatic.

Loving – how did I not know about this? Everyone should see this drama about the real life couple living in 1967 Virginia whose fight to stay together led to the seminal Supreme Court decision invalidating the prohibition of interracial marriage. With rising STAR Ruth Negga and a surprisingly nuanced Joel Edgerton.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise – Spectacular, exhilarating, inspirational, moving, POWERFUL.

…and in case you missed them, go back and watch The Danish Girl (with the sublime Alicia Vikander); Nerve – surprisingly entertaining guilty-pleasure joy ride, and Dope – a super smart sleeper you shouldn’t miss. Unexpected but completely worthwhile, thought provoking.

  1. Two of my absolute favorite reads this year were connected via the same book reading event in Richmond Point. Frances Dinkelspiel’sTangled Vines– a riveting account of the origins of California’s winemaking history as told through the lens of the notorious arson case that destroyed 4.5M bottles of wine; and Elizabeth Roesner’s Electric City – an upstate New York story of the origins of electricity and the convergence of three different elements within that society, and their effects on subsequent generations.
  1. The Local Butcher Shop‘s – hot and ready-to-slurp up cup of bone broth $7 – TO. DIE. FOR.

(also a shout out for the lovely French boucherie Olivier’s Butchery in Dogpatch, SF)

  1. ART: What a year! The Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) – Larry Rinder’s stellar inaugural year re-opened in the Center St. location. Check out the free weekly Wed @ noon lecture series coming upBig Ideas:with Natasha Boas and be sure to grab a bite at the always stellar Babette.

Also don’t miss FOGFAIR next weekend 1/12-15 – a top tier design + art fair @ Fort Mason, it will blow your socks off.

A final thought, in memorium.

“During the twelve days, between Christmas and Epiphany, God permits the dead to walk. This is well known.” King Henry VIII to Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

As fortune had it, I came to this page just yesterday and took pause to remember all the greats we lost this past year – David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Zaha Hadid, Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Bill Cunningham, Muhammed Ali…to name just a few. The list felt heavier than usual this past year. If only we could have had them a little bit longer. Hug your loved ones close.

*Deb (Matt & Sadie)

Reciproc​ity welcome​d​ & encouraged! ~ let’s spread some good news, people!

~ wishing for you in 2017: LOVE in abundance, kindness, vision, happiness, JOY ~

FEEL FREE TO FWD THIS if you know someone who might appreciate it. You can also find me debdurant@instagram.com

(And if you’re receiving this but wish not to – just drop me a note so I can take you off of the list. No judgment, just my apology!)


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