December 8, 2010
I just ran into the opera director Francesca Zambello in Arlequin, the lovely cafe on Hayes Street in San Francisco which practically serves as my office. "Why isn't there a place like this in New York?" Zambello, who lives on the East Coast but is here on San Francisco Opera business, said.
I'm sure there must be places like Arlequin in New York, but it's true that if you're a culture industry worker in San Francisco, Arlequin is the place to be.
On the average morning while sipping my coffee, checking my email and writing my daily blog post for ArtsJournal, I spy any number of arts personnel here. In the past hour or so I've seen Zambello; the Pulitzer Prize winning writer James B Stewart (who's working with Zambello on the Heart of a Soldier world premiere at SF Opera); the opera's music director, Nicola Luisotti, and his wife; Christine Bullin, the executive director of Chanticleer; several San Francisco Symphony staffers and musicians; two members of the San Francisco Boys Chorus with their doting parents; the founders of an arts PR company; five San Francisco Ballet dancers (admittedly, this is a guess - they all look like ballet dancers and I know for a fact that one of the cluster is with the company); and Sydney Goldstein, who runs City Arts & Lectures (my coffee date this morning.)
I love this place.