San Francisco – March 2003
March signals spring with tulips in bloom at Golden Gate Park, Giants tickets on sale for the 2003 schedule, and the triumphant return of refurbished civic treasures:
Waterfront icon and ’06 quake survivor, the Ferry Building witnessed a good 50 million annual visitors during its prewar heyday. After decades of neglect, its deserved new lease starts March 22 with an $80 million upgrading, and the yummy new Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Across town, the respected Asian Art Museum, 14,000 pieces strong, reopens in its new Civic Center home Ã¯Â¿Â½ the Old Main Library, converted by architect Gae Aulenti, of Paris’ Musee D’Orsay fame. Ascend the new grand staircase starting March 20.
Spring’s arrival brings parties: Brazilaphiles can indulge their inner carioca dancing samba and more at the Brazilian Carnival Ball (SF Design Center, 3/1). Chicago or The Hours? Film buffs gussy up to champion their picks at the 23rd Oscar Night Gala, a tremendously popular celebration of Hollywood’s night and HIV/AIDS benefit. Red carpet included. (Fort Mason, March 23)
Springtime for Hitler? So think two con artists who set out to produce an epic Broadway flop in “The Producers”, Mel Brooks mega-Tony winner running at the Orpheum Theater, 3/5-4/26.
Recent art openings explore masterworks, venerable and postmodern: Original Renaissance Man Leonardo da Vinci heads a roster of 15th and 16th-Century European masters from Poland and beyond touring in “Leonardo da Vinci & the Splendor of Poland”. March 8-18.
The SF Museum of Modern Art honors a lifelong patron and contributor with “Treasures of Modern Art: The Legacy of Phyllis Wattis”, which gathers works by Magritte, Duchamp, Giacometti and others donated by
Wattis upon here 1997 death. (3/1-6/24)
SF Jazz kicks off its spring season under artistic director (and Bay Area native) Joshua Redman with a broad slate of billings running 3/21-6/13. March highlights include jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio 3/21-22 at Herbst Theatre; legendary Herbie Hancock 3/28 at the Palace of Fine Arts; and Buena Vista Social clubber Ibrahim Ferrar crooning sweet Cuban songs 3/28-29 at Masonic Auditorium.
And get set for another tough traffic weekend mid-month, with anti-war marchers regrouping on Saturday, March 15 and St. Patrick’s Day Parade the next day.
– Jay Cooke is a San Francisco-based travel, food, and culture writer, edits www.38geary.com.