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Archive for the ‘Worth Noting’ Category

The Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg

hand fan hand fan museumI was in downtown Healdsburg, CA and spotted in a shop window a beautiful butterfly shaped hand fan. I wandered inside a small fantastical space that was filled with art. I had no idea that The Hand Fan Museum was there! In fact, it’s the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to hand fans and displays a permanent collection in addition to having a rotating exhibit.

The builder/owner of Hotel Healdsburg, Pamela Sher, has been a fan collector for over 30 years and is a member of Fan Association of North America. Open since 2002 and now a part of the h2hotel, this museum is a physical example of Sher’s desire to educate the public about the cultural significance of the hand fan as fans are snippets of our world culture and artistic representations of time.

The director, Liz Keeley was lovely to talk with about the beauty of what I was seeing as well as helping me understand the differences between periods and designs. Even though the space is small, about 1000 sq ft, the impact of these functional pieces of art is not lost on the visitor. Though the inexpensive but colorful folding fans brought me in, the displays of history took my breath away. Many are for show, some are for sale, the gift table is where I spent my money. With lots of options for the casual buyer, I bought a $1 fan for my little one and a more expensive Japanese inspired fan for myself. See my Flickr set of photos.

If you have the chance, drop by this free museum (non profit 501c3), learn a little and support their art programs for students. Or simply cool yourself off.

My Stay at the Famous Painted Lady in San Francisco

Shannon Kavanaugh HouseThe Shannon Kavanaugh house is the anchor home of the most famous Painted Ladies in the world. Painted Ladies exist elsewhere and it describes brightly painted Victorian and Edwardian homes. Michael Shannon bought the anchor house at the corner of Steiner and Grove Streets in San Francisco in 1965. The Shannon Kavanaugh house (built 1892) was the personal residence of the builder, Matthew Kavanaugh, who owned all the adjacent lots to the south. When he finished his home, which is different from all the rest, he built three more on spec and finished them in 1896.

See my photo set on Flickr.

This ornate Queen Anne Victorian with Italianate touches sits across from Alamo Square and is well known for being featured in the opening credits of the TV sitcom “Full House”. Though the show never specifically references which home is supposedly theirs, if you were to say to someone “the Full House house” they’ll know what you mean. Featured in many other films, tourists are across the street and on the near sidewalk taking photos of the location all day, every day.

Author Alice Walker lived next door and offered to sell it to the owner about 1995. He regrets not buying it as the price increased dramatically by the next sale.

Postcard Row | Painted Ladies

The Shannon Kavanaugh is 1000 sq ft larger than the rest and has four bedroom, 3.5 baths. It has a garden au pair apartment and gas lamps. I stayed in a private suite which featured a king size bed, two sitting areas, a walk in closet, a large tiled bathroom with full tub, steam room shower and ornate finishing. Even the entertainment system was amazing with every attachment you could want.

I was blown away by the wallpaper details, the molding, fine furniture, and the amazing pictures in the bathroom. I just sat there staring at everything around me, feeling luxurious and spoiled by decadence. The experience was like staying in a hotel with all the creature comforts but also stepping back in time. Staying in a landmark that is upgraded for beauty and function spoils me for staying in a regular “box” hotel. They even gave me a balloon and sparkling wine to celebrate my birthday just days later.

Bathtub | Painted Lady

I met the marketing coordinator for the property in a social media class and we’ve worked together on multiple projects. He asked for my assistance in building a social media plan for the owners and partners in the property. My stay was trade for my services. But you can stay there too! It’s available on AirBnB, check it out.

This blog is normally about Sonoma County but we are so lucky to be just an hour away from some of the most amazing sites in the world! Occasionally I’m going to write about places that are within driving distance.

Here are some links to learn more about this house and it’s history:

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_ladies

SF Gate http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Largest-of-S-F-s-Painted-Ladies-up-for-sale-3198728.php

See my photoset on Flickr.

Tech Sweet Spot

I could never have been born in a more awesome place. I realize that just now.

I was born (and currently live) in the largest city in one of the most conscious locations on the planet. It is primed to receive an exodus of some of the most advanced technological minds right to my backyard. I live in Santa Rosa, an hour north of San Francisco. It’s groovy, it’s crunchy granola, we’re tree huggers, we’re conscious, there’s meditation, vegetarianism, veganism, the slow food movement, hippies, we have a high gay population, and the highest ranking community in California for volunteerism. We even have the Bohemian Grove, a notoriously secret enclave of Republican and conservative old boys meeting in our woods every year. It’s a fabulous, tolerant and diverse place to live.

But there’s something happening in the South Bay and Silicon Valley based tech organizations. The world tips towards the Bay Area when it comes to technology but many are leaving. Creating a startup and working at a huge successful company are completely different animals. A lot of those forward thinking people and those that created tremendous fortunes and became very influential in their fields are now retiring and/or moving onto new ventures. And where are they retiring to? Wine Country.  Right in the heart of where I live.

Consciousness AND technology? It couldn’t get any better.

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Kerry Rego New Board Member

As of February 2011, I was appointed to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board for the City of Santa Rosa by City Council Member Scott Bartley. This advisory board “provides City staff with input on the type of pedestrian and bicycle transportation projects that should be considered for commuting and what priority those projects should have.  These efforts culminate in the preparation of the City’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan.”

Since being appointed to the board (my term is 4 years), many people have assumed that I am on the Sonoma County Bike Coalition and confusing the groups. They are very different. The BPAB supports City Council and addresses both bicycle as well as pedestrian issues. The coalition is just for bikes and is a civilian based non-profit interest group.

I just wanted to clarify and let everyone know I am excited to be a part of the civic process! I am not passionate these subjects by themselves. What I AM passionate about is where I live and making it the best place it can be. Let me know if you have anything I should be aware of. Go Santa Rosa!

Social Media Seminar

Particulars:
Wednesday 6/24/09 10am
Sonoma County Tourism Bureau

Yes, yes, I know. It’s been awhile but I’m back with renewed vigor. So here goes….

Today I attended a Social Media class at the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau in Santa Rosa. It was held by Shana Ray, Media Maven, and Keri Hanson the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. I love to learn and it was a great forum for the information.

Shana covered the 10 basics of new or social media, largely focusing on Twitter and Facebook. If you or your business are looking to learn more about this subject and want to see how the Tourism Bureau has succeeded and learned a few things, this class is FREE and worth your time. Contact either of them via their twitter handles @sharayray and @insidesonoma or click on their links.

“If you aren’t making any mistakes, it’s a sure sign you’re playing it too safe.” John Maxwell

Snoopy & The Peanuts Gang

Particulars:
The Charles Schulz Museum & Research Center in Santa Rosa, CA
Saturday 4/11/09

Growing up as a kid, I thought everyone had a lot of Snoopy in their lives. See, I live in Santa Rosa, CA and that’s where Charles Schulz lived most of his adult life. The local ice skating rink is the Redwood Empire Ice Arena or Snoopy’s Ice. The Christmas shows they put on are the best, a cherished childhood memory. Walking around town you see Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown uniquely decorated and in the most unusual places. I can see a Woodstock from my bedroom window!

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an ice skater. I trained for a short period of time before switching to roller skating but I spent some time on their grounds. Across from the rink there is a pro shop where you get your Snoopy memorabilia, get fitted for new skates or an get an outfit. But if you were to climb the ramp to the second floor you would see an unfolding collection of Peanuts gang memorabilia. Comic strips, pez dispensers, t-shirts, pillows, stuffed animals, ad infinitum. The space was packed and fairly small. I haven’t been there since I was a child, I don’t even know if it still looks like that. But that was the worldwide destination of lovers of all things Snoopy.

I lived in Southern California for several years and while I was gone they went and built a world class museum! The Charles Schulz Museum & Research Center is very much an art gallery. I think the target audience is a 10 year old boy, Peanuts aficionados, and comic strip/commercial artists. The bottom floor right now is really taken up with the Peanuts and NASA connection. There’s quite a history between Snoopy and the space program. There are some models of space craft, actual pieces of space equipment and a ragtag module and costumes for kids to pretend “Spaceman”. It was really fun to watch a large group of excited kids bang on the pieces and parts in a whirlwind of imagination and space travel.

The outdoor garden is whimsical with plenty of art. We really liked the holographic birdbath. There’s a spotlight shining on the surface of it and with a little adjustment to your placement, you can see Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie all skating on the ice. Woodstock is even riding a Zamboni! It took a few minutes to figure out the theme but it’s the only time I’ve ever seen a hologram!

My 3 year old wasn’t real excited. She can’t read yet so the comic strips, which are obviously everywhere, were wasted on her. Large black and white reproductions are on the walls and in cases throughout. We did enjoy their education center where we did arts and crafts. I liked the recreated home office/studio of Mr. Schulz. It seemed to be they dismantled his office and brought the whole thing in. That was cool.

My bank is right down the street from the museum and every time I drive past, I look for Charlie Brown’s kite stuck in the tree. With all the new cartoons and cable channels and Charles Schulz’ passing away, I thought my daughter would grow up in a world where she didn’t know Snoopy. Instead, his presence and legacy grew even stronger in his adopted community. Thanks for all the childhood memories.

Childhood Memory

Childhood Memory

Inventive Sonoma County

I notice a new “thing” everyday. You know when you’ve just seen a documentary about, I don’t know, peanuts for example. Then for the next couple days you see peanuts and their brethren everywhere. Mr. Peanut, peanut butter, peanut M&M’s, you hear the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” song, until you’ve got peanuts coming out of your ears!

My subject for now is intellectual property. I sat through a fascinating and educational presentation given by Steve Schneider at Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center and Sawyer Center. He’s the coordinator of The Sawyer Center, program that teaches individuals and businesses how to navigate the choppy waters of seeing an invention through to the arrival of money in your pocket. Determining if the product is viable, if there’s a need, research, trademarks, copyrights, patents, pricing, networking, it’s a big subject.

The RESBDC is an amazing resource to local business by providing free and low cost education and counseling. It’s a State of California program (your tax dollars at work!) and overseen by the Santa Rosa Junior College. I took advantage of free business counseling myself to learn, to be challenged, to ask strategic and even silly questions of my counselor, Janet Wentworth. I found it enormously beneficial.

Everyone and their mother has an invention scribbled on a piece of paper or tucked away in their creative minds. This is a program for those with ideas and dreams. We can dream it and this program teaches you how to do it.

So everywhere I look I see trademark symbols (™), copyright marks ©, endcaps in stores and I see new-use inventions at every turn. If only I had 100 hours in every day, I could do something about my brilliant ideas (sarcasm alert). But I know that when I do have an idea that’s really worth it, I know where to turn to help me with my name, patent, and market my peanut.

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