June 2017

June 27, 2017
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SF, I’m blowing you the biggest kiss from a fantastic Pink Saturday—and of course Karl the Fog came to celebrate Pride. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey San Francisco, that was one hell of a Pride celebration this year, well done. Strong community, strong messages, big support, kindness, laughter, connection, coming together, remembrance, resistance, rallying, and, of course, rocking it. Love you all, don’t change a thing.

I know some of us are already eyeing the calendar and the upcoming weekend, which many of you are turning into a long 4th of July break. Smart. I’m planning a little holiday break next week as well—I hate working on the 4th. I’m going to take a pause from the news, but I’ll be running a summertime Healdsburg feature for you. Stand by. (And if any of you Sonoma folks want to advertise your many summer events in next week’s column, drop me a line!)

Speaking of the calendar, there’s a good chance I’m going to be hosting a tablehopper rooftop whiskey party on the evening of Thursday July 20th or Friday the 21st. Fun, right? Save the date—it may move to August, but I thought I’d give you a heads up! Details coming asap. Would love to see you, mwah.

Today’s news includes a 707 Scout—I thought in case some of you are heading to Wine Country this weekend, you’d like a little reminder of what’s new up there.

Have fun, chase the sun, and cheers!
Marcia Gagliardi

June 20, 2017
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Keep these boozy ice creams comin’! This is a rosé ice cream at Petit Marlowe, a collaboration with Scribe Winery and Smitten. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

SF, way to rock the sunny weekend! So good to play in a pool in Sonoma on Saturday at a friend’s birthday, and drive home with the sunroof open to let in that beautiful sweet air that smells like wheat. I got to ride bikes with sis to Ocean Beach on Sunday before heading down to the rents for Father’s Day dinner—check out the birria spread my sister orchestrated. It has been hard to be back at my desk after three weeks far far away from it, that’s for damn sure.

I’m looking at the week ahead, and it includes an outdoor pig roast party (details in the chatterbox), and this weekend, the city blows up with Pride. As I say, Goddess loves the gays—we have some pretty nice weather on deck this weekend. I was in New York for Pride last year, so it will be so good to catch up with friends in Dolores Park and on various dance floors. Hiiiiiii!

I’m not including any Pride festivities or promotions this week—too many were lacking a charitable component, to be perfectly honest. Because as long as we are reading utterly heartbreaking stories like this one, there is work to be done, and having a Pride rainbow cocktail/sundae/cookie/ice cream flavor/event without giving something back to the community and many organizations in need of support is pretty shortsighted and exploitative. Next year: do better! Here’s some inspiration. (And you can still give back this year, it’s not too late.) Mwah.

Much love and rainbows and unicorns.
Marcia Gagliardi

June 13, 2017
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Megawatt smiles and cuteness during a Pencils for Kids visit to the Praratchadamri Church Project in Chiang Rai. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hiiiiii! I’m back from the land of smiles, and I really do feel like I have been living in a happy bubble of kindness, grace, and warmth the past three weeks. The Thai people charmed the hell out of me—there’s a lot to be said for pausing with each person you meet, looking at each other for a moment, sharing a “wai” (your hands clasped 🙏🏽 with a slight bow) and a sawatdeekaaaaaaa (for the ladies). It creates an instant connection, and often a shared smile, although maybe theirs was because of my flushed cheeks and sweaty brow (#whiteladyinthetropics).

It was a remarkable trip, from a full-on week eating my way through the sweaty chaos of Bangkok, followed by a week in the villages of Chiang Rai for the ninth Pencils for Kids backpack delivery mission in Thailand (the whole point of my trip!). Each day was incredibly moving—the children at these schools and orphanages melted my heart. So many sweet smiles and happy faces and I loved all the “thank-yous” in English, awwwww! We delivered 900 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and school uniforms to seven locations in three days! An incredible amount of coordinating goes into these missions—just imagine getting uniform measurements for that many children ahead of time.

Kudos to the PFK team on its 10th year and all its supporters and sponsors, including Cathay Pacific, who flies the backpacks to Thailand, Bali, and Myanmar each year (and generously flew yours truly as well). I know many of you saw my pics while I was away—expect to hear more soon, especially about an upcoming PFK fundraiser on November 16th in SF I’m going to be helping with! And wait until you see these pictures. I’m feeling so much gratitude for my education, it really has made all the difference in my life, and it felt so great to help support education for others dealing with challenging life circumstances. I know you’d like to do the same!

I spent my last week in Southern Thailand, island hopping to Koh Samui and then Koh Tao, where I completed my PADI open water dive certification! I had no idea I was going to love scuba diving so much—fish TV is amazing, especially 18 meters (59 feet) underwater! I haven’t had a personal challenge like this for some time, dealing with water fears (especially in some somewhat turbulent conditions on our first day), figuring out the gear, and managing an impatient and misogynistic instructor I called the English bulldog—fortunately there was the babetastic Greek instructor who was assisting to distract me from throttling the bulldog. (Thanks, Goddess!) And now I am starting to plot where I want to dive next!

I have been thinking how Thailand really forces you to do a lot of risk assessment, daily, and as a friend said, is out to hurt you. You have to do things like decide if you really should get on the back of that motorbike taxi without a helmet to zip through the busy streets of Bangkok to get home (no, but yes), how much spicy can you really handle (keep at it), is that street food a good call or no, are you drinking enough water (dear god, the sweat). And then there are all the things that happen on the islands, from all the random cuts and bites to not burning your leg on jenky scooter tail pipes (or crashing, don’t do that) to not getting stung by jellyfish or sea urchins or brushing up against some coral on a night swim (I did that, and ow). And seriously, where are the life jackets on these ferryboats? I just kept saying, “THANKS UNIVERSE!” and would chomp on another Thai green chile. The sun even came out on my last day for the most gorgeous beach day with my friend. I’m home safe, with my mosquito bites finally healing up, the river of sweat has stopped, and am feeling really really lucky, because I definitely pushed my luck in some areas. Per usual.

I want to do some extra big thank-yous to everyone who sent me tips (you rock!), made introductions, took me around, hosted me, joined me, put sunblock on me, and helped make this trip one of my very favorites. I made some incredible connections and am coming home with such a full and happy heart. I also lost two pounds, so there’s that. I will say it’s really hard to be back at my desk after running around every day, I am getting some major cabin fever. But at least there is rosé in my fridge, and bubbles, of course—I missed those! (Next time, I am packing two bottles. Note to self!) And yes, there will definitely be a next time: Thailand, you’re such a special place. I’m so crushing on you. (And your khanom krok.)

And now, it’s time to put down the mango sticky rice and get back to the grind. Today’s issue is a recap of news that has happened the past three weeks, so let’s roll the tape! And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a mountain of email to scale and traverse. And still a little unpacking to do too.

See you on the town!
Marcia Gagliardi

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