Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Vanished worlds

Out There

"David Eckstein, seven years old, and classmates in cheder [Jewish elementary school], Brod" (ca. 1938), gelatin silver print by Roman Vishniac. Photo: Courtesy International Center of Photography
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One of the highlights of last week for Out There was attending the Circle of Friends opening celebration for the exhibition Roman Vishniac Rediscovered at the Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco. In remarks, CJM executive director Lori Starr and exhibition curator Maya Benton made a compelling case for the importance of this exhibit, organized by the International Center of Photography, New York.

Vishniac (1897-1990) recorded Jewish life in Eastern Europe between the World Wars, going on to have an international career of commercial and fine arts photography. This show includes newly discovered works of his that go well beyond social record. But it's his documentation of the exterminated societies of old-world Jewish community life that will live on in importance, as it offers crucial glimpses of the vanished 20th century. What a different world it would be today if not for the virulence of European anti-Semitism. Watch for a review of the exhibit in next week's Arts & Culture.


Scene at Anzu Restaurant & Bar in the Hotel Nikko. Photo: Courtesy Anzu

Fine dining

You know, in all the years we've been attending performances at Feinstein's at the Nikko, it's surprising that we'd never been to dinner at Anzu Restaurant & Bar in the stylish Japanese hotel. That all changed when we were invited to sample executive chef Michael Raub's offerings at the dining establishment last week. We settled cozily into a corner banquette one night last week after our rounds at the CJM.

Our four-course dinner at Anzu began with an amuse-bouche of spicy tuna poke, the delectable fish nestled with avocado, shallot and tomato in a sesame cone, paired with a Sonoma Piper Blanc de Blancs. This was followed by a baby kale Caesar salad washed down with Hall Sauvignon Blanc. Then Pepi dove into the macadamia nut-crusted King Salmon, while OT enjoyed the butternut squash cavatelli with a nice Chianti. Dessert was a sweet ginger panna cotta with fresh berries, lavender mint and plantain chip, paired with Orange Muscat.

This delectable feast is a real menu bargain at $41 per diner, or $65 paired with the wines, definitely worth considering if you find yourself in the theatre district. Safe to say we're strangers no more to Anzu.


City life

Crossed the street in Civic Center the other day, and a driver in a left-turning SUV tried to cut us off, nearly running us over in his zeal to clear the intersection. "Hey! This is a crosswalk, not a freeway!" we're afraid we fairly shouted into his windshield.

There was a crowd of onlookers on the far corner waiting to cross, and as we made curbside they began to cheer. "Hey, Crosswalk Guy !" "Give him hell, Crosswalk Guy!"

And just like that, we were a meme. Kinda like Pizza Rat , but with an edge.


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