As if the holidays weren’t enough of an excuse to eat sweet homemade treats, now you’re sheltering in place

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Ethel Koh’s Chocolate Coffee Caramel Tart. Photo courtesy of Ethel Koh

Here we are again: facing the holiday season, nowhere to go, no one to see. A shelter-in-place mandate, in all its empty-parklet, canceled-festivities glory, is upon us for the second time in 2020. In the beginning of the pandemic, the solution to the doom and gloom was baking, and we say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This winter, with the rain and cold as a cozy backdrop, perfecting a new batch of recipes by local bakers makes even more sense. Cookies make a wonderful socially distant gift for loved ones, and a freshly baked cake can lift even the darkest spirits. …

From the Theater to Pop Up Magazine

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Photo: Pop Up Magazine

The pandemic has made us question: what even is fun, right now?

Often, as we all know, it’s virtual — from Zoom dates to wine tastings and even multi-day, multi-DJ dance festivals — or it can be delivered: food, wine, workout kits, you name it. Now, a new trend delivered boxes of goodies paired with virtual experiences. And these boxed-up events are more popular than ever this holiday season.

Take Pop-Up Magazine, the beloved San Francisco-based live multimedia storytelling series, which in pre-Covid times would fill historic theaters across the country. Live events like these have been some of the hardest hit by lockdown restrictions, but the magazine has tried to make it work, holding some online shows since February. …

Bold Bay Areans

Akilah Cadet is in high demand

Akilah Cadet leaning backwards on her elbows against a concrete retaining wall. A fence with flowering ivy is above her.
Akilah Cadet leaning backwards on her elbows against a concrete retaining wall. A fence with flowering ivy is above her.
Photo: Emily Scott

Bold Bay Areans is a series from TBI featuring locals living boldly whom you should know about. If you would like to nominate someone, send us an email or DM us on Twitter or Instagram.

“The Olivia Pope of Diversity.” That’s what Akilah Cadet, DHSc, MPH, calls herself. Based in Oakland, Cadet is an outspoken community leader and activist who, through her company, Change Cadet, advises companies and CEOs on navigating and implementing social justice, creating diverse teams, and responding to news around racism in an appropriate way.

“I’m a proud Oakland resident,” Cadet says. “It was also important for me to open my business in Oakland due to the rich history of advocacy for Black people.” …

The Californian’s Dilemma

Meet the pandemic’s digital nomads who are ditching permanent residences in favor of hitting the road

A person working on a laptop in the back of a covered pickup truck at night, sitting on a mattress.
A person working on a laptop in the back of a covered pickup truck at night, sitting on a mattress.
Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

This week in The Bold Italic, we are publishing The Californian’s Dilemma, a series that goes beyond the headlines about the “California exodus,” featuring essays from San Franciscans about why they’re choosing to stay or leave. Check back daily for new essays.

Not too long ago, when life was stable and travel wasn’t surrounded by anxiety, digital nomadism — working remotely while traveling — was all the rage. Images filled Instagram of freelancers in picturesque, beachside destinations living their best lives, making those of us in an office hate scroll in jealousy. …

Because your WFH environment affects your headspace

2 people sitting on a sofa working on laptops. One’s reclined, resting their feet on the shoulder of the other, who’s upright
2 people sitting on a sofa working on laptops. One’s reclined, resting their feet on the shoulder of the other, who’s upright
Photo: 10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/Getty Images

At some point in 2019, I decided it was time to find an office space after watching someone’s laptop stolen right in front of my eyes while working out of a local coffee shop. That incident launched my stint as a member of a co-working space.

Before the pandemic hit, the Bay Area was full of modern, bright, stylish co-working spaces aimed at nearly every type of worker or freelancer.

Back then, co-working spaces offered a welcome hybrid for those without full-time jobs: all the fun of a workspace, none of the bullshit the office often comes with. For a while, three days out of five, I loved dressing in nice clothes and commuting (well after rush hour) to a pretty space in downtown San Francisco, where the hum of productivity and the veneer of solidarity soothed and cocooned me as I went about my business. …

Your passport means nothing, so here are your next best options to globe-trotting

A row of multicolored pastel houses right in front of a body of water before sunset.
A row of multicolored pastel houses right in front of a body of water before sunset.
Capitola, near Santa Cruz. Photo: Praveen P.N/Moment/Getty Images

Let’s face it — travel with a capital T is out right now. Not technically — you can still hop on a plane, and visit, say, Arizona, or another swing state. But with planes and airports being strongly advised against by the officials, this summer looks like a domestic vacation scenario. Staycation? Fakecation? No word can do it justice, but it will have to do. That being said, staying at home doesn’t have to mean more of the same; when you break it down, travel is about novelty, a crisp sense of place that’s foreign and unfamiliar. With a little imagination — just go with it — some places, right here in the Bay Area, can feel like a voyage abroad. All it takes is a car ride, provisions and an attitude that allows discovery and awe. Ready? …

When keeping up with new stuff is just another to-do, rewatching is an act of comforting rebellion

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Photo: Hinterhaus Productions/Stone/Getty Images

Are you a productivity freak or someone who likes to go easy on themselves? Never has this distinction mattered or been debated more than during quarantine times. Should you use the time saved not commuting to tackle a list of new skills, or give in to pajamas and zero effort? For team productivity, Covid-19 has brought compulsive baking, obsessing over self-optimization, and poring over all the new reads. For the people taking it easy, you too can find endless lists of comforting practices, self-compassion tips, and articles that rid you of guilt.

Allow us to present another comforting activity that’s a bit of both: saying no to all the latest Netflix offerings and rewatching a TV show or movie you already love. In times of uncertainty, the power of familiarity and repetition may outweigh novelty and excitement. On the other hand, you’re doing something, right? …

Discovering the magic of the city—by foot

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Photo: RICOWde/Moment/Getty Images

“I’m doing a long walk today. Would you like to join me?” I texted a friend recently.

“A hike?” he texted back, clearly confused.

While escaping to a local nature trail on a sunny weekend is a normal activity for San Franciscans, walking in the city — especially without a purpose and through neighborhoods that aren’t yours — is an oddity here.

I moved to the Bay Area from Tel Aviv, a city so congested with traffic that walking and biking are the only viable options. Memories are created along the way, vivid sensations are imprinted, meshing into a strong sense of the city’s what and why. In San Francisco, a city spread out compared to Tel Aviv and factually hilly, locals tend to opt for Lyft Pools. …

And how social media has evolved the old art form for local tattoo artists and fans

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Oakland/Venice Beach artist Dillon Forte. Photo: Dillon Forte

Tattoo artist Sai Li tells me upon my arrival at Black Serum in the Mission that we’ll have to be very quiet when I watch her tattoo a client. It is then, after stepping into my first tattoo studio, that I realize that this adventure may not be as exciting as I had anticipated. How serious, I think. How unadventurous.

As a relative newcomer to the Bay — six years and counting — I’ve been watching hesitantly as tattoos seemed to appear more often around me this past year. Tattooed arms of chefs and bartenders served me food at restaurants. Inner-thigh and rib-cage tattoos stared at me at a pool party last summer. Tattoos peeked out from under button-up shirt sleeves on BART, their owners reading some kind of sophisticated literature. Tiny tattoos in the form of demure stars or “meaningful” calligraphy appeared on some of my best friends. …

From obsessing over Succession to snubbing Offred, here’s what helped me get through a year of streaming

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Photo: JESHOOTS/Unsplash

We’re nearing 2020, and festive summaries are upon us. “The Best TV Shows of the Decade” — this headline alone makes me feel tired. When the decade began, some might remember, streaming giant Netflix had yet to launch its first original show, House of Cards. Hulu were one year into launching their service. AMC was serving hits like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. And the cultural phenomenon of binge-watching didn’t exist as TV series were released on a weekly basis, never all at once.

In 2010, what existed were TV “events,” like when a big show premiered and we all talked about it, then proceeded to watch it week after week until the big season finale. Navigating the choppy waters of streaming’s coming into being in the last ten years can make even the biggest TV junkie seasick. …


Flora Tsapovsky

Style, food and culture writer in SF and Tel Aviv. Words in Bon Appetit, WIRED, Afar, the San Francisco Chronicle. Lover of micro-trends. Picky eater. Wanderer.

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