Each month we share five unmissable things to see and do in the Golden State. You heard it here first.



Hermès Debuts a Cinematic Daydream

La Fabrique de la lÉgÈretÉ. Photo: BENJAMIN SCHMUCK.

An imaginary universe complete with Pegasus, the mythical winged horse, is touching down at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar from July 15 to 23, when Hermès unveils its cinematic ode to daydreams, On the Wings of Hermès. The open-to-the-public production, created by Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey along with her Astragales dance company, uses the flying stallion and his seven foals to metaphorically explore the lightness and subtlety of the delicate work of artisans who create the French house’s elegant objects, leather goods, ready-to-wear, and perfumes. In a thoroughly modern twist, the joyous extravaganza combining dancers and creatives along with lighting and image technicians is performed live and projected onto a giant screen in real time. The live exhibition, which began in France before traveling to Japan and Taiwan ahead of its slated July arrival stateside in Santa Monica, includes a mini circus, an opera sung by a cast of Kelly bags, a flight of gloves, and a pas de deux with two lovers carried off with the wind. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, free admission by registration. E.V.

OCMA Showcases Alice Neel’s Portraits

Left: Ginny and the Parrot, 1970. Right: Sunset, Riverside Drive, 1957. Images courtesy The Estate of Alice Neel and David Zwirner.

While many of the great artists of the last century were focused on Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, or postmodernism, Alice Neel (1900–1984) remained steadfast in her commitment to portraiture throughout her 60-year career. Now celebrated as one of the country’s most important figurative artists, she painted the world in and around her Manhattan apartment: friends, children and their pets, strangers, pregnant women, and the city streets. This month, the OCMA welcomes Feels Like Home, a 40-piece show of some of Neel’s most important works, many of which were pulled from the estate’s collection. For displaced New Yorkers, it’s a welcome reminder of life back east, but in this post-pandemic world, Neel’s examination of the importance of human connection and the things that make a home a home are universal. June 23–October 22. ocma.net.

Eastern Mediterranean Eatery Lands in the Presidio

Dalida Spread with Lamb Shoulder, Kebabs, and Octopus. Photo: Maren Caruso.

In some much-needed good news out of San Francisco, the hotly tipped restaurant project from husband-and-wife team Sayat and Laura Ozyilmaz, Dalida, bows this month, taking over prime space (formerly occupied by Traci des Jardins’ Commissary) in the heart of the Presidio. In Polish-Yiddish dalida translates to dahlia, which is the name of Sayat’s mother and also happens to be the official flower of San Francisco. The menu at the couple’s new Eastern Mediterranean eatery, which overlooks the Golden Gate bridge, is a promising lineup of traditional fare: mezes, kibbeh meatballs with whipped tahini, Middle Eastern pastas, and fresh oysters with a mignonette made from pressed quince flowers harvested from the couple’s plot in the Presidio’s Community Garden. To incorporate the spectacular setting in the decor, they commissioned Oakland-based artist Emily Parkinson to create a vibrant hand-painted botanical mural in the dining room to reflect the native species that flourish in the surrounding parkland. 101 Montgomery St., Ste. 100, SF; dalidasf.com.

Music, Movies, and More at Festival Napa Valley

Left: Photo by darian volkova. Right: Photo: Bob McClenahan.

The 17th-annual Festival Napa Valley kicks off this month for two weeks of genre-spanning programming including jazz, opera, and country (thanks to Carrie Underwood’s headlining performance at the Arts for All Gala at Nickel & Nickel). Indulge in special performances from the likes of Matteo Bocelli (son of Andrea Bocelli), guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, and Gaetano Donizetti’s version of the classic comedy Don Pasquale. At the historic Cameo Cinema in St. Helena, Gordon Getty’s celebrated fourth opera reimagined for film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, receives a special screening; the stage at Charles Krug hosts artistic director Xander Parish and ballet soloists displaced by the war in Ukraine. With daily patron dinners and vintner’s luncheons at some of the valley’s most iconic estates, private homes, and event spaces, make sure to pace yourself. July 8–23. festivalnapavalley.org.

Fess Parker Opens the Doors of Its Updated Hotel

Wine Country Inn, Room 1. 

Actor Fess Parker’s iconic roles as frontiersmen like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett set the stage for his second career as a pioneer of Santa Ynez wine country, where he purchased a 714-acre ranch in 1988. This month, the family-owned and -operated endeavor unveils large-scale updates to the beloved Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and its tasting room, Epiphany, in downtown Los Olivos. Designer Oliva Villaluz oversaw the updates to the Inn’s 19 rooms: think curvy boucle armchairs around cozy fireplaces, wrought iron four-poster beds, and soaking tubs that must be resisted in order to enjoy the lauded on-site Nella restaurant (from the team behind S.Y. Kitchen), the pool, the fitness room, and the wineries beyond. Meanwhile, the garden at Epiphany was revamped by Josh White (who is married to Fess Parker’s granddaughter Amanda) as the ultimate summer spot to sample the house’s Rhône varietals. In a nod to their founder, each bottle of Fess Parker still features a golden coonskin cap on the label. fessparker.com.


Feature image: La Fabrique de la légèreté. Photo: Benjamin Schmuck.


July 2023

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