Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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A Glimpse into an Icon’s Closet
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 29, 2007)
Coquettes and style mavens, take note -- 2007 has been a most fitting time for exhibitions that feature clothing. The de Young Museum recently enjoyed a popular exhibition on the legacy of the doyenne of hipness herself, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Now, the museum dovetails on the success of the Westwood event with an exhibition celebrating the very impressive wardrobe of another aesthetic arbiter: Nan Kempner. More »
Summer Away from the City
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 29, 2007)
Summers in the city are always hit or miss. Weather reports often augur gorgeous weather after a day or two of unexpected sunshine, but we all know that just because it’s June, it doesn’t mean diddly-squat. A few hours of balminess might give you gleeful intimations of the French Riviera, but I dare you to drive to the other side of the city, and the banks of fog will make you feel like you’re marooned on a Scandinavian fjord. And don’t even get me started on the necessity of dressing in layers. More »
An Authentic Taste of San Francisco Luxury
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 06, 2007)
While the summer months may have some of us all prepped for vacation plans in balmy coastal areas or more exotic terrains, others are more than a little accustomed to the occasional stream of visitors who find themselves strangely entranced with the City by the Bay. More »
Wellness Beckons
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 01, 2007)
For harried city-dwellers, Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue is like a sojourn to another time -- one where residents stop to greet each other to chat about the weather, and it’s safe enough to keep your doors unlocked. But the quaint, small-town feel is assuaged quite a bit by the spattering of chicness: hip yoga studios, used book stores, antique shops, and stylish fine dining populate the area with a relaxed elegance that make Piedmont Avenue an apt backdrop for a place like Meditrina World Healing Spa. More »
A Dark Rendition
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 24, 2007)
If you’ve never actually read Charles Dickens’ [b]Oliver Twist[/b], which is perhaps the most paradigmatic rags-to-riches story ever written, well…consider yourself at home. As adulated as Dickens is among the populist echelons and the fusty literati set, his erudite moral fables of industrial England gone bad are a little timeworn, a little too simplistic in our postmodern era of six billion people and clashing metanarratives. And with all the sentimental stage and screen revivals (particularly the 1963 film version, with its hum-worthy ditties and loveable rapscallions), it’s easy to write [b]OT[/b] off as just another feel-good yarn. More »
Open for Interpretation
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 17, 2007)
Walking up the stairs to the Intersection for the Arts gallery, potential spectators might be somewhat bewildered at the sight that greets them; coating the steps is a sheet of white felt, covered with ostensibly Persian names, in dispassionate block letters. Among the more obscure appellations, one can pick out “Saddam” and “Osama” almost instantly, as the eye’s natural tendency is to wander to what’s recognizable and fill it out with familiar meaning. In some ways, you can say that’s the very crux of Taraneh Hemami’s collection of installation work, "Most Wanted". More »
Forget About the Wine-Tasting
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 10, 2007)
Evidently, spring is in the air, romance is upon us, and throwbacks to the tried and true dinner-n-a-movie combination just won’t make the cut anymore. That’s no secret to jet-setting young urbanites and seasoned weekend lovebirds who flock to Gaige House, a cozy Sonoma County hamlet that can’t help but inspire its inhabitants to turn their cell phones off and their taste for the finer things in life on. More »
Exotic Indulgences
By Nirmala Nataraj (Mar 20, 2007)
Novella Spa and Imports is one of those places -- you know the kind. As soon as you step in, you’re immediately smacked with an urge to buy the entire store, particularly if your tastes tend toward the exotic and rare. It’s also one of the prime spots in San Francisco for decadent beauty rites to make you feel like a sultana of yore. More »
Inspired Spontaneity
By Nirmala Nataraj (Feb 29, 2007)
I’m at CounterPULSE ten minutes before Renaissance man/theatrical swashbuckler Jess Curtis’ highly anticipated show, "Under the Radar". As I’ve gathered from the website and tight-lipped program material, a kaleidoscopic assortment of dancers and performance artists will be entertaining the audience with genre-liberal food for thought: that includes concepts like beauty, normalcy, and preconceived notions of (dis)ability. All very heady stuff, but at the time being, I’m more interested in what’s going on right now. More »
Put Your Load Down
By Nirmala Nataraj (Feb 23, 2007)
Rest and relaxation. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Given our society’s terrible penchant for scheduling everything from requisite weekend getaways to quality time with loved ones, the time-honored idea of a little R&R has become little more than a bromidic gesture towards a removed, future indulgence, the lowest task on our collective to-do list, it would seem. But try to imagine a world in which time for silence -- a literal “waking up to smell the roses” -- is way more than a hypothetical priority. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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