Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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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 »
Treatments for a Charmed Life
By Nirmala Nataraj (Feb 08, 2007)
Ever since I was old enough to appreciate those 80s Calgon commercials and young enough to have only a meager comprehension of the word “stress” I was wholly entranced by the concept of pampering. I got my first manicure at age 16 and was 21 when I got my first facial (and the rest is, as they say, history), but the delayed gratification was out of this world. After all, I grew up daydreaming about perfume bottles with glass stoppers, mysterious fragrant potions that lay beyond reach in my mother’s armoire, and tubs fitted with frothy beds of bubbles. More »
A Bit of Schadenfreude You Can Live With
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jan 23, 2007)
Fifty years ago, playwrights like Harold Pinter were amassing scathing reviews and death threats, but now the thespian trademark of self-conscious menace and making spectators squirm in their seats is just par for the course. After all, it’s inarguable -- awash as we are in pop culture froth and the constantly impending threat of censorship -- that schadenfreude and shock value are the unspoken standards of modern theater. More »
A Refuge for the Old-Fashioned Romantic
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jan 15, 2007)
Weekends away from the city are too often tailored for the harried professionals. Wagering a guess that there are loads of you out there who feel the same, I’m about to let you in on a little secret: there is, indeed, a place where you can momentarily shelve your stresses, breathe deep some blessed “there’s no one around for miles” air, and take comfort in the fact that your mobile phones are completely useless here. It’s a little cul-de-sac tucked just off Highway One, and they call it Elk Cove Inn. More »
An Urban Oasis Awaits You
By Nirmala Nataraj (Dec 18, 2007)
On an unassuming Tuesday afternoon, I find myself in the waiting lounge of Spa Bar, tucked away on a busy vestibule of 2nd Street. The atmosphere certainly seems to spell out “deluxe digs for the urban primadonna” but something about the ambience is casual enough to make me want to take a deep breath (perhaps with the help of their signature oxygen bar) and leisurely stretch my limbs out to the loft ceilings or, perhaps, curl up on the sprawling couch with the latest issue of [b]Vogue[/b] and do some shameless people-watching More »
Undiscovered Terrain for Spa Babies
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 27, 2006)
Personally, I’m so [i]over[/i] overstimulation of the senses. I attribute that to relentless marketing and, of course, the advent of the holiday “gimmes”. Everywhere I go, I can count more iPods, Blackberries, and other fun gadgets with completely useless vestigial features than I can count people. That’s why I thank the deities of beauty and health for Oakland’s FLOAT – Flotation Center and Art Gallery, for offering some respite from all the madness. More »
Spa Therapy for Your Toes
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 30, 2006)
If you thought smooth, callus-free feet and perfectly polished toenails were beauty considerations strictly confined to warmer months, think again. For the sake of hygiene and, well, hygiene -- do your tootsies a favor this winter season and give them some preventive care against the humid confines of boots and sneakers. Recently, I stumbled upon a couple of new favorites, who dispense with the fast, factory-line pedicure treatment and add some sanitary know-how to the brew of indulgence. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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