Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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Beauty Made Simple
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 09, 2006)
As much as I love the science of beauty, frequenting the typical med spa isnít really my idea of a good time. The vision that springs to mind when I think of med spas usually involves antiseptic, staid environments; poker-faced doctors in lab coats, plying patients with machines that look like they were built specifically to inflict pain; and plasticky debutantes itching for their next Botox fix. Sure, this isnít a picture thatís altogether accurate or unbiased, but thatís exactly why places like Aura Skin Spa exist -- to school the ignorant (including me) out of their beauty prejudices. More »
Customized Skincare
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 26, 2006)
Lisa Bradbury and Shirley Lau have been in business at Fillmore Streetís Lisa Bradbury Skincare for six years -- and quite simply, theyíre in the business of making your skin the best it can possibly be. More »
A Scion of Good, Old-Fashioned Decadence
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 19, 2006)
Chicago-based Silent Theatre Company understands the appeal of classic celluloid, which they ape to sublime ends in their piece "Lulu", an adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekindís 1894 Lulu cycle, comprising "Earth Spirit" and "Pandoraís Box", but bearing more of a resemblance to G.W. Pabstís 1928 film revision starring Łber-vamp Louise Brooks. More »
An Outpost for All Your Autumn Skincare Needs
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 19, 2006)
Soothe (formerly London Elise Skin Care) is one of those cozy home-away-from-home establishments that make full-scale spas seem bland and passť in comparison. A modest one-room organic skincare and body healing clinic, it also happens to be one of the best-kept beauty secrets in the Upper Haight. More »
The Breadth Of What We Fear
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 12, 2006)
Terror is perhaps the major hot button term of our epoch. It used to define overwhelming fear, a sense of looming danger exemplified by an inability to act. At some point, that protean, not easily identifiable fear became alloyed by specific words and ideologies --such as the threat of systematic violence by hostile others, government intimidation, and the egregiously coined ďWar on Terror.Ē Itís impossible, these days, to even bethink the term without having it attributed to code red. More »
A Classic Case of the Domestic Squabble
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 12, 2006)
Frustratingly verbose games of cat and mouse; privileged yet disgruntled middle-aged harpies having at it; hardly suppressed Electra complexes; emasculated college professors burying their woes in a nightcap and a novel. Yes, my friends, that's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in a proverbial nutshell. Edward Albee's 1962 play, with its characteristic histrionics and intentional shock value, might seem dated these days, but it did for theater what films like [i]Last Tango in Paris[/i] did for cinema--namely, it created a new vernacular for its form, one which seethed with bitter contempt for traditional family values and canned gender roles. More »
Experience the Luxury
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 05, 2006)
Itís 8am on a Saturday, and while most of the people I know arenít even beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes, Iím in the spa waiting area of the Claremont Resort & Spa -- along with at least a dozen other women in identical white robes. From the looks and sound of it, my peers range from brides-to-be to debutantes on an early weekend excursion. About three minutes pass before spa attendants pour into the room, one by one, calling out clientsí names and ushering them towards a facial, massage, or some other such ministration. The room empties rapidly -- itís clear that even on sleepy weekend mornings, the Claremont Spa means business. More »
The Five-Mile Getaway
By Nirmala Nataraj (Aug 14, 2006)
If you live in the city, youíre well aware that every now and then, oneís senses need a little bit of R&R from all the urban hullabaloo. Case in point: most spa enthusiasts have probably run into this situation more than once -- youíre about to settle down to a well-deserved massage after a long and torturous work week when you are abruptly awakened from your blissed-out state by the sound of construction work or the ambient clamor of people on the sidewalk. Certainly, we canít always head out to Napa or Big Sur when a pamperfest (sans any indication of life outside the treatment room walls) is in order. More »
Feel Better at This Northern California Getaway
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 24, 2006)
As summer, with its occasional bouts of sunshine-accompanied merriment and outdoor cookouts, gives way to a lovely Bay Area fall, with its russet hues and invariably toasty weather, Iím reminded of the appeal of the impending months. These days, the prospect of September is a little more exciting, perhaps because Iím no longer a student dreading the onset of another banal school year. More »
Best Viewed Up Close
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 10, 2006)
Sarah Kraft and Ed Purver are nothing short of modern day performance archaeologists, scavenging for inspiration in the rubble of fairy tales, games, riddles, and newsy tidbits. Their much-lauded 2002 performance, [b]Woods for the Trees[/b], was an incisive mash-up of commentary on war, technology, the ogre of personal and spiritual isolation, and the ever-creepy parable of Hansel and Gretel. The pairís latest concoction, [b]Remote[/b], leaves behind a similar bread crumb trail of clues, questions, and eerily premonitory vignettes about the human condition in the MySpace era. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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