Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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Seeing is Believing
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 27, 2008)
I’m not sure if it was my mild claustrophobia or the prospect of soiling the sequined evening gown I foolishly chose to don that evening, but I was feeling more than a little apprehensive as I walked down the narrow staircase into the Crimson Lounge, which doffs its red cape every Thursday through Saturday night and becomes Opaque “Dining in the Dark". It’s a dining experience like no other that may indicate a sea change in the epicurean raison d’etre -- it also requires a dollop of courage and maybe a few extra napkins. More »
Gifts for the Naughty and Nice
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 19, 2008)
Yep, it’s that time of year again, and if you’re anything like me, the hedonist in you will spring for only the finest products and services for loved ones and obligatory giftees alike. Certainly, it’s the thought that counts…but what could be more thoughtful than exclusive spa treatments and beauty items that don’t scream “mass production”? Your generosity will be remembered for years to come… More »
Vanity Beauty Lounge and Silk Nail Salon
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 12, 2008)
Guys and gals, take note. We all know beauty must-do’s like trimming the topiary even when it isn’t bikini season and keeping bright colors in our wardrobe despite the descent into dismal weather are no-brainers. So why do so many of us think it’s necessary to wait till porch-lounging, margarita-sipping conditions roll around before we pay attention to our tips and toes? No matter how you spin it, cracked, callused feet and hangnails shouldn’t be part of the seasonal doldrums. Here are two nail spas that specialize in making it feel like sandal weather year round. More »
Systematic Landscapes
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 21, 2008)
The 49-year old sculptor and architect Maya Lin is best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a monument that attests to the artist’s ability to elicit emotion from a viewer through minimal attempts at representation, and a concurrent reliance on the associative factors of vision and memory to create the desired response. Lin’s monumental approach to her sculpture can also be found in her recent exhibition at the de Young Museum, “Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", which follows on the heels of her recent installation at the new California Academy of Sciences. More »
Rustic Perfection
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 21, 2008)
The Northern California resort town of Calistoga is known for its historic hot springs (whose therapeutic properties have been soaked up by locals and vacationers for centuries, dating back to the indigenous Americans who discovered the springs’ healing potential) and Main Street soda-fountain charm, which makes this unassuming little hamlet of hedonism all the more appealing. And when it comes to luxury getaways in Calistoga, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Nestled in a private canyon with a view of the majestic Mayacama Mountains, Calistoga Ranch is an exclusive resort that tips its hat to the location’s built-in rusticity. More »
Best Beauty Sojourns for the Fall
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 24, 2008)
Cracked cuticles, flakey or sensitive skin, severely overworked muscles, the onset of seasonal affective disorder (aptly known as SAD)… these are just a few of the symptoms that tend to beset us as we march inevitably toward winter. But if 'tis the season to tie up loose ends before the new year sneaks up on us, 'tis also the season to get pampered pronto, and prettify yourself in the not-so-flattering darkening months. Here are some pampering mainstays -- ranging from holistic to deservedly froufy -- that’ll allow you to pack in a few good hours of spaah-induced bliss before, you know, taking care of all your less urgent seasonal duties. More »
Restorative Yoga Therapy and Massage
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 10, 2008)
Combining your trips to your yoga studio and massage therapist seems like the ideal kind of fusion. After all, physicians have been touting the stress-combating and corrective benefits of yoga for years, and recent studies that reveal massage’s curative effects on both stress and chronic pain have made the requisite spa trip way more than frivolous pampering. Now, harried San Franciscans can get their yoga on and take in a bit of bodywork, or simply do one of either, at Prasadana. More »
Youth, Imagination and Transformation
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 03, 2008)
The new exhibition at indie arts space Intersection for the Arts predictably foregoes gallery gambits and examines the power of public art to create communal transformation. The concept of public art, at least in the art world, has largely been confined to high-brow ideas of site-specific installations meant to evoke eyebrow-raised reactions. More »
Get Your Spa On - Together!
By Nirmala Nataraj (Aug 26, 2008)
From foreplay-inducing couples massage to candlelit baths for two, romantic spa havens for lovebirds abound in San Francisco. But what about those days when you’re looking to meld the practical with the sentimental and don’t necessarily want to wait for a special weekend to treat yourselves to a little well-deserved pampering? Here are three places to help you get your spa on--between errands, after work, or whenever you just plain feel like it -- at a margin of the cost you might incur at other places boasting the right ambience for amorous encounters. More »
Ambitious But Uneven
By Nirmala Nataraj (Aug 26, 2008)
Playwright Itamar Moses’ “Yellowjackets” is creating quite the stir on Berkeley Rep’s Thrust Stage, which has been impressively thrown into relief by Annie Smart’s vivid, graffiti-spackled set and a towering fence that’s more suggestive of a high-security prison than a high school. The play swirls with mid-90s slang (sending a shiver of recognition down the spines of those of us who braved adolescence during that epoch), urban politics, racially charged turbulence, schoolyard violence and bullying, the Kafkaesque K-12 bureaucracy, and the riotously epic, hormone-driven confusion that characterizes the American teenage experience. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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