Thursday, December 6, 2012

ALL AROUND THE WORLD: Bar Art


Quick announcement: For the Spring Semester, starting in December, due to author's traveling abroad (to Italy, South Africa, France, and more!) Unleashed will be published once a month. This semester, we will include guest articles written by people of interest: professors, musicians, wise parents, firefighters and more surprises to come!

           
ASHELEY GAO

            “When customers can no longer tell how many children they can count on the Pied Piper mural, send them home to their families…” wrote Maxfield Parrish in his letter to Helen Hess. The Palace Hotel in San Francisco has been the home of American painter, Parrish’s mural, the Pied Piper, for almost a century. The hotel even name the bar in which the mural is hung, “Maxfield’s Pied and Piper Grill” in order to commemorate this masterpiece. 
             One of the perks of living in a city with hidden treasures is finding a painting like this in a bar in the financial district. One would hardly imagine sipping a glass of beer and enjoying a plate of truffle fries while gazing upon a masterpiece that is worth at least six million dollars. The Pied Piper Grill exudes a sense of luxury through the wooden panels, mosaic floor, and dark green leather seats. The light in the bar is dimmed except for the ones above the mural, leading the guests of the bar into the magical land where the Pied Piper charmed all the kids.
            San Francisco is famous for its wide selection of bars; while some of them carry signature cocktails that cost more than a lobster dinner, others host collections of artworks that might rival a museum. Not too far away from the Palace Hotel, another bar near the financial district called Eddie Rickenbacker’s is fully decorated from the ceiling to the ground. An avid motorcycle collector, the owner of the bar, Henry Africa, lifted some of his favorite motorcycles and hung them on the ceiling; while on the table tops, an incredible collection of Tiffany’s original lamps fill every inch of the surface. The owner purchased his first Tiffany lamp back in 1993, and his collection has been expanding ever since. Quite suitable to the overall rustic interior d├ęcor, the security system for these precious Tiffany lamps is also rather primitive: each lamp is chained with the martini glasses and locked up by multiple padlocks. However, after a few decades of gracing the pub with vibrant colors and simple elegance, the lamps eventually left for New York as they were featured in a series of auctions. As the owner of the bar passed away early 2011, the interior decoration of the bar is slowly disappearing as well. However, Eddie Rickenbacker’s will always be remembered as the cozy home of motorcycles, lemon drop martinis and glowing Tiffany lamps.
            There are also bars in San Francisco that feature local artists’ works, like the Madrone Art Bar in the Haight. 7X7 magazine once stated that at Madrone bar, Paintings, photographs, mixed media, sculpture, video, film, design, fashion, music, spoken word, and dance share time with live music, DJs and specialty cocktails to round out this NoPa hotspot. Combining this comprehensive art collection with its various theme nights, Madrone bar is taking over the city by storm. After all, having a great time with friends is a form of art as well.
            Madrone Art Bar
            500 Divisadero St (at Fell)
            San Francisco, CA 9411

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The Culture Columnist, Asheley Gao:

My name is Asheley Gao and I’m a junior at Cal, majoring in History of Art and minoring in French. I grew up in Asia, the land of dragons and jasmine green tea, as a kid with too much imagination. Indulging myself in exploring different cultures and what they have to offer (art, movies, cuisine, you name it!), I’m on my way to becoming a woman whose country is the whole world. Along with all the excellent writers at Unleashed, I would love to share with you my adventure and take you all around the world.



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