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the perfect dress for your big day Plus: Wedding venues, favors and bling



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Lesher Center for the Arts 5/20 & 21


Bayside Performing Arts Center 5/25 - 29 650.357.1687

To The Beatles Michael Smuin

Requiem (World Premiere) Amy Seiwert Celia Fushille, Artistic & Executive Director

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Photo by Scott Harben SEE/Pictures

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table of contents

56 109

90 122

features spring fashion 56

the guide for brides The Perfect Dress The latest trends, from the spellbinding to the sublime. By Hasti KashďŹ a. Photos by Delbarr Moradi

109 Singular Sensations Unique spots to tie the knot. By Erika Kittler Brown

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Indulge Vow wows: Gems, hairpieces to complete your look. By Janet Kim Paik

Bold & Bright Vivid hues and soft, clean lines. By Donna Kato Photos by Christina Hernandez




Beauty Report Be your best on your big day. By Melinda Sacks

116 Haute Stuff Fun and festive wedding favors. By Crystal Chow

122 In the Garden Succulent bouquets and boutonnieres. By Joan Jackson

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table of contents

departments icons 70 Just Between Us Alison van Diggelen coaxes thinkers, activists and the merely famous into talking about green tech – and themselves. By Julia Prodis Sulek

body & soul special report 39

Medical advances in fertility mean women have more choices than before. By Melinda Sacks

76 A Radical Idea Sonia Arrison believes science and tech will soon let us live till we’re 150, so we might as well prepare for it. By Julia Prodis Sulek.

83 Second Acts

New Ways to Conceive


Lynette’s Story Chemo treatments could save her life but leave her unable to bear children. How one woman was able to preserve her fertility.

Big changes in your life or career? Embrace them – or at least learn how to make them work for you. By Donna Lynn Rhodes

21 76


the rest 21

The Insider Summer trends, and the best locally based fashion sites. By Stephanie Simons


Shop Talk The Pickled Hutch in Pacifica, and The Red Box in Walnut Creek

129 Getaways Southern California resorts lure visitors with sun, sand – and recycling. By Katharine Fong

134 At the Table Fig’s Ray Garcia. By Katharine Fong

140 Home & Design Designing with soul: doing the right thing with decor and materials. By Donna Kato

152 Seen Big fun around town.

154 Just for You A reader contest, and more.

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Scene Rebecca Hall-Lucero Art Director Donna Kato Contributing Fashion & Beauty Editor Crystal Chow Melinda Sacks Stephanie Simons Julia Prodis Sulek Contributing Writers Joanne Ho-Young Lee Patrick Tehan Contributing Photographers Rebecca Parr Copy Editor Jasmine Duarte Intern Scene Magazine Vol. 3, No. 1, Copyright 2011 by the Bay Area News Group All rights reserved. Material herein may not be reprinted without expressed written consent of the publisher. Make sure you receive every issue of Scene Magazine. Email scene@bayareanewsgroup. com, or write to Scene Magazine, 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190. Get social with Scene: Twitter: SceneBayArea

Join us! Our Fall 2011 issue publishes August 12, full of fashion, design, health and wellness, and locals you’ll want to know.

Josie Lepe

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

Of babies, weddings and fresh starts It’s an unthinkable situation: Lynette Leighton was 37, divorced and childless when she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. The treatment that could save her life – chemotherapy – would also leave her infertile. She had to act quickly. Under the guidance of Dr. Mitchell Rosen, head of UC San Francisco’s Fertility Preservation Center, she chose a sperm donor, fertilized her eggs, harvested and froze her embryos, then began chemo – all the while not knowing if she’d live long enough to be a mother. “Lynette’s Story” (Page 45) ends on an upbeat note, as Leighton has been cancer-free for two years. It underscores the lengths to which many will go to bear a child. “Everybody takes it for granted that if they want to, they will be able to have children, and they spend much of their lives trying to not get pregnant,” Rosen says. “Then when they want a child and can’t have one, it is heartbreaking.” Our larger story on cutting-edge fertility treatments (Page 39), by Melinda Sacks, broadened my understanding of how science and technology, and professionals like Rosen, are making it easier to conceive, and to ensure that babies will be healthy and normal. These innovations allow women and men to get past common infertility issues, such as endometriosis, low sperm count and age – and also more complicated problems such as Leighton’s. It’s a provocative read. The rest of this issue? We have weddings on the brain, what with William and Kate’s spectacle coming later this month, and the annual nuptial season gearing up. I invite you to join in: Check out our spellbinding bridal fashions layout on Page 90, styled by Hasti Kashfia, then debate Erika Kittler Brown’s picks of the best local spots to tie the knot (Page 109), and peek at some creative wedding favors and florals (Pages 116 and 122, respectively). And don’t miss Donna Lynn Rhodes’ look at “Second Acts” (Page 83), where a few locals well acquainted with life’s curveballs talk about turning unwanted changes in career and life into inspiring, positive transitions. Getting married, being able to choose from more fertility options, moving on to a new chapter – they are but a few paths of many. In the spirit of weddings and babies and fresh starts, I wish you rich and joyous life-affirming experiences, whatever path you are on.

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

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Mac Tully President & Publisher Bay Area News Group

Michael Turpin Vice President, Advertising & Marketing Bay Area News Group John Stoeser Director, Community Information & Targeted Delivery Bay Area News Group Ginny Banuelos Director, Retail Advertising Bay Area News Group Steve Weimer Targeted Publications Director

Erika Kittler Brown (“Singular Sensations”) has planned events for years, ranging from parties for the ESPN Classic at Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego to gala fundraisers in Silicon Valley. As well as handling events for the Bay Area News Group, she currently is planning her sister’s wedding – and blogging about it on

Monica Balistreri Product Manager Cissi Holmgren-Kates Advertising Production Manager Timothy Tsun & Ad Services Advertising Design For advertising information, call 408.920.5793. Copyright 2011 Bay Area News Group.

scene advisory board Karie Bennett Founder Atelier Aveda Salonspa and Atelier Studio at Santana Row Collette Navarrette West Coast Marketing Manager Federal Realty - Santana Row Amanda Sinclair Strategic Account Manager Future Electronics Dawn L. Thomas Broker Associate Intero Real Estate Services

Monica Balistreri Product Manager Scene Magazine Ginny Banuelos Director, Retail Advertising Bay Area News Group

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Kalpana Trivadi CEO World Information Network Laura Vestal Marketing Director Westfield Valley Fair

Oakland-based Christina Hernandez (“Bold & Bright”) admits to getting emotionally invested in her work, as it allows her “to become totally immersed in the moment.” A photojournalist at the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years, she learned to embrace changing environments and conditions, and the unexpected. She shoots portraits, weddings and more.

Nanci Williams Founder/CEO Orloff/Williams Lily Yacobi CEO Sarah and David Interactive

Donna Kato Contributing Fashion & Beauty Editor Scene Magazine

Donna Lynn Rhodes (“Second Acts”), a Chicago native and self-proclaimed Anglophile, has a passion for words and a keen sense of humor. She left a successful 21-year career with Diablo Magazine to launch her own business, donnalynn Creative. Knowing firsthand what it takes to star in your own second act, she takes us behind the scene in this issue.

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AP R I L 1 2 - 1 7 Call 408-792-4111 for tickets All shows held at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.

Groups Have More Fun! Groups of 10 more call 408-792-4131 or email

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Alexander Barantschik plays Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto Thu Apr 7 10am K ATHARINE HANRAHAN OPEN REHE ARSAL Thu Apr 7 8pm FLINT CENTER, CUPERTINO Fri Apr 8 8pm Sat Apr 9 8pm Osmo Vänskä conductor Alexander Barantschik violin San Francisco Symphony Thomas Larcher Red and Green (San Francisco Symphony Commission—World Premiere) Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2, A London Symphony Inside Music, an informative talk with Susan Key, begins one hour prior to rehearsal and concerts. Free to ticketholders. Off the Podium, an informal Q&A moderated by Rik Malone, with Alexander Barantschik and Osmo Vänskä, begins immediately after the April 9 performance. Katharine Hanrahan Open Rehearsal is a working rehearsal. The pieces rehearsed are at the conductor’s discretion. The Open Rehearsal Series is sponsored by PG&E Corporation.


China Philharmonic Orchestra Sun Apr 10 7pm Long Yu conductor and music director Renaud Capuçon violin China Philharmonic Orchestra Berlioz Roman Carnivall Overture Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 Borodin Polovtsian March from Prince Igor Puccini Preludio sinfonico Ravel Boléro Presenting Sponsor Great Performers Series

Charles Dutoit and Gautier Capuçon Thu Apr 14 2pm Fri Apr 15 8pm DAVIES AF TER HOURS Sat Apr 16 8pm Sun Apr 17 2pm Charles Dutoit conductor Gautier Capuçon cello San Francisco Symphony Henri Dutilleux Tout un monde lointain Berlioz Symphonie fantastique Inside Music, an informative talk with Alexandra Amati-Camperi, begins one hour prior to concerts. Free to ticketholders. Davies After Hours, a post-concert music event featuring Joan Jeanrenaud and PC Muñoz, begins immediately after the April 15 concert in the Second Tier lobby-turned-lounge. Free to April 15 ticketholders.

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the insider

Hot colors

Go daringly bright on lips or nails. Think pimentos, hot pinks and corals.


Voulez-vous loungerie?

Loungewear meets lingerie. This trend takes its inspiration from camis, bodices and slip dreses. Marie Saint Pierre



3 1

Bell-bottoms are back! Wide-leg trousers make a comeback. Pair them with the season’s towering platform heels or flats.

Bright hues Move over, LBD. Mini and maxi dresses in spring-fresh hues are having their moment in the sunshine.

Rebecca Taylor

Ladylike blazers The (itty-bitty) fitted blazers of the moment have a distinctly Chanel-inspired feel.


Espadrilles reach new highs Woven heels are higher than ever. Expect a bevy of fresh new colors, prints and shapes. Kate Spade, Bloomingdales

runway to south bay The top trends to take you through summer By Stephanie Simons

For spring fashions, see Page 56. SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 21

the insider

Polyvore lets you play fashion editor while simultaneously feeding a scrapbooking fix. Some 30,000 magazine-style collages (aka “sets”) are created every day, featuring everything from lipstick to Louboutins — all of which are available for impulse purchase on the site. The social networking aspect allows a global community to tag, rank, share and “favorite” everyone else’s latest fashion obsessions.

one-click wonders Valley tech savvy rules online shopping New York may have bragging rights to the biggest names in fashion and beauty, but Silicon Valley is revolutionizing the way we shop, one addicting website at a time. By Stephanie Simons

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On, fellow Kaboodlers answer your stylerelated questions and help you choose what to wear for a specific occasion by leaving Facebook-style comments on the photos you upload and styleboards you create. Adding to the allure is the fact that intrepid shoppers have a say about what goes on sale: Most “hearted” handbags, jewelry and clothes are given a killer discount.

Indie designers who aren’t backed by big companies or financiers get their kudos on The Moxsie team handpicks men and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories from all over the world. A democratic approach allows shoppers to participate in buyer meetings real-time via Twitter and Ustream. During checkout, choose a charity from a list (featuring nonprofit, grass-root organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Moxsie donates a portion of proceeds from your purchase at no cost to you.

Disco Bracelet by Potluck Paris, $120, made from recycled silver, pewter and copper. Imported from Paris.

Couturious The virtual equivalent of playing paper dolls (or playing Rachel Zoe), boasts au courant labels such as Cynthia Rowley, Charlotte Ronson and Tory Burch. While Polyvore puts cutouts to virtual “paper,” this site helps you determine not only what to wear but also how to wear it. You can drag and drop photos of real, shopable sale items onto 3-D “photo-realistic” avatars spanning different ethnicities, body types and hairstyles. Impressively, you also can undo buttons on a blouse, perfect a scarf by folding it just so or tuck skinny jeans into a pair of hunting boots — no two looks are ever the same.



Adored for its incomparable selection of one-of-a-kind vintage finds (and for guaranteeing you’ll never find an underpriced Prada handbag at a garage sale again), has undergone some renovations that make its fashion section more fun. No longer regarded as a destination for attic-rummaging aunties, it harnesses a fresh new perspective from a team of stylists, plus deeply discounted high-end fashions sourced direct from designers. is owned by Google and works a lot like Pandora, which feeds you a shuffled selection of music based on your favorite songs. Algorithms determine your style preferences based on silhouettes, colors and patterns you love, and fashion suggestions come from the site’s collection of boutiques. Crushing on a certain handbag, but not the color? Find similar items for comparison shopping thanks to advanced visual recognition technology — a product of Google’s acquisition of visual search engine You also can browse fashions handselected by celebrities, in addition to many other items the site predicts they would wear. Kathena satin clutch by Christian Louboutin with signature red lining, $977 at

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Quality construction and exclusively designed for comfort that lasts

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO 415 El Camino Real (One mile north of Tanforan Mall) SANTA CLARA 2550 El Camino Real (1/2 block north of San Tomas) PLEASANT HILL 626 Contra Costa Blvd. (1 block north of Sun Valley Mall) SAN JOSE 1030 Blossom Hill Rd. (87 to Santa Teresa or 85 to Almaden Expwy, south)

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UNION CITY 30650 Dyer St. (Union Landing near Wal Mart) PLEASANTON 5225 Johnson Dr. (Behind Smartand Final) EMERYVILLE 5800 Christie Ave. (Formerly Good Guys) FRESNO 3566 West Shaw Ave. (between Marty and Valentine)

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JUNE 7-12 Call 408-792-4111 for tickets All shows held at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.

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Groups Have More Fun! Groups of 10 more call 408-792-4131 or email


I do! I do!

Colored stones remain trés chic in wedding rings and other nuptial jewelry – not that traditional diamond sparklers have taken a back seat. We asked purveyors of pavé to show us what’s new and most in demand. You’ll be a luminous star, bride or not, adorned with one of these gems. By Janet Kim Paik

Round diamonds encircle oval-cut 2 carat sapphire center stone, with 0.35 carats in the diamond setting stones along the shoulders and band. Tacori, platinum $4,250 (not including center stone), Lustre Precious Gems.

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Triple strand of cultured South Sea white pearls with spessarite, pink sapphire and diamond orchid clasp set in platinum, $159,500, Tiffany & Co.

Fancy colored diamond rings in platinum, from left: $2 million, $410,000, $390,000, Tiffany & Co.

Handcrafted platinum ring with 9.38 carat cushion-cut paraiba tourmaline and 2.68 kite and round diamonds by JB Star, starting at $350,000, CH Premier Jewelers.

Engagement ring is 0.55 carat diamond, surrounded by 38 round, brilliant diamonds equaling 0.77 carats. Matching 11 diamond, 0.5 carat, 18-karat white gold wedding band. $8,890, Heller Jewelers.

Handcrafted platinum ring with 5.20 carat fancy yellow radiant diamond with 2.07 carat kite and round diamonds by JB Star, starting at $110,000, CH Premier Jewelers.

Hand-fabricated platinum ring with cushion-cut 2.21 carat diamond accented by French pavé set halo with French pavé set band. $26,500, Joe Escobar Diamonds. Diamond drop earrings with pear-shape pink tourmalines set in platinum, $14,500, Tiffany & Co.

Engagement ring for the new “Millenia,” 18-karat white gold “micro pavé” design set with 1.62 carat round brilliant diamond, $16,500, Derby Jewelers.

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indulge 18-karat white gold LovePods necklace with 0.07 carat pavé diamonds, $825, Pandora. Morganite briolette swag necklace with diamonds set in platinum, $18,000, Tiffany & Co. 18-karat white gold LovePods earrings with 0.06 carat pavé diamonds, $675, Pandora.

Crescent blossoms interlace in special, gossamer-woven diamond-shaped earrings for the Afleuress collection by Tacori. 18-karat gold $3,290, Lustre Precious Gems.

Drop earrings with round diamonds in luxurious cushionshapes on a compass-like orientation; from the Dantela collection by Tacori. 18-karat gold $1,890, Lustre Precious Gems.

Matching bracelet with diamonds at the center of petite crescent blossoms; 18-karat gold $16,390, Lustre Precious Gems.

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jewelry CH Premier Jewelers Westfield Valley Fair, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 1235, Santa Clara, 408.983.2688, Derby Jewelers 411 Hartz Ave., Danville Hotel, Danville, 925.855.0700 Heller Jewelers 2005 Crow Canyon Place, San Ramon, 925.904.0200, Joe Escobar Diamonds 450 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell, 408.341.0300, Lustre Precious Gems Westfield Valley Fair, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 1099, Santa Clara, 408.296.3686, Pandora Westfield Valley Fair, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 1040, Santa Clara, 408.615.1417, Tiffany & Co. 1119 S. Main St., Walnut Creek, 925.939.6300; 149 Stanford Shopping Center, H-149, Palo Alto, 650.328.2552; Westfield Valley Fair, 408.243.7771,

hairpieces Lo Boheme, Oooh La La Headpieces, Sara Gabriel, Twigs & Honey,

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inspired by nature From feathers to handmade flowers, these hairpieces are guaranteed to make heads turn

Let this dragonfly 18-karat gold plique-á-jour brooch with pink sapphires alight on your tresses $40,000, Tiffany & Co.

Playful eyelash feathers set off a goose nagoire and silk flower base, highlighted with a sparkly center. $50, Oooh La La Headpieces.

By Janet Kim Paik

A blooming ivory dahlia made of feathers and silk, with velvet leaf accents. $135, Twigs & Honey.

Hand-formed 5-inch peacock feather flower on a metal hairpin. $165, Sara Gabriel.

Bridal mini hat made from rooster, stripped coque and bleached peacock feathers; fabric flower; and vintage velvet leaves. $185, Lo Boheme.

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Jasmine Duarte

the pickled hutch A treasure trove in Pacifica

Alfie and Lisa Wilson, who describes her shop, named for a piece of furniture with a pickled finish, as “coastal-cottage-chic.”

2021 Palmetto Ave. Pacifica 650.359.2000 thepickledhutch.

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On her days off, Lisa Wilson scours estate sales, flea markets and antique shops, hunting for one-of-a-kind items for her eclectic shop. Since moving the Pickled Hutch from San Francisco to Pacifica in 2008, she has added gift items such as cards and candles to her lineup of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry and decorative items for home and garden. It’s the vintage lighting, usually in the form of chandeliers, that customers adore the most, Wilson says, and she understands why: “I always find myself gravitating toward crystal chandeliers for their added glamour and sparkle.” Chandeliers run anywhere from $375 to $3,200, depending on size, materials, condition and value. Most of the lighting at the Pickled Hutch is from the Art Deco period, the 1920s to 1940s. Wilson says her other bestsellers are mirrors, also from the Art Deco period, running $275 to $300. Much of the jewelry carried at the shop is designed by Wilson herself and Debby Anderson, whose line is called “Romancing the Bling.” (Both artists’ work is also on Other jewelry pieces are vintage or items found at estate sales. Furniture is also on display. A classic, repainted vanity from the 1930s runs $295. “When you have a store this big, you have so many different things you can offer,” Wilson says. “It’s like a big puzzle where the pieces change all the time.” —Jasmine Duarte

shop talk

Edwin Suarez

the red box Luxe standout makes a splash At The Red Box in Walnut Creek, exclusive and one-of-a-kind accessories are culled from Paris, Milan, Germany and beyond. Some of them you likely won’t find anywhere else in the U.S. (such as handbags by former designers for Chanel, Hermés, Armani and Dior). Owner Mojde Esfandiari, a former high-powered corporate retail exec, also searches closer to home to find the choicest items for her boutique. “I like supporting American designers and U.S. manufacturing,” she says. It’s the luxe touches and textures that make these pieces stand out among mainstream department store items: buttery soft leathers, velvety suedes, and unexpected studs and fringe. Necklaces are made for layering and carved from agate and mother of pearl. Bright and glossy cell phone cases, wallets and iPad cases have that coveted “candied” effect. Making a splash at the front of the store are sea-diver watches and ties for men. And at the back? A glass case displaying evening clutches, reminiscent of the way a patisserie shows off its most exquisite frosted goods. These lace, silk and Swarovski crystal stunners can run upward of $2,000, though other finds are a steal at under $20. Expect a wider array of goods very soon. Esfandiari says she’ll be adding hats, belts, shoes, sandals and tops, and expanding the men’s category, later this spring.

Mojde Esfandiari finds exceptional items from around the globe for her shop on Main Street.

1386 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, 925.280.1188,

—Stephanie Simons

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STYLE: (noun) Taste, polish, luxury, and now: eco-friendly

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Your dream of having a baby can come true The Attain™ IVF Multi Cycle Program Increase your chance of success with IVF! The Attain In-Vitro Fertilization Multi Cycle Program is designed to increase your opportunity to get the outcome you want – a baby – while managing the cost of In-Vitro Fertilization treatment. . You pay a single, discounted fee. . You receive 4 IVF cycles (2 fresh and 2 frozen). Open to women 50 years old and younger with no medical qualifications required.

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body & soul

oh, baby! New options for conceiving – now, or later By Melinda Sacks

Age, of course, is not the only reason women – and men – may be infertile; sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, hormone imbalance, anorexia or a partner’s low sperm count all can contribute. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show infertility rates for women ages 15 to 44 (considered childbearing years) have remained about the same over the past few years, at 11.8 percent. What has changed is that infertility treatment has improved significantly, with decreased risks and increased safety, and options have expanded as clinics and specialists have grown more skilled. Preg-


When it comes to infertility and fertility, myths – and startling facts – abound. Among the myths: After age 40, you can kiss your chances of conceiving goodbye. If you’re fertile at 20, you’ll be fertile till you hit menopause, at least. Among the facts: At 70, Omkari Panwar gave birth to twins in India in 2008, the same year Rajo Devi Lohan, 70, delivered a son, all the result of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Hollywood stars such as Celine Dion, Marcia Cross and Halle Berry have made giving birth after 40 look doable and downright glamorous.

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nancy success rates nearly doubled at fertility clinics in the past decade, according to UCLA’s School of Medicine. Better early evaluation and treatment increase chances of success, as do a combination of traditional and cutting-edge approaches. Worries of becoming the next Octomom through assisted reproductive technology (artiďŹ cial or partially artiďŹ cial methods used to achieve pregnancy) are lessening every year, experts say. At the same time, options for older women are expanding, but still with a few caveats. “There are so many misperceptions,â€? says Dr. Mary Abusief, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Fertility Physicians of Northern California, which has ofďŹ ces in Palo Alto and San Jose. “The Hollywood fantasy we see is movie stars who had a baby at 59 or say they got pregnant at 60, and that can cause a lot of disappointment. If more of these people would say what they really went through, that would help.â€? “No one is going to get pregnant on their own at age 60,â€? agrees Dr. Mitchell P. Rosen, director of the UC San Francisco Reproductive Laboratories and Fertility Preservation Program. “Every physicians group has its own cut-off age at which they will treat infertility based



on ethics and risk. Our cut-off is 50. ‌ We know that as we age, our organ function is not what it was. Getting pregnant is an incredible stress on the body, and studies show as you age there are complications that increase.�

Escalating treatments The ďŹ rst step when a woman is having trouble conceiving should always be evaluation, experts say. Most insurance companies cover this step, which runs about $350 for those paying out of pocket. From there arise a series of escalating treatments and associated costs, which are customized depending on the situation: s Clomid (generic is clomiphene), a prescribed medication that stimulates egg production. Can be combined with timed intercourse or insemination to increase the chances of conception. Side effects: mood swings, bloating, weight gain, headaches. Risks: increased chance of twins (6.9 percent) or triplets (0.5 percent). Success rate: about 10 percent per month (vs. 20 percent of couples with no fertility issues who get pregnant every month). Cost: about $1,000 per cycle.



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accurate, but it is the biggest breakthrough.” The procedure is new enough, however, that there is only limited information on whether it actually improves success rates of a healthy pregnancy, and not every genetic abnormality can be found. The costs for preimplantation genetics screening are around $5,000 in addition to IVF, which runs anywhere from $7,000 to almost $20,000, depending on the clinic and number of cycles. In addition, this new ability to screen chromosomes raises ethical questions, such as whether it will lead to pressure on doctors to create “designer” babies. Explains Hinckley: “A large cause of infertility is bad eggs. Bad eggs make unhealthy babies – they won’t implant, or you’ll miscarry, or there will be a genetic disorder. Sometimes we will biopsy an embryo to try to understand whether a patient can make a good embryo and identify the best one. You might make 10 embryos, but only one is healthy, so you could just put that one back [into the uterus].” Elective single embryo transfer involves “finding the very best embryo and only putting one back,” Hinckley says. “That will increase pregnancy rates and decrease problems, and that is ultimately what people wanted all along. We just didn’t know how to get there. Now we are able to choose one embryo.” No matter how great the technology is, though, finding the right physician and “making sure they know how to use the technology,” as Hinckley puts it, is paramount.

The mind-body connection Even in the highly specialized and technologyintensive world of reproductive medicine, treating the whole patient is now recognized as a means to better results. A growing understanding of the mindbody connection and its possible role in fertility has resulted in an increasing number of clinics with a psychologist on staff to help patients deal with emotional issues, as well as programs that offer acupuncture, yoga and Chinese alternative medicine. “We use hormones (in treatments for infertility), and they alter the way people feel,” says Abusief of Fertility Physicians of Northern California, who figures that 40 percent of her patients already are suffering from anxiety and depression when they walk in the door. “The medications can make you tired, irritable, bloated. They contribute to making women feel as if they are on an emotional roller coaster. We offer group counseling, stress reduction classes, meditation. I cannot tell you how many patients have said this is very helpful.”

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock

body & soul

resources The American Society for Reproductive Medicine offers the latest research developments and a network of reproductive specialists by geographic region. Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology helps patients find infertility clinics where they live and review success rates. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association provides an overview of issues, resource directories to help find doctors, online support groups and a newsletter. “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” the popular book by Toni Weschler, now in its 10th edition, has its own practical website with everything from charts that help you track your own fertility to FAQs and online support resources. Fertility Physicians of Northern California has offices in San Jose and Palo Alto. Their website offers information on treatment options, donor programs, articles and events for those dealing with fertility issues. Reproductive Science Center is a 25-yearold full-service fertility clinic with offices in San Ramon, San Jose, Orinda and Modesto. RSC’s site includes information on treatments and services, along with podcasts and videos. UC San Francisco’s Center for Reproductive Health offers a multidisciplinary approach to fertility issues at a world-class teaching hospital, with a specialized Fertility Preservation program for those recently diagnosed with cancer or other conditions that will impact fertility. http://coe.ucsf. edu/ivf

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body & soul

Lynette’s story At 37, I was diagnosed with cancer. What could I do to preserve my fertility? By Melinda Sacks

Lynette Leighton was taking her morning shower when she discovered a hard, immovable lump that she immediately knew was cause for concern. As a Bay Area doctor in residency who had spent time in a breast clinic, she suspected what she might be facing, as she writes in a letter about her experience: “I waited through my next period, just as I had instructed others to do, hoping the lump would declare itself as a cyst, or magically resolve, but it continued to grow. The lump was ‘worrisome’ by mammogram and more so on biopsy. I was 37 years old, and I had invasive breast cancer. “Ironically, I had spent the previous month working with cancer patients in a breast care clinic, so I was familiar with my options. My surgeon discussed local surgery, mastectomy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. “When she suggested I meet with a fertility specialist, though, I was caught off-guard. Most of my patients at the breast care clinic had been in their fifties, sixties or seventies. Most had already had children, so the subject of their fertility never came up. But it made sense: Chemotherapy drugs target fast-growing cells, whether they be cancer cells, hair follicles or ovaries. Even if my ovaries survived, I would be on Tamoxifen, a drug that can cause birth defects, for several years. “I had not yet had children. My husband had children from a previous marriage, and by the time I was sure I wanted one of my own, he resisted. After several years of discussion, he agreed to have children. [But] he changed his mind in the end, and decided he no longer wanted to be in a committed relationship. I was diagnosed with can-

cer one month after my divorce was finalized. No partner. No children. “One of the loneliest times during my cancer treatments was sitting in the fertility doctor’s waiting room the first day. I had a lot in common with the other women there, but there was one noticeable difference: Each of the other women had a partner, someone to hold her hand in the waiting room, reassure her at night and help parent her children. I wondered if I would dare to have a child on my own. I also wondered if I would be alive long enough to be a mother. “My doctor recommended I have embryos made and frozen for future uterine transfer, a process with greater chance of resulting in live births than freezing my eggs alone. I charged ahead, not wanting to one day regret having missed my chance to become a mother. We agreed we would try to stimulate two cycles of eggs and harvest them before I began chemotherapy, so we needed to hurry.” Leighton was guided by Dr. Mitchell Rosen, a reproductive endocrinologist at UC San Francisco. After choosing a sperm donor, she had breast surgery, underwent her fertility treatments and the harvest of her own eggs, and then six months of chemo followed by two months of radiation. Today at 40, Leighton has been cancer-free for two years. If her doctor gives her the go-ahead, she can soon stop taking Tamoxifen and get pregnant, she says happily. “I think one of the most liberating decisions I made, especially after my divorce and cancer, was that I wanted children, and I would do it alone, without a partner. It took so much pressure off me. It gave me hope.” LYNETTE’S STORY Continues on Page 148

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beauty report


These cosmetic fixes can help make you the belle of the ball

the perfect bride By Melinda Sacks

Your mission: to look stunning on your wedding day. Plot your path by picking and choosing what suits you best from our list. Some are quick and easy, others more involved. The end results can be a great new you.

Your face, your smile Liquid lifts According to Concord plastic surgeon Eric Mariotti, “Volume is king.” As we age, he explains, our face loses volume. To regain a fuller, younger-looking face, fillers have become popular for their quick results and little or no downtime. Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm are some of the brand names of the class of fillers made from hyaluronic acids. These FDA-approved products are injected into facial lines and hollows, plumping the

skin from inside. They can also be used on lips. Pain is minimal; a topical anesthetic or Novocain can be used. Bruising is rare. The key to a great outcome, Mariotti says, is a skilled practitioner. Cost: Each vial is around $500; your total will depend on how much you use. Revitalized skin Dermabrasion and light chemical peels “take good skin and make it great,” says Dean Vistnes, founder and medical director of SkinSpirit in Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and Mill Valley. Glycolic and salicylic acid peels exfoliate dead cells from the surface, and minimize fine lines, uneven pigment and superficial scars. Treatments are often a series of up to six sessions at two- to fourweek intervals. Sometimes combined with microdermabrasion. Risks: temporary redness and peeling. Cost:

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Courtesy Eric Mariotti

beauty report

If you’re considering an arm lift to allow you to wear a sleeveless gown, plan to have it done months before the wedding.

$100-$1,000, depending on series. The silk peel at Morphosis Rejuvenation Studio in Santana Row is a newer generation of microdermabrasion, which exfoliates the outer layer of the skin without harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubs. And, says founder and owner Linda Levenson, “While we are doing the exfoliation to allow new skin cells to come to the surface, we can infuse into the skin at the same time serums like hyaluronic acid to give the skin more moisture, salicylic acid for acne, kojac acid for skin brightening and for pigmentation, [and] vitamin C – an antioxidant against sun damage.â€? Cost: $240 for a single treatment; $720 for a recommended series of ďŹ ve (two weeks apart). Targeted solutions With little or no downtime and low risk, Fraxel laser

caveat: choose with care Before you consider any cosmetic procedure: sÂŹ"EÂŹSUREÂŹTHEÂŹPLASTICÂŹSURGEON ÂŹDERMATOLOGIST ÂŹ personal trainer, etc., has the experience and credentials to give you the safest and best results. Be sure your doctor is board certiďŹ ed. As always, one of the best ways to ďŹ nd a practitioner is by personal reference. sÂŹ&INDÂŹOUTÂŹINÂŹADVANCEÂŹWHATÂŹRECOVERYÂŹISÂŹINVOLVED sÂŹ$ONTÂŹBELIEVEÂŹEVERYTHINGÂŹYOUÂŹREADÂŹORÂŹHEARÂŹ)FÂŹ SOMETHINGÂŹISNTÂŹAPPROVEDÂŹBYÂŹTHEÂŹ&OODÂŹANDÂŹ$RUGÂŹ Administration and there isn’t scientiďŹ c research showing its efďŹ cacy, you probably don’t want it. sÂŹ'OÂŹINÂŹWITHÂŹREALISTICÂŹEXPECTATIONSÂŹ"EFOREÂŹANDÂŹ after photos in the doctor’s ofďŹ ce provide a good reality check. Some physicians also will ďŹ nd a former patient you can speak with.

50 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

treatments are a safe way to address freckles, brown age spots, sun-damaged or acne-scarred skin. The precision Fraxel laser targets microscopic volumes of skin with each pulse, leaving the surrounding area intact and reducing healing time. Most doctors apply a numbing gel to the skin before the in-ofďŹ ce treatment. Risks: Skin can turn pink; individuals with darker complexions may be at increased risk of hyperpigmentation. Cost: $500$1,000 for a single treatment; up to $5,000 for multiple treatments. Brighter, straighter teeth “Accelerated orthodonticsâ€? takes about six months to straighten teeth – a quarter of the time it would normally take. One of the newer options is Invisalign, a series of plastic, transparent removable “alignersâ€? that squeeze the teeth into place. Cost: varies; Invisalign can be $5,000. In-ofďŹ ce teeth whitening is quick and lasts longer than home treatment, but it is more expensive ($100 to $300 per visit). Either way, whitening is not permanent. Porcelain veneers offer a longer-term solution, masking discoloration with a thin ceramic shell that is bonded to the front of each tooth. In the case of misshapen teeth, contouring and reshaping using veneers can give instant results. Cost: depends on materials. Porcelain lasts 1015 years and runs $950-$3,000 per tooth; veneers made of composite last ďŹ ve to seven years and cost $250$1,500 per tooth.

Body Beautiful ‘Lunchtime lipo’ At Better Bodies, a weight-loss clinic in San Ramon, Zerona laser treatments are a popular fat-melting procedure. Three times a week over a two-week period, patients undergo 40-minute cold laser treatments to the problem area – stomach, hips, arms and derriere are the most common. While everyone responds differently, clinic director Jenna Harris says most patients lose four

beauty report to seven inches. With no scarring, redness or pain, the treatment has gained the nickname “lunchtime lipo.” Zerona is not recommended for those with diabetes, thyroid conditions or other metabolic disorders. Cost: Series of six treatments at Better Bodies runs about $2,000. Waxing wonders The 15-minute Brazilian Bikini Wax is San Jose-based European Wax Center’s most popular new service. A non-strip, bath-temperature wax formula reduces application time, and the process is less painful and produces less irritation than the typical individual-strip method. For $39 (only $19.50 if you are a first-time guest), you can be bikini- and honeymoon-ready in hours, including time it takes for any redness to fade. Newbies should allow a little more time between treatment and wedding in case redness remains longer. Don’t sweat it Botox injected in tiny amounts into the underarm area can be used to temorarily control sweating, says Dr. Dean Vistnes of SkinSpirit. “A lot of brides who get married in the summer and wear a sleeveless dress choose it.” The procedure is ideally done at least 10 days before the wedding, since Botox is at its maximum strength after a week has passed. Cost: $750-$1,000.

Lose the back fat If you exercise, eat well and are in good shape, but that roll of fat above or below your bra line just won’t budge, the new bra-line back lift might work for you. While lipo is still the main approach to removing pockets of fat, including back fat, the lift addresses sagging skin caused by aging, weight loss and excessive sun exposure. The incision is hidden under the bra line. For two weeks after surgery you’ll need to avoid heavy lifting, raising your arms above the head or vigorous exercise. Recovery takes about three weeks; the complication rate is low. Risks: infection, bleeding, scarring; risks from general anesthesia. Cost: $7,500-$10,000. Banish spider veins Spider veins can appear on the surface of the skin on your face, legs or torso as a result of weight loss or gain, hormonal shifts, genetics or an underlying medical condition. It is important to be screened for deeper venous abnormalities before any treatment, advises Vein Specialists of Northern California’s Dr. Mark Isaacs. Leg and ankle treatment: sclerotherapy, in which a sclerosing solution is injected into each affected vein, causing it to collapse and fade. Usually one injection needed for every inch of vein treated. Done in-office in

Courtesy Mark Issacs

Lift your arms Sagging, fatty upper arms have you avoiding a sleeveless or strapless bridal gown? An arm lift, known as brachioplasty, can solve the problem. The operation involves significant recovery time, so it should be done several months ahead of your wedding. If sagging skin is minimal, you may just need a small incision in the armpit. Otherwise, the usually-discreet incision can ex-

tend from the armpit down the arm. Liposuction alone can eliminate the fat, or can be used in conjunction with surgery. Risks: bleeding, infection and scarring are unlikely, but should be considered; usually performed under general anesthesia, which carries its own risks. After the operation, you may have to wear a compression garment, and you may need to keep your arms elevated above your heart, for a few days. You will want to discuss pain control and scarring with your doctor before the procedure. Cost: $5,000-$6,500 for both arms.

Several treatments may be needed to eliminate spider veins, and the procedure can cause bruising.

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anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Leg and face treatment: laser, which emits intense light and “obliterates” the vein through the skin. Quick (10 to 15 minutes), with immediate results. However, new spider veins can appear afterward, so multiple treatments may be required. If veins are deeper under the skin, intense pulsed light (IPL) uses light energy to destroy the vein without damaging surrounding tissue. Sometimes a combination of laser and sclerotherapy is most effective. Schedule treatment well in advance of your wedding, since bruising and the veins themselves take time to fade. Risks: redness at injection site; discoloration and skin sensitivity. Cost: about $225 per syringe; many patients require two syringes per treatment. Laser treatments $350-$450 per session.



We call them masters. Gertrude Stein called them friends.

Drop pounds The 28-day weight loss makeover Better Bodies offers monthlong, weekly classes in Danville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Livermore and Los Gatos on healthy eating and de-toxing your diet, using supplemental shakes and other nutrition-rich foods to give you more energy while you lose weight. The program includes weigh-ins, body fat measurements, recipes and shopping guides. Its motto, “Learn how to eat food with no calorie counting,” has helped participants drop up to 12 pounds in a month, Harris says. Participants are encouraged to eat “real food” that is dairy-, soy- and gluten-free, “returning you to Paleolithic times,” as Harris puts it. Cost: For classes and handbook, $145; with shakes and cleanses, $300-$500. The hard way It’s not a quick fix, but intense workouts with a personal trainer can reshape your body in a few months, and if you keep it up, results are longer lasting and better for your overall health than most cosmetic treatments. “Start getting in shape way before the six-week mark,” says Brent Lake, personal training manager for Equinox in Palo Alto. “As soon as your man puts that ring on your finger, get yourself a personal trainer!” Here’s why: Dress-fitting usually happens eight weeks before the wedding, with the last fitting three weeks before. If you lose inches after that, your dress won’t fit. Also, the last few weeks before your big day you’ll be busy with parties, showers, eating and drinking. It will be hard to cut back and up your workout time. Cost: $75$100 per session. S

The Steins Collect


See the collection that sparked an artistic revolution—reunited for the first time in a generation—and meet the extraordinary cast of characters behind the birth of modern art.

BECOME A MEMBER and get an advance look at the most remarkable exhibition of the year! SFMOMA members enjoy free admission, express entry, and invitations to exclusive member previews.

Join today! 151 Third Street, San Francisco The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Gardee is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.






Major support is provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater; Gerson and Barbara Bakar; the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund; and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding; Jean and James E. Douglas Jr.; Ann and Robert S. Fisher; Gretchen and Howard Leach; Elaine McKeon; Deborah and Kenneth Novack, Thelma and Gilbert Schnitzer, The Schnitzer Novack Foundation; and Lydia and Douglas Shorenstein. Additional support is provided by Dolly and George Chammas and Concepción and Irwin Federman. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Generous promotional support is provided by KGO-TV and KQED. Left to right: Mathilde Vollmoeller-Purrmann, Still Life with Fruitt (detail), ca. 1906–7; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Esther Pollack. Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905; Collection SFMOMA, bequest of Elise S. Haas; © 2011 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Ben Blackwell. Pablo Picasso, Head of a Sleeping Woman (Study for Nude with Drapery), 1907; Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Estate of John Hay Whitney, 1983; © 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY. Paul Cézanne, Bathers (detail), ca. 1892; Collection Musée d’Orsay, Paris, on deposit at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon; photo: © RMN Musée d’Orsay/René-Gabriel Ojéda.

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BCBGenerations asymmetrical dress $118, Jones New York earrings $34, both Macy’s; Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan shoes $198, Nordstrom; Aqua bracelets $48 and $30, Bloomingdale’s.

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spring fashion

bold& bright The season’s hot colors, cool neutrals and mix-and-match sensibilities mean big fun What defines chic this spring? Color, bold and with few rules. Lace, playful rather than proper. A ’70s sensibility, modernized with no hint of vintage. What also works: paring down with architectural shapes and sleekness attained within a palette of cool neutrals and faded pastels that seem to disappear on the skin. In embracing color, we take a cue from preschoolers who, left to their own devices, would madly mix hues and patterns and think nothing of pairing sherbet orange with peony pink. Then adding yellow, turquoise and purple. Throw cheery florals into the fray and stripes of all

widths going this way and that, and you’ve captured spring’s essence, post-recession and ready for fun. Lace, once consigned to nighttime and dress-up affairs, looks fresh paired with flats and toned down to appear less romantic and frilly. High-waisted, widelegged pants, body-conscious draping, vivid tribal prints and color-blocking are inspired by the 1970s but decidedly contemporary in their fabrication and crossgenerational appeal. “I don’t believe there’s such a thing as good taste or bad taste,” said Marc Jacobs in a Harper’s Bazaar article about spring 2011. “I’d rather be fun and decadent, camp and glamorous. Go out. Shine. Be loud.”

By Donna Kato Photos by Christina Hernandez

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spring fashion

urban polish BELOW: Kimberly Ovitz “Comstock” draped short trench coat $540, worn over 3.1 Phillip Lim silk top $375, A.L.C. karate pant with sash $395, Chie Mihara suede shoes with floral applique $390, all Crimson Mim stores, Los Altos and Palo Alto; Marc Jacobs convertible envelope clutch $595, Bloomingdale’s; Charter Club jet bead necklaces $42 each, Macy’s. RIGHT: Missoni cap sleeve knit dress $625, over Commando lingerie slip $72, Vera Wang Lavender “Roda” platform wedges $325, Cara butterfly ring $68, all Nordstrom.

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spring fashion

long and lean LEFT: Free People bilevel hem maxi dress $198, Echo “Originations” vintage collection scarves $38 each, Stuart Weitzman sandals $225, R.J. Graziano beaded hoop earrings $30, R.J. Graziano five-strand beaded bracelet $38, hammered gold cuff $28, all Bloomingdale’s. BELOW: Dzhavael Couture tribal print dress $180, Alina B., Walnut Creek; Malene Birger belt $240, McMullen, Oakland; Via Spiga “Madge” sandals $225, select Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and

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spring fashion

theatrical touches ABOVE: Ports 1961 cobalt dress $650, necklace $425, both McMullen, Oakland; Kenneth Cole bracelet $40, Jessica Simpson shoes $89, both Macy’s. RIGHT: Dolce & Gabbana lace dress $1,475, Alexis Bittar earrings $190, both Nordstrom; Stuart Weitzman sandals $225, Bloomingdale’s; chunky gold cuff by Rodrigo Otazu $375, Alina B., Walnut Creek. 62 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

WINTER 2010 s SCENE s 63

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spring fashion

pops of color LEFT: Elie Tahari “Chatham” jacket $398, Ralph Lauren Black Label T-shirt $98, Marc by Marc Jacobs chain and leather belt $178, Marc by Marc Jacobs “Party Pink” print scarf $58, Jag cropped khaki pants $79, hammered gold cuff bracelet $28, Christian Dior sunglasses $345, all Bloomingdale’s. ABOVE: Patterson J. Kincaid tiered top $108, Ralph Lauren hoop earrings $40, both Bloomingdale’s.

Shot on location at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto (see Page 150). Photos: Christina Hernandez / Nightingale Photography; Christina Lowery and Chris Reis, assistants Hair: Jeanne M. Collaco, Brixton Hue salon, San Jose Makeup: Rafael Valencia Gonzalez, Antoni Paez Hair Gallery, San Jose Styling assistance: Stacy Diaz Models: Jasmine P. and Nadya, LOOK Model Agency

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just between us By Julia Prodis Sulek

Alison van Diggelen coaxes thinkers, activists and the merely famous to talk about green tech – and themselves

Martin Sheen sends her old-fashioned handwritten letters. Maureen Dowd has invited her out for cocktails in Washington, D.C. Marketing guru Guy Kawasaki sought her help with a few edits on his new book. One-time real estate investment consultant and mommy blogger Alison van Diggelen has remade herself into a citizen journalist, interviewing celebrities, Silicon Valley pioneers and the media elite in her fledgling video webcasts she calls “Fresh Dialogues.” Along the way, she also has established herself as a master networker and relationship builder, counting TV interviewer Charlie Rose and KQED’s Michael Krasny among her mentors. For interview subjects jaded by “gotcha” journalism, they’re drawn in by her gentle charm and enchanting Scottish brogue. “The relationship between a journalist and the interviewee is usually at best cautious and at worst paranoid,” says Kawasaki, who just published his 10th book. With van Diggelen, “it’s much closer to a conversation between two friends. You can relax in an interview with her.” And after almost every one, she follows up with a thank-you note and sometimes a gift. Word apparently is getting around. Since she launched her webcasts two years ago, not a single interview subject has turned her down. She has

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Patrick Patrick Tehan Tehan

Alison van Diggelen interviews Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla before an SD Forum award ceremony in June 2009, held at the Woodside home of valley power couple Heidi Roizen and David Mohler.

landed most of them by simply cornering them at events where they already are speaking. Van Diggelen – who charms with her petite frame, perfect skin and warm smile – introduces herself and asks for just a wee bit of their time. “I treat them like a sister or a brother,” van Diggelen says over a cup of tea and butter cookies at the kitchen table of her San Jose home. “Then they don’t have their guard up.” Sheen was so lulled in by her that the actor perhaps best known for his role as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet on “The West Wing” dipped into the Irish brogue of his mother’s homeland halfway through the interview. “With her personal warmth, great sense of humor and that delicious Scottish accent, who could resist?” asks Dick Henning, a retired professor and vice president emeritus at Foothill Community College who runs the Foothill Celebrity Forum series, where van Diggelen met several of her interview subjects. But the 44-year-old has proven herself much more than a good listener. Her interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was picked up by the Huffington Post. She has moderated green tech panels and Commonwealth Club appearances and lectured about Silicon Valley entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh. She works out of a spare bedroom of her two-story family home in San Jose’s Almaden Valley that she shares with her husband, South African native and Broadcom executive Frank van Diggelen, and their two teenage children. She has big plans to turn her interview series that focuses on green technology into a TV show. She’s in talks with tech companies and looking for more to sponsor a show

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produced at San Jose’s CreaTV. Like many start-ups in their early years, she isn’t making any money. But she aspires to make her personal project a lucrative career. Van Diggelen has come a long way from her roots in Scotland, where she lived in public housing until she was 8. The daughter of working-class parents – her father was a technician and her mother a nurse – they instilled in her a sense of curiosity and encouraged her to excel. She went on to earn a master’s degree in land economics from Cambridge, where she met her husband, an engineering student pursuing his doctorate. He played rugby. She played field hockey. “We shared in common a sense of adventure,” she says, “that we were citizens of the world.” She graduated first, and got a job in real estate investment and development in London, then moved to Paris. They would spend romantic weekends at her flat near the Eiffel Tower. They married in Scotland in 1992. When her husband was offered a job at a small GPS company in Colorado Springs, the young couple began their first adventure, finding a house in a liberal artists enclave outside of Colorado Springs called Manitou Springs. Without a work visa herself, van Diggelen volunteered at the local museum and chamber of commerce. “I was welcoming people to Colorado with my very strong Scottish accent, which made a lot of Texans laugh,” she says. In 1994, they followed her husband’s career again, this time to San Francisco. She planned to return to the real estate investment career in that city’s Financial District, but

icons Alison asks Some choice questions to the famous, and their answers: To former General Electric chairman Jack Welch: Should businesses see global warming as a challenge or an opportunity? “There’s an enormous opportunity – whether you believe in global warming or not. . . . If you’re in a company, you’d better be pushing those [green] products, because the world wants these products.” To New York Times columnist and author Maureen Dowd: Why did you call Al Gore “practically lactating” over his eco views? “Ooooh, I was sympathetic to him in terms of his ideas. I was just teasing him a little bit because he was so earnest, and he could be a little righteous and self-important. . . . I mean, certainly his ideas were right, but he himself was – sometimes – a pompous messenger for them.” To actor and activist Martin Sheen: Why do you care so passionately about the environment? “There’s a Hebrew adage that says, ‘He who hath offspring giveth hostages to the future.’ Well, I’ve given children and grandchildren, so they own that future. We have to be aware of our responsibility to future generations.” For more conversations with leaders in business, technology and the arts, see

Courtesy Alison van Diggelen

when she became pregnant, she decided to stay close to home. She began to write a mommy blog that she parlayed into a column at the San Jose Mercury News, which led to a freelance writing gig at the San Jose Business Journal where she profiled Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In 2008, she applied for an internship at KQED’s “Forum” radio show with host Michael Krasny. She researched and pre-interviewed Krasny’s guests. She read Barbara Walters’ memoir like it was a textbook. She was 41 years old. Krasny was impressed. “She has that kind of tool that good professional interviewers have – she’s sincerely interested in her subjects,” Krasny says. Before she finished the internship, she asked him out to lunch. “I’d like to do what you’re doing,’” she told him. So she started small, with nothing but a microphone and a passion for the environment and green technology. “I always thought of myself as being an entrepreneur,” she says. “I was in start-up mode.” Using her networking skills – and her trademark ability to keep in touch – she contacted Henning from Foothill College, whom she had profiled for the Business Journal. When she expressed her idea to him, he started inviting her to VIP receptions before each celebrity forum. But his influence ended there, he says. Van Diggelen took care of the introductions herself. “They say we take 25 seconds to determine if we like or don’t like someone. I think [people] just like her, almost immediately,” Henning says. “She also has what I call a practical intelligence, knowing what to say to who, when to say it and how to say it for maximum effect. She’s a master of it. It’s a social savvy set of skills.” New York Times columnist Dowd apparently felt so comfortable with van Diggelen after meeting her at Foothill that she greeted her at the Fairmont Hotel the next morning wearing workout gear and no makeup. (Van Diggelen was still in audio-only mode; she moved to video last year.) At the end of a 90-minute interview, van Diggelen asked Dowd to imagine her “dream date.” It would involve, Dowd said, watching the old Robert Mitchum movie “Out of the Past.” The next week, van Diggelen sent her a DVD of the movie. She still plans to take the columnist up on her offer of cocktails. After John Robbins, author of “The Food Revolution,” was interviewed by van Diggelen for a Commonwealth Club engagement, he called her a “true master of the art of conversation.” He’s been interviewed by Oprah and NPR’s Terry Gross, he says, and “Alison is fully in their class.” When he received a thank-you note from van Diggelen, he followed up with one of his own: “Your thoughtfulness and charm evoked the best of me.” It’s a sentiment that may very well take her far. S

Valley author and VC Guy Kawasaki says being interviewed by van Diggelen is like “a conversation between two friends.”

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a radical idea Sonia Arrison landed one of her first jobs at a Canadian foundation by properly answering a question to name her favorite magazines: The Economist. Foreign Affairs. Atlantic Monthly. Her same cerebral interests would land her a job at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, where she wrote scholarly essays about Internet taxes, intellectual property and e-waste. But it was a brain-candy TV show – “Extreme Makeover,” about tummy tucks, dental veneers and butt lifts – that set her on a new course. She was watching one episode in particular, she remembers, when a man and a woman each had radical head-to-toe surgeries that changed their appearances dramatically. “There was a moment when they were recovering in a room after surgery, and the guy just starts crying. She says, ‘I can actually change my life,”’ Arrison recalls. “I became fascinated with how people can change the way they look and the way they feel through using science and technology.” But this is not a story about a woman who becomes a plastic surgeon or a nip-and-tuck patient. No. No. Arrison became something else entirely. A transhumanist. Like many in the movement taking hold in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, she believes in the futuristic philosophy, which maintains that with the help of science, people can transcend the human limitations of aging and illness. A Fountain of Youth, of sorts, with a technology twist. “I realized it might be possible to change ourselves internally rather than just outwardly,” she says. As she focused in on bio- and nanotechnologies and became part of Silicon Valley’s inner sanctum of thought leaders, “a brand-new world opened.” Arrison is 38 years old. She wants to live to be 150 — at least— and believes breakthroughs in science and technology can make it happen. Call it “radical longevity.” Living well past the century mark is not only possible, she says, if the right people make it a priority, it’s practically inevitable. In 1850, life expectancy was 43. It’s almost 80 now. With exponential advancements in medicine and genetics, is it so hard to imagine that 150 is that far off? We might as well prepare for it, Arrison says, culturally, politically and economically. She has just written a book intended to help move the conversation out of science fiction novels and into the mainstream. It’s called “100 Plus: How the coming age of longevity will change everything from ca-

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For Sonia Arrison, longer living through science is inevitable, so we might as well prepare for it By Julia Prodis Sulek

Patrick Tehan


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Courtesy Singularity University

Sonia Arrison at a recent event at Singularity University in Mountain View. She is an early investor and trustee at Singularity, which brings together leaders in advancing technologies to consider some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

reers and relationships to family and faith” (due out from Basic Books in August). Motherhood starting at 70. Sunset clauses on marriage. (Would you really want to be married to the same person for 100 years?) It’s all in there. Let’s just say she’s a hit at dinner parties. “I want to be able to live as long and as healthy as I can,” she says. “I feel there’s so much out there to discover, and there really isn’t enough time to discover it all. I don’t wish to end the journey, the exciting journey that’s life.” Easy for her to say. She’s young and beautiful with an adorable toddler son and a husband with Google millions and homes in Atherton and San Francisco. (Husband Aydin Senkut was an early Google employee who was named by Businessweek as one of the top 20 tech angels in 2010.) Who wouldn’t want to live forever — or 150 years, anyway? But as Arrison makes clear, these are not simply the musings of the idle rich. Discussing ideas that change the world, no matter how far out, are the kinds of conversations that surround Arrison. She is part of an inner circle of Silicon Valley’s hightech elite that have the money and the curiosity to explore the fringe. It includes Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and Facebook investor featured in “The Social Network” and on the cover of Forbes Magazine; Google co-founder Larry Page; and Rapleaf CEO and angel investor Auren Hoffman. Arrison serves on an advisory board of the transhumanist organization Humanity Plus with Patri Friedman, who is the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton

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Friedman and director of a Thiel-funded project to build and inhabit floating sea colonies. And she’s an early investor and trustee at Singularity University in Mountain View, an incubator of ideas intended to solve the planet’s “grand challenges,” according to its mission statement. Mountain View-based Singularity is led by futurist Ray Kurzweil, author of the bestselling “The Singularity Is Near,” about extending life and transcending biology. “Sonia is sort of like this general who is helping us marshal the forces of humanity to defeat its greatest enemy — her name is death,” Thiel says. He means it. As he puts it, “I’d much rather live to 150 and not be a billionaire than be a billionaire and die at 80.” Arrison was an easy fit into this industrious group. Even in her late 20s, she knew how to make an impression. The first time she met Thiel, she was running the technology program at the Pacific Research Institute, a freemarket think tank, writing about consumer technology issues. She approached him after he delivered a speech in 2001 about “the ungovernability of America and the crisis of our constitutional system.” Theil considered himself libertarian-leaning, but Arrison didn’t think his solution made sense from that perspective. “I think you’re completely wrong,” she told him. “If you want to know why, here’s my card.” Startled, he took her card. She walked away, and the next day, he sent her an e-mail. “I want to know why I’m wrong,” he wrote. “Meet me for dinner.” They’ve been close friends ever since. His foundation

icons Sonia says... Book on your nightstand? This changes on a weekly basis. Right now it is “The Social Animal” by David Brooks. Greatest indulgence? Dark chocolate. What did you wear to the opening of the San Francisco Opera? A gun-metal gray Prada dress, black and pewter Monique Lhuillier jacket, and black Sergio Rossi platforms. What do you admire most in a person? The combination of intelligence and kindness. Who is your role model and why? My grandmother. She was always engaged in society in productive ways. She was a schoolteacher for special needs children, a mother of four and a volunteer to too many causes to list. When she “retired,” she didn’t stop working; she just did it for less income. She was an extremely positive female role model – the whole family leaned on her for wisdom and advice. Favorite local restaurant? On the Peninsula, the Village Pub and Bistro Elan. Favorite designer? I love the simple, timeless elegance of Prada for dresses and classic appeal of Salvatore Ferragamo for shoes and bags. Favorite single item in your closet? A blue plaid raincoat by Burberry. What if you didn’t make it to 150 and died at say, 85 or 90? It would be the same disappointment when you find out your friend who is 42 has cancer and dies. It’s tragic when anyone dies regardless of their age. But it would be terribly disappointing.

Courtesy Singularity University

has funded programs at Singularity University. He wrote the forward to her new book. The longevity movement, however, is certainly not without its skeptics. Critics forecast a more stratified society of the wealthy who can afford life-lengthening technology and the poor who can’t. And won’t “messing with nature” cause all sorts of problems? But as Thiel says, “We don’t want to become aliens or computers or something not human. Sonia is a voice of reason, a clarion call arguing that we should become more human, more like ourselves.” S. Jay Olshanksy, professor of public health at the University of Illinois-Chicago who is an expert in aging and longevity issues, says he’s thrilled Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are turning their attention to the possibilities of slowing down the aging process. But living to 150? While longevity nearly doubled over the past century-and-a-half, he says, most gains came in saving the young. Advances have slowed tremendously in recent decades for lack of cures and therapies for aging adults. “We’re coming up against a barrier of aging itself,” he says. “In the absence of modifying that barrier, we’re not going to get 150-year lifespans. We’re not even going to get 130-year lifespans. Even with 122 as the record, the vast majority of us aren’t going to make it to 100.” But Arrison is optimistic the barrier will be broken. Research is under way to explore whether the kind of genes that have proven to double the lifespan of tiny worms can have a similar effect on humans. Tissue technology, or growing human organs to replace defectives ones, also will lead to longer lives, she says. Using a person’s own stem cells, new bladders and windpipes already have been grown and implanted. “Think about vintage cars that still survive today in mint condition,” she says. “It’s not because the car itself was made to last. Vintage cars survive because every time a part fails, it is replaced. With a large enough parts list, a human could be maintained in tip-top condition for a much longer period of time, because parts will be replaced as they wear out.” Arrison might have a personal advantage when it comes to longevity. She comes from good stock. When her grandfather visited from Canada over Christmas, he pulled off this oneliner while gingerly walking down the staircase: “I think I’m starting to get old!” He’s 98. She was born in a small town in Alberta, Canada, the daughter of scientists and granddaughter of political mavericks. Her mother is a pharmacist, her father a chemical engineer who works on clean coal and cold fusion. Her grandparents helped start the populist Reform Party, which gave rise to Canada’s current prime minister. Arrison co-authored her first book, about Canadian politics, at 22. While a grad student studying political science

At a Singularity reception at Arrison’s home, from left, Laurie Yoler, Michelle Beauchamp and Arrison.

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Daniel Kraft


At the TED conference in Long Beach earlier this year, Arrison caught up with scientist and author Astro Teller, currently Google’s director of new projects.

at the University of British Columbia in the mid-1990s, she gravitated to the World Wide Web: “I was the only political science student hanging out with the computer science geeks.” It’s a combination that has served her well, from her jobs at foundations and think tanks and writing columns for TechNewsWorld, to a volunteer position with the conservative Silicon Valley group called “Lead21,” which introduced tech entrepreneurs to the powers in Washington, D.C. That’s where she met her husband, who had recently retired from Google. Lead21 founder Auren Hoffman introduced them during a function in the nation’s capital. Arrison and Senkut were standing outside when U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton walked by, but unlike the rest of the crowd, neither of them paid attention. “We were having this focused conversation,” she says. “Even Hillary Clinton couldn’t pull us away from each other.” They were inseparable after that. He proposed six months later. She was 32. He was 37. “They’re a great match,” Hoffman says. “They both have very different backgrounds, yet are very sympatico. She’s got an incredible laugh. She puts people at ease. While she has strong opinions, she’s one who will assess information and often change her mind about things. That makes a person a very exciting person to talk to.” Take this excerpt from a 2004 column she wrote in TechNewsWorld: With some 15,000 people dying globally every day, she wrote, “It does seem rather odd that we aren’t de-

‘We will never be immortal, but we can certainly live longer than we expect, and we should fight for that.’ manding a solution now. Perhaps one reason is that we live in a culture of death – a culture that has convinced us that death is natural, good, and impossible to fight against, so we shouldn’t even try.” But Arrison is trying. “We will never be immortal,” she says, “but we can certainly live longer than we expect, and we should fight for that.’’ Anything less, she said, would be “tragic.” So what if she does live to be 150? How might she spend even the last 20 years of it? “Learning, exploring and working to contribute something positive to society. Perhaps by then,” she says, “I can take my great-great-grandchildren to a resort in space.” S

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second acts


Big changes in your life or career? Join the crowd. Here’s how to be better prepared By Donna Lynn Rhodes

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock

Second acts – and third and fourth – in life and in careers are normal in today’s world. For each act, we can be fortunate enough to choose what we want to do and be, or have it foisted on us. The question is, how do we make these transitions work, and ultimately positive? We check in with a few intimately acquainted with life’s curveballs.

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Jessamyn Photography

Life coach Dory Willer says most people are not prepared for change, yet change is inevitable.

The coach Dory Willer is owner of Beacon Quest Coaching in the Bay Area, which helps people design and live purposeful lives. She is an internationally recognized expert in business and life coaching, working with individuals as well as powerhouse companies such as Yahoo, Cisco, Kaiser Permanente and Wells Fargo. A prominent speaker, Willer is co-author of four books, including “Living an Extraordinary Life” and “Best Year Yet for Teens.” Are most people prepared for dramatic changes in their life and their career? No. Only 10 percent of the population are known to be “change agents,” which means they thrive on change. That leaves the other 90 percent resisting even minor changes, let alone a dramatic shift. Change brings risk, and risk takes someone outside their comfort zone – two things most people resist. What can people do to prepare themselves? Embrace the possibility that things are probably going to change, and adjust your emotional response to it. Instead of looking at change as a bad thing, welcome this new phase and the limitless possibilities it now brings. My client “Joan” was out of work for 18 months and getting more frustrated as time went by. Losing her job and missing her family back East was bad enough, but then she found out her house was going into foreclosure. When I first met with her, she was very resistant to the silver lining I tried to get her to see: Without a house or a job, she was free to move back East, and a world of new possibilities was hers to explore. We worked on exercises, and her resistance turned to acceptance and excitement. Now

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Dory Willer: 5 things . . . get back on track, whether you’re changing jobs or changing husbands: 1. Hold a pity party for yourself. You earned it. But every party has a start time and stop time, and this is no different. Make sure the party ends. 2. When you’re ready to move on, make sure your “what ifs” are what-if-ups and not what-if-downs. Instead of saying, “There’s too much competition out there for me to get a job,” ask yourself, “Now that I have no restrictions and nothing tying me down, what do I really want to do, and where would I really like to work?” 3. Identify what truly makes you happy. When you combine your passions with your skills, especially midcareer, you are renewing your true self. 4. Be open to the possibility that change forces us to be creative and gives us permission to take risks. 5. Create the person you were meant to be. Recognize that what you once thought was the best you could be or most you could have is not necessarily true. Embrace the newness and welcome all the possibilities that are now open.

when Joan looks back, she sees that her future was just waiting for her, surrounded by her family. She not only has a wonderful a job, but also met the love of her life. Do people’s “dream job” or “dream career” change over time? Absolutely. From our cars to our clothes to the food we

transitions like, what we wanted at 21 is not the same as what we want at 41 or 61. It’s called life. Life is full of experiences, and these experiences lead to more decisions and more experiences. We are constantly changing our focus of what is important to us. How do you help people identify what they want, what they’re good at – especially those in midcareer or at their peak and looking to make a change? First thing we do is work on busting negative paradigms and beliefs. Most of us love to hang our hats on beliefs that don’t serve us well simply because they are not true, such as: You’re too old to get a new job, or no one is hiring. I work with businesses every single day, and they are hiring people every single day. If you don’t believe you’re worth hiring, no one else will. Seventy-five percent of my current clients are in midcareer changes and are excited about going to the next level. For most, the next level comes from identifying their passion and combining that with their skill set. For example, after 28 years with a company, 54-year-old “Bill” was laid off. Too young to retire and still supporting two kids in college, he was in quite a state when I met with him. I asked him what his passion was. He said, “If I could golf every day, I would.” The coaching we did took him into the land of possibilities, combining his profession,

his passion and his interests. At first he dismissed it, but then I opened the door in his mind with one simple question: “Do you think there might be companies in the golfing industry that are significant in size and revenue and would have room for a controller with your skills?” Today Bill is the CFO (a title he didn’t hold before) of one of the largest golf club manufacturers in the country. You talk about the theory of attraction and the science of deliberate creation. How does this translate into skills that people can use to cope with, say, getting downsized, or getting a divorce? It’s all about managing your energy – which is something you control through your thoughts. If your beliefs are negative, like, “I am never going to get a new job,” or “How can I possibly take care of myself and my kids with this divorce,” then those thoughts become actions and those actions limit you. In all that’s been written about positive energy and the laws of attraction, perhaps no one said it better than Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” I recognize that it’s hard for someone to change overnight, and that’s where I come in. All someone has to do is be open to the possibility that a different way exists, and that new beliefs and truths will bring different results, and they are well on their way to their next phase in life.

The anchor

Courtesy NBC11

In the spring of 2007, Jessica Aguirre, KGO/ABC7 evening news anchor and Emmy award winner, was told that her contract would not be renewed at the end of the year. She was stunned – her newscasts were rated No. 1 in the Bay Area, and she had been with the station for much of her career. (A daughter of immigrants, Aguirre previously reported and anchored newscasts in Miami and Los Angeles.) It became public when ABC7 fired her after she accepted a job at NBC11. “People were coming up to me saying, ‘I’m so, so sorry,’ ” she says. “My youngest daughter asked, ‘Were you fired?’ ” Aguirre, her husband Jay Huyler and their two girls moved from Walnut Creek to Pleasanton to be closer to her new job in San Jose. She is now lead anchor of NBC11’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. In addition, she hosts “Class Action,” a weekly show about public education in California.

When newswoman Jessica Aguirre learned her contract was not going to be renewed, she took charge of the situation.

Describe how you felt when you found out that your contract at ABC7 wasn’t going to be renewed. I was shocked – but mostly, I just felt betrayed. I had dedicated my life to the station and put their needs before anyone else’s – including my own family. But then I realized that their decision was a reflection on them, not me, and I

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transitions was not going to let their decision determine my value. My standards are higher than anyone else’s, and I know that I am an outstanding journalist and hard worker. You can’t let any outside sources determine the direction of your internal compass – jobs come and go, and you have to feel good about yourself. And I did. Did you consider changing careers or moving out of the area to look for another job? I never thought of changing careers – not even for a second. I love what I do. I wanted to live and work in the Bay Area, and my focus was to stay here and make it happen. What did this experience teach you about yourself? That leaving one position for another always forces you to grow. When you leave a job, whether by choice or not, you have the opportunity to re-create yourself and take your game up a notch. Sometimes being too comfortable in a job just makes you too comfortable, and you stop reassessing who you are and what you want to do. New experiences bring new energy, and new energy means you’re learning new things.

So what have you learned? The transition allowed me to take the lead at KNTV. This opportunity has given me a sense of confidence as a woman and as a broadcaster that I didn’t have before. And looking back, I wish that when I wasn’t working, I had taken more time to just be in the moment and enjoy the moment – especially with my children. Maybe taken a bit more time to rejuvenate myself. How would you advise a friend, or your daughters, to be prepared for unexpected career turns? Easy: Expect that change is coming, because it always does. Anticipate that changes are just around the corner so when they do happen, you won’t be rattled. One of my best qualities is resilience, and I try to instill that in my girls. Whether it’s in the schoolyard or in the workplace, you shouldn’t let other people judge you. You are always going to get knocked down by someone or something, and it’s OK to nurse your wound, but you only fail if you don’t get back up and keep going. You have to believe in yourself.

Danville resident Shiera Brady Henderson is no stranger to adversity. But in response to life’s difficulties, she developed an inner strength and invincible spirit that powered her ascent to the top of the mountain – literally. She is author of “Survival Through Laughter: Shiera vs. Breast Cancer” (Digital 1 Presentations, 2004). “My ‘second act’ hit me when I entered my 40s with a bald head and no eyelashes. I had to rethink and redefine beauty and my self-image. “Being diagnosed with cancer reshaped not only my breast but also my self-image for the next decade. My new sense of self was shattered again in 2007 when my husband of nearly 20 years announced he was no longer attracted to me and replaced me with the more traditional version of beauty. “Some would say my journey has been anything but beautiful. But the battlefield of surgeries and devastating rejection has been the very reason I’ve discovered the beauty of inner strength. Strength that helped me snowshoe across Antarctica and climb to the top of 14,000-foot peaks. The beauty of our natural world and a newfound sense of adventure fill my soul with what perhaps has been missing all along — feeling fabulous from within.” To celebrate her 10-year milestone of being cancer-free, Henderson is raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund through a climbing expedition on Mount Shasta in June.

Courtesy Shiera Brady Henderson

The survivor

Shiera Brady Henderson is celebrating 10 years of being cancer-free by taking part in a mountain-climbing expedition this summer.

To contribute, see A full version of Henderson’s story on redefining beauty is featured on S

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spellbinders From bewitching gowns to beguiling sheaths, this season’s bridal dresses enthrall By Hasti Kashfia Photos by Delbarr Moradi

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SPRING SPRING 2011 2011 s s SCENE SCENE s s 91 91

high drama Captivate the crowd with a stunning strapless gown by Vera Wang, featuring layers of tulle beneath a keyhole bodice. The dramatic black bow is matched by black diamond jewels. Dress $5,500, Maria Elena hairpiece $525, both from Priscilla of Boston. Spark bands (each 1.30 carat black diamonds, 18-karat white gold with black rhodium) $925 each; Angelina ring (3.20 carat black diamonds, 0.33 carat white diamonds; 18-karat white gold) $1,800; Yael Designs earrings (2.80 carat black diamonds, 0.35 carat white diamonds; 18-karat white gold) $3,025 and pendant (3.62 carat black diamonds, 0.16 carat white diamonds; 18-karat white gold) $2,970 (includes 18-karat chain), all from Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry. Rockstud by Valentino shoes $795, Footcandy.

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flirty lace


Both flattering and demure, and definitely not the kind of lace your grandmother wore. Romona Keveza mermaid gown $3,500, from Gabrielle’s Bridal Atelier. Milena by Brian Atwood shoes $795, Footcandy. Ralph Lauren boys’ shirts $35, shorts $30, jacket $68, pants $45; Twirl Company girls tank $35, skirt $85; headband $38. All from Neiman Marcus. Links of London children’s friendship bracelets $155 each.

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vintage dreams Beautifully nostalgic, authentic vintage pieces are heavily sought-after, as are “vintageinspired” new dresses with intricate beading and detailing. Jenny Packham empire gown $2,950, from Gabrielle’s Bridal Atelier. Maria Elena hairpiece $585, from Priscilla of Boston.

94 s SCENE s WINTER 2010


simple & short Shorter lengths are classy, and paired with a long veil, enchanting. Carolina Herrera dress $1,790, from Neiman Marcus; Toni Federici veil $600, from Clarissa Bridal Salon. Links of London sterling silver purity necklace $495. Lotus shoes by Jimmy Choo $895, Footcandy. WINTER SPRING 2010 2011 s SCENE s 95


the romantic Angled rufes slim and shimmer in this Daymor column gown $550, from Clarissa Bridal Salon. Raindance sterling silver earrings $470, Effervescence star sterling silver bracelet $335 and bracelet with pearl $385; all Links of London. Lancer shoes by Jimmy Choo $865, Footcandy.

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in bloom

A sumptuous take on tradition in a gown by Rosa Clara $2,400, from Clarissa Bridal Salon, with veil by Clarissa $450.

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sublime The truly modern bride loves a short sheath, even better in trendy lace. Michael Kors $2,495, from Neiman Marcus. Raindance gold necklace $3,500 and earrings $1,150, both Links of London.

98 s SCENE s SPRING WINTER 2011 2010

the classic


A sophisticated suit, perfectly accessorized, makes a statement. Chanel jacket $3,500, skirt $1,465, from Neiman Marcus. Hairpiece by Maria Elena $513, from Priscilla of Boston. Lancer shoes by Jimmy Choo $865, Footcandy.

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W W W. S F W O M E N S E X P O . C O M SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 101


divine elegance Bring out your inner goddess with this Mikaella strapless, $1,320, from Clarissa Bridal Salon. Effervescence bubble sterling silver earring with lavender Iolite $215, Raindance sterling silver necklace $950, both Links of London.

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on the edge Creative types add distinctive footwear and makeup touches (black and deep reds, for example, to contrast with all that white and ivory). The skirt on this dress by Melissa Sweet features thousands of tiny, handapplied bows. $3,675 at Priscilla of Boston. Lorissa shoes by Sam Edelman, $199, She She Shoes. Philippe Audibert Paris cuff $616, from Bella Rosa Boutique.

Color is a hot trend this year, and can be had in the bouquet as well as on your nails, in colored feathers in your hair, in your footwear or in your diamonds. Bold brides might even try a dress in a vibrant hue – totally memorable, and why not? Credits and resources on Page 105.

My Mother the Car Lover Wow, she loved that big wagon. Lugged everything around in it, her garden supplies, the musical instruments for high school band, and all the kids in the neighborhood - we would pile into that big boat and she’d chauffeur us everywhere.

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Shot on location at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga Stylist: Hasti Kashfia, Photographer: Delbarr Moradi, Hair: Amanda Silva, VE Salon, Campbell, Makeup: Asal, Styling assistance: Jasmine Duarte, Franci Gire Models: Breanne, Melissa, Tasha and Justin from HMM/ Halvorson Model Management Bay Area stylist Hasti Kashfia has produced high-energy fashion shows and styled red-carpet looks with a keen eye for trends and up-andcoming designers. Currently styling for the second season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” she specializes in making each woman she works with feel unique, beautiful and comfortable in her own skin. See for more; follow her at

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resources Bella Rosa Boutique 145 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos

Neiman Marcus Stanford Shopping Center Palo Alto

Clarissa Bridal Salon 1424 S. Main St. Walnut Creek

Priscilla of Boston 356 Santana Row San Jose

Gabrielle’s Bridal Atelier 422 E. Campbell Ave. Campbell

She She Shoes 130 N. Santa Cruz Ave. #D Los Gatos

Footcandy 1365 N. Main St. Walnut Creek

Smythe & Cross Fine Jewelry 350 Main St. Los Altos

Links of London, Bloomingdale’s, Stanford Shopping Center Palo Alto

Tuxedo Warehouse (all men’s attire) San Jose and Milpitas

Montalvo Arts Center, dedicated to fostering community engagement through the creation and presentation of multidisciplinary art, occupies a Mediterranean-style villa on 175 green acres. Montalvo was built in 1912 by Senator James Phelan, and hosts three performing arts venues, a 10-studio artist residency complex and a formal Italianate garden. With such photogenic spots as the Great Lawn, Spanish Courtyard, Love Temple and the villa itself, Montalvo has been the locale for numerous nuptials, and was one of The Knot’s 2010 picks for “Best of Weddings.” For more information, see

Pan Roasted Niman Ranch Flat Iron Steak Roasted Garlic Cabernet Sauce, Potato Risotto Cake, Thyme Braised Artichokes (Vegetarian Option available upon request) 2009 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 

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J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center 1000 Lenzen Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126 For tickets, call Lisa at (408) 918-2176 or visit the tasting room from 10a.m. to 5p.m. daily. Advance ticket purchase required. Seating is limited. SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 105

106 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 107

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108 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

wedding venues

singular sensations Unique spots to tie the knot By Erika Kittler Brown

Looking for someplace a little different for your wedding, yet still relatively close to home? Look no further. These one-of-a-kind venues run the gamut from fun to fabulous, and are guaranteed to make your celebration unforgettable.

Fly me to the moon! Chabot Space & Science Center Planetarium, Oakland If you and your honey are looking for somewhere heavenly to recite your vows, check out this planetarium. Ceremonies under its stars won’t leave you at the mercy of Bay Area weather (think summer’s late sunsets and winter’s cold temperatures). Receptions can be held in any number of locations, including the rooftop terrace among the telescopes, with gorgeous views of the Bay Area below. Easy driving and parking access, ample local hotels. Cost: Planetarium rental starts at $2,000, not including add-ons or catering. 10000 Skyline Blvd., 510.336.7421,

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 109

Shaded villa Hacienda de las Flores, Moraga Hidden among a mix of blue spruce, weeping willows and palms is this beautiful Spanish estate. True to its name, Hacienda de las Flores’ circular flowerbed, patio fountain and tranquil garden offer a sweet and romantic locale for a summer reception. The separate, semicircular Pavilion features Corinthian columns that add a touch of Old World elegance to the ceremony. Cost: Starts at $4,150 for weekend rental of both the Hacienda and the Pavilion (discounts for Moraga residents); does not include catering. 2100 Donald Dr., 925.888.7045,

Natural and classy Brazilian Room, Tilden Park, Berkeley This is a historic and charming venue for a reception, with the large lawn area facing the hills a perfect spot for the ceremony. One look at the Brazilian dismisses any idea that a park might be best suited for informal nuptials. The room’s elegant design and views and verdant natural landscaping make it an excellent choice for couples looking for upscale, but who still want a few dollars in their pockets when the wedding is over. Driving, however, is a chore; rent shuttles. Cost: Friday evenings and weekends start at $1,900, less expensive rates on weekdays; does not include catering. In Tilden Park, Wildcat Canyon at Shasta Road, 510.544.3164, Eric Sahlin

Going to the chapel and we’re… Old St. Hilary’s, Tiburon Any woman who has dreamed of getting married in a white chapel will love Old St. Hilary’s, which offers two other showstoppers: As a 19th-century landmark in an architectural design called “Carpenter Gothic,” it is exactly what you imagine when thinking of the words: vintage, classic, intimate (maximum capacity 125). And, the view of Tiburon and the bay is breathtaking. The church is nondenominational. Driving access is simple, but parking is difficult, and shuttles are recommended. Receptions can be held in a local restaurant or hotel. Cost: $1,500 for three hours, $300 per hour after that; reception cost is separate. 201 Esperanza St., 415.435.1853, landmarks-society. org/rentals/st_hilarys.php John Blythe

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wedding venues The long weekend Ralston White Retreat, Mill Valley A private estate, built by renowned architect Willis Polk in the early 1900s, surrounded by a thick forest of towering trees. Ceremonies are held on the heart-shaped front lawn, and receptions inside the mansion. The 14,000-square-foot home and its décor reflect a bygone era, with maze-like additions and quirky design. Up to 48 guests can stay for minimal overnight costs, and the reception space also is available for overnight rental (an option for couples who want to throw a late-night party, or a weekend-long celebration). Shuttles are a necessity; guests can park in downtown Mill Valley and hop on there. Cost: Day use starts at $1,750; overnights start at $5,775. Does not include catering. 2 El Capitan Ave., 415.388.0858,

City skyline Casa de la Vista, Treasure Island If you’re hankering for unparalleled views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in your wedding photos, consider Casa de la Vista. The views only improve as the sky darkens. Ceremonies are held outside on the lawn area, cocktail receptions on the patio – which could be adorned with lanterns or string lights to enhance the festive look. Inside the banquet room, the wall facing San Francisco is all windows, so no matter where you sit or dance during the reception, the view is outstanding. Cost: $3,950 (banquet capacity: 180). 191 Avenue of Palms, San Francisco, (from the Bay Bridge, take the “Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island” exit at the halfway point of the span) 415.274.2013,

Organic beauty Pema Osel Ling, Watsonville A ceremony in the Amphitheatre of the Redwoods at this 104-acre retreat in the Santa Cruz Mountains will remind you and your guests of the immense beauty and grace in nature. It’s easy to imagine an enchanted “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme here, set amid groves of towering redwoods. Pema Osel Ling is a nonprofit Tibetan Buddhist center and also offers overnight accommodations and a chef who uses mainly organic, locally grown ingredients. It’s perfect for the environmentally conscious couple of any denomination, and is one of the most affordable venues in the area. Cost: Rental pricing begins at $5,000; does not include catering or overnight stays. 2013 Eureka Canyon Road, 831.761.6270,

Diana Casanova

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wedding venues Grand extravagance Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose This Spanish Colonial mansion will appeal to brides who want a bit of Southern California or Florida flair, as the architectural style is common to those regions. The manicured lawns, palm trees, white walls and red roof of this historic showplace make for a colorful backdrop to ceremonies, and fantastic photos. Out-of-towners can stay at the onsite hotel. Cost: Starts at $15,000 for the Hayes ballroom; does not include catering. 200 Edenvale Ave, 408.226.3200

Your cup runneth over Murrieta’s Well, Livermore A winery in the Wente family, Murrieta’s Well has gorgeous views, well-received wines and fabulous food. Ceremonies take place outdoors next to the vineyards, while receptions are most often held in the barrel room. Meals catered by Wente Vineyards (the exclusive caterer for Murrieta’s Well) are fabulous. Cost: Space rental is $2,000 for a Saturday in peak season; price does not include catering. 3005 Mines Road, 925.456.2390, Eli Pitta

Advertise with Scene Magazine the Bay Area Woman’s Guide to Style call 408.920.5793 or email find us on

112 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Nautical nuptials Weddings at sea Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for you, is the perfect place to say, “I do� to your one and only. Take advantage of the beauty of the San Francisco Bay aboard one of the dozens of sea-faring vessels that offer wedding ceremony and reception packages. Ideal for smaller weddings, weddings at sea are ultraprivate and fun. The size of your guest list will determine the type of boat you charter. Top three options: Hornblower Cruises, Empress Events and SF Bay Adventures. Cost: About $650 for a small group on Hornblower; more for larger groups and extras., 415.438.8300; 888.467.6256, 888.922.4898, 415.331.0444

WEDDING VENUES Continues on Page 149

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 113

Enjoy Your Spring Time at Home




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haute stuff

do me a favor Wedding keepsakes your guests will love The custom of bestowing wedding favors has been around at least five centuries, a delightful way to thank guests for sharing a couple’s most cherished day. Like every aspect of the modern nuptials, the keepsake choice is limited only by budget and imagination. The real standouts are those with personality, charm and an element of the unexpected. We were definitely engaged by the ones shown here. By Crystal Chow

116 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Blow bubbles

Pick some pretty posies

Stainless steel chopsticks

If you and your intended are kids at heart, this functioning plastic gumball machine will make sure your guests know it. 72 or more are $2.59 each at

Guests will happily pick this “Daisy Delight,” charming silk gerbera daisies—you just need to figure out what to hide within the 2-inch-square pop-up box. 4 or more sets of 24 are $20.40 per set at

The removable white card has “For You’’ on one side and space for personalization on the other. How appetizing is that? Called “East Meets West,” 12 or more sets of 12 are $13.20 per set at

Spring leaf coasters

Gourmet brownie favors

Tiptoe through the meadow with “Whimsical Fields,” a set of pretty glass coasters that can perform double duty as candle holders. 72 or more are $1.90 per set at

Let them eat cake with a “Rhapsody in Blue” brownie bite available in three designs. Each treat is wrapped in clear cellophane with your choice of ribbon color. Minimum of 12 of the same design, $3.75 each at

Bottle stoppers straight from the beach Make waves at your wedding with this “Seaside” chrome and glass stopper, filled with sand and shells. 96 or more are $4 each at

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 117

haute stuff

Sweet honeycomb candle favor

Let the pear keep time

Care for Merlot – in a candle?

The buzz on this natural 2-inch tall beeswax candle is that each one features a perfectly detailed bee. Let there be light! 72 or more are $1.40 each at

This pear favor will be the apple of everyone’s eye, thanks to its whimsical yet practical appeal. “The Perfect Pair” measures 3.75 inches high. 96 or more are $3.25 each at

Cheers! Oenophiles will appreciate this authentic-looking 4-inch-high translucent gel candle with the harvest grape scent. 48 or more are $2.95 each at

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118 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Keep it hot and spicy Not just you and your beloved, but your guests, too. This habanero sauce will have ’em kicking up their heels. Choose from the three designs shown. 5-ounce bottles come in packs of 12 for $27.99 at

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in the garden

extraordinary orals Striking succulents for bouquets and boutonnieres By Joan Jackson

122 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Ryan Jensen Photography

Clockwise from top left: A bride’s bouquet with succulents, a place setting, a detail of a table centerpiece and boutonnieres.

Most brides dream of a bouquet of stephanotis, roses or lilies. But the bride who doesn’t want to march to Mendelssohn should consider kalanchoe, crassula and echeveria. If those aren’t exactly familiar it is because they are succulents, more often found in desert gardens than inside cathedrals. Recently, brides looking for something a little different have been choosing succulents for their wedding flowers. Succulents require some sun and very little water, and can live a long time. In that sense, they are the ultimate wedding floral, a symbol of sustainability and growth. In marvelous colors, shapes and sizes, they are widely available at garden centers and nurseries for do-it-yourselfers, or florists can create unique bouquets and arrangements. In most of these bouquets, succulents with tight, colorful, fleshy leaves are combined with sweetheart roses

and similar romantic flowers, making it a combination of traditional and extraordinary. Succulents can show up at weddings in other delightful ways: s)NINDIVIDUALPOTSANDTIEDWITHWHITERIBBON LITTLE green succulent favors travel home with guests as living keepsakes. s "OUTONNIERES OF THE SUCCULENT HEN AND CHICKENS are more memorable than the usual boring carnation. s2OOTEDSUCCULENTS SUCHASTHOSEWITHBLUEROSETTES touched with red highlights, make for striking table centerpieces, and can go home with guests to become favorite houseplants. We predict a big trend, particularly here in the Bay Area. Who knows, perhaps succulents will turn up at Prince William and Kate’s wedding... S

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 123



Scene reader contest Contest details and rules continued from Page 154:


Two readers will win four tickets each to Santana Row’s “Poolside Soiree�! Read our story “Second Acts� on Page 83. Then, in 250 words or less, tell us about your second act – how you turned unwanted changes into positive transitions in your life or career. Email Scene@BayAreaNewsGroup by 5 p.m. on May 2.


You must be 18 years old and a legal California resident to enter. Employees of the Bay Area News Group and their families are ineligible. Limit one entry per person, per household. Winners’ entries and photos may be published in the Fall 2011 issue.






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green on blue L.A. resorts lure visitors with sun, sand â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and recycling By Katharine Fong

SCENE s 129



Courtesy Terranea Resort

Katharine Fong

They arrive twice a day by golf cart like mini Hannibal Lecters, leather hoods covering their heads. But the captivebred falcons are hardly menacing – the hoods keep them calm enroute to their launching spot at one of Terranea Resort’s dramatic bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Once in the air, the birds soar up high, banishing pesky seagulls and the odd pigeon with their mere presence. It’s environmentally sensitive pest control, Terranea style. Rising from the water’s edge on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 20 miles from both the Los Angeles and Long Beach airports, Terranea bills itself as a luxury eco-resort. The 102-acre property, opened in June 2009, has 75 acres of green space, and is committed to protecting its coastal resources and restoring and preserving the natural habitat. (Happily, 1,000 acres of green space directly adjacent are part of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, and 1,200 acres of the larger peninsula is protected by the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy.) In addition to now-standard luxe hotel efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, Terranea offers teachable eco-moments throughout the grounds: telescopes for whale- and dolphinwatching and zooming in on Catalina Island in the distance, informative handouts on the tide pools along the beach below and an on-site naturalist to point out native flora and fauna. Also, Terranea-implemented wet ponds, bioswales (“created wetlands”) and storm filters enhance local water quality and provide avian habitat. Greening aside, Terranea’s history makes for good stories: It sits where the old Marineland of the Pacific theme park once operated. The 1960s TV series “Sea Hunt” was shot here, and Nelson’s pub is named for the character Mike Nelson, played by Lloyd Bridges. Recent movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Pearl Harbor” have shot scenes on the property. But visitors will mostly exult in the sheer physical beauty of the place. Not so much for the sprawling hotel complex and bungalows, casitas and villas (some for sale) – but for Terranea’s majestic perch above and below the endless blue. There are three saltwater pools, plus a 140-foot waterslide that delights the kids; all command spectacular ocean views. Morning spin classes at the spa’s fitness center are outdoors on a cliff above the beach. Sunsets at Nelson’s pub often affords close-ups of dancing dolphins. Terranea Resort

Courtesy Terranea Resort

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 866.802.8000, Onsite: 360 rooms, with 20 bungalows and 32 suites, plus 50 casitas and 32 villas. Nine-par golf course. three pools, spa and fitness facility, three restaurants. Hiking, biking, kayaking, beach access. Dog-friendly. Rates from $300. 130 s SCENE s WINTER 2010

fairmont miramar

Courtesy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

The first thing visitors notice after turning into the Fairmont Miramar’s porte-cochere entrance is the humongous, multi-limbed and magnificent fig tree in front of the lobby doors. The 123-year-old Moreton Bay tree, brought over as a sapling from Australia, is also pressed into service for the Miramar’s green initiatives: Its branches are recycled and reused in the form of banquet trays, check presenters and drink coasters. The Fairmont chain, in fact, has been on the eco-wagon since launching its Green Partnership program in 1990. The program focuses on conservation, waste management and community outreach. This means that at the Miramar, the watering of flowers and landscaping is done by hand instead of by automated sprinklers, and kitchen grease from Fig, the critically acclaimed “seasonal bistro” inside the Miramar, is turned into hand soap for the restrooms. Under chef Ray Garcia, Fig also filters water, recycles and composts, and is the first restaurant in Santa Monica to offer a valet for cyclists, so locals can pedal rather than drive. (See more on Garcia and Fig on Page 134.) The chain urges guests to help in broader eco-efforts (from its brochure: “Seek out local food and crafts” and “never buy [souvenirs] made from endangered plants or animals.”). Conference organizers can purchase carbon offsets so their hotel event will be “carbon-responsible.” Most guests at the Miramar, however, will pay more attention to the lush grounds and storied past. The two-acre property is an urban retreat across the street from the Santa Monica bluffs, which drop down to the beach. The Miramar’s history extends back to the late 1800s and is tied to the founding and development of the city. Famous extended-stay residents and frequent guests have included a young Greta Garbo, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, Mel Gibson and more recently actress Denise Richards. Movies and TV shows such as “Dallas” and “Starsky and Hutch” have been shot at the Miramar. Standard amenities, meanwhile, make the little ones feel at home: Children receive a small stuffed animal upon arrival, and if you tell the hotel ahead of time, their names are spelled out in sponge letters in the bath. They’ll also like their plush, pint-sized robes. Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.575.7777, Onsite: 302 guestrooms, including 32 bungalows. Fig restaurant. Pool, spa and fitness center. Beach access, with chairside service from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rates from $349. SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 131

the ambrose Those who prefer a more understated eco-luxury lodging experience, yet one still close to the beach, will like the Ambrose. Tucked on a quiet street in Santa Monica, a few blocks from the hubbub of the Third Street Promenade, the Ambrose was green before it became fashionable. In summer 2008, it was the first hotel in the U.S. to receive silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for an existing building. LEED recognition for existing buildings focuses on maintenance and systems rather than construction materials. The 77-room Craftsman-style Ambrose purchases renewable energy, composts, uses premium recycling methods and natural cleaning products, and offers guests a London taxi (that runs on biofuel) and classic cruisers to get around town. Comfort and quality are still evident: The rooms are outfitted with Frette towels and robes, and Matteo sheets. Owner Deirdre Wallace envisioned the Ambrose, which opened in 2003, as a “healthful” hotel, and the greening was a natural extension. She even incorporated feng shui principles into the property: The waterfall in the courtyard’s koi pond, as well as guestroom accent colors in gold and red, create positive energy. Indeed, with its dark wood interiors, doublepaned and stained glass windows, the place exudes Zen-like tranquility. The Ambrose is a limited service-hotel, meaning guests park their own cars, handle their own luggage and serve their own (organic) breakfast. There is 24hour room service, but no restaurant. The pared-down approach, along with compact rooms, fits well with the green theme and works best for visitors who want high-caliber basics without a lot of excess.

The Ambrose 255 20th St., Santa Monica, 310.315.1555, Courtesy The Ambrose

Onsite: Sustainable, boutique hotel with 77 rooms, small meeting room and fitness room. One block from the Wilshire business district. Rates from $235.

132 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

getaways The L.A. wedding thing Above the beach

Courtesy Terranea Resort

Tie the knot at Terranea’s breathtaking Catalina Point, where the blufftop above the Pacific has a paved square and trelllis above. If the cliff’s edge is not for you, use the manicured lawns below the lobby and near the ballroom and meeting rooms. Wedding parties – or bridal shower parties – find the bungalows and casitas a great way to keep that friends-and-family feeling intact and be near the action at the same time. Cost: Varies; average price per person is $200, which goes toward meeting the food and beverage minimums ($20,000 to $30,000plus in the Catalina Ballroom); does not include ceremony site fee. Fun fact: Last February (2010), TV’s “The Bachelor” star Jason Mesnick married Molly Malaney at Catalina Point, in front of some 300 friends. (Mesnick had become notorious for dumping his first choice in favor of Malaney.) The festivities were taped and aired a few days later, natch. Under the tree

Courtesy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

The base of the great fig tree at the Miramar is a popular spot to be married; the hotel turns the entire courtyard into a magical setting with lights, elegant tables under canopies and near the semi-tropical foliage, etc. Weddings in the Miramar’s gardens are also picturesque. Cost: $4,000, with a maximum of 400 guests (smaller garden ceremonies are $750-$1,500), including a room for the happy couple but not including per person food and beverage. Fun fact: Two pug owners – both dogs named Gus! – met on, and celebrated their union at the Miramar. The dogs walked down the aisle in little tuxes and at the reception sat at the head table, decorated with gold and silver fire hydrants, no less. The pug theme carried through to the table cards with their photos, and a live pug-adoption setup in the corner of the room.

Courtesy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

On the sand True beach weddings are generally casual affairs, and consequently much less costly and require hardier guests (flip-flops, anyone?). L.A. County offers miles of sparkling sand, as does Orange County. Check out, and projectwedding. com for general info and ideas, then and other review sites to see what people really think.

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 133

Courtesy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

at the table

fun at Fig

Fig 101 Wilshire Blvd. (inside the Fairmont Miramar), Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310.319.3111,

134 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

red beet risotto See Chef Ray Garcia at the fourth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, April 28-May 1; for details and tickets. Here is his recipe for “a great dish with bright vibrant colors and rich, fresh flavors.” Risotto: 1 tablespoon grapeseed/ olive oil blend 1 onion, finely diced 5 cups Carnaroli rice 1 bay leaf 7 ounces red wine 2 cups vegetable stock 4 ounces beetroot purée 3 ounces unsalted butter 3 ounces Parmesan cheese 2 ounces créme fraiche 2 tablespoons chopped dill 2 tablespoons chives

Beetroot purée: 2 red beets ½ medium onion 16 ounces vegetable stock Garnish: 5 each: yellow and red baby carrots, white and green asparagus 10 pieces goldenroot beetroot 5 tablespoons butter Salt and pepper

Boil beets and onion in vegetable stock until soft, peel beets, then transfer both to blender or food processor and purée. Set aside. In a new pot, heat oil and sauté onion until fragrant. Add rice and bay leaf, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour wine into pot and allow to reduce by ¾. Add stock, one ladle at a time, and stir frequently until risotto achieves desired texture. Add beet purée and stir to incorporate. Finish with butter, Parmesan cheese, crème fraiche, herbs, salt and pepper. Blanch vegetables for garnish in salted water. Sauté with butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve risotto in medium-sized bowl, topped with sautéed vegetables. Courtesy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Chef Ray Garcia’s Fig Restaurant in Santa Monica is drawing raves, and Northern California can claim some credit for its success: Garcia, 34, honed his skills under Douglas Keene at Cyrus (Healdsburg) and Thomas Keller at The French Laundry (Yountville). A native Angeleno who originally set out to become a lawyer and FBI agent, Garcia grew up on his mother and grandmothers’ Mexican home cooking. His college roommate, whose family owned a sushi restaurant, helped broaden his palate. And soon after Garcia had his first taste of foie gras, he decided that food and cooking were his passions. His dishes at Fig are fun and inspired: A poblano and mushroom taco, one of several on the Sunday menu at $3 apiece, reinvigorates a “common” classic. “Bacon Waffle a la Mode” comes with, yes, bacon ice cream. Last summer, Garcia introduced a hot dog cart by the pool – all-beef wieners with custom fixings served on a Frisbee. Fig’s focus is on seasonal, locally sourced and organic food. Garcia also works with a forager who scours the state, including the Bay Area. “One of my favorite foods to come out of Northern California is stone fruit,” Garcia says. “With so many great orchards, it is hard to pick a favorite, but Frog Hollow out of Brentwood grows a truly exceptional product. From the Ruby Grand nectarine to the Dapple Dandy pluot, every piece of fruit that they produce is memorable.” Garcia has won multiple accolades, including a Star Chef award in 2010. He is a vocal advocate for healthy eating – and not just at Fig. Every Friday, he spends half a day at a high school for at-risk students in Santa Monica. He has helped them set up and plant a garden, giving some their first taste of an heirloom tomato, and prepare homemade mozzarella, among other delicacies. – Katharine Fong

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Courtesy Lisa Staprans


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home & design

with soul Keep Earth and ethics in mind to create a beautiful, healthy living environment By Donna Kato

designing interiors that make sustainability and fair trade high priorities, the chapter hosted an industry event earlier this year at longtime family-owned mattress maker McRoskey’s Palo Alto store, a local business they support. The seminar explored what it means to design with soul and how to guide those of us who want to practice responsible consumption in our homes as part of our overall commitment to good living. “The choices we make have a ripple effect,” says Lisa Staprans of Staprans Design in Menlo Park, who believes in questioning where products come from and buying local or from companies that support fair trade. But, Staprans adds, it doesn’t have to be all serious considerations that zap the fun and frivolity out of design. She says we’re doing our part if we buy glassware in Murano or a sculpture in Paris, as long as we know we’re patronizing local artists or helping to keep a culture alive.

Courtesy Lisa Staprans

In an era where we care deeply about our vegetables being locally grown, investigate the mining conditions of our diamond engagement ring and seek out organic cotton onesies for baby, we often aren’t as diligent about the source of our home design choices. Buying tiles, flooring, bedding or carpets with the Earth and ethics in mind has not been as intuitive as walking into a store to choose hormone-free milk. But once we decide to create a home that is ecological and socially responsible, there are a growing number of sources that provide products and materials that can help us attain living environments that are beautiful, comfortable and healthy. “I’ve seen this trend coming for quite a while, and it’s especially big in California,” says Carol Spence Carr, president of the Peninsula chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. With more than 40 members who specialize in

After a cancer scare six years ago, designer Lisa Staprans sought spiritual solace in India, including at a girls school (above). She was inspired to work “with ethical intention and compassion.” Left, Staprans’ fireplace beam from reclaimed fir, along with a custom long bowl by a local artisan and an 18th-century olive jar.

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 141

Courtesy Odegard

Odegard ensures that the carpets, rugs and other furnishings it sells are from sources and countries that don’t mistreat animals or workers. The company is extra vigilant and proactive about child labor abuses.

People who design their homes with sustainability in mind tend to choose elements that don’t rely on styles or colors that go in and out of fashion, says Carol Woodward, a Saratoga interior designer. So for those who aim for a timeless look to their décor, she says, sustainability is good because it “ will maintain its look and design longer.”

Lisa Staprans

says there are two questions to ask about the origin of an item or materials you’re considering: s7HEREISTHISFROM s7HOISTHEGATEKEEPERTOASSURETHATTHISPRODUCTISMADEWITHINTEGRITY

Dana Greason,

who represents Odegard, a carpet and furniture company in San Francisco, says the carpet-weaving industry in Asia and Africa is among the worst offenders when it comes to child labor. Odegard’s mission is to be “socially responsible and environmentally sensitive” and guarantee that all the carpets come to them under fair-trade practices and that even the sheep and sheep shearers are treated with dignity. Other carpet importers should be able to do the same in being able to assure customers that the weavers make a decent living and are treated humanely while making the rugs and carpets.

142 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Courtesy Lisa Staprans

Edwin Suarez Courtesy Lisa Staprans

Above, Ecohome Improvement tile made of recycled materials; right, a Lisa Staprans kitchen with ash and claro walnut cabinets, sandblasted glass backsplash, and concrete countertops.

Going green, sustainable and using recycled materials are all possible in the paints, tiles and ďŹ&#x201A;ooring available at Ecohome Improvement in Berkeley.

Edwin Suarez

Courtesy Magnolia Lane

At Magnolia Lane, vintage lace is repurposed into a pillow. Organic cotton bedding is often made from organic hemp that comes from closely monitored co-ops in China.

Edwin Suarez

Courtesy Magnolia Lane

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If you contract a disease that requires systemic chemotherapy, such as cancer, hemachromatosis, sickle cell disease or lupus, you are at risk of losing your fertility. And often you have only hours or days after diagnosis to ďŹ gure out what to do. Reproductive endocrinologist Mitchell Rosen, director of UC San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fertility Preservation Program, acts fast to give patients the most options. He starts by guaranteeing they can get in to see him within 24 hours of their call. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A patient gets slammed with facing death, and then all of a sudden are told they may also be infertile after the treatment that saves their life. It is overwhelming for women to also have to think about their future and having a child at the moment of diagnosis,â&#x20AC;? Rosen says. Rosen walks patients through the options, which include: Harvesting and freezing eggs or embryos (success rate for the latter is higher and involves fertilization from a partner or donorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sperm). When it is time to implant the embryo in the recovered patient, preimplantation genetic screening can help reduce the chances that the embryo is carrying a disease-related gene. The test isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t perfect, but Rosen notes

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that most cancers, for example, are not inheritable and that the process can be helpful for patients. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation allows the patient to preserve her ovarian tissue for transplant back into the body after the cancer treatment has been completed. The risk is that cancer could have already infected the tissue and transplant could reintroduce diseased cells into the patient.

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WEDDING VENUES Continued from Page 113

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Ralston Hall Mansion, Belmont This exquisite 19th-century mansion is a private estate run by Notre Dame de Namur University. With its Italianate Villa exterior and ornate interior, Ralston Hall is for the couple who want glamour and tradition. Summer ceremonies are held on the front lawn with the bamboo forest as a backdrop; winter ceremonies take place in the intricately designed ballroom with its gilded mirrors and French crystal chandeliers. Easy driving and parking access, local lodging nearby. Cost: Weekend rental packages start at $6,000; weekdays also available.


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A special thank you

Oshman Family Jewish Community Center Our spring fashion story (Page 56) was shot on location at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. The new campus was opened in 2009 at the site of the former Sun Microsystems headquarters. It offers civic, educational, recreational, wellness and cultural programming for the community and individuals from all backgrounds. From performing and visual arts to fitness facilities to classes, workshops and special events, the JCC creates rich connections in the neighborhood and all of Silicon Valley. For more information, see

20% OFF with minimum purchase of $50. Expires 7/31/2011.

Business Hours: 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm, Closed Monday 150 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

Rudy Knight Gail Petty Robin Siegfried June Stephens Mark Yamamoto

Mark your calendars Style@Stern: art-for-wear It’s back: Palo Alto Art Center Foundation’s seventh annual Style 2011 Wearable Art Show and Sale, Saturday, April 30. One-of-a-kind artisan-made items range from jewelry that incorporates creatively reused materials such as tin cans, to tops of luxurious pieced cashmere and handbags with semiprecious stones. This year features more than 38 new and returning artists from California and beyond, some of whom will be present. The event benefits children’s art education programs at the center. Free to foundation members; $10 nonmembers. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Courtesy Palo Alto Art Center Foundation

Tim Griffith

Rob Barker Erika Brown Matt Coffee Pat Danna Ed Eke

Skincare 101 SkinSpirit, a skin care clinic and spa with locations in Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and Mill Valley, holds complimentary info sessions and happy hours. The “snacks and facts” focus on specific topics such as correcting sun damage, signs of aging, acne, etc. Next up, a look at Skinceuticals, with products and peels, Thursday, May 5, 6-7 p.m. at all three locations. RSVP: 866.323.0039 or Vintage Affaire 2011 Save the date: Saturday, June 25, at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Vintage Affaire is one of the largest wine auctions in California and benefits Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Palo Alto.

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1 2



I y Scene was the theme of our party at Blowfish Sushi in Santana Row. As well as sushi and cocktails, guests enjoyed fab spa services from Atelier Aveda Salon, Massage Envy and Lavande Nail Spa, and fantastic raffle prizes from Tiffany’s, Cole Haan, Blue Jeans Bar, SkinSpirit, Dr. Lauren Greenberg and others.



Nate Digre, Elaine Sullivan-Digre, Wendy Satterlund, Nanci Williams


2. Sushi as art 3. Erin Ray, Tara Davis 4. Keiko Yamamoto, Tom Yamamoto 5. Vince Colombi, Drew Cushing 6. Trisha Leeper, Louise Laurich, Debra Chin 7. Tim Tsun, Lisa Marke, Erika Brown 8. Finishing touches by Atelier Aveda 9. Bay Area News Group Publisher Mac Tully 10. Nicole Zuniga, Ashley Scarlett, Kate



11. 12. 13.

Rodina Fayad, Lisa Hanhan Mandar Dange, Gianni Gerriero Melody Navid, Raya Navid


11 10

152 s SCENE s SPRING 2011





NBC Bay Area’s Christina Loren was emcee

The show had something for everyone

Local Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer

San Jose Councilmembers Nancy Pyle and Ash Kalra

Local volunteers or heart disease survivors modeled

Supporters of women’s heart health showed lots of love at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women fashion show, held at Macy’s at Westfield Oakridge Mall. From ruby to scarlet, the fiery hue ruled on and off the runway, bringing attention to the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.

out and about in silicon valley Valley do-gooders spent an evening in Venice at the 24th annual Denim to Diamonds fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. For the March event the Computer History Museum in Mountain View underwent a makeover, going from bits and bytes to romantic and regal in the form of a sumptuous masquerade ball. Back row: Rick and Jodee Sussman, Bob Selig; Front row: Meryl Selig, Michael Verdone and Simona Barborikova

Cheryl Jennings and Don Sanchez of ABC7/KGO-TV

Children from the Ronald McDonald House

Melinda Litherland with Craig and Noel Hirst

Bob and Susan Kresek

Lisa Rubenstein and Heather Lustig

SPRING 2011 s SCENE s 153

all for you

get social with Scene Our site is where you’ll find current news and notes, back issues and stories you may have missed. “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (SceneBayArea) for updates.

Meet our bloggers Fresh Style - Donna Kato works the local style scene and weighs in on the latest trends, from pajama jeans to lashgrowing products. What shops are hot? How do you dress for a special date, or gala dinner? Who’s making news? She can tell you.

Coming in Scene’s Fall 2011 issue, publishing in August: The best of fall fashion and arts and culture, plus beauty, health and wellness, women and cars, and local icons you’ll want to know. Join us!

Read our “Second Acts” story and win tickets to A Poolside Soiree! The third annual Santana Row fashion show of the hottest summer styles arrives Saturday, May 14 (two shows at noon and 3 p.m.). Taylor Armstrong, star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” will make a special appearance to raise money for the Family Violence Protection Fund (20 percent of ticket sales will benefit FVPF, which works to prevent violence and help those affected by it). Tickets: $45, including poolside seating, Style Boutique, champagne and wine, hors d’oeuvres, post-show party and a chance to win a “Weekend for Two on the Row” valued at $1,000. or 408.551.4611. Two lucky Scene readers can win tickets for themselves and three of their friends. Here’s how: Read our “Second Acts” story on Page 83. In 250 words or less, tell us about your second act (or third, or fourth...) and how you’ve been positively changed by change. Send to by 5 p.m. on May 2. Contest rules on Page 124.

154 s SCENE s SPRING 2011

The Wedding Planner Follow Erika Kittler Brown as she plans her sister’s big day later this year. From plotting the beauty and style transformations of both bride and bridesmaids (long or short hair? best diet and exercise?) to bachelorette party ideas, the pressure is on!



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Scene Magazine Silicon Valley  

Silicon Valley guide to style, the perfect dress for your big day, wedding venues, favors and bling, coping with life's seond acts, bold and...

Scene Magazine Silicon Valley  

Silicon Valley guide to style, the perfect dress for your big day, wedding venues, favors and bling, coping with life's seond acts, bold and...