San Francisco Off the Re, first published in Everett Potter’s Travel Report, January 28, 2018
Best. Exhibit. Ever.
If you’re not lucky enough to live in San Francisco, this exhibit is worth a trip to the City by the Bay. Well worth it.
The show, which runs till October 28, is Rene Magritte: The Fifth Season. It is exclusive to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and will not tour. Two other things make it worth the journey:
One is Magritte. More than any other artist—including Escher and Dali—he alters reality by painting hyper-realistically. When he paints a giant shaving brush, every hair on that brush stands out. His rocks look like rocks; mountains like mountains. Once that’s done, he bends that reality . . . and your mind.
The other is that this brilliantly put-together exhibit ends with its own reality bending, what Magritte might have done if he’d lived in the Digital Age.
Best. Exhibit. Ever.
Don’t. Miss. It.
Have we got a tip for you!
On your next trip to San Francisco, you’ll be tempted to eat at State Bird Provisions, named the best new restaurant in the country. You’ll either wait a month or more for a reservation or wait what feels like a month or more outside, in line, hoping for a table.
We ate there but didn’t like it much at all. The combination of ingredients and spices in most dishes made little sense to our eyes or our taste buds. And featuring Rice Krispies as an innovative ingredient left our dining experience less than impressive.
But. Right next door is its sister restaurant, The Progress. No line, no breakfast cereal. And seriously wonderful food. The chef knows his ingredients, the bartenders know their mixology, the waiters know their menu. It’s a delight.
Not a cheap delight. Oysters are $3 each. Halibut is $32. Abalone’s $36. And deserts run $10-12.
But. It’s a worthy splurge. Your taste buds will tingle. Your stomach will thank your mouth. You’re in the hands of true professionals who are intent on giving you a memorable experience, a memorable San Francisco experience.
Of special note: the bowl of forest gifts—roasted morels. Perfect taste of woodland wonder for $23. Stinging nettle & ricotta ravioli with black trumpets and apple cider ‘saba’. The ravioli is melt-on-your-tongue tender, and you can taste each individual ingredient in the dish. Alaskan halibut with fava beans. It’s as tasty in your mouth as it is beautiful to your eyes. $32. And the chocolate torte with strawberries and pistachio. Meal-ending sweet deliciousness.
Three more tips: If there’s just two of you, skip the platters so you can taste more dishes. And sit at the bar. Conversation with the mixologists and the lively patrons just adds to the pleasure of the evening. And order with sharing in mind. The servings may not look large, but they’re rich and filling, and the tastes are to be savored, not gorged.
Make. More. Money.
When I was offered $800 for a long article, I said, “I was thinking of something in four digits.” The editor said, “I’ll get back to you.”
A day later, I got the call: “We can’t do $1000. The most I can pay is $875.”
I said, “Sold.”
Now, $75 won’t make me rich. But $75 in my pocket is better than $75 in the publisher’s. And I made that happen in ten seconds and eight (8) words.
Here’s how you can do it in one (1) word. Just say no.
“I can’t pay, but you’ll get plenty of exposure.” No.
“We pay $25 for 1,000 words.” No.
“You write it, we own the rights.” No.
Here’s another make-more-money word: Instead of raising your rates, you’re changingthem. For more on this one-syllable substitution, read here.
Seth Godin offers this phrase to change the hearts of tight-fisted clients:
He says,“That’s as useful a freelancer marketing strategy as you can fit in a single sentence.”
The Olders use a variation on that sentence. When told that an outlet can get a service way cheaper than our price, we say, “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”
Effin and I were at a noisy product launch in San Francisco when the call came. A production studio wanted to use one of my minimovies for a new show on the History Channel.
To escape the noise, we stepped outside, me on my phone, Effin standing three feet away. All she could hear was my end of the conversation. It was short — went like this: “Two-hundred dollars? I was expecting twice that much.”
Then I went quiet.
A moment passed. Two.
Then the answer: “We can do $300 and no more.”
I said, “Sold.”
(As far as I can tell, that show never materialized, but the check did.)
Got your own Make More Money strategies? Send ‘em my way, and, unless you specify, I’ll try to share with the Lifeguards.