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Local Edition Papers

Concealed behind an unassuming storefront, there is a hidden gem of a lounge in San Francisco known as Local Edition.  Housed in the basement of the vintage Examiner building in the Financial District, Hearst inspired cocktails and mid-century libations permeate the area that once contained the newspaper’s printing presses.  Upon hearing of this great bar, some of my friends and I decided to make some headlines of our own on a Monday Night, and headed down for a drink.

Local Bar 02

The entrance to Local Edition is located on Market, not far from 3rd Street.  After one’s checked in with the doorman, a staircase leads down to the submerged tavern.  For residences, I am not a fan of basement level apartments (also known as garden apartments).  These offer far too much yin energy, as one’s home is literally underground, completely surrounded by the earth (similar to a burial plot).  Those who inhabit such dwellings can suffer from a variety of issues, including  feelings of being stagnant, and poor health.  However, this is not a residence – it’s a bar.   When bars or restaurants reuse subterranean spaces like this, it adds a wonderful yang energy to a very yin space.

Local Bank Seating

Everywhere one looks, the history of William Randolph Hearst and The Examiner has been captivated and transformed.  Famous newspapers are showcased throughout in frames or under glass tables (pictured at the top of the post).  Vintage manual typewriters are displayed as monuments to a bygone era of news reporting.  Even the marble-topped tables make a statement.  Not only are they beautiful, durable, and a wonderful example of the earth element, the marble used is remnants leftover from the construction of Heart Castle.

Local Table 01

Honoring and preserving history is of vital importance to every generation.  In order to evolve and grow, we look to the  past to see our former successes and our unfortunate mistakes.  Using this knowledge helps us to decide which paths to take, inspires us to create and innovate to new heights, and further enriches us as a people.

How is preserving history good feng shui?  Well, first you have the green aspect.  When one reuses or repurposes an Local Typewritersobject or material in a new fashion, this helps to reduce energy and resources that would be needed to make something brand new.   It’s also a way of clearing clutter.  An item that has been sitting around collecting dust is employed in a new way, thus changing negative energy into positive energy.

There is also the matter of style, which I find to be of great importance in feng shui.  In our home environments, one common factor is that everyone has their own sense of what they do and do not like.  And, either knowingly or not, history influences our individual style.  There can be a particular time period we are drawn to – or music from a decade we can’t seem to get enough of – or an allure to vintage clothing of a specific era.  We take samples of the past and intermingle them into our modern tastes.  Having items that are personally nostalgic in one’s environment is comforting, and gives one a sense of peace and belonging.

Local Leather Seating

History influences us in all kinds of beneficial ways.  One example is in alcohol and mixed drinks.  All of the specialty cocktails at Local Edition are influenced by vintage recipes with modern flare, looking at those from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Many of the libations derive their names from things of a newspaper origin, or anything connected to William Randolph Hearst.  One drink I didn’t get to try was The Rosebud, a tequila based beverage with vanilla simple syrup and sea salt.  The namesake of this concoction was actress Marion Davies, Hearst’s mistress of over thirty years.  Rosebud was her nickname.  Let’s look at the libations I did try:

The Eagle

The Eagle – My friend Rachel could not stop talking about this drink, so I had to try it – and I’m so glad I did!  Bourbon, soda water, and a root beer simple syrup combined make this an incredible beverage.  I could drink these all day.  Refreshing and addictive.

Local Edition Cocktail

Local Edition Cocktail – The namesake of the establishment, this is Local’s own edition of an Old Fashioned.   Bourbon, cherry-infused bitters, and an orange peel simple syrup are the main components of this headliner.  Strong and bold.

Rex Roth and Fidel and Che

Rexroth – Pictured on the left is the Rexroth, named for the famed poet and political activist.  A complex mixture including Peychaud’s bitters, pisco, and an egg white, this was intriguing and unforgettable – much like Rexroth’s poetry.   His writings are poignant and impressive.  A selection of his work can be found at Poemhunter:  http://www.poemhunter.com/kenneth-rexroth/poems/

Fidel and Che – On the right is Fidel and Che, a unique twist on a mojito.  Although rum, lime, and mint are used as in traditional mojitos, this drink also uses aperol, an Italian apertif similar to campari.  Vibrant and invigorating.

The Pulitzer

The Pulitzer – Named after the famed publisher and journalist, The Pulitzer was the ideal libation to close the evening,  Scotch, honey, angostura bitters and manzanilla sherry served straight up in a small goblet with an orange peel garnish.  Very strong, and perfect for sipping.  Daring and memorable.

Local Table 02

Comfortable  seating, walls draped in scarlet fabric, and high ceilings evoke a romantic and relaxing atmosphere.  Although reservations are not required, my party and I did make some just to be safe.   Decanter service is provided should one desire a favorite bottled spirit.  Local Edition also offers great live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  On the record, I will state that is a brilliant and highly auspicious place to grab a drink.  Off the record – This place is awesome!  I can’t wait to come back here again – for the drinks and the history.

Local Edition Entrance

Local Edition

691 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

415 795-1375

Hours:  Monday – Friday 5:00 pm – 2:00 am,   Saturday 7:00 pm – 2:00 am

http://localeditionsf.com/

Shaun Local 03

The Road to Melville

Herman Melville was one of the greatest novelists of the nineteenth century.  His most popular book, Moby Dick, illustrates the adventures of a sailor called Ishmael and his experiences aboard the ship Pequod.  Bent on revenge, the captain of the ship, Ahab, relentlessly pursues  a large whale who destroyed his last boat and bit off his leg.  While I have never read Moby Dick, I can understand Ahab being somewhat angry at the whale.  I also appreciate his tenacity at the continual hunt for this grand creature, Moby.  It reminds me of my never-ending exploration for good wine (without the revenge or blood-loss).   On my recent travels, my friends and I stopped at Melville Winery in Lompoc  to sample their vineyard creations.  The main tasting room is in the rotunda-esque portion of the building (above), with beautiful grounds perfect for picnics and relaxation.

This winery is rich with color!  On the day we visited, elegant wisteria was in full bloom, adding a beautiful wood element to the front of the building.  This flowery plant also adds  a little fire energy with its calming violet color.  The mustard hue of the stuccoed walls and the reddish tile add a lively earth element to the environment.  Most shades of yellow are symbolic of earth or mountains, and tend to put one immediately at-ease.  This, I found, continued as we journeyed inside.

An expansive tasting bar lined the back wall of the room that I now call “the tasting rotunda.”  I fell in love with the beautiful marble that covered the bar.  Marble, real or faux,  is a stylish and tactile way of adding an earth element to any environment.  This specific marble takes it one step further.  Notice how the patterns on the stone almost looks like a map of some sort; maps and globes are another way of how earth can be introduced symbolically into ones surroundings.

Another auspicious aspect of the environment are the potted trees inside.  An example of this is pictured below.  Living trees and plants indoors can add a beneficial wood element to the area, as well as improving air quality.  Faux plants are also good, but they will not aid in improving the indoor air as real plants.   Notice also at the top of the picture there are beams on the ceiling.  Beams, from a feng shui perspective, can greatly affect the health and emotional relationships of an area in a negative fashion.  They can  symbolically apply pressure to those in the room, and can cause quarrels or discord among people as well.  Being that this is a business, it’s not as bad as if it were a residence, but I’m not fond of it.  This was the only negative I noticed in the surroundings.  I love how all the windows let in natural sunlight, bringing more nature in from the outside.

And now on to the delicious wines:  Here’s what I tasted:

  • 2009 Estate Chardonnay – Now, while I am a red lover by heart, there is nothing like a white wine on a warm California day.  Referred to as their core chardonnay, this was my favorite of all the wines we tried.  Pineapple, lemon, and sage are very evident in the aroma.   Truly excellent and crowd pleasing.
  • 2010 Estate Viognier – A crisp white wine with hints of pear and ginger.  Not as sweet as other viogniers, but I quite enjoyed it.  Would be great with Chinese food.
  • 2010 Estate Syrah – A sultry red with suggestions of plum and elderberry.  Very tasty.
  • 2010 Estate Pinot Noir – A deep, rich pinot full of spices.  One can taste black pepper, cumin, and ginger among others.  I loved the ruby color of this wine.  Sophisticated and complex.

The grounds of Melville are well-manicured and pleasing to the eye.  My friends and I took advantage of this and brought a picnic lunch to savor the gorgeous day.  We also purchased a bottle of the 2009 Chardonnay to accompany the meal.  Definitely one of the best picnics I’ve had in a long time.   I will definitely be visiting Melville again when I’m in the Lompoc area.

Justina Cross, Shaun-Mathieu Smith, Wendy Cross and Andres Acevedo. Photo courtesy of J. Cross.

Melville Vineyards and Winery

5185 East Hwy 246, Lompoc, CA 93436

805 735-7030

Hours:  Tasting room open daily 11:00 to 4:00.

http://melvillewinery.com/index2.html