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A Big Gay Wedding and The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts


One of our primary reasons for heading west recently was to attend the wedding of some wonderful friends in San Francisco – thanks to marriage equality there, everyone in California is able to celebrate their union and journey together. It was touching to see these two making a commitment to each other in front of friends and family (and I think the event has my McBee on his way to Harry Winston to pick out a black diamond eternity band!).james_mcbee

We did have an excellent time before the wedding exploring a bit of San Francisco. McBee was anxious to see the San Francisco Maritime Museum, but sadly there were not many yachts or ocean liners on display. We were both inspired, however, by the architecture of this Art Deco masterpiece.

Afterward, the incomparable Philip Bewley (our go-to advisor for all things sublime) had us lunching at Burma Superstar. It’s a low key eatery with the most delicious Asian/Burmese cuisine – let me just say we’ll be dining there again on out next trip to San Francisco.

Then en route to the wedding we made an obligatory stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. Designed by Bernard Maybeck to host the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal), the Palace of Fine Arts is a sight to behold and houses spectacular art from Renaissance to Modern. Maybeck’s fantastic creation, inspired by a Piranesi engraving, also features a Roman ruin and reflecting pool. According to Maybeck, his ruin existed not for its own sake but more as a grand scale memento mori to convey “…the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes.” Like other features of the fair, the Palace was intended to be demolished at the close of the fair, but luckily the Palace lived on, saved from from the wrecking ball by the Palace Preservation League, founded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst while the fair was still in progress. In 1964 a badly deteriorating rotunda and colonnade were demolished and rebuilt in more permanent materials via the generosity and vision of philanthropist Walter S. Johnson. Needless to say it’s a breathtakingly beautiful site indeed – do go in the late afternoon for the loveliest light.

In this image I am referencing a photo of the sensational San Francisco socialite Dolly Fritz by Slim Aarons sporting a marvelous mix of grays and pinks to celebrate the wedding of our friends. I’m wearing a Tom Ford jacket in grey linen, silk and hemp, dove grey silk pants, pink cotton checked shirt with French cuffs and white suede with saddle leather cap toe lace up shoes, Charvet mauve silk bow tie and pink silk pocket square, antique moon stone cuff links, Rolex watch and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.

Our Ravishing Road Trip Begins

James Andrew crowned by a Mark di Suvero

James Andrew crowned by a Mark di Suvero

We had a late afternoon start in San Francisco and not wanting to waste time with aimless wandering (though that has its place when time allows!), we sought the guidance of our friend, the ultimate San Francisco based aesthete and art advisor, Philip Bewley. He suggested that we go have a look at the latest sculptures by renowned artist Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field. Known for his bold and exuberant works, di Suvero has done much to shape the language of modern sculpture – this, in concert with the Golden Gate, provided a stunning backdrop to kick off our ravishing road trip.

Our guide Bewely also suggested we dine at Spruce, which turned out to be a most marvelous spot. Think: a Tom Ford-style ultimate eatery – the interior just drips with mood, and Spruce serves up the best in California-inspired American cuisine – a brilliant place to begin a culinary exploration of this super-chic city.

Dressed in celebration of all of the fabulousness, I’m wearing a tangerine silk Spencer jacket by Tom Ford, grey and white cotton voile gingham shirt, saddle leather loafers, “Nicolo” sunglasses, vintage Gucci silver double horse head buckle belt, uniqlo skinny white jeans, vintage Rolex watch and the “Madison Square” from Pochette Square. My fragrance is Lorenzo Villoresi Iperborea.

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On to Big Sur

Highway 1 - on to Big Sur

Highway 1 – on to Big Sur

After a chic little stay in Carmel we are off to Big Sur. The stretch of road along Highway 1 offers some of the most spectacular views, and we made quite a few stops along the way.

We are gathering so many marvelous images, and we’re very much looking forward to sharing all once we’re back home!

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