Around the Bay in February 2014

MTC has teamed up with the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries to present The Bridge Builders, an exhibition by Joseph A. Blum featuring more than 80 color photographs that give viewers an all-access look at the making of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Photo by Joseph A. Blum

The Bridge Builders

Published: February, 2014

MTC has teamed up with the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries to present The Bridge Builders, an exhibition by Joseph A. Blum featuring more than 80 color photographs that give viewers an all-access look at the making of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Blum has been dutifully documenting the construction process from the foundations all the way through the opening in September 2013, and continuing with the demolition of the old East Span that is now underway. While the artist has photographed all aspects of the structure’s erection, the people who labor to build the new bridge hold the greatest interest for Blum. Heart-stopping heights — often over open water — and gargantuan scale startle the viewer in images that often seem inconceivable. The free exhibit, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, is on display on the third floor of the MTC offices at 101 8th Street in Oakland through May 31.


Chinese New Year Parade

Named one of the world’s top ten parades, Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Over 100 units will participate in the parade, with many of the floats and specialty units featuring the theme of the Year of the Horse. Nowhere in the world will you see a lunar New Year parade with more gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions and exploding firecrackers. Some of the parade highlights include elaborately decorated floats, school marching bands, martial arts groups, stilt walkers, lion dancers, Chinese acrobatics, the newly crowned Miss Chinatown USA and the Golden Dragon. The Golden Dragon is over 201 feet long and is always featured at the end of the parade as the grand finale—it will be accompanied by over 600,000 firecrackers! The Golden Dragon was made in Foshan, a small town in China. The Foshan dragonmasters formerly made all the costumes for the Cantonese opera, and the Golden Dragon bears many operatic touches, such as the rainbow colored pompoms on its six-foot-long head. It is festooned from nose to tail with colored lights, decorated with silver rivets on both scaly sides and trimmed in white rabbit fur. The dragon, made on a skeleton of bamboo and rattan, is in 29 segments. It takes a team of 100 men and women to carry the Golden Dragon. Rain or shine, come watch the parade on Saturday, February 15 from 5:15 to 8 p.m. For more information as well as the parade route, visit


Come Fly with Me

Both birds and people will be flocking to Mare Island in Vallejo to celebrate what has become a special annual winter ritual. The 18th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, taking place from February 7 to 9, includes guided hikes and outings, tours, workshops and an exhibition area. The three-day event celebrates the return of over one million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and hawks that migrate through or winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year the festival will kick off the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Join the partners at the U.S. Forest Service as they offer some special opportunities during the Festival and throughout the year, to highlight this important milestone. The main Flyway Festival headquarters is at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard where the Wildlife and Birding Expo includes exhibits and interactive activities offered by 75 or more nonprofit, natural and historical resource agencies, slide shows and a live raptor show along with commercial art, birding suppliers and digital equipment and optics vendors. There will also be good food, a fine art exhibition entitled Bay Area Wetlands to Ridgetops and a silent auction and raffle. The Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in Building 223, at 500 Connolly Street (the main event location on Mare Island) and admission is free. The outing tent is in front and is the meeting location for many of the outings. For more information, visit or call (707) 249-9633.


62nd Annual Pacific Orchid Expo

The San Francisco Orchid Society invites everyone to paint the town with "Orchids and All that Jazz" at its 62nd annual Pacific Orchid Exposition, happening February 20-23 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The theme of this year’s event combines a symphony of orchids with the complex and classic feel traditionally associated with jazz music. Exhibits and displays will incorporate musical creative concepts while accompanying music is played throughout the show. The event opens with the anticipated Gala Benefit Preview, February 20th from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The gala gives attendees the first chance to view and purchase some of the best orchids in the world before the show opens to the general public. Guests will also enjoy delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings from some of California’s premier wineries and can bid on fabulous auction items including gift baskets and certificates, dinners, getaways, wine, original art and more. The general show follows February 21-23 and boasts over 150,000 beautiful orchids from across the globe. Throughout the weekend there will be docent tours, orchid potting demonstrations and special lectures. The Gala Benefit Preview is $40 online/$45 at the door. The general show is $13 online/$15 at the door, Seniors (65+) are $10 online/$12 at the door. Weekend passes are available for $55 with gala and $25 without. For more information, visit


Tulipmania in Full Bloom at PIER 39

PIER 39 presents its popular Tulipmania Festival this year from February 15 to 23. Enjoy thousands of tulips and seasonal garden favorites throughout both levels of PIER 39 on free, guided landscaping tours beginning daily at 10 a.m. in the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza. Following each tour, guests will be treated to complementary refreshments at Pier Market Seafood Restaurant. Make sure to bring your cameras to capture what’s blooming at PIER 39. For more information, visit the events page at


Jacks Are Better

The Jack of All Trades will fill the Jack London Square Market Building with a curated mix of local makers, indie designers, antiquers, collectors, artists, start-ups and more brought together by the Treasure Island Flea. Free to the public, this eclectic market will feature one-of-a-kind items, live music and several free DIY workshops for all ages. The Jack of All Trades will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month through March. It will be located inside the Jack London Market Building at 55 Harrison Street before moving outdoors to the waterfront April through December. Visitors can bike, ferry or drive to Jack London Square. For additional information on Jack of All Trades, visit


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