American Artist Georgia O’Keeffe Garden of Floral Canvasses at the DeYoung

For the first time in decades and just in time for spring, an exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings is currently  on view at the De Young Museum. Originally from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O’Keeffe started out as a little seed within the exclusive garden of New York City and soon blossomed into one of the most creative women artists in history.

In the 1920’s,  O’Keeffe looked at flowers blooming through a magnifying glass and created enlarged paintings of it. She was known for her depictions of flowers because she was the first to relate “female iconography” with art, or so as the 1970’s feminists claim.

Among her famous blossoming beauties, “Petunia” is the featured painting at the De Young Museum. The three central petunias overwhelm the viewers because the painting is hung high enough to give the illusion that the flowers are above you. The center bloom is looking straight at the viewer while the outer flowers blend to the center one. O’Keeffe uses purple as her main color with hints of grey and fading blues. Walking up to the painting, the viewer will be convinced the painting is hung upside down because the flowers are blooming downwards. Normally O’Keeffe would sign her paintings on the back but in this exception she signs it on the painting, which gives us the proper display direction.

Aside from Petunia, the De Young is also displaying “Lake George,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Starlight Night.” The exhibit is on display from Feb. 15 to May 11, and open every day except on Mondays and students only pay $22 for admission. Aside from being able to view the entire De Young Museum, visitors also have admittance to the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, as long as the visit is on the same day.

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Delicious Meets Nutritious at Tacolicious

There is no better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday than by visiting Tacolicious. This contemporary taqueria with its gourmet tacos and extensive cocktail list has formed a local taco cult in San Francisco, expanding their brand from the meager taco stand outside the Ferry Building into a sit-down restaurant and bar.

Tacolicious has branched out to four Bay Area locations and last week some of my family and friends and I gathered to fiesta at the North Beach location. The playfully named eatery adds a refreshing spice to the otherwise Italian restaurants in San Francisco’s North Beach district. The cement floors and industrial design is a casual yet chic setting to grub and guzzle with friends. The restaurant re-conceptualizes Mexican cuisine staples, serving up classic sides with catchy names like their Drunken Beans and Rice-o-licious.

I came with my appetite and decided that I would order their signature Marina Girl Salad. Despite the skinny girl connotations of its name, the salad arrived in a bountiful bowl. The bowl was filled with crisp chopped romaine, cucumber, radish, and salty cojita cheese. A few pieces of avocado were scattered on the salad as well but the roasted pepitas really gave the salad texture. .

To balance my light salad and make up for my lack of calories I ordered three tacos($3.95 each, four for $14). I ordered two bbq chicken tacos, a weekly special reminiscent of a summertime cookout. The simple tacos were delivered on a clean white platter and garnished with chopped white onions. My third taco was their signature guajillo-braised short rib. The short rib taco sparked my senses with its light texture and savoriness. My brother and his fiancé shared the mushroom empanadas—stuffed with green garlic, oregano, oaxaca cheese, and tomatillo salsa—but found them to be salty and lacking mushrooms.

Quench your thirst with their crafty margaritas, using 100% agave Tequila. Tacolicious serves up 9 to 10 different margarita-esque cocktails. Their most popular margarita is the Passion. Holding up to its name, the drink has habanero infused tequila with a passion fruit puree, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and a splash of orange juice. Although I didn’t sip on their drinks, I was eying their pumpkin flan and pleasantly tacky throwback to the choco-taco.  Their tempting drinks and desserts are all reasons why I would return.

Tacolicious is definitely the most sophisticated taqueria I have ever been to and its just about the only Mexican restaurant where it is okay to order a salad. I left my heart in the Mission District when it comes to authentic street tacos but I ate my meal with satisfaction and comfort knowing that Tacolicious buys locally and uses organic ingredients. My family gasped when receiving the bill, since Mexican consists of such simple ingredients it seems absurd to spend almost $4 per taco. The service was fast but the bar stools were a pain;  however I am definitely willing to come back and try their brunch menu that features a breakfast of champions—an Austin-style breakfast taco (similar to the breakfast burrito), and sparkling sangria.

Tacolicious has a young and modern vibe and would be a smart place for all you seniors looking to spend your last Taco Tuesday as college students.


#KeepColbert Because A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Reality Go Down

As you may have heard, comedian Stephen Colbert has come under fire in the past week after making what was perceived as a racist remark towards the Asian community. But what was the nature of the comment? Let us investigate.

It appears that this is all based on a tweet released by the official twitter account of the television show, “The Colbert Report.” The tweets, as we learned, were  not written by Colbert himself. The tweet was made in response to the Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder’s Original Americans Foundation established to support Native Americans. This situation is rife with absurdity in regards to names; the name of the MLB foundation intensifies the political incorrectness of the team name, both of which are less-than-respectful ways to name Native Americans.

Comedy Central, the real administrators of the Twitter account, wanted to call attention to this, and used Colbert’s character “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong” as a base for their fictional and comical “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever”. The tweet itself — “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” — is evidently a mockery of Snyder’s unfortunate naming, but the question remains: is it at all ok that Asian Americans still bear the brunt of humor?

Yes, it is true that Asian Americans bore the expense of this jab, but that is what the satirical tweet aimed to highlight: even when you are trying to “help” and support someone, they somehow seem to suffer thanks to racist undertones. That is how deeply rooted the issue is; by reaching out to support people, the supporters are inherently claiming superiority over those they are attempting to help. For if they were truly trying to establish equality, this hierarchical dynamic would not exist.

The thing is, these jokes remind people like me, who do not really experience overt racism or even an unwelcomed awareness of my race, that there are mindsets of ignorance, hatred, and simple stupidity. But I wonder if this became a conversation, or if the #CancelColbert movement was more about silencing people than letting them marinate in and discuss ideas.

For people who consistently experience racism and ignorance, this joke is a frustration or even a nightmare, projected onto the world’s big screen for all to join in on. It is also a chance to call out the greater problem publicly, to try to catch racism and ignorance by the horns and halt them before they fester any more than they already have.

But silencing comedians will not make the problem go away, because comedians are not the source of hatred. I truly believe that they bring the less palatable truths of society to light, and even if we ask them not to do so, the ideas will still exist. We should not be cancelling Colbert — we should be questioning the ideas he sheds light on. Sure, there are other, less entertaining ways to discuss these issues, but if we cancel comedy, we will effectively cancel many important conversations surrounding race and its reality. We need the spoonful of sugar to make the oftentimes sour medicine of reality go down, for these issues are anything but savory.

USF students Deepa Mistry (above) and Caleb Smith (bottom right) rang in spring with celebratory fistfuls of colored powder at the USF Holi event last Friday.

Holi Festival of Colors Paints the Campus

Spring is upon us — and for students participating in Holi, the Indian/Hindu festival of color and love, upon clothing and skin and hair, as well.

Courtesy of usf student leadership and engagement

Courtesy of the University of San Francisco on Flickr

Ah yes, students celebrated the religious spring festival by throwing fistfuls of colored powder at one another last Friday afternoon outside Kalmanovitz Hall.

USF’s Indian Student Organization (ISO) hosted the event. A culturally focused club, ISO  brings together students of diverse backgrounds and promotes education of current events and cultural history of India.

Photos courtesy of the University of San Francisco on Flickr