Artistic director recalls song from her childhood


The Examiner asked The City’s songbirds and community chorus members to describe their favorite seasonal music and why it inspires them.

Nicole Paiement, Ensemble Parallele artistic director

Favorite music:
“Entre le boeuf et l’âne gris” (Between the ox and the gray donkey)

Why: “This is a beautiful 16th-century French carol that I sang when I was 6 years old as a soloist in my girls school Christmas concert, dressed as a little shepherd. It remains my only major vocal solo in my life.”



Food: The Pot Sticker on Waverly Place serves delicious, spicy, eclectic Sichuan fare; don’t miss the dumplings in spicy sauce and “rural fence basket fish.” 


Meet Your Mixologist: Brandon Josie oversees the bar at 15 Romolo, an unpretentious North Beach spot that serves unusual artisanal cocktails and is popular among bartenders getting off work.

On the town

Celtic holiday music: Golden Bough, a trio of minstrels specializing in traditional Celtic music, presents “Christmas in a Celtic Land,” its holiday concert. [8 p.m., Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F.]

Boat parade: The annual holiday parade of boats along the waterfront takes place this evening. Spectators can view more than 75 boats festooned with lights and decorations. [6 p.m., from Pier 39 to Crissy Field, S.F.;]


A great bike ride

Bay Trail Bikeway: Examine this already-popular bikeway across The City and learn what it will take to get the trail truly connected for biking. A $5 donation is suggested; rain cancels. [10 a.m. to 1 p.m., meet at Warming Hut, west end of Crissy Field, S.F.,]


Movie and music: The San Francisco Symphony screens the animated film “The Snowman” with live accompaniment. Presentations of holiday tunes are also on the kid-friendly bill. [7 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Slide guitarist: Rock and blues slide-guitar great Elvin Bishop performs at Biscuits and Blues. [8 and 10 p.m., 401 Mason St., S.F.]


Mifune and Kurosawa: Viz Cinema presents Akira Kurosawa films featuring Toshiro Mifune. Screening today: “Red Beard” (2:45 p.m.) and “The Idiot” (7:15 p.m.). [1746 Post St., S.F.;]


Show and book signing: Comedian Paula Poundstone performs a show and signs copies of her book. Partial proceeds benefit the Friends of the San Francisco Library. [7 p.m., Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., S.F.]


Warped Christmas: The Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco presents its 2010 “Christmas Crap-Array,” a raunchy cabaret skewering the traditions of the season. [8 p.m., Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy St., S.F.]

Visual arts

Outdoor art show: The Artists Guild of San Francisco presents an outdoor exhibition, a chance to meet and buy work from local artists. [9:30 a.m. to twilight, Marina Green, Marina Boulevard west of Fort Mason, S.F.]


Fort Mason Center Farmer’s Market top picks

  • Navel oranges
  • Farmstead cheese
  • Fuji apples
  • Fuyu persimmons
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Local fish
  • Pink Lady apples
  • Satsuma mandarins


A great excursion

Tailgate Tree Party: Like tailgating? Like Christmas trees? Head to the Skyline Ranch Tree Farm — on Skyline Boulevard, one mile south of Page Mill Road on Skyline Boulevard — where tailgating is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. With 63 rolling ridgetop acres on this Peninsula site, there are plenty of trees to choose from and plenty of places to roam. [Visit and sign up for weekly e-mail about getting outdoors in Northern California]


Gospel and beyond: The Blind Boys of Alabama present their holiday show “Go Tell It on the Mountain” featuring gospel, blues, country and more. [8 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Choral concert: The Chanticleer men’s chorus presents “A Chanticleer Christmas” with the world premiere of Jan Sandstrom’s “And the word became flesh.” [8 p.m., St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Ave., S.F.]

Charity drives

Curbside collection: St. Anthony Foundation is conducting its annual curbside collection drive. Donations of warm clothing, new toys and dried and canned foods are welcome. [9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 109 Golden Gate Ave., S.F.]


Rock musical: Climate Theater presents “The Man of Rock,” a rock musical by Daniel Heath with music by Ken Flagg. Expect tight pants, a rock-god rivalry and a New Jersey beach setting. [8 p.m., 470 Florida St., S.F.]


Holiday ballet: San Francisco Ballet presents “Nutcracker.” The popular production features Tchaikovsky’s music, 200 costumed characters and a San Francisco setting. [2 and 7 p.m., War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

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