Manny’s Presents “What We Learned” Series of Discussions

Media Contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 676-7007 /

Manny’s Presents “What We Learned” Series of Discussions
at Iconic Mission District Venue July 28 – September 28, 2021
Live-in-Person Events Will Also Be Available Online in Virtual Component

23 July 2021 – San Francisco, CA:  With a cautious but optimistically-forward looking perspective, Manny’s ( has announced its summer series of live / in-person programming at its iconic Mission District location (3092 16th Street at Valencia, San Francisco) beginning July 28 and running through September 28 of this year.  The series will also be available, in real time, via a digital component / “Zoom.”  The schedule includes interactive conversations with civic, political, and cultural leaders around the Bay Area including San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, SF Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, SFSU President Mahoney, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts CEO Deborah Cullinan, SF Department of Public Health Director Grant Colfac, Department of Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinreid, City Controller Ben Rosenfeld, religious leaders, venue owners and more. The two-month series of in person talks at Manny’s is entitled “What We Learned” in which leaders from all aspects of civic life examine what we’ve learned so far from the last 15 months. 

“This is a series about looking forward,” said Manny Yekutiel, Manny’s founder. “These conversations are designed to provide a forum that is thorough, informative, and joyous. It is a way to stimulate dialogue from as many angles as possible so that we can move forward with understanding and strength. I can’t wait to dig into it all!” 

The full schedule follows:

7/29 @ 6:00 PM – What We Learned: The California Recovery w/ Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom Mayor Michael Tubbs

8/3 @ 7:00PM –  What We Learned: Emergency Preparedness with Dep. of Emergency Management Director Mary Ellen Carroll

8/4 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: Educational Institutions w/ SFSU President Lynn Mahoney & USF President Fitzgerald 

8/5 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: Universal Basic Income for Artists: Discussion w/ YBCA CEO Deborah Cullinan

8/5 @ 7:30PM – What We Learned: The Press with Newly Founded San Francisco Press Outlets

8/10 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: Homelessness with Director of Homelessness Services Shireen McSpadden

8/11 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: Our Transit Systems w/ SFMTA Chair Gwyneth Borden & BART Dir. Lateefah Simon

8/12 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: Climate and the Environment with Dep. of Environment Director Debbie Raphael

8/18 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: The Place of Physical Religious Sanctuaries in Society

8/26 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned About our Parks: Discussion w/ Recreation & Parks Manager Phil Ginsburg

8/26 @ 7:30PM – What We Learned: The Important of Live Music Venues 

9/15 @ 6:00PM – What We Learned: SF’S Finances w/ Controller Ben Rosenfield & Chief Economist Ted Egan

9/16 @ 6:30PM – What We Learned: Keeping SF Clean with Dep. of Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried

9/28 @ 6:30PM – What We Learned: Our Public Health System with Dep. of Public Health Director Grant Colfax

As we look forward to the future we think it’s important to take a moment to dig into our learning – from the environment, to the budget, to our schools and religious sanctuaries, to our political institutions and parks,” said Yekutiel.  “This is the appropriate moment to take stock of what we learned and how to use those learning to inform the future.”

Since opening its doors on Election Night 2018, Manny’s has become an epicenter of community involvement, dialogue and civic engagement having served over 50,000 people, staged over 500 events, donated space to more than 150 area nonprofits and charities, and hosted 17 presidential candidates in his first year alone. Also, in addition to receiving much media and public attention, Manny’s was recognized for his above-and-beyond achievements by the California State Senate as “Small Business of the Year.” 

Manny’s is a people powered, community focused meeting and learning place in the heart of San Francisco that combines a restaurant, political bookshop, and civic events space. Manny’s goal: to create a central and affordable place to become a better informed and more involved citizen. Manny’s offers its events space to nonprofits, activists and civic organizations to spread their message and do their work as well as hosting its own civic and arts related programming. Manny’s kitchen is run by the non-profit, Farming Hope, which hires formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals and trains them in the food skills needed to work in the restaurant industry.

Palm Springs Premiere of Le Dîner en Blanc Confirmed for Saturday, October 9

Media contact: David Perry / David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 676-7007 / 

Palm Springs Premiere of Le Dîner en Blanc Confirmed for Saturday, October 9

Internationally Renowned “Elegant Pop Up Picnic”
originally slated for 2020 Celebrates Post Pandemic Recovery!

21 July 2021 – Palm Springs, CA:  After a year and a half force majeure delay, the Palm Springs Premiere of Le Dîner en Blanc, the popular Parisian-style pop-up picnic characterized by its famous all-white dress code, is confirmed to take place on Saturday evening, October 9. As per the usual protocols for the event, the exact location of the event is only revealed a few hours before the event, and only to registered guests.

“What better way to celebrate our ‘Great Return’ than to gather with friends, family for a fete of fashionable fun,” said local Le Dîner en Blanc hosts Glenn Alexander and Geoffrey Macon. “This is the year the world reawakens with a renewed sense of appreciation for celebration, and the Palm Springs Premiere of Le Dîner en Blanc will do just that.”

For a chance to be part of this unique night, people can sign up on the waiting list at

More than 130,000 foodies and cultural enthusiasts around the world have already embraced this unique event. This très chic picnic is equal parts mystery tour, pop-up feast and je ne sais quoi. Over the years, Le Dîner en Blanc has become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon. What was a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international sensation celebrated on six continents. Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris is a fantastic event where guests gather at an outdoor secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful locations.

To keep up to date on event announcements, visit or

facebook: DinerEnBlanc.PalmSprings   instagram: dinerenblancpalmspringsca

#dinerenblanc #debpalmsprings2021



Monday, July 19, 2021

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications,



SFPD continues showcasing community policing reforms in deployment of 26 additional officers on bicycle and foot patrols to City’s high-traffic, iconic travel destinations

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced details from San Francisco’s new community policing and tourism deployment plan to support and safeguard a re-emergent travel season that is forecast to exceed 15.3 million visitors by year’s end. 

Outlining operational elements at a press conference at Chinatown’s iconic Dragon’s Gate this morning, Mayor Breed and Chief Bill Scott highlighted how the San Francisco Police Department’s Tourism Deployment Plan will provide high-visibility and welcome support to an economic sector that is vitally important to San Francisco as travelers worldwide emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns. 

“Tourism has long been an economic powerhouse in our city, bringing not just local tax revenue to fund vital city services but also jobs and economic opportunities for generations of San Franciscans,” said Mayor Breed. “San Francisco has done an incredible job managing this pandemic, and with one of the highest vaccination rates of anywhere in the country, we are working hard to reopen our city. That means bringing more officers to our tourist areas, as well as other efforts like our recently funded efforts to add more ambassadors and performances throughout Downtown, the Waterfront, and Mid-Market areas. We are committed to doing everything we can to reopen our businesses, put our residents back to work, and welcome travelers back to all of our city’s unforgettable destinations.”

The San Francisco Police Department’s Tourism Deployment Plan draws heavily from a community policing strategy that is among the pillars of SFPD’s groundbreaking 21st century police reforms. Under the plan, SFPD will deploy 26 additional police officers on bicycle and foot patrols to an array of high-traffic and highly sought-after travel destinations in five of the City’s ten police districts:

  • Central Police District’s new deployments will feature 14 additional officers on bike and foot patrols that include: Union Square, Market Street, Powell Street, Chinatown and Lower Grant Avenue, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach and the crooked portion of Lombard Street. 
  • Mission Police District’s new deployments will feature two additional officers on bike and foot patrols in the Castro and Upper Market.
  • Northern Police District’s new deployments will feature six additional officers on bicycle patrols around the Palace of Fine Arts, Alamo Square and Japantown. 
  • Park Police District’s new deployments will feature two additional officers on bicycle patrols along the Haight Street commercial corridor.  
  • Richmond Police District’s new deployments will feature two additional officers on bicycle patrols in Golden Gate Park. 

In addition to this Tourism Deployment Plan, the Mayor’s proposed budget, which the Board of Supervisors has come to an agreement on, includes funding for the Downtown Recovery Plan. The Downtown Recovery Plan includes an expansion of the number of ambassadors in the downtown and Union Square areas; a series of events and activations throughout Downtown, at the site of the temporary Transbay Terminal, and along the waterfront; and improvements at Hallidie Plaza, the entrance to the Powell Street BART Station and site of the Cable Car turnaround. 

Outlook for Tourism Sector

Although there is renewed uncertainty about effects from COVID-19 variants in many parts of the world, a San Francisco Travel Association analysis released in March forecast that overall visitation to the City would reach 15.3 million in 2021, with $3.5 billion in overall visitor spending projected by year’s end. The study by San Francisco’s official destination marketing organization said that total visitation was not anticipated to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. Due to a slower recovery of international visitors and average rate in the City, San Francisco Travel concluded that overall visitor spending was unlikely to return to 2019 levels before 2025. 

“Our market research shows a light at the end of the tunnel for destinations like San Francisco after a devastating year for the global tourism industry: there is huge pent-up demand for travel all over the world,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “As San Francisco embarks on a multi-year recovery, we know that high-visibility, community-oriented patrols by San Francisco police officers provide a reassuring, welcoming presence for the visitors and conventions so essential to our city’s continued success.” 

San Francisco Travel reported a total of 10.2 million visitors to the City in 2020, which was down 61 percent from a record high of 26.2 million in 2019. Total spending by visitors was $2.3 billion in 2020, representing a pandemic-driven drop of 77.7 percent from 2019’s record high of $10.3 billion in total visitor spending. Spending figures include expenditures on meetings and conventions in San Francisco.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has similarly affected local employment related to the tourism sector, according to San Francisco Travel, which found that the number of jobs supported by tourism in San Francisco fell to 20,880 in 2020 — a 75.8 percent decline from 86,111 jobs tourism supported in 2019. 

Expanded Community Policing at Visitor Destinations

The mission of officers detailed to the Tourism Deployment Plan is to provide high-visibility and preventative patrol in their assigned locations, while embodying the principles of a community policing strategy that is a centerpiece of the San Francisco Police Department’s comprehensive and voluntary Collaborative Reform Initiative. Officers are well trained to incorporate five goals into their community interactions and public guardianship, as detailed in SFPD’s Community Policing Strategic Plan. SFPD’s Community Policing principles include: 

  • Goal 1: Communication that is honest, transparent, empathetic and culturally and linguistically competent and respectful.
  • Goal 2: Education that both teaches community members in safety awareness and learns from communities to serve more responsively.
  • Goal 3: Problem-solving through collaborative working partnerships to identify and address safety issues and topics of concern.
  • Goal 4: Relationship-building to forge trusting and respectful engagements with San Francisco’s residents and visitors alike. 
  • Goal 5: Organizational and operational approaches reflecting the guardian mindset that defines the promise of 21st century policing.

New deployments of police officers under the Tourism Deployment Plan announced today have already been implemented and will supplement existing patrols citywide, which will remain at current staffing levels.

Officers deployed under the plan will be on bicycle or on foot in frequently traveled areas, greeting and interacting with community members and guests. Assignments include fixed posts as well as patrols in commercial corridors, depending on deployments. Officers’ primary focus will be to engage with the public and provide aid when needed, and to take necessary enforcement action whenever identifying individuals involved in crime.  

“The San Francisco Police Department’s Tourism Deployment Plan is one more step that’s making good on our city’s united commitment to come back from COVID-19 stronger than ever before,” said Chief of Police Bill Scott. “Together with the Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan, Shine On SF, and a shared spaces program that’s here to stay, all of us in SFPD are grateful for the opportunity to do our part for the comeback — and to put community policing to work. We’re grateful to Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Police Commission as well as to our community-based partners like SF Travel and so many others. We look forward to showcasing 21st century police reform and welcoming travelers back to San Francisco, warmly and safely.”  

AsiaSF Reopens July 29!

Media contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 676-7007 / 

AsiaSF Reopens July 29!

Celebrating 23 Years, Internationally Acclaimed San Francisco Legacy Business Returns Bigger & Better Following Extensive Retrofit and Renovation

Transgender Performers Known for Sell-Out Crowds Are the Stars at
“One of America’s Top 100 Restaurants” as Voted by Opentable

19 July 2021 – San Francisco, CA:It takes more than the worst pandemic in 102 years to wipe out a legendary, internationally-known entertainment icon and nightclub. Celebrating 23 years of sold out spectacles, AsiaSF (, the storied San Francisco dinner theatre and cabaret featuring the world-famous transgender Ladies of AsiaSF, is set to welcome back its first paying customers on Thursday, July 29 at their newly remodeled and retrofitted iconic venue: 201 9th Street in the SoMa District of San Francisco.

“AsiaSF has always been about fun entertainment, fashion, food and family,” said Larry Hashbarger, Chairman and CEO of AsiaSF. “Especially as we come out of our COVID enforced cocoon, we’re once again raring to go — not only to entertain but also to educate and enlighten people about the transgender experience and human diversity.”

In 1998, a small business that celebrates diversity and multiculturalism was born: AsiaSF. Founded by Hashbarger and Skip Young, the world-famous restaurant, cabaret and nightclub quickly became an iconic entertainment landmark.

“AsiaSF has been a visionary pioneer in supporting the transgender community through empowerment by creating a safe space and unique employment opportunities that showcase our beautiful transgender stars, the Ladies of AsiaSF, said AsiaSF President/COO, Aaron Nelson. “The Ladies of AsiaSF, our star performers make you laugh, make you blush, make you go ‘WOW!’ and make you feel like a million bucks.”

Choreographed dance routines, lip sync numbers, live singing, comedy and special effects are just some of the talents the Ladies of AsiaSF bring to the runway stage, under the direction of show director and choreographer, Ronnie Reddick.

“This sisterhood of diverse Bay Area performers has mastered the art of celebrating themselves,” said Young. By being their own authentic, welcoming selves, the Ladies of AsiaSF provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere to celebrate the fabulous you as well.”

With Vegas commercial style choreography byReddick and award-winning Cal-Asian cuisineAsiaSF is a unique interactive, cabaret and dinner entertainment experience. From the moment one enters, the internationally acclaimed “Ladies of AsiaSF” will entertain and enlighten you, complete with stand-out-performances featuring original creations by Julian Mendez Couture and Prime Kreations of Los Angeles who has designed for Beyoncé, Kendall Jenner and Megan Thee Stallion.

Voted “One of America’s Top 100 Restaurants” by Opentable, AsiaSF had hosted over 1 million patrons since it opened its doors in 1998.  Then: COVID and the need for a seismic retrofit. During the last year and a half, the team at AsiaSF took the forced sabbatical to regroup, reform and undergo a Renaissance that will take the legendary San Francisco venue into the Roaring ‘20s.

“AsiaSF is a complete entertainment and food/cocktail experience,” says Hashbarger, the creator/producer of Passport – America’s premier fashion show and HIV/AIDS fundraiser – during his three and a half decades as Director of Special Productions for Macy’s. “Our beautiful and talented transgender cast bring our guests into their world from the first second they enter the space. They serve drinks. They serve food. They dish up a stand-on-the-table and applaud-‘til-your-hands-are-sore song and dance experience that is, literally, transformative. I couldn’t be prouder of these inspiring women.”

“One of our missions of AsiaSF is to create a trans-positive environment that educates and raises awareness about living your truth and being your authentic self,” Hashbarger sums up, “while at the same time providing our guests with a ‘time of your life’ experience.”

All prices are inclusive of dinner and the shows, with cocktails priced separately. For individual reservations, groups and special events go to or call (415) 255-2742.



From Bill Miller

July 17th 2021

Mon Jul 12th Norwegian Cruise Lines plans to resume cruises from New York in October.

Tue Jul 13th Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) filed a lawsuit today against the surgeon general for the State of Florida.  The lawsuit challenges the state’s action of fining businesses that require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of Norwegian’s previously announced August 15th  restart from Florida, where the line has promised 100 percent vaccinated sailings.

Royal Caribbean plans “test cruises” from Cape Liberty at Bayonne in August.

Wed Jul 14th Crystal has scrubbed its program of summer & fall 10-night cruises from Antigua and instead reassigned the Crystal Symphony to 7-day Bermuda cruising from Boston and then from New York.

Cunard has axed its long winter world cruises and the Queen Mary 2 will now make winter voyages from New York – crossings as well as cruises – before resuming her original schedule in April.

Fri Jul 16th Fred Olsen: Teething problems!  A technical issue has rendered Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Borealis unable to operate its five-night ‘Scenic Orkney & Faroes’ cruise set to depart from Liverpool on July 17th.   The 68,000-ton Borealis is the HAL Rotterdam of 1998.

Canada is lifting its cruise ship ban effective Nov 1st

Viking Ocean:  Our good friend and world class cruise expert Anne Kalosh tells us:  “Fincantieri’s Ancona yard today floated out Viking Mars, the eighth ship in a series for Viking Cruises and due for early 2022 delivery.  The Viking Mars will be named by godmother Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth countess of Carnarvon, and spend its maiden season sailing in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe before embarking on voyages in Asia and Australia. Since 2013, Viking has offered travelers a variety of ways to experience life at Highclere Castle, home of the earl and countess of Carnarvon, and the filming location for Downton Abbey. For more than a year, Lady Carnarvon has welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking TV.”

Regent:  The hugely knowledgeable Anne also reports:  “Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2024 world cruise sold out in 2 1/2 hours on July 14th, at fares ranging from $73,499 to $199,999 per person. This was the third year in a row for record-breaking world cruise sales at Regent. The line’s previous world cruise opening day record was set when the 2023 world cruise went on sale in September 2020.”

Carnival has resumed cruising from Galveston.


Out of the old shoebox:   

Above:  New York on a sunny August day in 1990 – the Eugenio Costa & QE2 are berthed while the Crystal Harmony approaches on her maiden  call;  Below:  A Tue morning arrival at Pier 90, New York for the Queen Elizabeth.  She had just arrived from a 5-day crossing from Southampton and Cherbourg.   The stern of the United States can be seen on the right.

D:\Bill\Pictures\New York Liners\076d.jpg

Thank you to all our readers, correspondents, those “agents” in faraway places!