Art Show of the Mexican Museum


December 2008 World Affair Council - San Francisco

Interesting perspective the US-South Africa relations with the Excellencies of SA and Kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is a success story of Africa economically, at the same time, it is now at the center of political instability and security and HIV issues still persist.


From Cairo to Sharm to Addis Nov 2008

View from my room- Sharm El Shiek


San Francisco Opera’s 86th season, Opera Ball 2008

Friday, September 5th at the War Memorial Opera House: Referred by the media as SF's most glamorous night out, Baritone sensation Dmitri Hvorostovsky (right) brought his "magnetic stage presence" and "gut grabbing vocal heft" to Verdi's Simon Boccanegra (Houston Chronicle). A Shakespearean-like tale of treachery, rebellion and familial love, Dmitri was joined by Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli, praised for her "impassioned lyricism" by The New York Times; the dou were the best fit I has seen in a long time... Donald Runnicles of course conducted a remarkable score.

Picture taking was as good as Oscar night on the red carpet - amazing gowns are like eye candy. After trying out 3-4 gowns, I settled for a short length. Weather was 90%, unusual for SF. Pictures is coming soon....

Needless that I had the privilege of seeing the same Opera during its dress rehearsal Tuesday eve, where I wiped my eyes out, I did not mind seeing it again during the gala affair. The festivities began at five o’clock. Upon entering the reception, we were transported to an exquisite Italian Palazzo where we feasted on sumptuous hors d’oeuvres while sipping fine wines and spirits. At 7pm, the curtain rose for the performance of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. Indeed a performance. In fact, while I would have loved to stay the whole course, I left after intermission to the glamorous Jardinière restaurant, - where we were joined by many who did the same. Late night was a stop at Scalas in WC, where night cap is the custom - A fabulous night indeed. Cheers! sb


where to go when not traveling...

Address 1515 , where? walnut creek....
The place to hang-out ... ok, there are bouncers, sleek cars, Beverly Hills types and best of all, friendlies place .... Check it out ....everyone is coming from out of town! Cheers . sb


SF The Art of the Opera - A Cocktail Gala Event by Bravo..

San Francisco- August 2008: So I am a Bravo member on and off..now that I am frequenting SF due to my current local consulting gig, I decided to be back on the scene...love this shu-shu fufu stuff..sometimes..

......is the B!C Gala Kick-off Event...at the Michael Thomson sleek and modern framing gallery. It was featuring the famous John f. Martin's highly anticipated series "In Character". An amazing photography , I kept asking - are u sure these r not paintings? hmm how crisp they are!.. Met and mingled with fellow gala ticket holders, enjoyed hosted hors d'oeuvres and got into the mood for Bravo! CLUB's magical opening night gala!. Picture taking was fun with exclusive privately-held Opera collection of spectacular Costumes and be serenaded by the local Opera talentsaround. some opera sound here.
I chose the Phantom of the Opera (above left) costume with a friend I took to the event!... and wait til you hear the talents of these Opera singers...voice media to be posted soon.... Set me in the mood to listen to my favorite Francis Coppola composition...theme from The God father as I cruised home in my car!
Ciao !! sb


The AA - in Winter time...

Addis Ababa July 2008: from the Paris of Europe to the Paris of Africa ( The double A)...
Checked-in at the Sheraton Addis left- This Pasha is suppose to be one of the 11 "Luxury Collection" Hotels of Starwood, which we are again grateful for having it as a result of out famous and wealthy Ethio-Saudi investor Shiek Al Amoudi. A patron since its construction over 9 years ago, I actually decided to stay there cause the Hiton's Gym was under construction. Unfortunately not having a Gym at one at this hotel (shame for its standard), they managed to get me a cycling machine in my room. Off I go in and out, noting service excellence, like santa who is good and who is bad during my stay:-) I assure you I get critical of this when I travel in Africa, cause I feel embarrassed when it is substandard .... depends on mgmt perception... complaint or input.
The rest was business and pleasure as usual (right). Luggage delay for 4 days is a Lufthansa experience one prays not to happen, especially in Addis, where I find it shopping challenged, so I was roaming around the Pasaha with the same clothes for 4 days...
Weekend is at the famous Kurifu Resort left, 2 hr away from town, an amazing exercises in brain and body renewal... food and Ethiopian with (Guder) is amazing!
My come back to Sheraton was an interesting series of accidents, as I was told. I had a check-out notice earlier than when I should, my inroom safe was open and my personal voicemail was reset. Did the hotel handle it properly? No ....even worst, I learned after I checked-out that I have been robbed of 1800USD out of my hand luggage inside zipper sealed in a while envelop..., which only can find out if they searched closely in my property...what an invitation of privacy?? that is that for the "Luxury collection"...management reaction was pretty standard..defend the hotel...well I am going to have a u-tube on you when I finish this blog I tell u.... glad that it went to my people, yet, this hotel needs a face lift in mgmt, which had taken down its service to a 2* level in my opinion, equal to mgmt complacency.


Birthdays in June Paris ..

Paris in June: Here we come.. the Sophie invasion!! Too anxious to meet my old time friend Sophie, after we decided to celebrate our B-Days in Europe this year...so we chose Paris. Two Sophies, myself and Sophie traveling from Irland and 2 other Irish girlfriends of her living in Paris...
Left ..Starbucks in Paris...so chic looking...
My Hotel -Westin Paris , also the chic address, not far from the Buddah Bar and Carton Hotel, hip hangouts; taxis take over 25 minutes to catch, must be so you admire the city while waiting, yes, we have checked out Hemingway Bar, Maxim's, Le Cab by Pl du Palais Royal, and the amazing Libresens Cognac bar and dinner at Perision Hall is a fantastic end!

Yes, I wanted to stop over and pay my Salute to my also old colleagues in ICANN - as the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting was happening on 22-26 June 2008. Glad to have retired from the Council, and be a regular citizen of ICANN, I also got to announced our dot.africa initiative at the public forum.

Other times, just touring around the beautiful city that seem endlessly glamorous was fun and playing 'pose' as a model is a must, especially the same place that I used to be photographed over 10 years ago!!! 'Strike a pose';-)

Le saine


A day in the city...

So I spent few hours at GGU, in Alumni relations in SF, to discuss some of my projects that I have on my plate.....they were very excited to hear my activities since I left the school and definitely we put together a partnership strategy for way forward. I have to say , they have the best alumni relations. Met a friend for lunch who works at one of my old Bank, and headed on to a
beautiful building that caught my eye...i.e the "Museum of the African Diaspora'...MOAD... wow, how impressive...went in saw the current exhibition on how high tech has revolutionized Africa..I felt I was visiting the UN except this is far impressive in its commercialization.


Rainy Seattle..

So I am off today for business in Seattle.... my flight is from SFO, for 2 eves, I only took a carry -on which was great! Arrive in Seattle - the worst airport I have ever been ...bad info system, bad design. Hotel was great ...Starwood as usual.... excellent service..view was great from the suite, Belleveu, seem one of the trendies towns with all the ritzy stores and bars around...but have no elegance or a sense of city design..so be it. Places are chic inside and people are fairly fashionable, high priced geeks at my hotel..excellent wine tasting (Seattle has great Merlos BTW) at the hotal bar; the Seaside restaurant for dinner, and Jowes for hangout and some pool playing dance club across the street -wow makes you feel ike you are in Europe. Elegant starbucks coffee shops with the music and everything else was around, despite the new CEO is to get rid of that!! weather was bad and so I did not mind leaving soon...Bye Bye Seattle.


A great day to drive to Mountain view, 52 minutes according to Google map and so it was. So I arrived at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA. Ok is that "google" street name I am (Click on all the pictures....you will see more) I found a parking spot, although I noticed a "valet parking". I went to the visitors area, which seem to be situated in every building on the compound. Did I need to sign an NDA to get in, yes all electronically as well, including my sign-in. Ok I felt I was visiting FBI. So I asked the front desk guy, what the NDA is all about... He relived me when he mentioned 'product; cause I have all intention of blogging what I saw, with the exception, I could not take pictures inside the complexes, only outside.

Who cares however, I was visiting and being hosted by the famous Dr. Vint Cerf, sooooo I get to get the special tour I requested (not avail for general public, I was told by the visitors desk) with him coming along, so I got my photo opp with the the famous "dinosaur " in our background!. At any rate, we had lunch and as Vint tells me everything is for free, we ate at the MAIN cafe, hum , so there is a cafe in every building, like I learned there is a Micro kitchen in every kitchen with chefs standing around with their white gowns and caps, as well as a Gym at every building and even a laundry room... does any one have to go home then? Ok there are bicycles parks at every building for running around the compound...I think I may have also seen some scooters and Vespas

So I will say having a tour of Google HQ, with the founder of the Internet, plus lunch, and photo with the dinosaur does not always happen at the same time ..key word here is Internet, Dr. Vint Cerf, Google Tour...that is, a hard one to catch!!.
So what is this to the left: yes a pic of the oldest server, said the attendant; and how old I asked thinking 1970s or something ...no 1998 sever he said. I guess given average age of employees at Google is 26, 1998 is pretty old!!!
So to what do I charge these hours with my company? Research? Bus dev?, time off?.... i think the later suits me fine!... Cheers. sb

Ok two links worth of your time...


Magnificent evening at Kalya and Angos

Kalya and Anyo , the beautiful French couple who travel the world like me. They keep places though from India to Kathmandu it seems. We has dinner with few other friends at their place watching the most spectacular sunset from their balcony. No worries about calories in feasting over dinner in this house!, it is always organic and vegetarian! Viva le health! hmm forgot to get a picture of us next time!!
The after dinner liquors and jokes would let me go to my next after hour place in SF to meet with a colleague traveling from London. Oh well, I will see her in Paris in few months anyway. Stayed over and walk up to the beautiful morning of Montclare village. Breakfast over her balcony overlooking the main street and the mountain air is always a treat!


Best Days of our life...


Nuruddin Farah Reading - Writer Extraordinaire, April 22

I went to hear the reading of the famous Nuruddin Farah at the UCBerkley campus, the winner of the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. He is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Knots. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa, but also lived in Addis my home town and a National of Somali. I alos took a couple of friends with me.

He writes his Novels with a women consciousness which was amazing as he responds to the why's from the audience. He recalls and understands the struggles of women in society , his mother, family , all his life as he had witnesses the role of women in society. It was so nice to hear an intelligent man, speech of women's position in this manner. He is very polished in his speeches, and one can see from his imaginations and experiences in his writings reflects a man who speaks over 5 languages and travelled all over the world. He has also a great sense of humor, which we were also get to know him a bit during the reception hosted for the audience afterwards. Congrats Mr. Farah and thank you for recognizing the struggles of women throughout history.



Sunday - spend most day on my PC catching up with the news. In the afternoon, I went to SF to meet potential partners in the domain business, who were visiting for the Domian Roundtable forum here in SF. As always, talk of volumes and international reach of clients and the backward legal and policy frameworks that have yet to catch up with the industry keeps this conversations interesting. I then drove to an old friend's home near by and spent some time unwinding, taking a big break from my computer! I am literally going blind, tears and pain etc... Thank God for my annual eye exam next week; despite, I have a feeling my Dr. will confirm how much I have lost site this year!


Le Dolce Vita Gala - SF

So it was a great night out in SF..this Black Tie event featured a ‘Mercato Italiano’ where we enjoyed the flavors of Italy by meandering from antipasti to wine tastings during the Silent Auction. The banchetti in the Mercato featured the best in Italian food and wine from purveyors in the Bay Area. The Mercato was followed by a sit-down dinner in Bimbo’s renowned main ballroom which featured the food and wine that has made Italy famous. We had extraordinary lots arranged for the live auction hosted by Buckley and Reynolds, arguably the best auctioneers in the country. A world class soprano sang Arias from Italian Opera, and the evening concluded with dancing.
It was very Italian in that "the beautiful people" were real. I asked my Italian friend GianCarlo to take me to th event. It was also a fund raising for Italian Kindergarden school. A very elegant and well organized event. The Pseto I had form Farina cucina was nothing like I had in my taste buds and comes from Genoa, as are the partners in the Restaurant.

Above right with Monica Viarengo, also a partner and an Arcitetto poesaggista.


Greek National Day

On the occasion of the National Day of GreeceThe Consul General of Greece Mrs. Xenia Stefanidouand Vice Admiral K. Kanavariotis hosted a reception on Sunday, March 30 2008 in San Francisco.

Above, with Ludmila Eggleton of Russia.

Right, with Arch Patriarch of the Greek orthodoc church.


SFluxe » People » Mireille Schwartz Birthday

SFluxe » People » Mireille Schwartz Birthday
Left: Princess Amber Marie Bently and Princess Sophia Bekele!
Right: Joy Bianchi, Damion Matthews of SFluxe, Christopher Bently of Kamalaspa in the Limo off to dinner!