SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve Festivities

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After the shopping and feasting it does a soul good to give back. Most reading this are blessed with family, full stomachs and a cozy home. However, there are way too many in San Francisco who aren’t as fortunate. Everyone is familiar with the bell ringing Santas of the Salvation Army, however there are other ways you can make a difference for those in need through this organization. And, if you find yourself in need of a break from merry making, head over to Celebrate the “force” with the new Star Wars film, at the Grand opening of the newly renovated New Mission Theatre (with in theatre dining!) And if you have vowed not to watch the ball drop in your jammies (I have!) here are ways to celebrate 2016! Read on and rock on!

The Salvation Army – Volunteer Opportunities

SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve Festivities, Salvation ArmyWe SHOULD be volunteering year round, but when the desire strikes, giving back at any time is a worthwhile endeavor. The Salvation Army is one of the oldest organizations which helps those in need and here are a few ways you can assist this season.

December 18 – 19

Share the joy of giving and escort parents as they choose new gifts for their children at the Toy & Joy shop. The Family Service Center has been transformed into a toy store thanks to donations throughout the year. Families also receive a fully stocked bag of food with non-perishable items. Volunteers are needed to fill food bags, wrangle kids, distribute gift cards and more.

December 25

Assist in packaging 4,000 meals to be delivered to homebound individuals and families on Christmas morning. Or assist with a variety of tasks as the drivers come in and out during delivery.

For more information on Holiday volunteering as well as other opportunities during the year click here.

Alamo’s Drafthouse New Mission Theater

SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve FestivitiesI have been waiting for a long time to discover a movie theatre where you can eat and drink while enjoying the big screen. A few weeks ago I wrote about The New Parkway in Oakland, and now you can enjoy a similar experience in the city by the bay. The grand opening of this recently renovated 1920’s film house takes place December 17th featuring “Star Wars, The Force Awakens”.

As a young “tomato” seeing the original Star Wars in the theatre was a mind-expanding treat. Thinking of how far digital enhancements have come, I will definitely need a cocktail when watching this much-anticipated version!  All seats are assigned, and arriving early is recommended to enjoy exclusive pre-show video clips and shorts curated to complement each feature film.

There are five screens, some boutique, others larger, and a strictly enforced no talking/texting policy. The theatre will show indie films, classics, block-busters and well loved oldies but goodies.  Now there is no need to “do” dinner and a movie, you can do dinner AT the movie. Hooray! Get more details.

New Year’s Eve Fun!

Seth Macfarlane And The San Francisco Symphony

SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve FestivitiesI first fell a little in love with Seth MacFarlane when he hosted the 2013 Academy Awards. I admit I wasn’t a fan of “Family Guy”, but when I heard Seth (yes, I pretend he’s my friend) use his vocal chords to emit Sinatra like tones, I was a goner. His list of accomplishments are varied; writer, director, producer, actor, animator and singer! This New Year’s Eve he will join the San Francisco Symphony to delight the audience with Broadway and Jazz hits. His charismatic nature will have tomatoes swooning as he moves from opera to pop to soulful jazz. Sigh… Purchase tickets.

USS HORNET – Alameda

SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve FestivitiesFor history buffs and those wishing to escape the crowds of the city and still view “THE” fireworks, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet may be your dream New Year’s Eve Destination. We all know parking in the city on 12/31/15 is not pretty, so the free parking in Alameda is very appealing. Also alluring is the fact that your ticket price will benefit the USS Hornet Museum. Two dance floors and free dance instruction will keep you on your toes. Cash bars and food concessions also available.  Get tickets.

Foodies! The Musical

SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve FestivitiesWant to ring in the New Year with something a little off beat?  “Foodies, The Musical” is a comedy revue that parodies the current food scene, including eating habits, quirks, trends and how we eat. Bay Area folks LOVE their food, whether vegans or carnivores and you know our city has something for everyone. After your favorite meal, you can laugh at yourself and your friends with the hilarious cast of Foodies. Then go out and toast 2016 at your favorite cocktail venue!  Get details.


SF LIFE: Giving Back, Dining at the Movies, New Year’s Eve FestivitiesI imagine that if you are like me, you enjoy the #1 rated NPR show, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”. Paula Poundstone is a regular panelist who causes me to laugh out loud at her hilarious takes on every day life. A stand up comedienne and author, you can enjoy her wit and thought provoking humor on New Year’s Eve.

I had the opportunity to see her live at this venue last year and tears ran down my face as she regaled the audience with her unique story telling ability. Never mean spirited, she is spontaneous in responding to her audience and no two shows are ever the same. Paula’s words about her “Wait, Wait” gig, are indicative of her style, “They allow me to say whatever I want on Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me. The panelists are unscripted, so it’s perfect for me. I feel like I’m a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn’t cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience.” Get details.



  • Kim Selby, the SF life editor of The Three Tomatoes, is your gal for info on what’s hot and happening in the beautiful bay area. Having lived on the Left Coast for 27 years, after almost a decade in NYC, she has explored and continues to have adventures all over the San Francisco area. Passionate about fashion, formerly with GLAMOUR magazine and Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue , Palo Alto, Kim produced fashion shows in the bay area for over 20 years. She now creates events to empower, delight and inspire women, aka “Tomatoes”. Learn more about Kim at www.kim-selby.com

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