Project Open Hand provides and prepares 2500 meals every day in San Francisco and Alameda counties. I attended a ‘Hand to Hand’ fundraising luncheon a few weeks ago at the Fairmont Hotel. Executive Chef Adrian Barrow is the perfect ambassador for their accomplishments, as he used to be a client. He spoke passionately in his speech about the reach of @ProjectOpenHand and its care for people with serious illnesses, health challenges and isolation. “Today I stand as a living example of how "food can be medicine" and, better yet, I get to impact a tremendous number of lives right here in the Bay Area." which is an amazing thing in a city that is struggling with its image and application in its care of homeless and disenfranchised populations. The organization has 125 volunteers every day, so if you’re wondering how you can give (or give back), here is one suggestion. See more of these scenes when the latest #ObservedSF column drops this weekend.
A presentation of the vibrant, layered photography of Morgan Ione Yeager @miyeyesseethis earlier this week. Discussions, design, more discussions, refine.
Other scenes from this coming weekend’s #ObservedSF column at the Glass for Good Gala at the @sfmoma back in December. A vague synthesis of marketing and art that is becoming quite normal in San Francisco. Trippy evening with lots of great one-liners. Some I can’t publish (those are always the ones I wish I could!) Also! I’ll be giving a talk on Tuesday Jan 29th at the Battery on this column, and how it has allowed me to view the city through a sociologist eye. It’s called ‘The State of...San Franciscans’ and I’ll be sharing a slide show of my process and illustrations like this one, and the stories behind them.
I share a bunch of presscheck photos often on my visual diary (called @instagram). It’s one of my favorite parts of the print process. The things I love about it: it’s the last time you can make changes before it goes into the world. It’s the last time to consider everything; the conversations, the layouts, the revisions, the decisions. It’s that breathe before the door closes. I’ve never had children, but it feels (theoretically) like the moment before birth. That’s how my brain works. And It just looks beautiful, like this piece for @marencaruso does. I can’t wait to get it in my hands.
Join me in two weeks (Tuesday Jan 29th @ 7:30) at the Battery for an ‘in conversation with’ evening called ‘The State of...San Franciscans’, using my column ‘Observed’ as a reflection of how the city has (or hasn’t) evolved culturally. The conversation will be engaging and unfiltered: me and moderator @ErinFeher will discuss the ongoing transformation of the city and its residents via tech, politics, art and business, seen through the eye and art of #ObservedSF. I’ll present a slide show of highlights of two years of the column and the city itself. I’ll be sitting like this, and I’ll probably have a negroni in my hand, just warning you. Also: The Battery is not a public club, so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to the guest list. I got some stuff to say. I hope to see you there! 📸 @clara.rice.photo
I was taken down hard by the cold cooties last week. More than just being sick, it felt like a hangover from the past year. So rather than try to work during my sickness, which is what I usually do, I just let go. Now that the worst has passed, I can jump back in, strangely feeling rejuvenated. This scene is from two events, one at the SFMoMa back in December, and one witnessed this past weekend at a cheesemakers convention (yes you read that right) at Cowgirl Creamery. Both scenes are being featured in this coming weekend’s #ObservedSF column (Jan 20th). One fashion trend you’ll see in the column is the preponderance of sweaters. It’s that time of year. Velvet, crocheted, wool. Lots of sweaters.
I got pretty emotional 😭 when @catherinekwongdesign sent this photo of the frame piece that she (so wonderfully) got from my fine art show at the Perish Trust last spring. The piece, titled ‘Not Too Much’ was one of my favorites from that show. It’s clichéd artist shit to say, but it’s SO true: You’re always happy when one of your babies finds a loving 🥰 home. It looks so great, Catherine, thank you! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
I had the distinct professional pleasure of collaborating as an art director with @jim.bastardo.photography on a Design Within Reach catalog a few years ago. We ran around upstate New York for a couple of weeks placing and styling furniture in strangers’ gorgeous homes for his camera. I have such great memories of that time. It’s a personal pleasure in 2019 to be designing his upcoming photography catalog, and revisiting his two decades of work for the preeminent interiors and design brands in the country. Jim is a thoughtful character, and the collaboration has been as memorable now, as it was then. #Process
WHETSTONE MAGAZINE VOLUME 4 on sale now! New year, new cover proof of the forthcoming #WhetstoneVolume4. Our most adventurous issue yet! A lot of care, love, and discussion went into the stories populating this issue, and I’m speaking in hyperbole to state that this will be our boldest offering so far. The gorgeous photograph anointing our cover features Mama Yustina and Mama Agatha, farming #sorghum on Indonesia’s Flores Island, and was taken by award-winning photographer #MartinWestlake. The stories in this volume originate from Armenia, Belize, New Mexico, Indonesia, Baja, Egypt, New York and Mexico City. Special thanks to Stephen Satterfield for his audacity and thoughtfulness. Thank you to all of the contributors and supporters who continue to make this magazine possible! We will continue pushing ourselves to deliver to you the best stories in gastronomy from around the world! The issue will be everywhere in late February 2019. Don’t sleep on it, it’s coming in HOT 🥵. Preorder your issue now at whetstonemagazine dot com
“New Orleans will put a spell on a bitch.” I heard that said this week, and it’s true. I used my almost two weeks (with a break for EK and the NYtimes) to think, feel, and reflect on 2018. I was fortunate to be surrounded by people I love, who let me be quiet when I needed to, and draw for no deadline other than its meditative effect on me. I couldn’t even think in terms of ‘top whatever’ lists, because all of my creative work blended together spastically in my brain. My @mccalmanco feed is going to be as random as it was in 2018. The philosophy is mine, my enthusiastic interests, my collaborative thoughts and my creative output. Some days it’s gong to be related to my book project(s), my magazine projects, my newspaper column, my illustrations, my fine art work, my branding clients. It’s all coming from the same place. I wish I could say I had some, like, giant epiphany in New Orleans, but I didn’t. So I’m just going to continue as I did before, surrounded by my amazing community; people who I am continually, and humbly, inspired by. I’m excited to get back to work, and apply the lessons I learned last year. That’s what I’m going to do. Thank you, Nola, for letting me stew in my juices for a spell. 📸 by my favorite travel mate @john_toya
One of things I’ll miss most about New Orleans is the live music that’s freaking everywhere in the French Quarter. It reminded me of Havana, where it’s all around you at all times. Humans playing instruments. It just seeps into your soul.
Observed on Frenchmen Street last night, just as the evening was winding down. Pianist Monty Banks and saxophonist John Hewitt led us through a killer Fats Domino tribute set, From ‘Ain’t That A Shame’, to ‘Walking to New Orleans’, but ended the set to my favorite BB King Jam ‘Caldonia’. I may have sang along like my life depended on it. #ObservedNOLA
Lunch at @turkeyandthewolf a few days ago. I’m not naming names but a couple of the people at this table had meals there twice, and one of them may have been me. #ObservedNOLA
The trick to shopping for records at @nola_mix_records is to watch people hunt for old soul LPs and then come back the next day to see what they left behind. #ObservedNOLA
Beginning the year in New Orleans at @elysianbarnola, with my pen and notebook in one hand, mezcal negroni in the other (just out of the frame), spying on people being themselves. #ObservedNOLA
It *may* be possible that I was even more excited to see my piece for the Op Ed section of today’s @nytimes printed than online last night. (I’m an unabashed print ho). But I had the chance to take in the words again of Rev Jesse Jackson, who talked of Emancipation Day, Jan 1st: its history as an executive order from Abraham Lincoln, and its resonance as we enter a new (political and cultural) year. I read a phrase recently and it’s lodged in my head: ‘History is rarely history’. Isn’t that the truth. #Hope. (Thank you again @nytimesopinionart)
A wild few days later, I can share my first (but not last) art byline for the New York Times, a very meaningful milestone, is out now. The piece in the Op Ed section (out in print tomorrow, Dec 31th) accompanies a powerful essay by Rev. Jesse Jackson on Jan 1st, Emancipation Day. A year ago around this time of year, I wrote a set of specific intentions to myself for the new year. One of them was to have a byline in the @nytimes. Recently I was reviewing my list, personal and professional, and felt good about having accomplished most of them (in one form or another). In the remaining hours of 2018, I got the chance to honor another one. But even more importantly: that I was asked to accompany an essay of such resonance feels like an important and symbolic way for me to pass from one year to another. I’m so touched and honored. Thank you, Jim Datz. Thank you @revjjackson. What a year. (Link in bio to read the story)
Bartenders in symphonic synchronicity at @comperelapin tonight. They barely communicated but knew what they were doing with each other (and my #negroni). @from_lagos thank you for the suggestion, Tunde. I miss Caribbean food, living on the West Coast. Like, a lot. It was alllll that, plus a plate of curried goat (and snapper escovitch...and jerk squash). #ObservedNOLA
Observed from seat 31F on a flight from SF To New Orleans this morning. Drawn from life because everyone (else) slept like a log from takeoff to landing. #ObservedNOLA
Today I snuck into my studio for one last minute assignment of 2018...I’ll share that on Monday...and a package of finished samples of the calendar designed recently for Justin @Fantl were waiting for me. So happy with how these turned out! 2019 is calling, but 2018 isn’t done just yet.