Amy and Lauren go to the Pixar premiere of Up

Here we are on the top deck of the parking garage behind the gorgeous old, renovated Art Deco Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland where we watched the premiere of Up with several hundred Pixar people and their dates, family, or friends.

I found the sleeveless slightly retro shantung silk dress at a shop in Berkeley, and the lightweight black overcoat at a vintage store nearby, both that day (Saturday). The blue band on my wrist is my admission.

I wish I had brought my camera, but I'm also glad I didn't lug it around. Sometimes you have to make a choice to take pictures of something or to actually Be There. Everyone looked quite beautiful and interesting.

The movie? I laughed. I cried. It was really, really good.

"You got in a laugh spiral at that one part," my sister noted.

The story deviates from reality in surprising, unpredictable, delightful ways. I sat there often wondering, where can they possibly go with this next?  And then they'd go somewhere I never imagined, and yet it makes a weird sort of sense, and it's wonderful and witty.

Also, for all the plot deviancy, the main characters and the themes are amazingly human, warm, and engaging – full of humanity.  Uplifting.

Pixar has made ten films now that were all hits and no money-losing failures. The winner's streak will not be broken with this one. I don't think I'm supposed to say much else about it.

"And you can't talk or blog about the movie I'm working on either," warned Lauren.

"What movie?"

Watching "Up" with the people who had worked on it and were so proud of it was quite special. For the wrap up party, we walked a few blocks to the also-vintage and striking Fox Theater. We had a lovely time.

UPDATE: I neglected to mention the delightful animated short film that preceded Up, and will appear with it in theaters: Partly Cloudy. Storks deliver babies, we all know that. But did you know animated clouds make the babies?

Read this about the short: Peter Sohn gives us an exclusive about the importance of Dumbo, his mother and animating clouds in directing his first Pixar short, Partly Cloudy.

Fun fact: The look of the boy scout stowaway in Up, Russell, is inspired by Pete Sohn.

Trailer UP

Mirror glass

Next morning I got up and got out of the loft to let my sister sleep, crossing the bridge to San Francisco and the immediate waterfront.

"You have a ridiculous amount of energy in the morning," my sister mumbled. Each day is a chance for something new! especially on vacation.

Pier in morning sun

A pretty place, a silver place, this San Francisco.

A very pedestrian city is made more pedestrian on Sundays.

They had blocked off one of the roads in this area and people were coming out to buy handmade art from vendors, walk dogs, bike, stroll with strollers, and dance around on roller blades.

Selling art

I bought a couple of necklaces made by a Japanese woman. Mostly I prowled around with my camera and a cup of coffee.

Look, look, look, was the word in my head.


I'm not often in cities.

Public art

Pretty cool, huh?

Ferry terminal, Port of San Francisco

I never saw so many well-dressed, well-fed, business-looking Bohemians in my life. – Oscar Wilde

You wouldn't think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight there, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills. And all the people are open and friendly. – Dylan Thomas

Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood, the impulse of men who packed Virgil with their bean-bags on the overland journey, conspired – to make San Francisco a city of artists. – William Henry Irwin