Maryann LoRusso

San Francisco-based journalist, writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering fashion, culture and lifestyle.

How We Lost the Art of the Signature

I recently took my teenage daughter, Ava, to the post office to renew her passport. After waiting in a long line, sorting through legal documents, and paying a slew of fees, the clerk behind the counter handed Ava a pen, slid the last form in front of her, and asked her to sign her name. Ava held the ballpoint pen in her hand for several seconds before panic spread across her face. “Can’t I just print it?” she asked, which made the lady behind the counter scowl. “No, I need a signature. And not

How Long Does It Take to Become a San Franciscan?

San Francisco is my city and I love it. But our 16-year relationship — at first superficial, then rocky, and at times tumultuous — took a long time to gel. My husband’s job brought us here in 2003. We showed up with a small moving truck, a 10-month-old baby and, admittedly, a “what the hell are we doing on the West Coast” attitude. Torn from my family, friends, and career in New York, I made my husband promise that our Bay Area stint would be two years, max. Ah, but it was September — San Fran

Custom Maids: Say Goodbye to Cookie-Cutter Bridesmaids

Luckily, being a bridesmaid is no longer a fashion farce in which several reluctant females—with varied tastes and even more varied body proportions—are forced to don head-to-toe matching outfits. With the options out there now, there's no need for your voluptuous sister to squeeze into a spaghetti-strap top, or your heavy-metal-loving cousin Suzie (who has never worn a skirt in her life) to be wrapped in a pink bow. By mixing and matching separates, playing with colors and details, or allowing your attendants to choose their most flattering dress shapes, you can offer them something much more than a place in your bridal party: the opportunity to look and feel your best in the spotlight.

Is SF Losing Its Fashion Identity?

Two or three decades ago, when a member of San Francisco's elite headed to a red-carpet gala, she'd turn to a local designer for her evening wear. It was a luxurious, almost intimate experience to purchase an elaborate gown from one of the city's few high-end department stores or, better yet, to be fitted at one of the even fewer couture studios. If the client chose the latter, she might have been on a first-name basis with the dressmaker, who probably also clothed...

Home Is Where McCartney Is

I moved to San Francisco a decade ago, and it’s taken me almost that long to start calling it my city. But after attending my first Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park last month, I finally embraced the fact that this is the place I now call home. It was an exhilarating weekend of music, food, art, wine, and community that sealed my sense of belonging to our gorgeous, passionate City by the Bay. Maybe what moved me was the fog, languorously rolling in from Ocean Beach and over the

In the Mood For a Melody? Hit the City’s Last Piano Bars

Some say it’s a nightlife tradition that’s gone the way of barbershop quartets and burlesque. Thanks to clubs, concerts, and karaoke, San Francisco’s piano-bar scene has been steadily diminishing over the past couple of decades, much to the dismay of lounge and jazz fans all over the City. But for those whose idea of a great night out is listening to a musician pour his heart out over a beautiful baby grand, there are still options. You just have to know where to look. The bars and restaurants

How to Raise a Musical Kid

We’ve all read the statistics. Kids who play an instrument perform better in school, score higher in math and English tests, and may even be more successful in life than their nonmusical peers. That’s not to say that people who never learn to read music turn out to be duds, or at least I hope not, considering that I didn’t begin studying piano until after age 40. But the ever-mounting evidence of music’s benefits is pretty powerful. For this reason, many parents are determined to give their kid
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