It’s getting real for high-stakes APEC summit talks, as President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping both touched down in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon, and they’ll meet Wednesday at the Woodside mansion Filoli, which served as a setting on the old prime-time soap opera Dynasty.
Are you feeling the APEC excitement? Me either. But it certainly seems historic that U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping both arrived in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon, according to the Chronicle's mess o’ APEC updates news tracker. Let’s examine the dignitary arrival of each, and what’s at stake for their high-profile summit Wednesday, before we got down the pop culture rabbit hole of how they’re meeting at the mansion that served as the setting for the 1980s primetime soap opera Dynasty.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Mayor London Breed greet President Biden at SFO.— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) November 14, 2023
Follow for the latest updates: https://t.co/IJGRbVIT1S
📹: J.D. Morris pic.twitter.com/ub2Hv8VA9J
President Biden arrived at SFO at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to KPIX, and was greeted on the tarmac by Governor Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and SF Mayor London Breed. According to Axios, it is believed Biden is staying at the “White House of the West,” the Fairmont Hotel, so expect security to be off the charts in Nob Hill. Biden is scheduled to remain in town until Friday, with plenty of APEC on his plate, according to a KRON4 schedule of Biden’s San Francisco visit.
For his part, Chinese President Xi arrived at SFO around 3 p.m., and was greeted by Newsom, Siebel, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. He then motorcaded straight up to SF, and Bloomberg reports he’ll be staying at the St. Regis Hotel, outside of which you can imagine there will be protests galore, none of which are ever likely to be visible to Xi.
As President Biden and China’s leader Xi Jinping prepare to meet at the Asia Pacific summit, U.S. growth is humming while China struggles with a property slump and local government debts https://t.co/BNPEtsDuWB pic.twitter.com/2CSqLzKy1A— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 14, 2023
Biden and Xi will hold their behind-closed-doors summit early Wednesday, but it won’t be in San Francisco. Instead it will be in San Mateo County’s upscale small town of Woodside. A separate Bloomberg piece has informed speculation they will discuss and announce a joint fentanyl crackdown, and the Associated Press adds the two nations might reestablish military communication.
And they will meet in Woodside at the historic mansion Filoli, according to a scoop from Voice of America. Also known as the Bourn-Roth Estate, Filoli was built by gold-mine baron William Bowers Bourn between 1915 and 1917, and it was designed by Willis Polk — the same architect who designed several mansions in San Francisco, as well as the Hobart Building and the grand Hallidie Building on Sutter Street downtown.
As mentioned, Filoli served as an exterior shot on the old TV show Dynasty (the mansion is seen in the opening credits above at the :12 and 1:29 marks). The mansion really only appeared in the credits, and hardly any of the show was ever actually filmed there — except for the three-episode 1981 pilot, whose interior and exterior shots were largely filmed at Filoli, according to the Filoli website. Filoli also served as the setting for the 2006 CBS special Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar.
Though Filoli is trying to play it off sly, as their homepage currently reads, “Filoli is closed November 13-15 while we deck the halls for the Holidays!”
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 14: U.S. President Joe Biden (C) talks with California Governor Gavin Newson (L) and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom (R) after arriving at San Francisco International Airport ahead of the APEC summit on November 14, 2023 in San Francisco, California. The APEC summit is being held in San Francisco and runs through November 17. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)