Monday, March 25, 2013


Recent rain has recharged the city plant life and everything was a little more illuminated. Golden Gate Bridge in the distance and a little tree behind the Marina library that seemed to glow.

bay lights show

I hiked up to the bend right before Coit Tower with a heap of other spectators to watch the "Bay Lights" debut. Here's the clear view of the East Bay Bridge with a blur on purpose just before the lights came on. We ended up being there early... like an hour+ early, with rain for the last half so no fancy cameras out. It was still worth it to see the Bay Bridge lights with their calm stillness and then the magnificent debut of the "Bay Lights" that had us all a little awestruck. Here's a link to the Bay Lights with a beautiful video of the lights in action. The lights will come on at 8PM every night for the next few years.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

a few of my favorite things

these sweet teacups lined up in the window, diamonds on the sidewalk, and the magic hour when shadows grow long and colors are illuminated

darkness and light

 The light is always changing and today it had the plants glowing. I walked to work along Bay street was smitten with the letters on this corner. The light seemed dark and moody until I was walking at lunch and came across this new planting of calla lilies and spring flowers in front of the Psychic shop with the neon sign that I love so much. I was convinced these flowers were artificial until I touched them, they're real.

desert oasis in the middle of the city

more electric colors at the farmers market

 romanesco broccoli, French radishes, and oodles of tulips

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the tranquil stillness of a foggy morning

 I walked to school this morning and it was one of the most beautiful walks. While we have a fair amount of fog in SF most of it comes in the form of a fog blanket that rolls in after sunset. Olympia, WA is the foggiest city in the US. The foggy morning was just a foggy morning and the sun shining though by lunch. I was somehow inspired to cook shrimp for dinner. I zested a lemon before cutting it into wedges, minced a few cloves of garlic and added in some basil before cooking it all up for a light and bright dinner.

by bus

With my car in the shop again I've been on a few bus rides when I'd normally walk or drive. While sitting on a bench... waiting for the bus I watched this busy little pigeon pace back and forth and kept thinking of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus book. Meanwhile a newlywed couple pictured below walked behind me and I just thought they were on their way to a show (missed the bouquet). A few minutes later I was on the bus and the driver (not a pigeon) began honking and cheering while we were stopped at a red light. We all looked to the sidewalk and saw the happy couple smiling and posing.

salad kick

stopped in at Blue Barn for a cob salad and was pleasantly surprised to have enough for dinner.

hearts afoot

On my walk to school I came across a patch of wet cement being smoothed out (rare here) and stopped by after work to draw a small heart into the still wet cement that was now hidden under a plank of plywood. The next day I peaked to see if the heart was still there, but alas it had been smoothed back out. I decided to stop by again after school to scratch in a little heart love note to the city. I tried to be sly and go unnoticed while fumbling for a bobby pin and then kneeling down with clogs on... no laces to pretend to tie. I scratched in this wee heart pictured above and just a few seconds before I was done going over my lines again a young guy in a truck on the other side of the street yelled out his window, "Hey, I just smoothed that out." My heart sank a little I told him, "I just made a small heart." Not sure if he was able to hear me I put my hands together to make a heart. He put his head down a little, waved his hand and calmly said he'd smooth it out. I'm pretty sure he knew my intentions were good and that I didn't want to make more work for him. I walked away and hoped that he would leave the little heart. The following day I walked by this little stretch and was thrilled to see that it was still there. If you happen to be on Chestnut street near Fillmore you may see this little heart and I hope it warms yours.

half a cup of coffee

I found this charming old cup with gilded edges on a chalkboard ledge. I went to pick it up and discovered it had been sat down on wet paint and sealed to the ledge until I released it on accident. I put it back and now I've added this gem to the list of second hand treasures to look for. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

early morning light

walking early in the morning, still bleary eyed, reveals a part of the city in a new light. pastel colors seem softer and the sunrise seemed to stretch for a few hours as it came up and over each new hill

The Mill

I caught up with a friend that just moved a few blocks away from The Mill, another friends new coffee shop. The Mill is a beautiful space with fabulous Four Barrel Coffee, herringbone tile work, magnolias,  and Portland friends serving coffee and smiles. We walked over to Felletti Foods for a treat and I spotted two of my favorite tags together! The diamond and the anchor, le sigh, maybe they're by the same person... or a duo. I feel like I'm getting closer to discovering the gems behind this trail around the city.

year of the water snake

I bundled up and set off to the Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown with ear plugs and determination to touch the dragon for another year of good luck. I found myself between and 8 year old boy in a Mexican wrestling mask and an 80+ year old woman (about 4 feet tall wearing a leopard print hooded sweatshirt). Waiting in the cold was worth it as we all managed to brush our hands against the dragon as it passed by at the end of the parade. I warmed up with a house cappuccino at Tosca before heading home.

sometimes real life looks like a movie set

caramels and cleansing

I bought a small carton of heavy cream with the intent of making caramels to pack up as Valentine's Day gifts for all of my single friends.... but as you can tell from my delay in posting here, I've been super busy. I ended up committing to ten days without sugar or carbs and still had heavy cream in the fridge so I went ahead with the caramel plans long after V-day and kept three pieces for myself and gave the rest away. I managed to not each sugar for ten days and felt pretty good about it, but I'm also pretty eager to make these again. I used this recipe from Ina Garten and it was pretty good and super fast.

city sun

after dropping my car off at the shop for a few hours I opted to walk around and chase the sun

direction of the moon

I received the sweetest, kindest, and most thoughtful gift in the mail from my dear friend Gretchen Jones. She sent me this one of a kind ring with moon phases. Gretchen is an incredible friend, designer and inspiration. This new treasure will be cherished. You can see Gretchen's clothing and jewelry designs here.

homemade hostess

I recently read about a bakery in Noe Valley that sells a hostess style cupcake and when I found myself working just a few blocks away unable to resist. I had protein and veggies... and then this delicious cupcake for lunch. Thank you, Noe Valley Bakery.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

rainy day/partly cloudy

then the sun came out and bounced light and spread shadows

green glow

I walked up and over a few hills to catch up with a friend in the Marina. These are the steep hills that leave me winded while trying to chat on the phone mid climb, but oh the views. I picked up a green juice at the Juice Shop for later and chowed on a cobb salad at the Backyard Kitchen while catching up. This giraffe (more safari animals in SF) greeted me and an old Nikko sign had me remembering this article and interview that had me sitting in my car in Portland, Oregon missing SF. Poppies are blooming and daylight savings has the corner store produce glowing a little longer.

fish/tourist trap

 My friend Courtney wanted to see the tulip festival at Pier 39, Fisherman's Warf. This is known by locals to be the ultimate tourist playground with a Hard Rock Cafe, signs for sourdough loaves, and keychains and other souvenirs by the dozen. Courtney and I still wanted to catch this seasonal festival and see all the tulips in their glory. We were greeted by throngs of tourists and a fair number of sea lions that I hear from home more often than not. There's an old carousel that still has it's charm and a few magical places worth exploring. Sally's Famous Fishwich has made (fried) to order fish on a giant bed of coleslaw or on a bun for $8.
 After eating fish by the bay with street musicians playing their hearts out in the afternoon sun for tourists and us locals we ventured over to the Musee Mecanique, one of the world's largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. The museum offers an opium den (below), fortune tellers, horse racing games, and a few love meters with lot of hand crafted sculptures and hand-lettered signs to admire.

African safari

I started watching "Africa," by the BBC Natural History Unit and now I'm seeing rhinos (above) and other animals everywhere. This series is phenomenal!

color spectrum

I picked up a favorite meal at Beautifull with tea smoked salmon, roasted squash, and cauliflower salad with capers. I parked at my favorite parking garage on Stockton with striped Candyland style stripes and then under a blooming eucalyptus tree at sunset in Japantown.