Sunday, December 7, 2014

Nesting, Part 10

You guys, it's the holidays.  Hmm, that's all I've got for now - but here's some snaps from around the hood and home of late:
Lotta's Bakery is a most excellent and unique little spot up the road from me - it's a cosy, old-school bakery and vintage store (?) catering to the divergent interests of the couple who owned it.  Also home to hands down best, blackstrap molasses gingerbread in San Francisco - a moist, dense brick of ginger goodness.
Early morning pastry rolling to bust out another one of these puppies for the slew of Christmas parties ahead.  A fair share of the grated fontina made its way into my mouth during the process.
Gigantor wreath up at our building entrance - not pictured is the huge Christmas tree in our foyer.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Latest subculture discovery: HK cafes in San Francisco - I love seeing how 'fusion' foods go from this perspective, Smile House Cafe is a particularly great spot, this was my Tom Yum soup with a fancy puff pastry hat (of course).
I snuck out onto our fire escape one night to get this view of our beautiful Golden bridge, end to end.  Never gets old.

Hope your weeks have been just as well  x

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Oh, hey N'awlins

I've been lax posting here, slowly catching up - first cab off the rank is reporting back on a most wonderful few days in New Orleans.

In an expat effort to get the most out of America, a buddy and I booked a last minute trip to spend three nights there.  Given that 'seeing New Orleans' largely comprises of eating and strolling the streets with a beer in hand, it was the perfect amount of time to cover this little city; and with San Francisco's weak summer, the hard beating heat was a welcome change too.  Some snaps of where our four day adventure took us:
The brass band playing onboard the last remaining authentic Steamboat Natchez (sounds like 'nachos'), a wonderful sunny afternoon floating down the Mississippi.
Mandatory beignets and cafĂ© au lait at Cafe Du Monde.  I'm not typically a fried sweet pastry fan, but these were powdery puffs of deliciousness!
An uncharacteristically tamer picture of the legendary Bourbon Street - although note that people are still wandering the streets drinking publicly from bar to bar.  Overall, I definitely recommend Frenchmen Street for authentic live jazz and a more local scene, but with the college football on and its proximity to our hotel, we always found ourselves wandering back to this frenetic strip.
Some of the prettiest balconies I'd ever seen!  I couldn't get enough of the pockets of greenery spilling over them, and just imagined how lovely it would be to sit out rocking on one of them, watching passers by - ditto the gorgeous porches which I regrettably have less pictures of.
A Sazerac at The Roosevelt's bar of the same name - apparently what many consider to be the world's first mixed drink.  It was certainly potent, but at least legions away from the Hand Grenade and Hurricane, which definitely did not need to be repeated.
Shrimp po boy from Johnny's Po-Boys in the French Quarter.  The fried oyster po boy was originally recommended to me, but this was a brunch and wasn't sure I could stomach it - this was damn tasty nonetheless!
Not pictured but recommended: catching a streetcar through the beautiful Garden Distrct for aforementioned porch-drooling, dinner at Commanders Palace (including turtle soup), the best meal by far at Cochon (book ahead of time!) - apparently anything that Donald Link does is excellent, the Frenchmen Street Art Market and the above-ground city cemeteries (note the early closing hours, which we didn't).

Another city off the list, and what a fine little one it was.  I have always believed in the kindness of strangers, thanks for your southern hospitality N'awlins.

Monday, October 6, 2014

On time

A quote that I have been marinating on for awhile now:
Crawling leaves on the streets of NYC.
"Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present."

Alan Watts on the art of timing and the pleasure of presence here.

In the same camp, someone sent this to me, from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities to me recently.  A working explanation of new pasts found by moving forward:

All this so that Marco Polo could explain or imagine explaining or be imagined explaining or succeed finally in explaining to himself that what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler's past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.

Beautiful words as another week begins.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No apologies

A couple of snippets on making statements vs apologies, firstly the rise of Peggy Olson via -

And the ever excellent Tina Fey:

Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice.

Somewhat related: Learning to Love Criticism.

All of these things reached my inbox over the last couple of weeks from various different sources.  I know gender equality is certainly the flavour of the season (did you see the Chanel show?) but there is substance to this groundswell, and it is relevant and necessary.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The ghost ship

Golden hour at different sides of the world.  This is bonfire time near Half Moon Bay -
- and dusk in magnificent #nofilter Sydney.
"I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us.  

There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore."

Another one from one of my favourites.