Thursday, February 27, 2014

Magnolia Season

I love all of the magnolia trees around Berkeley. I went out last weekend on a walk to the Rose Garden, and lo and behold the roses were all dead still, but I did have a nice time photographing the magnolias on campus. I'm so ready for winter to be over!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Weekend!

I went to Yoshi's last night to see Jon McLaughlin perform solo. He is incredible live. Just him and the piano. He's quite funny when he's just on his own without his band. I think it's pretty critical for a musician to be able to carry on good conversation in between songs at a show. I remember seeing The 1975 live and being so put-off by their performances because they just stormed through their set as if they had a plane to catch. Anyways. Back to Jon. We stuck around afterwards to meet him and get some stuff signed. It was so awkward. I am never doing this again with a musician or celebrity of any kind. I felt bad for the guy. He looked exhausted.

As of right now, I'm working out of Caffè Strada near campus. It feels so nostalgic to do this.  I really missed this kind of work environment. I don't know why I haven't done this more often. It's much better than working out of my apartment. I decided to spend some time today to do some trip planning, so I'll end this blog now with some of my favorite links around the web this week.

One More Thing by BJ Novak
I started reading One More Thing on my kindle. You can tell that it's written by someone who's accustomed to comedy writing. This book trailer is hilarious.

Stefan Sagmeister on How To Beat Your Cellphone Addiction
A great FastCoDesign article. I love Sagmeister's proposal for designating one portion of a live concert for photography, and banning cell phones for the rest of the show.

Adorable Penguin Chases Zookeeper
You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

College Avenue.

This was taken shortly before the start of a very memorable night in Berkeley. Having graduated from UC Berkeley, visiting my old undergrad haunts kind of makes me feel a little sad sometimes. Like I've stayed behind at a party after everybody has left. But who am I kidding, there are worse places that I could be right now. Berkeley has been really great to return to after a two-year stint living in the city.

My brother pictured above has visited me on so many occasions that I'm sure he has developed his own relationship with the East Bay. We've strolled down College together countless times and it's always been a lot of fun. In fact, he has been here so often that people get confused when I tell him that he lives hundreds of miles away! Ahem. Time to move, mister! :)

In any case, Sunday night we made reservations for three at the infamous Trattoria La Siciliana. Delicious food, guaranteed--however only after a wait so long that you feel too hangry to actually enjoy your meal. Sunday was especially bad. After being seated for an hour, there was no food to be seen on ANY tables on the first floor of the restaurant. Why? Well turns out Rachael Ray was dining upstairs with her posse.

After she left in a hurry you could feel the wait staff finally exhale and relax. After the food started coming out of the kitchen (finally!)--a woman storms into the restaurant and starts to scream at the staff. Turns out it's the owner's daughter. And I kid you not the restaurant went from unbearable din to dead silent as she screamed "YOU ARE ALL EFFING MANIACS!" to the staff. She left in a hurry and slammed the door, but only after shouting "SORRY, IT'S HARD TO WORK TOGETHER. WE'RE A FUCKING FAMILY!"

Surprisingly, this only made me love the place more. We always say never again after we leave, and yet we come back again and again for the food. Oh, Trattoria. Never change.

Graced with Light

Sometimes the city really does outdo itself. Like this past Sunday, which was amazing after a gloomy day of rain. Day two of my brother's visit was spent brunching in Nob Hill and exploring the rest of the city until the evening. We ventured over to the Grace Cathedral afterwards to see the ongoing art installation "Graced By Light."

I still can't believe it took me this long to see it in person. Containing about 20 miles of ribbon, the installation mirrors the colors of the stained glass windows inside the cathedral. It is really gorgeous and a must-see because I think the installation is going to be taken down this month!

Beautiful isn't it? I wish I could make it out in time to catch the 6 PM yoga classes that they hold under the installation.
I'm as jaded as San Franciscans get, so I really appreciated the chance to see things I ordinarily wouldn't have bothered with had I no guests in town. Hurry up and go visit the cathedral before the installation is taken down and make a day of it! Go to Top of the Mark afterwards for a fantastic view of the city, or go to the Tonga Room around the corner. Classic San Francisco, that neighborhood.

1100 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
b/t Taylor St & Jones St in Nob Hill

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Healdsburg | Sonoma County

Healdsburg is a darling little town. I find comfort in the similarities between Wine Country and where I'm originally from, Orange County. There's something very familiar in the atmosphere of Sonoma and home.

I had visitors this weekend, so we ventured up north to go wine tasting. But first, we started the day with lunch at Bravas for tapas.

And holy crap, the food was amazing. We all had sangria and shared several small plates like this grilled octopus. So gorgeous, I couldn't resist sharing the food porn.

Our waiter was really friendly too. He lead us on to the two wineries that we visited afterwards.

Needless to say, I would most certainly come back. Until then, I'll be daydreaming about my next visit.

420 Center St
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Tartine Bakery.

Finally catching up on some backlogged posts. I've had a lot of visitors lately. When that happens I typically find myself at Tartine Bakery in the Mission. I went here for the first time when I was still at Cal. I remember the first time I went, it was my first time exploring the Mission District with my boyfriend and it was such an adventure. We made a day of it and went to the symphony at night.

Needless to say, I love this place. It has deep ties to how I feel about the time I've spent in the city and I will always return to it with friends new and old. But enough of the sentimentality--this place is amazing for brunch or coffee with a morning pastry. Nothing quite like washing down a Tartine morning bun with a cappucino on a Sunday.

The shiitake mushroom croque monsieur is my favorite thing to order. It's a thing of beauty. The pickled carrots are the perfect compliment too. I ordered this recently when my oldest brother and his girlfriend came to visit for a weekend.

And here are the glorious loaves of bread that people line up for. I love stealing a glance each time I walk by the cashier to see the loaves being freshly pulled out of the oven. FYI, you need to call at least one to two days in advance if you want to purchase loaves. Isn't that crazy?

600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110
b/t 19th St & 18th St in Mission