Sunday, March 23, 2014

New favorite.

I have never loved Ralph Fiennes more than as Monsieur Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Who knew he'd play the role of a bisexual giggolo so delightfully. I left the movie with a feeling of nostalgia and melacholy. I want to see the movie again so badly. But in the's an article about the creation of M. Gustave's beloved L'air de Panache for your edification via

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2 Days in Paris.

I've never truly experienced something quite so surreal as arriving in Paris for the first time--especially after having studied French for almost 10 years. I kept telling Andrew that nothing felt real. And it's such a shame, because the reality that I was in the City of Light for two days didn't hit me until I returned to San Francisco!

I went to the UK for business recently, and had the opportunity to spend the weekend out of town. And what a wonderful weekend it was. Absolutely gorgeous weather for two days spent marveling at how beautiful a city could be.

It was interesting observing Parisians carrying on with their day to day lives. I just have to believe that there is so much more appreciation for art and design when you live in it! There is beauty to be found everywhere in the city. It's no wonder that there are so many more European-based websites and design publications than there are stateside.

So we took the Eurostar from St Pancras International in London into Gare du Nord Friday night. After checking into our hotel in Montparnasse, we walked around in search for a very late night dinner and ended up at a somewhat mediocre place called Au pied de cochon. They open 24 hours. In California, that conjures up images of poorly lit and dingy diners. But the restaurant was still really something else. Quite lively in fact considering it was nearly 2 AM when we left.

The following day was spent in pursuit of the perfect croissant, which is pretty much available anywhere. Bread in Paris is incomparable to what we have back home. I fear what might happen to me if I had access to such great breads all year round!

We started at the Eiffel Tower and made our way down the Seine on one of those hop on hop off boats over to Notre Dame. But most importantly, we made a pit stop at Shakespeare & Company! I am a total Before Sunrise/Before Sunset devotee and naturally an indie bookstore nutcase, so this was at the top of my list for this weekend. What a privilege to have a bookstore like this one at your disposal for studying in! I saw someone quietly working at a table on the top floor in one of the reading rooms. I am sighing to myself right now just thinking of it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring Montmartre. Sacre Coeur was predictably overrun with tourists, so we didn't spend too much time there. We ventured into Le Pigalle by accident and ran into an active protest. I kind of chuckled to myself thinking how very French that was.

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a whirwind. We were totally beat by the end of each day after all of the walking. Sunday was spent mostly relaxing in various courtyards and gardens after visiting the Bastille Sunday Market. Needless to say, I am aching to return. But until my next visit, I'll leave you with more photos of my weekend.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekend update.

I spent the weekend playing tour guide again. A friend that I've known since elementary school is moving to San Francisco very soon, so we spent most of Saturday afternoon walking around different neighborhoods to help get her acquainted. I sympathize with how daunting it is to apartment hunt in San Francisco for the first time. It kind of feels like just closing your eyes and throwing a dart on a map. All of the neighborhood names are meaningless so you end up wasting a lot of time checking out dodgy apartments that you would never live at in a million years. I'm really surprised there aren't more people working as brokers for desperate apartment hunters in the Bay...maybe in a year or two there will be.

In any case, we started out the morning though with brunch at Absinthe. We amazingly got their before the restaurant even opened so I finally got to eat at one of the coveted sidewalk tables! was sunny after a rainy morning. I feel ridiculous getting exciting about something like this, but after waiting 1-2 hours on average for brunch, I'm sorry, but it's kind of a big deal! Two bellinis later, we set off for the Mission, Union Square, and ended up the day watching the Bay Bridge lights turn on at Chaya.

I also finally saw The Wolf of Wall Street. I never managed to watch all of the Best Picture nominees for this year (I still hope HER wins!)...but I'll get to all of them eventually. The Wolf of Wall Street was a great film. It seemed to be...furiously filmed if that makes any sense. And who knew Leonardo DiCaprio could do physical humor! I can tell  it's going to go down as a the same vein as Goodfellas. Poor Leo, I hope we wins an Oscar finally. All in all, a really fun and relaxing weekend. Should you ever find me complaining about something that is so #firstworldproblems, please pinch me and remind me that I am really lucky to be where I am.