Just returned from a weekend in San Francisco and I gotta say, it was SO GOOD to be back in that godforsaken city. Somehow the incessant wind was refreshing, not annoying, the bland, blue-sky vibe soothing, not boring, the travel by car liberating, not confining. Is it just a case of always wanting what you can’t have? Grass is always greener syndrome? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was there for a wonderful weekend (‘end’ being the operative suffix), and that we spent it at our most romantic getaway spot 3 hours north of the city, driving up, down and around 101 in our beloved beat-up old Saab, “blissed out” at the lithium-charged nudie hot springs, and cozied up at our favorite neighborhood sushi bar, feasting on chef’s choice with the chopsticks they keep for us behind the bar. Oh, and passed out at an airport Comfort Inn, but that’s a story for another time.
It’s back to the big city for me tomorrow [… sigh]. Thank you Jacob for digging up this forgotten Adrian Tomine cartoon and regifting it back to me. Apropos indeed.
1. Jose Gonzalez at the Fillmore. Just magical.
2. $150 cross-coast one-ways. (The other side of that coin: hour and a half taxi rides to JFK, missing your flight, hour and a half taxi rides to Brooklyn, rebooked and subsequently canceled flights on 2 different airlines the next day, getting stopped at security, finally securing a middle seat in row 96 and finding you’re #30 in line for take-off).
3. Call Zingo, a new concept in designated driving. Fully-insured, attractive (Flash intros don’t lie) drivers arrive at bar of your choice on COLLAPSIBLE MOTOR BIKES, stick the bike in your trunk, drive you home, expand the bike, and scoot off to their next client, all for a $20 base charge + mileage. (Awful logo but) neato website to boot.
4. Then We Came to an End by Joshua Ferris. Catch-22 meets Office Space at a bar and runs into American Psycho on their way back to her place. I can’t read a chapter without thinking of the “goddamn fucking shitty paperwork” cartoon that gets me every time (“One hundred forests must be cut down!”) so basically I can’t go a page without laughing my face off. I can’t find it on the internet but will scan asap.
5. A mid-morning weekday walk to Tennessee Cove in Marin with the sage and lovely Nicole Burke.
6. “Ocarina” by Birds and Batteries. Best when consumed while flying through the San Francisco hills in 15-year old stick-shift Saab with sunroof open and windows down.
7. WiFi at Farley’s (but still no free refills).
8. 2 words: Lonni’s Punani.
9. 60 Minutes and Sunday Sushi. The ultimate aphrodisiac tranquilizer.
10. Um, um…!
Posted in books, food, music, San Francisco, travel
Tagged birds and batteries, books, call zingo, designated driving, Farley's, jose gonzalez, joshua ferris, nicole burke, tennesee cove, the fillmore, then we came to an end, travel
A little late to post this video but I was in New York last week and just having my head above water by the end of the day felt like a major accomplishment.
It’s, of course, reminiscent of that other super slow-motion ad set to heavenly music, the Sony one that broke Jose Gonzalez (who I happen to be seeing tomorrow at the Fillmore!) to an American audience. Worth another viewing.
The 8th annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel event took place 2 blocks up the hill from our house this year! For those outside SF, BYOBW is a local Easter tradition that competes with the Hunky Jesus competition in Dolores Park (decisions, decisions!) in which reckless, costumed, and typically inebriated adults race down the crookedest street in San Francisco (commonly believed to be Lombard Street but which is actually Vermont) on flimsy plastic tricycles. Some photos to commemorate the event:
Frank warming up for some intense spectating.
Let the games begin!
The view from atop.
Watch that nun…
Nun down, nun down!
The luminous Bari.
Keri and a broken soldier.
And the woman with the long hair goes, “wheeeeeeee!”
Video from last year’s race.
1. Tinderbox in Bernal Heights. Dinner consisted of the following: white shrimp and cheese grits with candied maple bacon in a vanilla-scented balsamic jus; crispy tofu noodle soup; char 2 ways (smoked and slow roasted and tartare on a cornbread blini); a bottle of Assyrtico from Santorini (“full-bodied with background notes of jalapeno and smoke”– definitely unique but a lot lighter and sweeter than it sounds) and the above pictured dark chocolate cake with molten blue cheese center. Oh and popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast, parsley, chives and butter to start. I fully plan to repent these sins another time.
2. School night poker parties!
3. Long, early-spring walks to nowhere listening to Radiolab podcasts. Also- the canopy of flowering trees on outer Folsom.
5 . The only real mail I get these days are Christmas cards and wedding invitations. This whimisical-chic YSL wallet makes me smile.
6. MGMT, “Oracular Spectacular.” Something’s (finally) astir in Brooklyn again.
7. Coffee Bar on Mariposa and Bryant. A cup of Kenyan blend and an almond croissant in the AM and a glass of their amazing South African white in the PM.
8. Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City and Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Modern classics I finally got around to reading.
9. Coincidentally opposing color exhibits at MoMA (“Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today”) and the Met (“Jasper Johns: Gray”).
10. Pandora’s Zero 7, Guster and Rodrigo y Gabriela radio stations.
Posted in art, books, design, fashion, favorites, food, music, New York, San Francisco
Tagged bernal heights, brooklyn bands, coffee bar, frank mccourt, jay mcinerney, mgmt, moma, pandora, radiolab, san francisco restaurants, the met, tinderbox, yves st laurent wallet
We saw Ira Glass and David Rakoff at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley on Saturday and it was SO COOL!! This American Life is one of our favorite NPR programs even though I have the annoying tendency of passing out within the first 5 minutes when we put it on at night (Ira’s voice is just so soothing! It’s like a lullaby for grown-ups. I can’t help myself). Before settling in with the moderator, they did this intro bit with Ira on the turntables mixing music into a hilarious piece on David’s childhood that he read from the other side of the stage. They don’t actually create the show that way anymore, what with modern studio technologies, a staff of a dozen or more and millions of listeners to please, but it was so cool to see the piece performed live, the way you hear it on the radio. David was hysterical, squirmingly uncomfortable in the spotlight and wielding his wit like a whip and Ira might have just bumped Gael Garcia Bernal off my list of 5 Exceptions (Adrian Grenier stays). Oh, and This American Life is the most downloaded podcast in the country. Did you know that? I didn’t either.