Saturday, December 19, 2015

Columbusing San Francisco continues....

There are some dining experiences in San Francisco that I may or may not spend all my money on and here are today's finds in no particular order:

Lazy Bear 

3416 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
 The short story is purchase a ticket to one of 2 seatings and they feed you what ever is good today.  There is the option to have beverage pairings.  One Yelper suggests to just order off their extensive drink menu.  I suspect I would easily make this one of the most expensive meals of my life.  The Food & Wine article made it look fun. If I go it will be VERY special occasion, and I will most likely find it a hoot!  
  "The tasting menu varies between $145 and $175 per person depending on day and time, for 14+ courses. Beverage pairings are available at an additional $85. We automatically add a 20% service charge when purchasing a ticket (and on any purchases you make at the restaurant)"


689 McAllister St San Francisco, CA 94102
The short story for this one is eating in the dark. You may remember hearing about BlindeKuh in Switzerland around 15 years ago, wondering how would that be for an experience.  It isn't the top of my list, but for sure on my list

Red Door Cafe
1608 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94109
The short story on this is... sassy diner for 2. See the rules below. 
Red Door Cafe - San Francisco, CA, United States. Read the Rules!

201 9th St. San Francisco, CA. 94103
The short story on this...Tranny Bar.  From the website, Yelp, and TripAdvisor it is less of a "drag bar" i.e. Lucky Cheng's  or Jacques Cabaret and much more Asian Trans staff.  I will most likely have a great time and drink too much.  TripAdvisor has a picture of tuna as the main photo for this place, That is the only real fish here.
Photo of AsiaSF

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Columbusing the Bay Area

I moved from Boston to San Francisco in July of 2015. Over the last few months I have been receiving lots of recommendations for places to visit, drink, and eat.  I have been emailing them and texting them to myself and hoping that, at some point a visit will happen. Here is what has been recommended so far in no particular order:

Craftsman and Wolves 746 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 913-7713 

Hops & Hominy 1 Tillman Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108 (415) 373-6341 

State Bird Provisions 1529 Fillmore Street San Francisco CA 94115
This place seems to be on all the lists and in food magazines

The Pink Elephant 
142 Minna St 
San Francisco, CA 94105 

Olena California and vine

Pennys in Haight

Mammas in Washington sq Stockton

Brown sugar in west Oakland

Pho challenge is a thing where there is a monster bowl of pho and you try to eat it all.  

Zabu zabu
A co-worker suggested it.  

ABV 3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 400-4748
This has been on my list for a while, John Gertsen left Boston to come here.  His lovely lady friend worked with me at a great place in Cambridge.  He was very generous with his friendship and would be a hoot to see him.

Beauty's Bagel Shop 3838 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609 (510) 788-6098
This place is just down the road and is usually packed in the AM on the weekends. The big guy in bagels in the Bay Area is Noah's Bagel.  The bagels here are similar to the kind at Scratch Bagels in South Portland ME.  Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Less chewy than New York Bagels... But I digress, I have yet to make it to Beauty's.

Prizefighter 6702 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608
The bartender at Coqueta (excellent bar!) said that this is where all the bartenders go.

The Ramen Shop

Vino! 1786 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710 (510) 559-8870\
A friend had me over for dinner and kept pulling great bottles to drink.  This was her secret.

Burma Superstar 4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609(510) 652-2900
There are several locations and I have eaten at the others.  The tea salad is the winner for sure

Oriental BBQ Chicken Town 6101 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609 (510) 595-5338
A co-worker suggested this one.  I have reason to trust them.

GENERAL STORE 4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 682-0600
This is a retail shop the lovely Johanna suggested. I have had the chance to visit. Really lovely things with the California aesthetic. 

Urban ore

Ohmega Salvage 2403 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702 (510) 843-7368
Been to Ohmega Salvage and it's many stores surrounding the main store. They have a great instagram feed

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Boston Ballet is impressive. The Boston Opera House is impressive. So. Yeah, I was impressed.

Photo from Boston Ballet Website
The Opera House is of another time with gold leaf everywhere and chandeliers and drama.  I am not going to waste time telling you how great it is.  It is.  You should go.  Even just in the lobby.  Here is a virtual tour.

(Side bar about the Opera House) I have the pleasure of working for an excellent catering company. I was on the staff of an event for a very well known lawyer (if you live in the greater Boston area and own a television) and his wife who owns two resturants in Boston.  It was their daughter's Bat Mitztvah. The girl arrived on stage coming down from the heavens on a cresent moon singing "Broadway Baby".  The shrimp served were the size of lobsters.  The whole thing was so over the top that it made the top look like anything but the top.  The hosts were lovely and happy, so there is no dish beyond that about them (from this event).   Sorry. 

The Boston Ballet was founded in 1963 and has risen to be one of the premiere ballet companies and one of the most significant ballet schools in the world.  If you have a few minutes after reading all I have to say, you may enjoy clicking around on their website. There are videos including this teaser for the Fall program  The music playing is from William Forsythe's The Second Detail.

I had preconcieved notions about the ballet when I entered.  I have tried to watch The Nutcracker on television for years and years.  I could never get into it.  All tulle and pirouettes, endless leaping and that terrible stage acting.  You know, the kind of acting that is as subtle as a frying pan to the face. The Boston Ballet Fall Program challenged my notions.  Thank you.

(Side bar about my seat)  My seats were spectacular, not just for the view, but for the people.  I sat next to a dancer who may or may not have been with the Boston Ballet, it wasn't clear.  He spoke to his companion about dancing as an occupation.  He talked about the money they make and the lifestyle of being a dancer.  I don't think it would make a great exposé piece, but they work really hard and don't get paid a ton (who does?).  He talked about who were the really great dancers in the company and he seemed genuinely disapointed at a last minute change in performers. On the other side of me were two European looking men, who were holding court with several beautiful people.

There were many elegant people there and they were drinking.  If you have ever been to the Boston Symphony, this is a very different experience.  There were many silver haired people and they were the people that make aging look really good.  There were young people there who were dressed to the nines.  There was a lovely woman in her mid-late 20's who wore a hat!  Not someone who had a hat on, like you see all the time, but a whole lovely ensemble from another era, without a whiff of pretense or that irriating fiddling people who don't wear hats do when they wear hats.  Men were handsome and dapper in every age range and the ladies were just lovely in real live evening wear. I am talking sequins and silk dresses that shimmered in the low light. (There were exceptions, but I choose to over look them).   There was none of those beige outfits people wear to Symphony.  If you go to the BSO and are reading this 1. Thank you for reading and 2. Come on!  It is the Symphony, put some lipstick on and don't wear jeans.  AND the drinking.  People were drinking in their seats and during the performance.  I am not afraid of a cocktail and after the shock of seeing the lovely people drinking champers during the performance died down, I thought the ballet was kinda cool.  Try to get a drink into Symphony Hall (we aren't talking about the Pops).  They will wrestle you to the ground if you try.  Not even if you are a Kennedy (There is a good story there, but I will hold out on you).

So, get on with it.

The lights go down and the curtain goes up on "Rooster" with music by the Rolling Stones and
Choreography by Christopher Bruce. 
Photo from
  The costumes by Marian Bruce were 60's British Mod without being dated and the lighting by Tina MacHugh only added to the mood.  The whole performance made me feel like watching a Wes Anderson movie.  The sincerity of the dancers and the Rolling Stones and the vivid colors.  I can say without a doubt that a majority of the people I know would enjoy seeing this piece.  I would have to get a drink into some of them so they could be cool, but it is very good.  It was a very smart thing to start my watching ballet with this piece.  I don't want to ruin it for you, so I won't go into it about the dancing, beyond that it is definitely ballet, but not stuffy.

"Awake Only" with music by J.S. Bach and Choreography by Jorma Elo was the second piece and it was in my eyes, tradtional ballet.  There is a narrative and toeshoes and emotion.  This piece was well received by the audience. I didn't know it was acceptable to "whoop" at the ballet, but you can.

(Side Bar) One of the older gentleman sitting next to me after this piece ended jumped up as soon as the curtain went down.  I thought that the line for the bathroom wasn't going to be that long, but when the curtain went back up there he was, Jorma Elo on stage next to the performers.  Durning this intermission I met up with a friend to say hello and stuck to her coattails.  I'm glad I did!  She introduced me to everyone including Mrs. Elo and two of the principle dancers' mother.  It was very cool.

"The Second Detail" Music by Thom Willems, Choreography and Stage Design by William Forsythe was FREAKING AMAZING!  I want see this piece again and again.  I would fixate on a dancer or a group of dancers and then realize I was missing everything else.  Bo Busby was mesmerizing and seemed that he might be an off-hours superhero.  His leaps looked as if he could easily take flight and  he was muscled like armor. Jeffery Cirio is obviously very good at what he does.  He had a different quality than the other dancers. There was a precision or solidness to his movement that even in this piece with many dancers, it was easy to appreciate his and the company's talent.  The other star was Lorna Feijóo in the Issey Miyake dress.  The dress fit the piece and the dancer was killing it.   The piece from the start was exciting and never really let up.  It was remarkable.  I looked on YouTube and there are several tastes of this piece, with its precision and thrilling music, but they are brief glimpses of something otherworldly.

If anyone is looking to go to the ballet, I will be interested in seeing more of what Boston Ballet has to offer and be your handsome date, not wearing jeans.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

 If you came here from the Eat.Live.Blog, thanks for reading about my baking experience or interested enough in clicking through to see everything.

Renee of Eat.Live.Blog. talks about how much fun she has with the Boston Brunchers and with her own blog.   The guest post was fun to put together and then she set up a few more things in front of me that seemed like great fun and inline with what I am interested in doing.

I will be posting about some of these events and some other things I find.  Like this beautiful food site:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elle Decor gives tips on shopping flea markets

A veteran flea market shopper offers his techniques for going in with a plan and leaving with what you came for

We caught up with interior designer Scott Sanders who has been shopping the Brimfield Antique show for 13 years to get his advice on how to prepare for your day of shopping, navigate the hundreds of vendors, and sift through the thousands of items to ensure you don’t walk away empty handed.

Dress in layers. With pre-dawn arrivals and afternoon departures, temperatures can vary wildly at outdoor shows. Sanders recommends multiple, lightweight layers that you can easily take on and off.

Leave your Rolex at home. Don’t wear expensive clothes, jewelry, or watches. “If you are trying to negotiate, you’ll have a better chance if you’re dressed down.”

Come prepared, but travel light. Sanders recommends bringing a backpack with water, a snack, sunscreen, and a hat. “It sounds like you are going into the army,” says Sanders of his list, but he warns, “You don’t want to bring anything extra, you might be walking around for six hours.”

Wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers are essential. If you arrive early and spot something you really want, be prepared to go for it. “People run!” says Sanders of the eager shoppers who will literally race to a booth once the show has opened. “The first time I saw it, I was in shock.” Now, Sanders admits, he has become one of them.

Bring a friend. To cover the most ground, shop with a companion. “You can divide and conquer.” Sanders has often divvied up the aisles with a friend—he’s even used walkie-talkies to communicate at the bigger shows.

…But don’t take your clients. While he’s taken clients to Brimfield on a few occasions, Sanders cautions against it—especially if you’ve never shopped the show yourself.

Bring cash. Even in the age of mobile credit card machines, cash is still the standard at flea markets. “Cash forces you to make choices,” says Sanders, noting that if you go in knowing how much you want to spend, cash will keep you focused on that number.

Get there early—really early. If you’re determined to find specific items or really good pieces at great prices, Sanders advises getting there 30 to 45 minutes before the show officially opens.

Case the joint. While you might wonder what you can do before the show opens, Sanders recommends you walk around the perimeter, scope out the booths, and create a game plan for where to begin.

Stay focused. “Have your list of the five to ten things you are looking for and really stay focused on those items, otherwise you can get off course,” advises Sanders.

Gravitate toward what you like. If you like the aesthetic of a particular booth, stop and scan the booth thoroughly. Skip the booths that aren’t to your taste and linger in those that are—you’ll have a much better chance of finding what you’re looking for.

Know your limits and pace yourself. Don’t be overzealous—if there are 100 booths, don’t assume you’ll make it through every one. “That would take days, and you’d be fried after the tenth one,” says Sanders.

Be nice and introduce yourself. The best way to navigate any market is to be friendly and talk to vendors about what you are looking for. “This is what they do for a living!” says Sanders, who notes that dealers often have things that aren’t on display and that they can send you photographs of pieces after the show. Plus, booth owners are a tightly knit group—one good dealer can tip you off to another.

Bargain gracefully. Think about how much an item is worth and how much you are willing to pay. “You shouldn’t offer half the asking price; if you are insulting the dealer, you’re not going to get very far,” cautions Sanders. Instead, make an offer of two-thirds or three-quarters of the full price, and nicely say, “This is really what I can afford.” Sanders also notes if you buy several items, dealers are much more likely to offer a bargain.

Use lateness to your advantage. While the early birds get their pick of the show, there are some advantages to cruising the last day of a multiday show. “Dealers are much more willing to negotiate on big items,” says Sanders, noting that smaller items are easy to pack up and sell at the next market. Larger pieces can be difficult, not to mention expensive, to transport.

Develop an exit strategy. Novice shoppers often overlook the logistics of how to transport large pieces home after the show. “You need to go with a vehicle that makes sense for what you plan on buying: a car, a van, a paneled truck,” warns Sanders, who notes that in addition to transportation, you’re going to need someone to help with the heavy- lifting and a plan for where the piece is going to be stored.

Design sites/blogs of interest

These are the must see:  mix of celebrity and cool people’s homes cool homes very few professional designers lots of DIY real mix of everything, but beware it can suck up hours. professionally done interiors. Everything is very chic and very expensive
These are for rainy days: Kevin Sharkey does interiors for Martha Stewart’s site.  Not life changing but well shot. is about things for spaces and less about spaces, but fun shopping is another shopping site and like the ebay museum everything is fantastic and pricey cleaner version of apartment therapy-can be dull lots of fashion mixed in with the interiors This one has real potential, but can be hit or miss.