Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Favorite: Just Another Fall Day

One of the things I wish I did more of was just walk around with my camera. Looking at the world through a lens. Seeing things from a sometimes strange or different angle. Using light. Using different objects to frame a shot.

I did a little of this while walking through Central Park a few weeks ago. And this was one of my favorite shots.

Here's hoping that I'll have more free time to do a little bit more walking with my camera--in San Francisco, in New York, and where ever my travels may take me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There's lots to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving. My dad, my sister, some of the best friends a gal could ask for, my health, a roof over my head, and well, lots and lots of good food.

One of our Thanksgiving traditions? CRAB!

Here's wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

National Sardine Day!

Sardines. Those smelly, oily, and delicious little fish. I love 'em. Always have. Any type of small fish. I especially love eating them whole. I've never been one of those kids that was afraid of the head, or that got freaked out by putting the whole thing in my mouth. I just loved the way they tasted.

So--imagine my surprise when I learned that there was such a thing as National Sardine Day! In honor of one of my favorite fishes, here are some photos from some of the recent meals I've had:

Sardines at Starbelly, 10 Downing and Incanto

Delish! Why wait until National Sardine Day? Why not eat some every day??

A Sad Day

Just wanting to give mom a big hug today...and there's nothing more to say.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Favorite: Sunset

One of my favorite things: landing at JFK just as the sun is setting. What does this mean to me? That I'll be in Manhattan in about an hour, and will have good times ahead of me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Those Damn Book Cases

This recent move has been a test of my patience. And my handy work. It was one thing after another. Problems with the cable. A leak in my storage unit. The wrong chaise lounge was delivered. A never ending game of "What's wrong now?"

One example of this? I had eagerly bought two new bookcases online. With my beautiful big living room, I had enough space to proudly display my cookbooks, photos and little trinkets. These bookcases were ladder like--and positioned at a slant. I thought they were fantastic. It was a good plan. But not so simple.

These beautiful and simple book cases turned out to be not so easy to assemble. There were many attempts made--why? Well, first, did you know the instructions actually say that you need a minimum of two people to assemble them? Yes. Apparently not something I can do solo.

So, after gathering some of the best girlfriends a girl could ask for, we had a little 'book case assemblying party'. Complete with lots and lots of champagne, the girls and I opened up the box, laid out all of the pieces, had our tools ready, and were making fine progress--until. Until a piece broke. And the hardware store was already closed.

Right. Great. SO, a trip to the hardware store the next day, and a replacement piece was in hand. Yay! Just when I thought I was on the final steps, I picked up the instructions and realized. We had skipped a step. We didn't glue the stupid little wooden dowels in.

SO. Another weekend, even more champagne, and yet another good friend came into the mix. And we had a disassemble and glue/reassemble party. The pieces sprawled all over my living room floor once again. And now the whole process was all too familiar to me.

And at last. They were done.

My beautiful bookcases crammed full with my cookbooks and important personal nick knacks. It was a pain, and a process getting these things built. But I love them. And each time I look at them, I think about the blood, sweat, tears, and friends and champagne it took to get these things built. And it makes them even more special to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Favorite: Picture Perfect

Still one of my favorite spots in my dream house in Sonoma--and just the most beautiful photo! It brings a smile to my face, I I wish I could snap my fingers and just beam myself to this spot. Me, a good friend (or a good book), glass of champagne, and I'd be so happy.

As we head into winter, here's a little bit of sunshine for your day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pay It Forward

I don’t watch a lot of movies. But one of the movies I have seen is “Pay It Forward”. And it had a huge impact on me. We should do nice things for people more often. And sometimes, I forget this. This has recently changed. Sad, but through Twitter, I was reminded of this again recently. I’ve experienced a few instances where complete strangers have done nice things for me. In each case, it caught my by surprise. And the kindness of these strangers left me speechless. People that I had never met and really didn’t know were out there doing nice things for me. With no strings attached.

And so recently, when I had the chance, I paid it forward. And yes. It was also through Twitter. It was someone I had been following, but didn’t know. He was moving, needed moving boxes, and had posted a comment about how expensive moving boxes were. So I offered my boxes. The ones that just a short week ago had carried all of my most prized possessions into my new home were now sitting folded up in my storage unit. It was such a simple act. But it helped him. After all, just a short time ago, I was in his shoes. In desperate need of boxes and scrounging all around to gather enough to move those cookbooks of mine.

I hope I was able to help him. And to make a difference in his day. I can’t help but stand on my soap box and wonder, if we all did something nice for the strangers around us, wouldn’t the world be a better place?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Affair

I have a love affair. A love affair with New York City. Every single time I'm there, I fall in love with the city.

I’m in love with Murray Hill where my pied-a-terre, 70 park avenue hotel is. With Brooklyn, and the old brownstones and neighborhood feel. With the amazing restaurants and bars. With the excitement. With the adventure. With the shopping. And all of the different neighborhoods.

It's a love affair-because like most affairs, I don't actually leave my home. I like what I've got going in San Francisco. It's just nice to be able to leave for a little while, live in a fantasy land, and then to return to the comforts of home. Back to my beautiful city. Back to my friends. My family. My life. My routine. My comfort zone.

But sometimes, like an affair, I wonder if this is something I’m going to regret. Should I have moved? Should I have spent some time in New York? Should I have left San Francisco?

Well, unlike relationships, I don’t see any harm in allowing my affair to continue. I’m going to continue making to make my regular trips and to spend time in the wonderful city. And well, in the meantime, try and remember all of the wonderful things about MY city that I love. And those important reasons that I choose to stay here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Favorite: Sunset View

Walking home from running a quick errand the other night, I was stopped at an intersection waiting for the light to change. And this is the view that caught my eye.

I am loving my new neighborhood. And falling in love with San Francisco all over again. The beautiful views. The palm trees. The quietness of the streets late at night. I think I've found yet another corner of this city that I am completely in love with.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meal of the Month: October

What a month. In the midst of a move across town, I also spent part of the month in Baltimore and New York City!! Baltimore was special because I was able to see some of my most favorite PR people from around the country. While we nibbled on delicious food at the big party we were all there to attend, one of my favorite meals in Baltimore would have to be ordering room service for about 8 of us and all chowing down in my room post event (we called it our very own sleepover!)

Post Baltimore, I was New York City bound. The eating is always great out there, and this month was no different. I hit up Blue Ribbon Sushi late the first night I arrived, and then moved onto my second and third (and fourth) ‘dinners’. My “Liquid Dinners”. My friends and I hit up Bobo, Jane Ballroom, Randolph and the Whiskey Ward for a night of debauchery. Amazing food at Blue Ribbon Sushi, and amazing drinks at all of the bars that followed.

The next day kicked off with some time in Brooklyn, where I checked out Diner, ate at Marlowe & Sons. More meals (both solids and liquids!) were experienced in Brooklyn later that weekend. Including returning to Clover Club, Char No 4 and Prime Meats. The experience at all of those spots were amazing, but Prime Meats was my favorite. Wonderful German food in a gastro pub environment. With delicious cocktails too! Perfect for a chilly fall evening.

Back in Manhattan, I also checked out the Crosby Hotel and Bar, Public Restaurant, and made a return trip to Boqueria. Nothing says Sunday afternoon like a glass of sparkling rose and some Spanish tapas at the bar.

Hard to believe none of those amazing meals and experiences were the meal of the month.

Back in San Francisco, I craved some of my comfort foods. Dim Sum at Koi Palace, dinner at Out the Door Bush Street (twice in two weeks—it was that good!) and dinner at U-Lee with my sister before we both moved out of Russian Hill. All amazing meals.

But none were Meal of the Month.

I had a home cooked meal at my friend Jen and Troy’s home (amazing slow cooked ribs made by our friend Joe!), and dinner at Beretta with my new Twitter friends Meigan and Guy (so fun to finally meet them in person after months of communicating!)

Then there was the big move---and a series of home cooked meals (finally!) A simple breakfast for my friend Defne and I, a yummy roasted chicken dinner (complete with brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes), and lots of wine and cheese nights. There was even Halloween at my new home, filled with snacks, nibbles, pizza and a scary movie. A fun and special night—but not exactly Meal of the Month worthy.

So which was my meal of the month?

Brunch at the Spotted Pig. Why?? For many reasons! One, it’s the Spotted Pig of course! So you know without a doubt, the meal was delicious. And it was a gorgeous sunny fall day in New York. I had taken a leisurely stroll to get there, and loved taking in all of the sights and sounds. It was as if I lived out there and this was just another Sunday. I was also dining with my friend Danica. And we had a great time catching up, and continuing to get to know each other.

Another reasons it was my Meal of the Month? We shared a moment that kept us laughing all day (and well, still has me laughing) It also reminded me that it’s a small world. And that sometimes, the gods have a funny way of laughing at us. Danica captures the story oh so well here. And well, when you’re handed lemons, at least make some lemonade out of it. Enjoy the story.

So what will next month bring? God only knows.