Beauty in the Backyard!

For this brief holiday week, I was lucky enough to get to go home to the San Francisco Bay Area where my family lives. A place that is obviously very near to my heart, it makes it a cinch to find beautiful things to see and experience. It's easy to become accustomed to the lovely things nearby where you live or visit often (and in routine, not notice them), so it's important to take time to appreciate them and perhaps see them through fresh lenses or new perspectives. Which brings me to...The Ferry Building!

Photo circa the turn of the century (1900-ish) {image}

The Ferry Building in San Francisco is quite a magnificent place...and although it has been an important landmark in the city for over a century (it opened in 1898), it was recently renovated and now goes by the name "Ferry Building Marketplace"... and boy it is lovely.

You can see a spectacular view of the Bay Bridge from the Ferry Building...Ferries still come in and out of the Ferry building today, so it's not just a nice nostalgic title.

Inside the old Ferry Building!

Take a look at the revamped version! There are restaurants and specialty food store outposts from all of the most beloved San Francisco haunts {Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery Cheeses, Blue Bottle Coffee Co., Lulu Petite, Golden Gate Meat Co., and the list goes on!}. There is also a farmers market!

The San Francisco trolleys are still running strong in front of the Ferry Building. I love them (My Grandma still tells me about riding the trolleys all around the city when she was a young lady)!

I was meeting a friend for lunch at the Ferry Building and it was such a beautiful November afternoon that there were tons of people enjoying the day in the outside seating areas.

Acme Bread! San Francisco sure does know how to do bread (an essential food group, if you ask me...USDA may disagree).

Cowgirl Creamery! If you walk around, you can see plenty of smart people who had the good idea of buying a baguette from Acme and pair it with Cowgirl creamery cheese and a bottle of vino from WineBar. The Ferry building is so great--you can get all of those is one short walk!

Blue Bottle Coffee Co. I got to the Ferry Building early for my lunch date, because I knew it was going to be such a beautiful day and I wanted to walk around and soak in the West Coast-San Francisco vibe that I sometimes miss. I got a Blue Bottle drip coffee and it certainly held up to all of the fuss made about how good BB Coffee is! They make very pretty frothy milk designs on their espresso drinks too.

Ciao Bella gelato sure looked delicioso.

Hog Island Oyster Co. I didn't get a shot of it, but the image of people eating their oysters right outside on the water front was perfect.

Golden Gate Meat Co. I like their chalk board daily meat menu.

From the Farmer's Market!

The clock tower in the dusk. Quite a sight to see.

Thank you Ferry Building for being so nice. You are now one of my new favorite spots in this magnificent city by the bay!

Mmm...Left my heart in San Franscisco. (Well, sort of. I'll be back eventually!)*

*Stay tuned, there is a spot that feels very similar to the Ferry Building in New York City. My sources may have overheard that the renovators of the Chelsea Market are the same people that did Ferry's makeover!



Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my most favorite holidays...I hope you are spending it in a way that makes you happy, or at least allows for you to feel grateful for the important things in your life (whatever those may be...)!

Vintage Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Check out all those fedoras on the men!


She kind of looks like a Thanksgiving Day Goddess, doesn't she?

For any of you who read this (my six friends and family pretty much sums it up), I am grateful for you...and hopefully you are well aware of that (and that I tell you often). Thank you for all that you bring into my life...Have a lovely day!

*Special shout out across the Atlantic to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Lizzy. Unfortunately, they do not celebrate this special holiday in London, so...sending extra love her way! I am grateful for you--we miss you at home!



Kinesthetic #2: Ommwriter...It deserves a Namaste!

I thought I'd share a little gem that I stumbled upon on the interwebs...a new program that is right up the alley of someone into aesthetics and all that affects the senses. It's called Ommwriter! Check out this video demonstrating what it's all about! (Don't worry, I wouldn't dream of wasting your time!)

From Ommwriter:

A wise man once said "We are all at the mercy of our wild monkey minds. Incessantly swinging from branch to branch." With multiple windows and applications all vying for our attention, we have sadly adapted our working habits to that of the computer and not the other way around.

Ommwriter is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.

Ommwriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, reinvindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.

If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.


You can try it out for free, since it is new and still in Beta stage. Don't mind if I do! (ooh, but currently you have to have a Mac...sorry if you're a PC...maybe you should work on that? Just kidding, just kidding).


Taste #3: Pumpkin Love

One of my favorite things is driving through a city...or rather, having someone else (or a bus) drive me through city streets. I love just sitting there, craning my neck like a little kid and watching the buildings and lights and people blur by. So naturally, on my bus back to the city this weekend, I put down my book once we reached Manhattan and just indulged my city observer self.

When we passed by Bergdorfs many of the Sunday evening strollers were stopped peering into the window displays, which revealed the famous, gaudy and beautiful Christmas scenes. I reminded myself to have a look sometime in the near future, but my next thought was rather surprising: With Christmas just around the corner, soon no more pumpkin things! You know, normal thoughts. Anyways, on that note, before the Thanksgiving holiday arrives, I though I'd honor one of my most favorite tastes: Pumpkin. I heart nearly everything pumpkin, truly.

PSL (that's what they write on the side of your cup)

I know you can technically get pumpkin tasting things all year round (well, most things, some are strictly seasonal), but it never feels quite right sipping on a pumpkin spice latte in the middle of July. I love when the season and taste feel harmonious in my mouth and mind. Here are some of my favorite Pumpkin specialties.

We have here the Queen of all Pumpkin baked goods the Pumpkin Pie, but there are so many more possibilities...


Get it...

Yes, I do.

My Mom makes a mean pumpkin cranberry loaf. Perhaps this is where my love of pumpkin began. It's fun to make them and then give them to friends and neighbors.

Behold two of the most delicious ingredients to be combined (some may disagree, but that's okay. You're just missing out!). Pumpkin & Chocolate (chips).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (easy peasy):
1 cup canned pumpkin, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips. *Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes until lightly brown and slightly firm. YUM!

The cookies come out soft and thick, so you can eat them plain or break them up and put them with other things...above looks like a great example!

Apple-pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin is a fine friend and can be paired very well with a lot of other delicious flavors.

Pumpkin Beer (or Ale, rather) is quite tasty and refreshing. Usually it isn't too pumpkiny to be off putting to the palette. Warning: it is often hard to find out of season. If you happen to order me one of these in the fall, I'd be a happy girl.

Pumpkin seeds. Crunchy and nutty and amazing.

Pumpkin soup. Creamy and delicious and healthy! GOOD. FOR. YOU.

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt. My friends from home and I sometimes call the frozen yogurt place just to ask if they have this flavor that day. Chocolate and vanilla pale in comparison to this delightful treat! (Personally, I'd take a pumpkin fro-yo over pumpkin beer, that's how good it is).

Look what I found! Pumpkin dim-sum! How silly and wonderful. I will be on the look out for a taste of this.

I am not a fan of peeps in general, but these pumpkin ones are sure bright and happy looking!

I told you I was a big fan of pumpkin. I'm also a pretty big nerd, so I guess this is all very fitting.

Get your pumpkin loving in before peppermint and eggnog season take over!


Sight #7: Everything, all around...

I've been floating around this new city I now live in.

City dusk, like all other dusks, is magical and wistful and resplendent.

I walk until my tootsies can walk no more.

E. 2nd Street Fire Station.

Rooftop dreams.

Cobblestone streets, while hard on the feets, are like little treats...from times passed.

Sometimes blurry moments are more beautiful than the ones in focus.

Spotted: coolest wall around an apartment.

A fixed gear bike paired with a trendy rider. A common sight to see!

My mama told me to never wait by the phone.

A long stretch of avenue...wonder what's on the other side?

Fall colors are glorious.

A Brooklyn brownstone that
likes to get festive!
The cemetery on my street. I love it.

Sometimes I go out of my way to walk past the cemetery {it's not morbid, it's gorgeous}!

The people in the nabe are pretty neat. I want her boots!

Laughing at The Library {no need to be quiet in this one}


Someday, I'd like to have a library like this to call my own...

It wouldn't quite fit in my apartment now, but at least there is room for hallway dance parties!

Chili peppers and one hot tamale!

City life feels good. For now.