Friday, May 28, 2010

Mesmerize



In preparation for two very special people visiting me this weekend, I went to the French Tulip flower shop by my house and bought tons of flowers -- maybe too many! I couldn't help myself. I love making pretty floral vignettes for house-guests. For example, they obviously each need an arrangement next to their side of the bed. And one in the bathroom to look at while they wash they face. You catch what I'm saying? Other than smelling the flowers, we'll be quite busy. Have a lovely weekend to all! and poem, sweet poem will be back after the holiday.

p.s. I finished "The Wire" and one hour later saw "Sex and the City 2" at the Castro Theater as an immediate antidote to a truly devastating end to the series.

xoxoxo west baltimore forever xoxoxo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wired



Since January I've been on a full blown "Wire" binge and last night I made it to the 2nd to last episode. I don't ever want it to end! I think when I watch that final episode I will need to blog about something other than "The Wire," so I'm taking this opportunity now (while I'm still in deep) to acknowledge this utterly perfect display of entertainment. I've never been so riveted by a television show as I have been by "The Wire." Sure I've seen "The Soprano's" and I've seen "Lost," but nothing compares. Being wrapped up in "The Wire" has been so heavy and intense, it's probably good that it's coming to an end for me. I don't want it to be over, but let's just say, "Sex and the City 2" is coming at a good time. It's going to be very refreshing as well as a nice change of pace. It's also summer and I don't need to be glued to the television anymore. "The Wire," however, is incredible. It equally breaks my heart and humbles my humanity. I wouldn't give those four hour long stretches of episodes up for anything. And now there's only one more left!!! Oh. My. Omar!



p.s. Need proof of the show's relevance and staying power? At this very moment it is being referenced on NPR's "Morning Edition" in a piece about wire taps. I have a feeling it will follow me around for a long time after I watch that finale. I'm okay with that...it's SO INSANELY good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lupine Ladies of the Canyon



I just emerged from a magical 'girls' weekend, so forgive me if I'm a little loopy. Camping is one of my favorite activities - a great way to relax and escape the obstacles of the city - the ones that keep you from a clear head. Sarah, Jess and I set aside this weekend to get away. We headed about 2.5 hours up north, past lush vineyards and mysteriously small towns, to the valley of Wilbur Springs. Here is where we spent a whole day in the healing waters of the natural mineral hot springs.









The landscape made it easy to sink into the earth. See that small structure, nestled there in the trees? That's a yoga studio! I wish I had one in my backyard.





Just like Miss Rumphius we thought! With our wide eyes we found these yellow lupines generously splayed throughout the region. Now that I think about it, we were surrounded by a lot of yellow flowers. No wonder we fell into a lovely state...



After a body and mind-cleansing day of soaking, reading, napping, soaking, soaking, soaking, we made our way through Cache Creek Canyon to set up camp at the regional park. The river was not far off from our cozy little site.



Down by the creek, there was this lone (or so we thought) lobster on land. He crawled around for a while, putting on a little show for us. After watching him rock climb and cannonball into the shore a few times, we learned he had a friend he was so eager to find. Two lobsters!



3 lobsters! (that's us)



Steamy springs not yet touched by the sun, early Sunday morning. Here are 3 things I love about camping:

1. not knowing the time, warming up next to a campfire
2. dirt under fingernails, not noticing when darkness falls
3. sleeping cozily in the cocoon of a sleeping bag, dinner tasting better than ever

I know I cheated on my list, but I love it all, really. Sunday we set out to Frog Pond along the Frog Pond trail. The trail description was a little iffy (some say the trail is 5 miles, some say it's 3.5, some say it connects with the Blue Ridge trail, some say it's a loop, some say the pond is bustling with frogs, some say there was only one. lonely. snake.) On that note, some say this stone house is the official trailhead for the hike.



and to follow was pure, lush, beautiful, landscape.







It's so hard leaving a place like this, however it's part of the experience. Exploring a new place, not knowing it will be amazing even though it always is. Falling in love with the landscape, feeling at home in nature, finding yourself soothed by a rising sun, laughing at a bird's song, mesmerized by a current. Saying goodbye is never easy but it's made easier knowing how one goodbye can be so easily reversed into endless hellos.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Lupine Lady



The above, gorgeous image is from Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, my favorite children's story. I read it countless times as a girl and have flipped through its pages, and loved it, ever since. The story is beautiful, as are the illustrations. This picture makes me want to play in the flowers and frolic through fields.

Here's to drinking in
the weekend and kneeling down
to all of nature that surrounds!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gypsy Honeymoon and Heart





I'm really into this one area of the Mission District in San Francisco. Mainly, the two latest transplants: Gypsy Honeymoon (an antique store) and Heart (a wine bar). These new kids in town have nearly completed an almost perfect block between 23rd to 24th streets on Valencia. Elsewhere on the strip you will find Beretta (a great restaurant that features off-the-wall cocktails), Yoga Tree (getcher dog on), the Scarlet Sage (an herbal apothecary just a few doors down from Beretta) and soon enough, an Arizmendi will nestle itself between Heart and Gypsy Honeymoon. Arizmendi is one of the best bakeries in town (their daily pizza special is cuckoo) and currently resides in the inner Sunset. Once Arizmendi arrives, there will be no reason to go elsewhere.





Every gem in Gyspy Honeymoon in a treasure. It recently relocated from a small and stuffy space around the corner to this larger, most gallery-esque location. The last time I stopped in a jazz trio was performing live. I also spotted these turquoise hair pins behind glass. I'd rather they were in my hair...

After happy hour, Heart projects a movie on one its big white walls. One night I was there they played Jules and Jim. If that wasn't enough to make me return, it was their selection of wine that they serve cozily, by the glass or bottle, in mason jars. Either way...





Monday, May 17, 2010

May I Have Half of May?

Last year this time I had just graduated from CCA with an MFA in Writing. I can't believe a year has passed. I remember specifically not knowing what to do once my program ended. Of course, I knew everything would work itself out in terms of a job and day-to-day responsibilities, but I remember in that brief period after school ended I felt uncertainty. In that wave of transition, I was swept up into a current in which routine is shaken and all the pieces fall apart. It's that state of unknowing that we know is good for us but feels dreadful as it hinders our wishes and desires for an answer, maybe two. One thing's for sure. I knew I wanted something. I wanted May. Please, I thought, give me May. And I got it, for sure.

Now, one year later, I've had half of May. Not in the same way I had it/needed it last year, but this year hasn't been too rough either. When I say I want May, I just mean I want to experience each day with an open mind and a warm heart. In that respect, I should have every day. We all should have May, and we all should have every day. Please, together, give us every day.

Here are some ways in which I've had May in San Francisco:

The MFA Open Studios Exhibition at the California College of the Arts. Reminds me that I'm so lucky to have gone to such an amazing school and also reminds me that it's never too late to exercise creativity.





I've been careful not to miss the wildflowers on Bernal Hill. Unlike the sunset, they might not be here tomorrow.



Dining, al fresco, at Pizzeria Delfina with Sarah. This fava bean and Pecorino antipasti really hit the spot after a long work day.



and this Margherita pizza did its job in being utterly divine



Going with Gloria to hear poet Joanne Kyger read at Moe's was a special and cozy Berkeley treat. I heard Gloria (poet, essayist, novelist, teacher, friend) read the next night in a living room reading series. One goal for the summer: keep up going to readings. They always make me happy, guaranteed. In that respect, they're like a yoga class. I always leave energized and inspired.



(photograph of Joanne Kyger from here)

Yesterday was Bay to Breakers and although this isn't a fashion blog, I can't help but post some particularly colorful photographs depicting fashion highlights from the day. This epic 3rd Sunday in May event sure brings out the crowds...and the characters.

















It's San Francisco, after all...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sarita



Yesterday afternoon I got a surprise from Buenos Aires. It was a phone call from my friend Sarah Barnes who has been living in Argentina for the past 8 months. She'd just come to back to the big city after sleeping on the beach on an island in Chile, called Chiloe or "the Corner of the South." It was so incredible to hear her voice and her stories. All her adventures sounded as colorful and exciting as I imagined. I got an even better visual when we, over the phone of course, went onto her online photo gallery together. While we "flipped" through the images of divine sunsets and scrumptious meals, she offered me their correlating narratives and any behind-the-scenes gems.

Throughout these visual depictions, I came across this image above and I was captivated by its peaceful and cozy essence. Just looking at it made me feel relaxed. I asked her about it (about the one where she's on the train and she quickly clarified it was a van) and her narrative goes something like this: she's finally on the road to Achao after hitchhiking from Dalcahue. She's bundled up in a hat and scarf that she made on the farm she lived at in Rincon del Sur. She may know where she's going, but the wind could take her anywhere.

For more on Sarah's trip or to see where she's been, visit her blog Girl Awakes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Twice Asparagus, Always Asparagus



This may or may not be my last L.A. post for now, but I can't not showcase the dinner Heather and Alex made for me, my parents and my lovely friend Caitlyn. It's the time of year when so many asparagus stalks stand tall at the farmer's market, it's hard not to bring 'em home with you in the attempts to make a seasonally appropriate and devilishly tasty meal. Inspired by a page in a recent Bon App├ętit, Heather decided to make two dishes featuring the ever plentiful vegetable. We started with a Lasagna with Asparagus, Leeks and Morels and salad. Our entree was a Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus and Fried Egg and more salad if we so couldn't get enough. And seconds of everything, of course. I acted as resident photographer while they assumed their positions and aspired for asparagus

magic in the kitchen.



Lasagna begins on the stove-top, with a veggie delight. Once that's ready, as well as the homemade cream sauce, it's into the baking dish for layers upon layers.







Yummy yummy yummers yum!



...salad of greens in between...





Moving onto the second asparagus dish!





I really only got the Korean bowl mid-action and failed to get an awesome after-pic. Check Amelia's post as she attempted this dish too.

I love you Heather and Alex for feeding me so well and with such creative flair! xo