Sunday, February 15, 2009

Raining Cats and Dogs

It was a cold, wet day in San Francisco.  The weather was so severe that even the canines donned rain gear.  We saw this pooch on the bus on our way to the Mission. 

We were en route to the Roxie Theater to see "I'll Come Running", a film being screened as part of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival.  I went into the movie expecting a romantic comedy.  The plot was much more complex than this and a bit of a downer actually.  I give it three out of five stars.  
Looks like we can expect more rain tomorrow which means limited safari potential.  I'll have to get creative...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Safari


Love was definitely in the air this Valentine's Day in San Francisco although yesterday was Friday the 13th.  We saw this foreboding black cat one day too late.

This dog looks smitten as he waits for his owner outside a flower shop on Church St. in Mission Dolores.
Heart shaped baked goods made both delicious snacks and a beautiful window treatment at Thorough Bread and Pastry on Church St.  These cookies featured Thorough Bread's homemade jam -- outstanding!

We found love everywhere we looked today.  From Tazza D'Amore (Cup of Love in Italian)...

to these tennis rackets being sold on the down-low on Market St.  What's the score of the game?  Love - Love (LOL!)
We went to see a fantastic film today at the Castro Theatre.  Buster Keaton's "Our Hospitality" was a side-splitting, action-packed adventure.  This was the opening flick in the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.  The movie was accompanied by an amazing piano score played by Philip Carli.  What a treat!
After the movie, we saw hearts of stone...

...and peace... the companion of love in Buena Vista Park in the Haight.

Some people were just monkeying around on Valentine's Day...

We finished off our safari window shopping in the Haight.  I took a walk down memory lane when I saw this vintage Buffalo Bisons/War Memorial Stadium t-shirt in a shop window.  I'm originally from Buffalo and remember attending baseball games at "The Old Rockpile" as a young girl.

We'd built up quite an appetite after walking a fair distance.  We saw this cartoonish bear beckoning us into El Balazo, a Taqueria on Haight.  

The decor was definitely unique and provocative.  The portions were huge and well-priced.  Love it!
Thus concludes our Love Safari.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stars Align for Random Hijinks

I knew I was in for an interesting safari today when I saw three guys sorting mail on the street.  It's a good thing it isn't raining!

I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw this statue near the Rincon Center.  It reminded me...of me!
I'm not sure I get this but I thought it was worth capturing nonetheless:  "ARTIST GENERAL'S WARNING:  WarGone Collu$ion?  Cast NOT the Peace Before the Chickenhawk $".

It seems that the language on this warning sign isn't strong enough: "Call 911 if Bell Rings".  If something is serious enough to require an emergency phone call there should be a piercing siren rather than a bell.  Ding!
After work, I had a meeting at the University of San Francisco.  I saw this mural from the bus on the way there.  Very far out!
It seems that the residents of the Lone Mountain neighborhood in San Francisco love to leave their mark on and in the sidewalk.  I first chanced upon these stencils.

Then the messages started to appear:  "Heart to Heart".

SMILE!

Here's a question...  What does the owner of this van have against gorillas?

The sidewalk confirms my intuition:  the stars were aligned for a stellar safari today!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coffee Culture

We love exploring the different coffee places in the City. Here's Notes from Underground on Van Ness at Green.

Union Street Coffee Roastery takes their java very seriously...

Look at this roaster!

It takes a great amount of effort to prepare a perfect latte.

Cafe Amici in the Financial District is another favorite.

We HEART Cafe Amici!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chinese New Year

The day started out with coffee and breakfast at The Grove on Chestnut St.  I was amazed by this little dog.  His owner dropped him on this bench without a leash and he sat there for a good ten minutes while his owner went inside to order.  Very impressive -- had I been that dog, I wouldn't have had that much discipline!

Well-priced fresh fruits and veggies abound at the Marina Supermarket.  I loved this colorful outdoor display.
This evening we walked to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Parade.  On the way, we saw this truly creative parking job.  Sidewalks -- apparently they're not just for pedestrians anymore.

"Sweets for your Sweetheart".  I was struck by the irony of this slogan written on the side of a trash can.
I've always been a fan of explorers.  The residents of the apartment/condo building at 1492 Pacific had some fun with history in naming their building "The Columbus".   

Perhaps the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria are all parked in this garage up the street.

This arrangement of greenery in a rusty barrel contributes to the image of an urban jungle.

On our approach to Chinatown, the dragon put us in the New Year spirit.

We passed a hair salon that seemed to be in some kind of a time warp.  All the pictures on the wall outside were clearly '80s inspired 'dos.  

Seeing this sign made me want a "Kung Fu Jacket".  I feel that just wearing it would render me invincible.
Considerably more whimsical, China Town Kites hosts an amazing array of wind sails.

We staked out a great spot to watch the parade in front of 650 California St.  There is a plaza in front of the building that overlooks the parade route at Kearny and California St.  



The dragon that I captured by video was simply amazing.  Do you know what was even more amazing?  The whole luminescent expanse was powered by a bright orange extension cord attached to a generator on a U-Haul truck.  Genius!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trans-Neptunian Safari

Pluto has been demoted from a planet to a Trans-Neptunian Object.  The repercussions of that reclassification were the subject of a talk at the Commonwealth Club by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium.  Dr. Tyson was a fantastic speaker and representative of his profession and regaled us with the details behind the decision and the subsequent outcry from the public -- ranging from irate letters from 3rd graders to legislation in the CA State Assembly publicly denouncing this act by "mean spirited scientists". 
The Commonwealth Club holds many thought provoking events and hosted two sold out talks tonight.  Their motto?  "We only propose to find the truth and set it loose in the world".  

On the way to the talk (I took BART downtown from the Mission), I saw this drawing on the side of a building.  "VampireWizardZeus" seemed appropriate for the evening since the planets and their moons are all named after figures in Greek and Roman mythology.  For example, did you know that Uranus (named for the Greek deity of the sky) was the first planet discovered?  I learned that nugget at the lecture tonight.  By the way, VampireWizardZeus appears to be some sort of underground magazine.  I found some snippets about it in a Google search but no dedicated website.


I saw this sentiment written in the sidewalk on Polk St. "Love Each Other".  It looked like it was drawn by a third grader and seemed to be calling out to those on both sides of the Pluto-planet-controversy.  Can't we all just get along?