August 4, 2009

New Zealand Winemaker Lunch

The Jug Shop never steers me wrong when it comes to wine tasting events. This past Saturday, South Food and Wine Bar hosted a winemaker lunch. I found out about the event by following the Jug Shop on Twitter.

The event featured three fabulous courses and wine pairings for $45 + tax and tip.

We started with a tomato gazpacho with prawn ceviche on the side to stir into the soup.

As we were enjoying our appetizer, Clive Jones from Nautilus Estate told us a bit about their Sauvignon Blanc (exquisite!) and Pinot Gris. The Pinot Gris was especially nice with the super-spicy gazpacho.

The soup bowl was sitting atop a small piece of recycled paper. I liked both the snippet about Australians being passionate about drinking and the piece about Australia's convict population.

Next up, we enjoyed a Chardonnay (very toasty) with a trout dish served with lentils and caramelized onions.

We finished the meal with a chicken dish served with figs and bacon. The bacon pieces were the largest I have ever seen. Yum! We enjoyed this dish with Nautilus' flagship Pinot Noir.

Thanks to the chef for putting together a great meal!

The winemaker lunch didn't include dessert in order to keep costs down. The couple at the next table suggested that we try Patisserie Phillippe a few block away. We walked in and were confronted with these giant meringues -- lookin' good.

We settled on the Evelyn Cake which looked like a nice white cake with some chocolate shavings on top. We dug in and were surprised and delighted to find that the cake was also filled with chocolate. Delicious! I highly recommend this patisserie to satisfy your toughest sweet tooth.

What a great way to kick-off the weekend!

August 3, 2009

Namesake - Sutter

I often wonder about the people behind the names of the streets of San Francisco. Here we get a glimpse at General John Sutter, a San Francisco resident during the time of the Gold Rush. You can read about the time period in his own words.

August 1, 2009

Post-It Origami

It's amazing what you can do with post-it notes. This window display made me smile on my way to work.

July 30, 2009

Statues and Spirits

We took a weekend walk a few weeks back. I loved this representation of Mount Fuji on a park bench in Japantown.
This dog is perpetually playing fetch on a lawn in Pacific Heights.

Apparently spiritual counselors make house calls...

This statue of a former Bay Area politician basks in the sun near Fort Mason.

July 28, 2009

Shadow Castle

I saw this crest on my way home from work tonight and was amazed by how the light played off the surface. The shadow looks like the turret of a castle. It felt very "Knights of the Round Table" to me.

Boat Topped Car?

What's with this car? It seems to have the shell of a boat on top of it and is nonchalantly parked on the street in Pacific Heights. I wonder if the higher center of gravity made it more difficult to parallel park on the hill.

July 27, 2009

Lyrics Born at Stern Grove

San Francisco hosts a free concert series at Stern Grove each summer. Yesterday, we made our way to the Outer Sunset to catch the first ever all Hip Hop line-up at the Festival.

Surprisingly, we saw this croquet field on our approach to the concert venue.

That diversion aside, we made our way into the forested park to watch Lyrics Born and the Mighty Underdogs entertain us with their funky beats.

It was chilly during the concert but you wouldn't have guessed that from some of the outfits that people were wearing. I was bundled up in a fleece while this concert-goer preferred leather pants and a crop top.

About 8000 people attended the concert.

We arrived almost two hours before the show was scheduled to start. We still had to make our way up the hillside and into the trees.

We found a relatively flat spot for our group. Our view was partially obstructed by this tree but the sound flowed just fine.

I highly recommend the Stern Grove Festival as a great way to get your groove on for free on a Sunday afternoon. As Lyrics Born would say "I Like it, I Love it!"

July 26, 2009

Brunch at Dosa

Dosa is an excellent restaurant in Lower Pacific Heights. We stopped in for brunch recently. They offer excellent and spicy egg dishes, traditional Indian fare, chicory coffee and much more. The dishes are typically served with bread (dosa or uttapam). I highly recommend Dosa if you're looking for a special but not too expensive brunch in the City.

July 23, 2009

The Band-Aid Fix

City budgets are really's some evidence. I saw this lamp post in the Financial district with a door that seemed to be held in place by a Band-Aid. I guess Band-Aids are kind of like duct-tape, you can use them to fix anything!

July 21, 2009

Rosie the Riveter

The Bay Area boasts some great tributes to World War II history. We visited the S.S. Red Oak Victory ship in Richmond, CA.

The S.S. Red Oak Victory was a bit off the beaten path. We had to wind our way through some docks and this new car lot to get there.

We were able to tour the inside and outside of the ship. The tour guides could stand to add a little color to their stories. When asked about some of the history of the ship, we were told it was mostly a cargo vessel and that nothing really extraordinary had happened on-board. They need to focus in on the impressive accomplishments -- like the fact that the vessel was built in a little over a month by a team of mostly women welders.

We saw this diagram on the inside of the ship. I wonder what a "wedge stuffing tube" is.

The ship also contained instructions in the engine room about what to do in case of an atomic attack.

Our second stop was the Rosie the Riveter Memorial, a tribute to all the women that went to work in traditionally male jobs when the men went off to war. The National Park Service offers a free informational tour of the memorial on Saturday afternoons. They did a fantastic job complete with props and popular music from the WWII era.

There were short stories stamped in the pavement that described what it was like at the time. "A chaperone was hired to escort us to our workplace and herd us to the bathroom and lunch. They didn't know how the men would react. But soon there were just too many of us."

Another inspirational quote: "You must tell your children, putting modesty aside, that without us, without women, there would have been no spring in 1945."

Our visit was both educational and fascinating.

July 19, 2009

Ha Cha Cha!

My husband saw this guy parked in the window of a doctor's office. It reminded me of a vaudeville performer and made me smile.

July 18, 2009

Giving Up?

Have the MBAs of the world reached a new level of despair as a result of the economic crisis? I believe so. How else could you explain this Wharton hat, sitting in the street, greasy and fouled with tire tracks. So sad... They couldn't be bothered to retrieve the emblem of their elite education when it fell to the ground.

July 17, 2009

Kill The Wabbit - A Night at the Symphony

We went to the San Francisco Symphony tonight to see a show that is guaranteed to hold a place in the hearts of millions of children past and present around the world.

Bugs Bunny on Broadway took me back in time to my own childhood of breakfasts spent in front of the TV watching cartoons. Looney Tunes always featured classic scores from a variety of renowned composers. This tribute took live music and married it with cartoon snippets on the big screen. It was a fun way to spend a Friday night and relive some good memories. I kept waiting for the opera scene featuring Elmer Fudd in a viking hat singing "Kill the Wabbit"... They rolled it out with panache in the finale. As an adult, I also noticed the plethora of cross-dressing and drunkenness in Bugs Bunny cartoons. I never picked up on it as a kid which is probably a good thing. Too funny!

There are some great outdoor balconies on the upper floor of the Symphony Hall. We stepped outside during intermission and watched the fog roll across City Hall.

Inside the decor was decidedly warmer. The concert hall was strewn with large paper sunflowers to invoke feelings of summer. Too bad summer seems to be the coldest season in San Francsico.

I also noticed during the intermission that they serve drinks on the honor system. You can pre-order your items and they will be waiting at a table with your name on them. It would have been so easy to just walk off with a glass of champagne. My name is "Christy" is. it's not... Alas, we resisted temptation and continued on our way.

We took MUNI home after the show. Now I see what they are doing with the additional fares they are raking in -- they are prettying up the shelters at the bus stop. This one was all aglow with neon and even featured a back-lit bus map. Classy!

Chameleon Art

The Chameleon Cafe is one of my favorite places to stop for coffee on my way to work. They host rotating art installation. I liked this display from Danny Scheible. The cute little characters seemed to be made from masking tape.

There was also this display of fabric on coat hangers ("Curtain to the Best Day Ever"). This was colorful and fun but something I'd be less likely to take home and hang on my wall. Many of the fabric swatches had a share that reminded me of pairs of underwear and I would constantly think that if it was on my wall...

July 15, 2009

Willie "Woo Woo" Wong

I was intrigued. I saw this park in Chinatown - Willie "Woo Woo" Wong playground, on my way to work one day. I was curious -- who is Willie "Woo Woo" Wong? It turns out he was one of the best Chinese American basketball players of all time. This is even more impressive considering he was only 5'5'' tall.

July 14, 2009

Saturday in the Park

We took a hike in the Presidio recently. Inspiration Point truly is inspiring with panoramic views of the Bay plus Alcatraz and the Palace of Fine Arts.

Check SpellingWe also admired the Spire, a natural art installation in the park.

On the way home, we walked along Clement St. We saw this art piece in a store window -- "Mt. Olympus". Love it!
We've been meaning to try Troya, a Turkish cafe along Clement for some time.

We were hungry after our hike and stopped for falafel and shwarma wraps washed down with Turkish coffee. I liked the view through the glazed glass window looking out onto Clement.

The interior of Troya was bright and airy.

On the way home, we saw Pinky and the Brain adorning the rear basket of this Vespa. Too cute...