Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Christmas In San Francisco

Christmas is my favorite time of year. There are also about 8 million other photos I could have put in this post so I am using great restraint.
First up, was the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Union Square. On the day after Thanksgiving I slept late. No Black Friday sale madness here unless you factor in the damage I did on in the comfort of my bed. That evening I slipped in to the my favorite Burberry coat, which I got as as an amazing Black Friday score in 2008, and finally made my way downtown.

My first stop in an attempt to get some photo was the Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Center. Unfortunately, the settings on my digital camera were incorrect so my photos didn't turn out at all. I didn't even realize it until later so no photos of that.

I finally boarded the 21 Hayes to make my way to Union Square. The first display I got a photo of was the window at Louis Vuitton. A lot of color there! The crowds were already out in full force. I wanted to get a few shots of Neiman Marcus and their gigantic tree that spans multiple floors but I had to go reserve my spot.

I made my way over to Macy's, which was about half a block away and managed to score a spot at the front of the barricade. It was a good thing I got there when I did because it was packed. We waited. And waited. And waited. You can kind of make out the crowd in some of the photos. I am someone who is not in to crowds. I am really private, I am really low key so this really isn't my kind of evening, but this is one of my favorite activities of the year. Seriously. So finally they start the show, a bunch of songs were sung... someone from American Idol even sang a few. He was actually really good. I don't watch that show so the name meant nothing to me. I should have paid more attention solely for my blog post, but oh well. Just as we were counting down to the lighting, the 38 Express pulled right in front of those of us by Macy's and I thought the people next to me were going to push it over to get their camera shot. Luckily, the bus moved just in time and I was able to get my photo. : ) And that was it. All of the pushing, the crowds, the people for 5 seconds of glory. It was worth it.

The last photos are of some of the decorations at 101 California Street. These are some of my favorite in San Francisco. I love the huge ornaments. These things have got to be about six feet tall.

I have a few other Christmas decoration photos from around the city I'll try to post but I hope you enjoyed these. So, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. I want to thank all of my readers who have had such a positive response to this blog. I love doing it.

Happy Holidays!

Swensen's Ice Cream

I love Swensen's. This place has been here forever and it totally reminds me of making what seemed like a ridiculously long trek over here from my school in Pacific Heights with my friends to get some ice cream. Those days have long since past but I still enjoy coming here. Right now, they have egg nog, pumpkin and peppermint ice creams that are some of my favorite things ever. The peppermint (with hot fudge!) is pictured above... sorry, it was obviously dark when I took it. It is located right on the Hyde Street cable car line on Hyde St. @ Union. Get your ice cream and then take a walk. It is a nice area to explore.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Young's Cafe

Young's Cafe is one of those places that I've seen numerous times on my way to R&G Lounge which is just down the block. I finally wandered in here the other day because R&G was utterly packed and I was hungry as hell. I decided to try their version of salt & pepper squid, potstickers and an order of egg rolls. First, let me say I didn't think it was possibly for a restaurant to eff up egg rolls so badly that even I wouldn't eat them. I love egg rolls. Yes, I am such a white person. Anyway, those were horrible. I don't recommend them. That being said, the potstickers are some of my new favorite in the city. The skin is a bit thick, but they had a taste that I just loved... and continue to crave. The salt & pepper squid was absolutely delish and it was super spicy. Dare I say, their version of salt & pepper whatever is better than R&G? Another plus? Young's is quite inexpensive. I absolutely recommend it. It is a total hole in the wall and it certainly isn't in terms of decor, but the food was good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Walking in San Francisco

So, if you live (or visit) SF, hills are a part of life. This is stating the obvious, I realize. Anyway, so I ate a bunch of junk over the last few days. Ice cream sundae, donuts, grilled cheese... things I love but rarely eat and even more rarely do I eat them so close together. So today after a bit of shopping on Union Street, I had to go pick something up at my parent's house. My parents live in Pacific Heights, so not too far from where I was. I decided to walk. The first gives you an idea of how steep the hill was. Try about 3 blocks of that. I'm in pretty good shape but those types of hills test me. lol It was a great workout. I also took a couple view photos because it was so nice. You'd never have guessed it was rainy and yucky, not all that much earlier.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was how my day began. Well... at least in part. After a very um... long... night, my GH (gay husband) and I ended up at Fisherman's Wharf at Trish's Mini Donuts. These things are seriously the best hangover food ever. Yum. Well worth the trip to Pier 39 and they weren't even busy today so it was quite awesome. It was a nice day so we strolled down to Aquatic Park to eat and I took the above photos. A beautiful Thanksgiving in San Francisco indeed. And yeah, I'm trying to be more like Weemz and drag a camera every where so you'll get more pictures with my entries. See! I play tourist for you people. ;)
Once again, a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dynamo Donuts & Coffee

I'm kind of surprised it has taken me this long to post about this. The donuts here are BA-NANAS (said in my best Rachel Zoe voice.) I admit, the thought of a maple bacon donut, was at first, revolting. It is so good. Another favorite? The lemon huckleberry.
Now the bad news is, it is unlikely you'll be in the neighborhood it is located in unless you're hanging out at San Francisco General. But if you are out in the area for whatever reason, stop here. Then call me and we'll go run off the calories. ;)

Can't Stop

This is a song by MoZella. It simply rocks. If you haven't listened to it, you need to... especially if you're like me and in to kind of "indie" sounding chick music. If you like Imogen Heap, Ingrid Michaelson, Natalie Merchant, that kind of thing, you'll like it. Promise. :) You should check it out on iTunes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes, a girl just needs an affair...

Okay, I really do have a point. And this is actually a review of The Bar @ The Four Seasons so stay with me!
Sometimes, I just get bored. So I *may* admit that I've had an affair. Or pretended to. With my own s/o. As in yes, full on "So, do you come here often?" cheesery (this is a word because I proclaim it as such.) It can actually be really fun if you can keep a straight face. Really.
So anyway, if you want to play this game, I recommend this bar. lol In all seriousness, the drinks here are great. The place is good whether you're coming to play or whether you're going for drinks with clients.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Madrone Art Bar

500 Divisadero Street (between Fell & Hayes)

I'm not really a bar person anymore. Chronologically, I'm really not old at all, but to talk to me & sometimes you would probably think I'm about 80. Yes, I know you're unsubcribing me from your reader as we speak.
Anyway, I'm not a bar person most of the time but this place is so cool. Now, just to make myself sound really old, I won't come here after say, 10:00 because it gets really crowded and really hot, BUT, the drinks are awesome. I'm kind of wasp-y (Oh, come on! Like you didn't know?) so I tend to like vodka. A lot. And the infused vodkas they have here are to. die. for. Seriously.
So, if you're looking for a cool neighborhood type place for great drinks, this is it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Follow me on Twitter?

So, I tend to like blogging... but it seems like all the cool kids are on Twitter. I've never really been that cool. So after many months of resisting, I'm finally on Twitter. What I'm going to say, I have no idea. But maybe you'll want to check me out anyway. You still won't get me on Facebook. So yeah. Come by. We can be Twits together. We'll see how long my Twitter actually lasts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Q: Have you been to Boulevard? How was it?
My hubby and i are planning a trip to S.F in December and we're thinking about going there!

A: Yes, I have been to Boulevard. It is an absolutely fantastic restaurant. One thing that I really appreciate about Boulevard is the fact that it simply isn't pretentious. It very much earns it's Michelin star, but unlike so many similar restaurants, the focus is all about good service, great food and an overall wonderful experience without the attitude that can be prevelant. I think you will be very happy with it. Hopefully I'll get around to posting my own review soon.

Q: Plouf may be too fancy for my parents. Have a rec for something that is very family and old-timer friendly in San Francisco?

A: One that immidiately comes to mind is Tadich Grill. I actually misread this (mild dyslexia! lol) as "Old time San Francisco" somehow but the more I thought about it, the more sure I was that this was still a good rec. This restaurant has been around for years and has remained a solid choice. So many "old school" restaurants survive on reputation but I feel that this one does it right. Cioppino here is excellent. It is casual but there is something for everyone on the menu. Another plus? They make a killer dirty martini.

Q: What are your favorite restaurants in SF? Low, mid, & high-priced.

A: This is a tough one. Hm... For very cheap, I love Chinese food. You could talk to many people and end up with many answers, but my favorites are Kam Po Kitchen, You's Dim Sum (the ladies who work there are always really nice and give me extra food:) ) and U-Lee for their potstickers. The potstickers are such a comfort food for me.

Mid range: I really like the Butler & the Chef Bistro. I actually live fairly close so I know that plays a part as who doesn't enjoy something that is easily accessible? That aside, my meals have always been very solid. They've never been bad. I feel that you get good food for the money.

Bistro Aix is another that I think is awesome. Unfortunately, I should note they are closed for a renovation so you'll want to check on this before just deciding to make the trip there.

Baker Street Bistro. Simply, just YUM!

Pricey: The Dining Room @ the Ritz Carlton is absolutely at the top of this list. It is probably one of the best dinners I've every had. If you decide to come here, you must have the tasting menu. End of story.

Masa's and Gary Danko are two others that are high on my "recommended" list. Gary Danko is nice if you're just venturing in to "fine dining" and as far as the amount of food you get for the price, Gary Danko is the best "deal".

Q: What inexpensive beauty and fashion items do you like?

A: One thing I am really partial to is Avon's Moisture Therapy Intensive hand cream. We ski a lot in the winter and the area in which our resort of choice is located get extremely dry. This isn't kind to my skin. Last year, I receieved a small bottle of this as part of a Christmas gift. I was astounded at how well it worked. I wish I had a before/after picture of my hands. You don't need a consultant, it can be purchased online and a small bottle is only about $2.00. A huge bottle, $6.00. You can't beat this if your hands get chapped during the winter.

I love plain old cherry chapstick. It keeps my lips soft but it adds a hint of color.

I no longer use this b/c I have a horrible time with color matching, but the absolute best foundation I've found in terms of lasting all day without touch ups is Revlon's liquid ColorStay. It simply blows other products out of the water. If you can find one that matches your skin tone, use it. For anyone wondering, I now use Bobbi Brown Oil Free Even Finish Liquid and love that as well. Revlon, however, is about 1/4 of the price.

Q: Some favorite movies and books?

A: I read a lot actually, but I am hard pressed to name a favorite book. I love a variety from crappy chick lit to biographies to the Twilight series. I would say that I am draw to bios most often though. I really like more obscure characters throughout history.

Another book I would say is a favorite is Zorba the Greek. As I said, my reading material is rather eclectic. I really love nothing more than coming home at the end of the day and reading while taking a hot bath.

I am really far more in to TV shows than I am movies... For TV, my all time favorites include Castle, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, Six Feet Under, Gilmore Girls and... actually, I'll stop as I could spend the evening naming shows.
Castle really appeals to me because of the wit as well as the chemistry between Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. The dance between the two of them is fun to watch. And as for Boston Legal, that was absolutely one of the best shows on television. I'll end this post with two words: Denny Crane.

Q: What are your favorite stores and designers for day-to-day wear?

A: My favorite stores in general are probably Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, & Lululemon. Lately, my time has been so limited that I like being able to have access to everything I need & having it all in one place has been important. As far as local boutiques, Mingle (this store especially is so cute!), Blu, Cielo, & Susan San Francisco are high on my list.
I really like simplicity in my clothing. Simplicity need not be confused with boring, but I like pieces that can easily transition from work to play. I love Milly and Lanvin. I would say that my closet is very heavy on both of these. James Perse's shirts are a true addiction for me as well. Theory is also very wearable. And finally, Chanel. This actually is more apparent in my accessories. As much as I'd love a closet full of it, I'd need to make a lot more money to fund those clothes on a regular basis!

I hope this provided some insight in to me. I felt like I was blabbering on a few of those, so excuse the length of some of my answers. : )

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chez Papa Resto

This area can get really tousisty. Okay, it is touristy. In a city like SF, this can often be hard to avoid so I just kind of embrace it. I won't allow my street cred (lol x 1000) to be threatned. So, while I wasn't expecting a lot, I did give Chez Papa a chance and it is freaking amazing. Is it the best meal I've had in the city? No, however, it is a soild restaurant. I love French food so that is always a draw for me. If duck confit is your thing, you must try it here! To die for. Steamed mussels? They will put you deeper in to food coma. Fries? OMG. The fries. Simply put, if you like French food, this should be a stop while you're in SF.

What do you want to know?

About San Francisco? Fashion? A little about me? Feel free to leave a comment here. I'll make an "Answers" post tomorrow.