Tag Archives: san francisco

Smitten

Smitten is a cute little made-to-order ice cream shop in Hayes Valley. They make your ice cream from scratch right in front of you in super cold mixers, so that it is as creamy as possible. If there is any an occasion to scream for ice cream, this is it.

The thought and care that Smitten takes in making their delicious product makes my ice cream splurge worth it. First of all, their ice cream is made with a special mixer that they invented! It uses nitrogen to rapidly freeze the mixture so that the ice crystals that form are very, very small. This makes for an incredibly creamy concoction. Additionally, they use only natural ingredients, sourcing locally and using organic milk.

I ordered the salted caramel ice cream, and my lovely friend got vanilla with pistachio brittle topping. This is a picture she took of her ice cream and our shoes. There are no pictures of my salted caramel ice cream because it was gone soon after it was handed to me, but trust me when I say it was beautiful.

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About Town

Attended the show opening of Ferris Plock at the Shooting Gallery the other night. He is a friend of a lovely friend, and his paintings are exciting and cheeky. He uses a lot of bright colors, but the contrast of the black lines cut up the color. This combination makes the traditionally acidic colors calmly stimulating. Looking closely at Ferris’s paintings, you begin to fully appreciate the meticulous geometric detail he goes into. His ability to create punchy patterns makes me think he could make some incredible textiles.

Ferris also works in 3-D sculpture. This wooden boombox sculpture makes me wish I had the cahones to tote this around on my shoulder during the day. Boombox sculpture could be the next It Accessory. There were other boomboxes in different colors, but this red one was my favorite.

Shooting Gallery is also currently featuring new works by Casey Grey. As dabbling spray paint artist myself, I was completely mesmerized by the shapes and colorplay in his work. The bright colors and motifs clash with the medium, and the tension between the two draws me in. I am infatuated:

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Fall Flowers

The weather here is pretty much the same year-round, which means that flowers also grow year round. These, however, are unusual for a sidewalk lawn patch. They were as large as my face and in different patterns of red and white. I admire people who can grow plants like this. Their front yards are always lush and colorful, welcoming their passers-by with a flash of serene earth within this foggy, dark city.

I’ve had many houseplants in my life, but I have never been able to grow flowers or food. Truthfully, I’ve never given gardening a real go as I have never had my own yard with which to test the greenness of my thumbs. Presently, I have the space for a rooftop garden, but the constant wind can cultivate nothing but hardy succulents. Indoors, I have a wildly acrobatic climber of a pet cat who likes to eat leaves. I plan to have a garden eventually, and when I do I will grow heirloom tomatoes. I love tomatoes, especially when they are green, so I don’t think I would have the problem of tomato surplus, which I know can happen to people. I would also like to grow beets, another vegetable I can eat a lot of.

When I lived in Denver I tried growing a small herb garden outside of my kitchen window. It was the tiniest of herb gardens, one plant each of four different herbs. The basil and oregano did alright, but I overwatered the rosemary (Fact: Rosemary is actually in the tree family, so it does not need as much water as other herbs. A girl who owns her own restaurant told me this.) As for flowers, growing rosebushes intimidates me, they are so beautiful that they must require an arduous amount of devotion and care. A rose garden would be an endeavor worth trying though. To have a backyard sitting area filled with the soft scent of roses would be heaven.

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Good Vintage

An opportunity to shop a vintage clothing faire cannot be missed, and it is even more fun with vintage-loving friends. The Alameda Vintage Clothing Faire was on a beautiful sunny day on the small island, in a community hall in the old naval base area. It wasn’t nearly as large as the Alameda Flea Market, but it was the perfect size to be able to look at everything in about two hours. Everyone there was very friendly and familiar in our shared love for vintage.

I enjoy shopping for vintage clothing, the hunt for a hidden treasure is exhilarating. While in design school I worked as a vintage buyer for Buffalo Exchange, and it taught me everything I needed to know about choosing good vintage.  Generally when vintage shopping I personally try to look for classic pieces, that will work with my current wardrobe. Mostly neutral in color, I like to mix these pieces with statement jewelry that I also look for. Rhiannon, my friend with whom I attended, likes to find dresses in rich colors and timeless prints. The fabric of the clothing should be in good condition, no holes, ripped seams, or anything else I cannot repair myself. The fabric quality is what I especially look for. When shopping, I always scan the racks to see if anything catches my eye before I go over and start going through the racks. I run my hands over pieces I like to feel the quality of fabric. A good wool will feel soft whereas a bad polyester will feel like fluffed plastic. I check zippers, buttonholes, and hems to observe the technique used.

One of the pieces I found was a classic navy blazer by Pendleton. It fits me perfectly and has 3/4 length sleeves which are my favorite on a jacket. It is in impeccable condition and cost $40. This is a quality jacket that will last me many years and will polish off many an outfit.

The quality is in the details of this blazer. Handfinished buttonholes, perfect welt pockets, and beautiful buttons. Buttons are a big thing for me, as they can add a lot of personality to a garment. I especially love dapper crest buttons.

This was one the first things I saw when I arrived at the Faire, and I was immediately drawn to its shape and classic nautical motif. The fit of vintage clothing is paramount to finding a good value. The sizing is extremely inconsistent, so I always try them on before buying. The fit of this sweater is Katharine Hepburn, sitting just at the hips with a slightly slim cut. It is also 100% cotton, which means I can machine wash it.

At only $15, the subtle anchor and laurel have me completely charmed. Also, I love white tops- white tees, white oxfords, and now white sweaters. I know it is after Labor Day, but I have no qualms about wearing white when it is done like this.

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Goodbye Machine

I said goodbye to an old friend today – my sewing machine. My parents bought it for me for Christmas almost 7 years ago, and the first thing I made with it was a chocolate-brown satin party dress for New Year’s Eve. About a year later, I started design school and my little sewing machine got me through all the classes with no problem. In fact, it’s never given me a problem until just recently when I started sewing rubber coated material. It didn’t like. Seeing as I will probably be using this material again (I really want a jacket or top made from it), I decided it was time to upgrade.

After doing some research I decided to get a Kenmore sewing machine, which is actually manufactured by Janome. It has an all metal frame, a heavy duty motor, and is scheduled to arrive next week. I put my old sewing machine up for sale on Craigslist and very shortly thereafter got a response from Praxis, a Mission non-profit that acts as a community center and place to get sewing and crafting help. It also sells reconstructed clothing and handmade goods, as well as tea and whole grains and the like. I delivered it to them on my way home from work and took a look at this darling little space. It is very welcoming and makes you want to hang out for a bit and discover all the neat stuff they have. The owner is very sweet and if I didn’t already know how to sew, I would feel comfortable coming to her for help. It is always fun to meet someone who also enjoys sewing, and I feel good that my little machine is going to a good home where it will be taken care of.

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F Train

A ride on the F Train. It’s the route with the old-school car and goes down Market Street. A classic ride. My friend and I rode in the back, and I felt very much like we were in The Graduate. Although neither one of us had anything to run away from, it still felt wonderfully reckless and youth-in-revolt.

The last two nights I’ve had two vivid dreams. The first one I dreamed I went to a party in a huge house that belonged to a friend of mine (which friend, I do not know). The house was multiple stories and designed in a modern goth style. Think the house in Beetlejuice after Catherine O’Hara’s character redecorated, but more tasteful. The party was hoppin’ and pretty luxe. People were dressed up and having a good time. We all noticed a little girl at the party. She had to have been no more than 8 years old, but she was walking around and would disappear and then reappear again. At some point we realized that she was a ghost and was haunting this house because she was buried inside of it. We (meaning me and my friends in my dream) found where she was buried in a small courtyard that was in the middle of the house. Somehow once we found the gravesite, all was well, because the party got more rowdy and celebratory. I noticed 50 Cent was sitting on a bench near the gravesite with his homie. He was crying because he was too drunk, and his homie was patting him on the back and comforting him. I don’t know why he was there, you would think my dreams would involve people more along the lines of Karl Lagerfeld or Anna Wintour, but no. Fiddy Cent was in my dream. I don’t even listen to his music.

The second vivid dream was a spin on a recurring dream that I have. Usually the dream goes like this: In my present day and age I suddenly realize that I’ve been enrolled in a math class and have not gone to one session the entire semester, and I have a test coming up and I am completely unprepared. Well, this time it was different. I actually remembered that I had enrolled in a math class, and I showed up the first day. During the lesson I realized how difficult this class was going to be. However, instead of panicking like I would usually do in a dream like this, I started planning on how I was going to study for the class and look into tutoring and other strategies so that I would do well. Instead of waking up in a frenzy like I usually do, I woke up feeling calm and confident. I thought this was pretty significant. My subconscious has seemed to have worked through something and has now changed my once stress-related recurring dream into something I felt I could face and overcome. I am curious to see if the dream continues to go like this if I ever dream it again.

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Hearts

I got so much done this past week, I am allowing myself a few days rest before I take off again. These past few days were good ones, perfect for relaxing and catching up with old friends. One day I went to Delores Park with a friend and did a lot of people watching and basking in the sunshine. Indian Summer is upon us, and it is one of the best times of the year in San Francisco. It’s the most summer-like, but watch out for 5pm, the fog rolls in and you better have a jacket. The very next day I walked to the Ferry Building with another old friend. I had never actually been inside the Ferry Building, and was pleasantly surprised to see an upscale farmers’ market type of scenario inside. Very charming, nouveau rustic booths selling gourmet cupcakes and cheese. I swear I saw haystacks. The weather was perfect and being near the water was lovely.

Everytime I visit with an old friend, the story is the same – we are all constantly working and getting more boring by the minute. No one gets out anymore like we used to, and not many people see each other as often as we used to. We are all transitioning from our twenties, I guess. Seeing all my friends who have stellar careers and lives, the “staying in, being boring” routine seems to be working out for them. I know it’s been working out for me. I used to feel guilty and fancied myself a recluse because I was sure everyone was hanging out without me. But now I know the truth: we are all at home recharging! The transition has made me appreciate the times when I do see my friends, because as we get older I learn more about them, and with the good ones you always find new things to have in common.

I also had my fantasy football draft and I think I have a pretty good team. I took some chances and drafted a couple of players who are projected to have breakout seasons, but are also unfortunately suspended for the first couple of games. I have better players that I will play in the meantime, but I am looking forward to seeing if my risk paid off. The name of my team: Happy Kitties. The mascots:

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