: views from the Hill

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kinch Confidential: Another "nice" writeup for Manresa and a mention of the Novakovich peaches and apricots

Greg Silva sent me a link this morning to this article in yesterday's Metro Silicon Valley newspaper about David Kinch and Manresa.

According to Greg, the headline (which doesn't show up in the online version) reads, "Kinch Confidential: Is Manresa's David Kinch the world's next celebrity chef?"

Amazing article, but small nit among a couple nits. The folks that David gets his peaches and apricots from are the Novakovichs (not the Novacovichs). Father Luke wouldn't've made that mistake.

Manresa one of world's top 50 restaurants

Greg Silva, whom I met when I sat next to him at Alder's wine dinner at Manresa in February, dropped me a copy of the latest Manresa press release a week ago:

Manresa Selected for "World's 50 Best Restaurants" Award

Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos has been selected for inclusion in Restaurant magazine's annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants" awards. The London-based industry bible polled more than 300 international restaurateurs, chefs, critics, and journalists to rank the best restaurants worldwide.

The complete list of award winners will be revealed on April 18, 2005, at an exclusive awards ceremony to be held in association with Penfolds Wines. David Kinch, chef and proprietor of Manresa and his partner, General Manager Michael Kean, will attend the event in London, where the world's finest chefs and restaurateurs will converge. This is the first year that Manresa has been chosen for the international award in the restaurant's three-year history.

"This is a great honor for the entire team at Manresa Restaurant," said Chef David Kinch. "To be included in such elite company is very gratifying and, for Michael and myself, also increases our awareness that we are only as good as our staff is, and that we and the staff share a common goal. This recognition is all about them and for them."

American, European, Asian, Australian, African and Middle Eastern restaurants comprise the list of 50 best restaurants. American restaurants selected for last year's "World's 50 Best Restaurants" included The French Laundry, Gramercy Tavern, and Daniel. In 2003 and 2004, The French Laundry was awarded top position on the list and named Penfolds' Best Restaurant in the World. Top awards have also gone to European restaurants The Fat Duck, El Bulli, and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

The award categories include 'Best American Restaurant', 'Best Newcomer', 'Most Improved', 'Outstanding Value' and 'Chef's Choice'. Paul Bocuse will receive The American Express Lifetime Achievement Award, an award presented for the first time this year to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the world restaurant trade.

# # #

About Manresa:
Manresa is the showcase for David Kinch's contemporary American innovations in French and modern Catalan Spanish cuisine. Since opening in 2002, Manresa has garnered critical acclaim from Gourmet magazine, The London Observer, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Manresa is the culmination of David Kinch's culinary journey including Quilted Giraffe in New York, Schweizer Stuben in Wertheim, Germany; L'Esperance in St. Pere-sous-Vezelay, France, Akelare in San Sebastián, Spain, Ernie's in San Francisco, and his own restaurant, Sent Sovi in Saratoga.

Manresa is located at 320 Village Lane in Los Gatos, California, 50 miles south of San Francisco and only minutes away, but worlds apart, from Silicon Valley.

David Kinch, Chef & Proprietor
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, California 95030

Contact: Greg Silva
Phone: 408-250-7315

Yay! Hooray!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Towse Three c1927?

The Towse Three. c1927? Posted by Hello

Here's an early photograph of the three oldest (of eventually six) sons of Evangeline Reba Lynch Towse.


My dad's fraternal (duh!) twin, their little brother, my dad.

Cute, aren't they?

Eva French Lynch

Eva French Lynch  Posted by Hello

Picture is a pair with photograph of Evangeline Reba Lynch.
Photograph is of Eva French Lynch?

Evangeline Reba Lynch

Evangeline Reba Lynch  Posted by Hello


Two more blasts from the past

The Towse Five a few years later. 1958. By September 1958 Skip was going on thirteen and away from home, boarding and attending Berwick Academy in Maine, being as there were no English-language high schools in Belém.

(Got my Jiminy Cricket pin on my butterfly collar!)

Studio Oliveira, Rua Santo Antonio, 132. Belém do Pará, Brasil  Posted by Hello

Evangeline Reba Lynch Towse (age ~ 44. 1947)  Posted by Hello

ERLT was the first grandmother to graduate from Boston University. Skip (age one and a half) is the reason she made the record books. I think I have Boston newspapers of the day with this photograph (or one similar) and an accompanying article.

The rocking chair

My younger sister and I have a story which I've batted her with for years. A few years back, she apologized for what was never her fault. It wasn't my parents' fault either, but it's interesting to me, some fifty years later, how small, unintentional things can loom big in a young child's mind.

See this picture? My dad took it. He was/is an excellent photographer. He wanted to capture what was then the five (later six) Towse children. No biggie, you say. He seems to have set things up so that the tableau is balanced. The almost-ten-year-old eldest is sitting next to the youngest. The rest of us are gathered around. That's me on the far right, if you hadn't guessed. Off to the side as always. sniff

The Towse Five c1955  Posted by Hello

What is wrong with this picture?

I'll tell you from my three-year-old or thereabouts perspective.

See that wooden rocking chair that my little sister is sitting in?


This is one of my earliest memories (along with other major events such as climbing into the Jeep and stepping on the rrrr-rrrr-rrrr starting button and almost getting it going, climbing out of my crib and meeting the milkman as he delivered milk, getting a copy of THE LITTLE RED CABOOSE CHUG-CHUG-CHUG and playing it over-and-over-and-over again, my older sister breaking her collarbone, &c., &c., &c.)

Why did this memory click at this early age?

I thought it was so totally unfair that if one of us got to sit in the rocking chair for the family photo that it got to be my bratty little sister when it was MY MY MY ROCKING CHAIR.

Why should she get to be center of the photograph and center of attention IN MY ROCKING CHAIR?

And, no, my tongue isn't sticking out for that particular reason. I tended as a child to always be the one (if there was one) to have a tongue sticking out or eyes crossed or to be holding a very large lizard in the Easter photo.

When you're a middle child you have to get attention some way.

Finding old photos like this when I'm supposed to be clearing out the back room is one of the graces of moving out of the family homestead.

Back to clearing ...

Bacall and then some

I came back from NC two weeks ago Monday knowing I'd picked up a bug but not feeling too funky yet. I had a luncheon date with Susan, our SF real estate agent, on Tuesday to meet up at the Pan Pacific Hotel for a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California, sponsored by one of my favorite independents, Book Passage of Corte Madera and the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

I walked down from Telegraph Hill, a twenty-five minute walk or so, but had the good sense to ask Susan for a ride back up the hill afterwards. I was clobbered by the bug that evening but figure I would've even been worse off if I'd walked back up.

Book Passage brings authors to the luncheons. Eat! Listen to the author talk about their latest book! Give money to a good cause!

In this case, both Susan and I were there because Bacall was talking about her latest iteration of her autobiography: BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME. We asked for a table near the speaker because Susan has hearing issues and wound up at a table just to the right of the podium, maybe ten feet from Bacall.

She was amazing. Eighty years old. (Please don't mention it when you're talking to her.) Looks fantastic for someone who hasn't had facelifts that make it so she can't smile or move her face (her description of an actress whose name you'd recognize). She'd strained a muscle reaching to work a blind and was in sensible shoes and not walking as perky as she might, but she was grand: funny, self-deprecating, gracious, ascerbic.

She told the story of writing her autobiography the first time, twenty-five years ago. The publisher asked her to write it. She knew the editor. She said, sure, although why anyone would want to read my autobiography is beyond me. She said she sat down with a tape recorder: I was born, I went to high school, I went to Hollywood, I married Bogey, ... In ten minutes, she said, she'd told her life story. What now?

What now? was that she switched to longhand. That slowed the story down and she was getting somewhere until she started staring out the window and wondering whether the frig needed cleaning. Her output ground to a halt. Her editor was patient and patient and patient and finally laid down the law. He told her to report to the publisher's building where they would give her an office with no distractions to work in.

... and work she did. She wrote a rough cut of what she needed to cover and found out that the more she wrote, the more she remembered, the more she wrote, the more she ...

She finished the book and was pleased when it sold briskly. Recently the publisher came back to her and told her that the book was still selling but the publisher would like her to write a follow-on, an update to cover the past twenty-five years.

She did. Now, she's touring around the country flogging her book ... at age eighty. She said she wished she could stay longer in San Francisco but her publisher had her scheduled elsewhere and she had to move on.

Crossed fingers I'm in the same sort of shape twenty-seven years from now.

She mentioned that she knows -- and she's told her Bogart children -- that no matter where or when they'll never escape Bogey's shadow. She'll always be the Bacall of Bogey and Bacall. They'll always be Bogart's children.

Bogart died in 1957 when Bacall was thirty-three years old. Forty-eight years have gone by. She's made a success on Broadway and elsewhere. She married and divorced Jason Robards. She begat Sam Robards. Still and all, she says, she knows when she dies her obit will mention Bogey and Bacall. Not that there's anything wrong with that, she hastens to add. She was nineteen when she met Bogart. She married him. He introduced her to acting, to Hollywood. She knows she wouldn't be where she is today without him and yet ... she is so much more than the Bacall of Bogey and Bacall.

Lauren Bacall 15 Mar 2005  Posted by Hello

The luncheon comes with a book by the author. I stood in line (where I took this picture) to have her sign my copy. I bought a second copy and had her sign it too: that copy is for an eighty-year-old woman of my acquaintance. Shhhh. It's a surprise for Mother's Day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Blogger and blogger status and how I spent my day ...

I mean, I have things to do but I sat wasting time this morning just trying to get my blog template updated to include Jen's Nobody's Here.

I tried to add a link to Jen earlier this month, once she'd ditched Bloggy Goodness and resurrected as Nobody's Here, but my patience wore out. This time I was determined, no matter how many times Blogger spun its wheels and refused to allow me access to my Blogger archive, no matter how many times Blogger barfed and cut-out while it was updating my template with Jen's new blog link on it, no matter how many times ...

But there I sat wasting time ...

I had a 40 cu yd drop box (note: not a Dumpster®) dropped off this morning. Paid for it yesterday. Drove down to the Green Valley Disposal offices and put over $700 delivery and rental fee on my Visa and signed off on the rules and asked for delivery today, this morning preferably.

Rules include "no dirt, rocks, concrete, bricks" and if you load them in anyway, you may get hit with an almost $50 per ton overage charge. One cubic yard of dirt, rocks, concrete, and/or bricks weighs approximately a ton, I was told. (Who knew?) 40 cu yds of yard waste and dead lawn chairs, on the other hand, supposedly weigh about 5.5 tons. Overage charges apply if the weight goes over 5.5 tons. If the drop box weighs over 10 tons all bets are off.

According to my lease agreement, I get the drop box for seven days. If I want to keep it longer, GVD will charge me a bit over $100/day. Yikes.

His nibs called the guy whose crew will be clearing out the yard and moving the dead water heater and toilet and basketball hoop and what-not out of the horse corral, and getting rid of the pile of crap outside the door here, and getting rid of the pile of crap down by the main house and clearing out the yard and clearing out the yard and clearing out the yard.

They'd be here first thing today, he promised, if it wasn't pouring rain. Well, it wasn't pouring rain. It was drizzling off and on. I was out moving stuff into distinct "take this away" "do not touch this" piles. Lunch time came and went and they still had not arrived. Afternoon. Dusk. Evening and they're still not here. I have seven days ... and one day has been completely wasted.

Forty cubic yards is a lot! BIG BOX!

I was promised delivery today and the staff at the office noted that I wanted it first thing, if possible. Note made, I was told, but no promises. Last night I put out the garbage. His nibs had already put out the yard cleanup recycle from some gross raking I'd done during the week and the recycle box of metal scraps|plastic|styrofoam from the partial garage cleanup this weekend. I took out the garbage can of garbage and about thirty paper grocery bags full of paper recycle last night. Moved the pickup into the dirt access driveway on the west side. Tucked the Mini off to the side to make room for the whenever-it-will-happen delivery of the drop box.

This morning at 6:22A, I heard a loud thunk in the driveway. I peeked out to make sure they were dropping the box where I'd planned. They did. I fixed my usual mug of espresso then moved the pickup back into the driveway and tucked the Mini up next to it.

Allz I could think as I looked at the drop box was, "Forty cubic yards is a lot!"

The guy doing the yardwork had looked at our (relatively small) piles of crap and figured in his head what he was going to rip out of the yard and told me to get a 40 cu yd drop box. I trust he'll fill it. If not, I'll ask the neighbors if they have anything they'd like to toss in.

Next up! call the stagers and choose a stager to use. Call the painters and choose a painter to use. Call the pressure washers and choose a pressure washer to use. When everything's set, we'll need a final go-through house cleaner too.

Had I mentioned? Chuck was over last Friday and current plan is to have the house ready to sell by May first. Four weeks. Aieeeee!

I spent most of yesterday at the book warehouse space, boxing up books. The books are almost all boxed. After the push yesterday, just a few (maybe eight or ten) boxes worth are still left to box up and label -- labels go around kitty corner corners with contents on each side of the corner ... so however the box is placed, the contents show. Does that make sense? Am I too compul^H^H^H^Hnscientious?

I also need to box up the few books remaining in this place here and there -- a box or two in the front office, a box or two in the living room, a box or two in the bedroom. Box. Label. Move them over to the leased warehouse. Need to move the last of the bookcases too, including the one in this office that's tamped full with genealogy "work" and stamp collection paraphernalia and albums and stamps.

Once the bookcases and book boxes are gathered in one place, we'll call Two Women and a Truck or their equivalent to move the boxes of books out of the warehouse space and up to the loft space. That will free up the warehouse space for all the stuff we have to move out of this place before the place can be staged and go on the market.


It's all logistics, all dominoes. PERT chart where art thou?

The warehouse has four rooms. The room I was working in yesterday has 170 boxes of books and thirty bookcases. The room next to it, where I was also working yesterday, has 130 boxes of books. I shifted bookcases from that room to the other room yesterday so they'd all be in one place. The books in the back two rooms are mostly boxed, with a few piles of books here and there. The far back room also has a farm-type dining table that was Case's and the four chairs that go with it, rugs, miscellaneous other stuff. Two Women and a Truck will move the books out. We'll fill the place up with the rest of our barnacles and get the house painted, staged and on the market.

May 1 is the target date.

Susan, our San Francisco real estate agent, said Now!Now!Now! If you have to rent a barn to clear out your house, rent a barn!

We don't need a barn, we have 1000 sq ft of warehouse space and we have until mid-August, when the lease is up, to sort through and move, giveaway whatever we've stash in the warehouse.

A friend made a comment in e-mail last week,

*sigh* Our ancestors lived with what they could carry.

Yes, I answered. "And in the old days you couldn't buy a gig of memory for $69."

I have a couple quotations that come up each time I log on:

He who would travel happily must travel light.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
- Charles Dudley Warner

Above and beyond those, I have a note written in 36pt Comic Sans:


I've been here going on twenty-eight years. His nibs has been here going on thirty, when he took over from his father, who left some of his barnacles behind. His father built the house in 1948-1949. The barnacles have barnacles have barnacles.

We needed Chuck's push, Chuck's, "Time is of the essence!"

The prep work is coming along. Soon the yard work will begin. The piles of junk will be dumped in the drop box.

The place is emptying. The books are boxing. Slowly. Slowly.

Needs to be done in four weeks. Completely done and ready for some lucky soul to take over. I spent today partially clearing the space back over there that's tamped full of boxes and what-not. Aieeeee!

So what was up with Blogger anyway ... Blogger, which was driving me nuts this morning?

I discovered today (after bashing my head against the wall for a couple hours) that Blogger was having issues. I've added Blogger Status to my Bloglines feed list.

Current entry:
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

We're currently in the process of rolling back a bad kernel upgrade that has significantly impacted the service. Restored app servers are coming back online and all should be repaired by the end of today.

Update: The rollback has been completed and performance is starting to stabilize across the appservers.

And, indeed, I can now log on to my Blogger account and after updating this bit will try again to get my template updated with Jen's Nobody's Here added to my m.w: baked fresh list.

Day's over. May tomorrow be more productive!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ou sont les Towses d'USA?

Ed Hamrick's Hamrick software, maker of VueScan, offers a non-connected treat on its site: Names.

Names is a piece of software that lets you check out the distribution of a given last name in the fifty USA states based on census data from the 1850, 1880, and 1920 Censuses and from phone books from the 1990's. You can either check one of the breakdowns or you can check "all," in which case the software displays the maps in rotation making it easy to see how the names dispersed or contracted across the years.

Try, f'rex, a good Irish name like Riley or Kennedy. Watch the family spread out across the United States with deep pockets in some areas and then, eventually, as of the 1990's become just another 1 in 1000 in almost every state.

A name like TANIGUCHI only provides one map -- the 1990's -- because the name was not common during the earlier dates.

This is all very cool, but when I popped my name in, I got, "Unable to find TOWSE in Database.

Our database contains the 50,000 most commonly occurring names in the United States. Unfortunately, the name you selected isn't contained in this database. Try using a slightly different spelling of this name."

Seems to me if you are one of the 50,000 most commonly occurring names in the United States, the folks showing up in Whitefish, MT, are probably not really from your cohort.

GARCIA gives a more interesting map than BAKSHI, but surprise! surprise! BAKSHI =is= one of the 50,000 most commonly occurring names in the United States.

LYNCH is interesting. Look at the subtle shading telling you that MA is a hotbed of Lynches as compared to the rest of the states.

RILEYs seem to avoid North Dakota.

Fun stuff. Good way to spend time with pretty maps.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Daniel Patterson leaves Frisson

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Daniel Patterson has left Frisson.

His nibs decided that the thing to do -- being as we hadn't made it to Frisson since Daniel Patterson and Andrew McCormack opened it last summer -- would be to check it out now and see what Sarah Schafer, the new executive chef -- formerly Frisson's chef de cuisine and, before that, of Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park in New York City -- is up to.

Reservations for Easter dinner.

Planning to click on the Frisson Web site link? Watch it. The site comes preset with music with a definite Euro-techno beat.

I'm just hoping, what with the change in chefs, that the sweetbread ravioli appetizer with black truffle will still be on the menu.

IAC acquires Ask Jeeves

This is an acquisition I have to ponder.

IAC Buys AskJeeves

... for $1.8 billion.

$1.8 billion?

"According to Dan Hess, Senior VP of comScore Networks, 'The combination creates intriguing growth opportunities, given that there is relatively little overlap between the IAC and Ask Jeeves audiences. Having said that, it's no secret that there's fierce competition in search, and most major players are working to further extend their own brands into industries that have been IAC strongholds'."

I've never been a huge AskJeeves fan. The search engine seemed more like the Reader's Digest Condensed version of a search engine ... on training wheels.

Recently, I've been reading some "oh, they're great ... they've improved ... you really should check them out" reports on various search engine resource Web sites. So, I did.

Same reaction as before. Huh? What is Ask Jeeves offering someone out there searching that can't be better found elsewhere?

Well, whatever it is AskJeeves is or is not providing, InterActiveCorp, which is not known for its corporate stupids, thinks AskJeeves is worth $1.8 billion.

$1.8 billion.

I still don't get it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Yahoo! acquires Flickr

"Yahoo actually does acquire Flickr," as the Flickr blog so clearly puts it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Long Tall Sassy

Long Tall Sassy Posted by Hello

There. Does that one capture the colors better? I would've just moved this JPG link into the original blog entry, but someone had already commented before Blogger gave me clearance to edit the post ... Far be it from me ...

Colors still not right. Use your imagination or check out this.

Even that one still doesn't quite get it ...

Paparazzi and paintings ... a long weekend

Spent the long weekend in Winston-Salem, NC.

Early February Kathy Vincent sent an e-mail that she was going to have her first ever show of her watercolors -- hers alone, not just as a watercolor or three up in a group show.

I've known Kathy for a long, long while. We met ten? eleven years? past in the misc.writing Usenet newsgroup. I knew her when she was winning short story awards. I knew her before she seriously took up her painting. I've known her a long time.

I'm still bouncing around in misc.writing off and on after all these years. KV's last post to misc.writing was way back when.

But we'd kept in touch in e-mail. When she started putting her watercolors online, I bought a few I really liked.

When I heard her show was opening, I invited myself to Winston-Salem, if she had no objections. His nibs had qualified for a free ticket anywhere United or Lufthansa flew -- a free ticket that wouldn't use up any of his bonus miles cache. The ticket had to be used (there and back) by April 1st.

He and I'd been wondering where I could go and where I would want to go all by my lonesome. I'd need a hotel room. A car. I'd need to find food. Maybe an English-speaking country would be the best bet. How long did I want to stay? The possibilities were mind-boggling. Maybe his nibs should visit the daughter and grandchildren instead. Deliver some goodies that are too fragile to ship. Maybe. Maybe.

But his nibs was up to here at work and told me if I didn't use the ticket it would go to waste, just like the ticket years past that I couldn't use because I got stuck on a five-week-plus long trial jury while the clock when tick-tick and the freebie ticket expired.

Then out of the blue, Kathy's news. So, um. Kathy. Would you mind having company? Would it stress you out to have the added stranger-from-the-interwebbie-thingy come visit while you're gearing up for the show?

KV (after a suitable period of thought) said, "No. Come on by!"

So, off I went.

We had a good time. Folks at the gallery opening were fascinated that someone would fly from California. Folks at the gallery opening were fascinated that I chose Winston-Salem when I could've gone to Geneva. Folks at the gallery opening were fascinated that KV and I had known each other for eleven or so years and had never met up. They were fascinated that an interwebbie pal would be pal-enough to come to her gallery opening ... and that she had no fears. No fears, I said. I'd promised to leave my interwebbie murdering axe at home.

We had a good time. I arrived late Thursday. We hung out on Friday with her sister who drove in from across the state. Saturday was the grand opening. Her parents showed up unexpectedly -- they hadn't wanted her to worry about them driving as far as they did. Sunday early her sister left on a business trip and the folks headed off to visit relatives. We hung out Sunday and Monday I flew home after lunch.

I came back with a cold -- chest, sniffles, bleeeeaaah -- perhaps from someone who sneezed on me at the gallery, helped along, no doubt, by my lack of sleep in a strange hotel bed and the plane rides.

I came back with a receipt for this: to be sent as soon as the show closes in early April.

Long Tall Sassy Posted by Hello

Links to photos of the opening gala.

Guitar playing by friend Tom was the perfect touch for a full crowd, noshies and wine.

Links to the paintings on exhibit.

KV sold four pictures at the opening reception. X'd fingers the rest of the month goes as well.

(this is the obligatory subliminal message ...)
Go! Buy! One! And Buy One For Your Mom Too!

Monday, March 07, 2005


Shipping cranes sail under Bay Bridge

We walked down to the Embarcadero Saturday about 12:30 p.m. to catch a look as two 1500-ton 241' Panamax cranes bound for the Port of Oakland carefully made their way into the Bay.

The cranes' arrival was delayed a couple days because of rocky weather. Just as well. Thursday his nibs couldn't get away from work. The weather Friday was rainy and drear. By Saturday the sun was shining and the sky was blue -- a perfect day for throwing a Frisbee or for watching some very careful people bring some very tall cranes into port.

The ship had arrived outside the Gate on Wednesday but had to wait because the weather was not calm enough for the crew to lower the booms as low as they could go. Calm waters were also needed before the ship could come in under the Golden Gate Bridge (estimated clearance after the cranes had been folded down something like 22') and then -- more carefully -- under the Bay Bridge (estimated clearance 5').

We'd been planning to watch from a point somewhere south of the Ferry Building, but decided on a whim to see if we could see the ship coming in from the end of the public pier just north of the Ferry Building. We got to the end of the pier to find the ship had just swung around the point near Pier 39. A fairly small crowd (my type of crowd) watched the cranes approach. The fishermen fishing off the pier kept a close eye on their rods as the rubberneckers lined up at the railing. I couldn't imagine how our view could be any better further south. We decided to stay.

In the twenty minutes or so that it took the ship to come past us and then under the Bay Bridge, I took over sixty pictures. Ah, the joys of digital and a memory card.

Herewith some of them.

Monday blog pick: the scent of green bananas

the scent of green bananas has consistently hunger-pang inducing descriptions (with recipes!) of food like Goldenrod eggs and crepes with passion fruit curd.

Now if someone could please tell me where I can find a store that sells passion fruit.

the scent of green bananas also leads me to other foodie blogs like Blue and Yellow Kitchen.

tsogb's list of Asian women's food blogs includes two I read regularly: On My Plate and Chez Pim. I'll keep the list handy to wander through when I have time.

Friday, March 04, 2005

One of the first things I would do with my Lotto winnings

As I mentioned, we went down to the Mission District last Sunday (27 Feb) to check out a 10K sq ft revamped warehouse that is up for sale.

The space was tremendous. The possibilities amazing. The neighborhood has that something-is-happening feel with the drunks on the corner and the marvelous bookstore down the street. Loads of good eats of the Mexican, Vietnamese, fusion persuasion. Loads of thrift stores to poke around in. Public transit at your doorstep. I could probably be a pretty happy camper.

The place will probably get sold to someone else before I win the Lotto and get my chance. The multiple listing entry with its twenty-five interior/exterior shots will go bye-bye when escrow closes. When those shots go bye-bye, as they're bound to do, I wanted to make sure that I remembered what the place looked like. Herewith, some camera phone photos taken Sunday.

You've just entered. You're on the first floor, with your back to the door in from 14th St. Glass doors in front of you lead to an office with access to the 2d floor. Door to your right leads to a room which is *really* the two-car garage with rollup door onto 14th Street, but while the warehouse was being used as a club, the space was used as an extra room with couches and chairs, &c.  Posted by Hello

First floor. You've walked in and turned to your right, past another room, then turned left and then turned around to face toward 14th St. Got that? The door you came in is to your right and half the length of the warehouse forward.

Behind the concrete wall there is another funky bar area/kitchen, the large room where a garage with rollup doors would be if the room weren't, two bathrooms, ... and more. Behind you are something like three bedrooms more or less. You lose count. Check out the banks of pipes carrying the cabling throughout the building.  Posted by Hello

270 14th Street - You've headed upstairs. Dual turntables and 'lectronics in DJ area come with the purchase price Posted by Hello

rack of amps &c for the DJ setup. Master bedroom/office are through a door off to the left of this picture. Posted by Hello

2d floor bar area, looking toward 14th St. You're standing in front of the DJ area. The amazing T1 setup with 60 Internet connections is stashed in one of the closets in front of you. Spaghetti! Posted by Hello

2nd floor lounge with windows facing 14th.

Chandelier made with branches and a naked bulb is something I would love. Say. ... I've got branches! I've got a naked bulb! But where would I put it?  Posted by Hello

Standing in 2d floor lounge with back to 14th St. Kitchen to left at back and bar to right. Behind the wall in front of you is the master bedroom and office with staircase to the roof, There are at least three rooms -- two on one side, one on the other -- between the lounge and the kitchen/bar. You can just barely make out a door or two.  Posted by Hello

2d floor kitchen.  Posted by Hello

2d floor. Taken from the master bed. HUGE bathroom to your right. Office is down some stairs in front. Door to the main area, opening on the DJ setup is to your right off the other side of the office, next to the white board.

Stairs to the roof off to the left. Posted by Hello

Ah, if only. Room for all the books. I could have every piece of print, art, painting I own up on the walls and still have room for more. The kitchen is larger than any I've every had.

If only ...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Theme Thursday: Road

 Posted by Hello

Theme Thursday. CURRENT Theme is "ROAD" (Highway, Street, Path, Trail, Railway, Alley, Dragway, Roadworthy, Roadblock,... )

Photogenic Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One as seen from the beach below.

And keep the noise down too!

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Salvador Dali does taxidermy

We trundled over to the Mission on Sunday to take a look at the 10K sq ft converted warehouse on 14th Street that I was enamored with. (Pictures to follow. Having seen the place, I am now even more enamored. I want to win the Lotto. ...)

From there we headed over to Borderlands Books on Valencia to pick up a book they were holding for me. While I was there, I also picked up Chariot To The Stars, a collection of Steve Miller's short stories. Borderlands has it all if you are into F, SF or H.

On the way back to the car, we peeked in at 826 Valencia to see what was happening and then stopped by Paxton Gate.

Paxton Gate seems like a cross between Nature Company and Smith & Hawken when you first stop in. As you wander around, though, you start to find some out of ordinary stuff for sale. In the back room a group of adults is learning taxidermy. Drawers full of penis bones are sorted by the type of beast. Among the strange of the strange, though, I found these. Wouldn't they look great as Christmas tree ornaments? Taxidermy taken to Dali-esque heights.

 Posted by Hello (Photo taken with a camera phone. Not bad, eh?)

Checking through the Paxton Gate Web site, I find that they're offering another taxidermy class later this month.

I could taxiderm my own mouse!

Yes, yes, yes. I know. Stuffing beasties for fun seems seriously weird, but then so does collecting penis bones.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Norma said she was getting cut off at the leftmost margin of the center column.

I decided, while I tweaked pixels, to rearrange the layout. The photos at the top aren't needed for color since the Towse Flickr badge was added. Moved the Flickr badge from right to left, moved a bunch of the housekeeping tools to the left, moved the search tool to the right, and generally fussed around.

Oh, and I shifted the leftmost margin of the center column over a couple pixels.

I hope that's sufficient for Norma.

Photo Tuesday theme: Down

Photo Tuesday theme: Down Posted by Hello

[31 Jul 2004, San Francisco] A look down the Filbert Steps through the Grace Marchant public gardens. Darrell Place, a concrete sidewalk -- a public "street" with no car access -- takes off from Filbert to the left (north) from where you're standing. Further down the Steps, Napier Lane, a boardwalk "street," takes off to the north as well. You can't see your destination which is Sansome Street -- a "real" street -- at the bottom of Telegraph Hill.

The Steps angle off to the right at the point where they disappear in this picture and turn into a concrete stairway, cantilevered over the base of Telegraph Hill. When the Steps reach the bottom of the hill, Filbert Street becomes a "real" street again, as it was before it became Steps, just west of Coit Tower.

Only two hundred and thirty-some steps from here to the bottom. It's coming back up that's hard.