Tuesday (19th June) Up and final bits of packing, it was a bit nerve wracking really, going away for 6 weeks. Mel from flat 4 gave us a lift to Chirk station
Finally worked out which side to be on the station and the train was there on 10 minutes and off to Chester
Onto another train and within two hours and some very noisy cutlery we were on London, you'd think that getting from Euston to Paddington Would be a doddle wouldn't you? Well you'd be wrong! Anyway Paddington, Heathrow express, terminal 5 for the Sofatell hotel
Wednesday Up, shower, fruit bowl from m and s and off from Sofatell hotel at Heathrow. Hardly took anytime on the train to get to the terminal, and we were invited to check in up stairs where the stars and limos check in
And at no time at all (if you discount my passport not going thru for the 30th time) we were in the lounge for breakfast
After two full English (yum) off for 'shopping the world' bought aftershaves and lots of items from boots (it's the law innit) Back to lounge, me sipping express martini
It always feels its the start of the holiday sipping a yummy one. Paul had massage - which he loved- ' back like a brick wall' see said (biatch) but true
And before you know it, it's time to head for the plane - for some reason security wanted to search my stuff at gate - lord knows why - and more so, what were they looking for?
Onto plane, met lovely stewards - glass of bubbly
And settled down for great flight with VERY old entertainment system, but we didn't watch anything but the sky map anyway, far too busy at the bar
Ate at the bar 'soup on a plane' and finished off with the usual bloody Mary's
Crashed, then awake (not feeling the most awake ever) for high tea Landed, to an almost empty airport (spooky/ joy) and quickly thru security and baggage claim to cab (not great idea) to finally arrive at hotel and be greeted by Mary-Ann and her crazy laugh, lift up to floor 44 and Voilà here we are
Had in room dining (Nesi Goreng) which was heavenly, and tried to stay awake. We manged till 10, then bed. Thursday Didn't sleep very soundly (surprise) and the toilet kept flushing itself (bizarrely) and up to be greeted by a foggy day Had some breakfast (with our 55 dollars a day voucher!) I had a spa breakfast of egg white omelet with steamed vegetables and rye toast (feckin yummy) grapefruit juice (Devine) Bath then shower (well it was a spa breakfast) and out for a spot of shopping, via San Francisco soups for lunch
First thing we saw was great name on truck, made Squeak giggle
Espressos in cafe Madeleine (potent) and quite by chance Macy's men's wear department, where I was able to rejuvenate my wardrobe with some great items, bought 5 items for about £70!
Popped into Walgreens (a continuing theme) wine/ snacks/ stuff - and headed back to the hotel. Asked Mary-Ann to book table at Americano but that didn't work so went round the corner to Perbacco, a place we wanted to always try but never did, we hadn't missed out before, not the best experience but at least we tried something new
Back to hotel, glass of wine, watching Will and Grace, bed by 11
Friday Not great sleep (how do I do it?) and time for breakfast indoor, we had a VERY yummy eggs Benedict, country potatoes and grapefruit juice (I can taste the grapefruit now with expectation) Lounging/ snoozing bath then shower and out for lunch Met Micheal, he seemed more bitter than usual and great fun for it, it appears the Pride march on Sunday will go past end of street at it starts at the end of Market st just round the corner - fun! Asked Micheal to book Redwood room and Colibre and house car for later. Out for quick half turkey sandwich (yum-a-licious) and diet coke and posed for photo
Then popped into Nike for some new trainers, they look great and feel like cushions for me feets
Which cheered me up as usually shoe shops lead the way for a 'world of disappointment' as they never have my size, but I actually had a choice!
Looked round shops, Rasputin for DVD's (nothing) But saw a cover of CD I liked
CB2, crate and barrel (again - sale just started) cafe Madeleine
Then, as it was across the road, popped into Macy's once again! Loving the Brazilian vibe they have going on, fun and colourful and yes, did buy some more items to juzz up the wardrobe, which included flip flops which at first attempt appear to be a punishment rather than an item to wear
Headed back to hotel, met Dean the other concierge, itinerary waiting in the room. Rest, shower, getting ready In the house car to the Redwood room for the fantastic blackberry Margarita's, and it appears you can now take photos in there now Drank a couple, left to be greeted by drizzle, across the road to Colibre for their yummy food, it really is the best, I have the same thing every time and I can see why, the cornbread is so light it really should be illegal, and Paul's steal was perfect - and it was great that the waitress remembered us Popped into wine shop for bottle of fizz Walk back to hotel, into lift Room, (yummy) fizz, Will and Grace, bed
Saturday Ok, not great sleep and head bit fuzzy, but it's a sunny morning Eggs Benedict in the room
But not as good as yesterday, today with ham, day before with bacon - who knew there could be a choice? Not us, that's for sure
Bath, shower, business center to print out reservation for car hire - and out
Walk to Yerba centre for tickets to see new alien film in the evening, lunch, then listening to Cuban music in the garden
Then on to look at Trace restaurant, which used to be XYZ, main menu looked only OK, brunch one looked better Onto museum modern art (shop) bought 3D wrapping paper. Then to cafe, woman in door gave us free tickets to get in Had delish sorbet/ ice cream combo and soy cafe mocha, very nice, like getting hot bath
Back to hotel, gave Michael his biscuits, then room to rest
Quick shower/ change and off to the pictures, via Starbucks for espresso and half sandwich
Saw Prometheus the alien pre thing, bit disappointing/ confusing/ over complicated/ unpleasant/ grim/ dull - which is a shame. The film kind of offered more questions than answers really, but I didn't believe what it was offering anyway
Adverts in the states pre film I think are even more annoying than UK and lots for things on TV. And then adverts for mobile phones and texting and then follow up ones requesting that people turn off phones and don't text Some people on cinemas behave very oddly to fellow customers, needed pee pee during film, but women at end of row seemed reluctant to stand and instead just slightly moved their feet to the left/ right. Believe me, that's not very helpful at all Anyway, did film and was great to do cinema on Saturday night, wondered to restaurant and found chronicle books and saw two I liked, the vegan one the food looked yummy
By chance we also walked passed apartments we should of been staying in but they cancelled on us - they looked good
And into 'zero zero' - an hour early and we were met by a hen night -
After very short wait and just after ordering bottle of wine at bar out table was ready, great spot upstairs, wine was yummy!
Starter was squash blossom stuffed with ricotta OMG!! Mains were yummy too! Great place would deffo go back again Jumped in cab, hotel, bit of packing, lady bit of wine, Will and Grace and bed
Sunday up/ huge breakfast arrived, last bit of packing/ out to watch Pride parade on Market ST, the anti-capitalism section at the start was best bit for me and made me feel very emotional, other best bit was the crazy Pride balloon costumes
Then as the parade continued we had to move on to check out and pick up the car (which bit of that do you think was the most stressful?) thankfully traffic cop allowed me to drive the wrong way down a one way street that was closed due to the parade, which appeared would last another 6 weeks
Into car with its crazyness, off to Union St for breakfast pizza, which for some strange reason they had decided to change and not for the better and no vodka free bloody Mary too, shame!
Back to car to drive to Napa Valley and Yountville - which everyone else seemed to be doing also, but we hit blue skies and heat
Arrived at the spa to a free glass of red wine, I guess this happens when you stay at a spa in the middle of a 'wineyard' (new word)
Paul had his 90 minute massage and i hit the pool and cocktail (pool mule) and me and Squeak soaked up the sunshine
Back to room for joint bath, pool for evening cocktails
Then the restaurant for 5 courses paired with wine (oops) The basil ice cream was madness! two espressos and then bottle of wine to take to the room (double oops) for Will and Grace and photos from the holiday thus far
Tuesday (26th June) Things were buzzing bout midnight, was it the fridge? People next door running a bath? Back to sleep, awake at 3, back to sleep Up for breakfast in restaurant, passed the steamy pool
via a fern/ bench thing
And the view at breakfast
Both had big big breakkies, walk back to room via 3 sheep/ ram things
Back in room, Thought I could see face in tree, but think my eyesight is bad and doubles things up (slightly)
Paul manged to get late check out till 1pm, back to bed! Then to the pool for lounge
The weather was going to be hot this week
Back to the room and we packed and packed, stuff into car for final coffees on terrace
Squeak had loved it here with the French theme and all
And off we went on VERY 'ziggly' roads heading towards the coast road
We saw a place that looked amazing called Stinson Beach
And both very tired after driving 4 hours we made it to the apartment, with the Sutro tower just at the top of the road
Off to drop car back, saw amazing succulent display on sidewalk
Dropped off car (exhausted) muni to Castro, popped into Mollie Stones for essentials
Home/ unpacking/ food/ fizz/ will and grace/ bed Wednesday So here we are, Castro apartment for next 5 weeks!!!
Breakfast of special k with vanilla and almonds with almond milk (YUM), washing clothes
Then off to Mollie Stones for food for next couple of days Lunch on the terrace, and later out for coffee and nuttella and banana crepe at queen malika
Looked at a couple of restaurants, popped into Mollies for flowers, back to apartment, writing diaries/ lounging and stuff Big bang theory and do you think you can dance on fox, accompanied with brucetta, arabiatta and fruit with some lush wine from Rutherford/ Napa valley Will and Grace and bed Thursday Strange dreams, the devil has a message for me, but I didn't hear it Breakfast, yummy special k and here comes the rest of the day! back to apartment, bit of uploading/ downloading. out for lunch to Dolores park cafe, its great to walk there, just down there street and all down hill I had a yummy turkey/ bacon/ blue hot baguette and Paul had chicken Caesar salad
Back along 18th to Castro, popping in the shops, as you do, picked up some incense (dirt cheap sweetie) and back to apartment via mollies for some bread
Drank some mighty crazy cherry chai drink
We were on top of the world, looking down on creation...
Passed lots of amazing gardens and flowers
Even on the sidewalk there lots of colour and love
Home for dinner, chicken with sweet potato mash, the then out to the castro theatre to see barbarella, via watching a man play with his organ
Friday Met the locals on the shelf in the apartment
Breakfast, coffee in queen malika and down to valencia st for lunch, had a very lovely watermelon lemonade and did the shops
Back to apartment, up a VERY long hill, rest, dressed and out to meet Maryanne for snacks, cocktails and dinner Saturday Breakfast, Malika for coffee, apartment, shower, change off to Valencia St for Therapy, Paxton Gate et al, back home via Mollie Stones (where Paul managed to get a hire DVD form a machine for 1 dollar and bought some mint Milano's
Then meal (curry) then out to the dark room theatre to see two twlight shows being performed live. Not as good as the star trek one and boy was it hot in there) but i enjoyed the pre theatre cocktail of 'body heat' in 'Laszlo' bar
Back to the apartment, and watched 'Man on a ledge' or perhaps 'film thinks we are vedge' - not very good - quaffing Sergura Viadus (Â£3 a bottle) Sunday The clodhoppers upstairs kept going till about 3am (yawn), had some odd dream about trying to sell a property and we had made furniture out of, well, crap basically, but the selling point was the huge secret room, which was another house really, with gardens on the roofs To Malika for coffee, then out to the Castro for shopping and things, back home via Mollies for mint Milano and coffee made from our new cafetiere thing
Uploaded the new spacedogs radio show.... rest..... Pottering round the apartment, out for dinner to firewood for pizza/ pasta/ red
Back into mollie stones to grab cheesecake (yum) and bottle of malbec, now sipping coffee and Paul researching the foods to avoid/ eat wine/ will and grace/ Monday Doing very little today, though having said that spent most of day creating and updating web sites and blogs, who knew it could take up so much time? but am taking the opportunity to recreate and create my online world Now sat in the sunshine on the terrace, might go back in and do some more stuff online - quite frankly, I'm popped Hanging round the apartment, then out after 3 to browse shops on market st, found great bookshop with lots to look at, bought Tina Fey book for Paul and one minute mindfulness for me Drinks at Cafe Flore (delish iced chai) popped in pottery barn and back to apartment via Walgreens and Mollie Stones Chilli for dinner with yummy raspberry and vanilla sorbet and a few strawberries so make the whole thing health health health End of week 2
Tuesday Did very little today, which is a good thing I think. Mostly worked on the computer, wrote a song, made some plans for the week,
Had a very yummy breakfast of cinnamon granola, chai seeds and almond milk!
Had lunch on the terrace..... did stuff on the computer, out and about
Looked at shops on Castro and Market St (via pottery barn) went to Mollie Stones
And had Carbonara for dinner and a red, white and blue dessert (getting read for 4th July) then some Rose Sergura Viadus (who knew they would sell it here (cheaply))
Wednesday It's the 4th July, Independence day, 'happy 4th' people say. A day to take off work (if during the week) go to barbecues, have picnics, go to parks, its a great feeling, and great to be part of such an occasion. even better, downtown was incredibly quiet! Paul updated the plans for the week
Up, email from Chad inviting us to picnic in Dolores Park. quick breakfast, then Chad and Jean called round, very easy to talk to, we walked to Dolores down 19th St. via wine shop that sold 'box car' must pick up a bottle and try and see if its as mad as I remember it
Dolores, met up with some of Chad and Jeans friends, all incredibly easy to talk to - and the day just drifted by, chatting and listening to stories, everyone seemed very happy At one point we went to Bi-rite to pick up dessert, when we left there was a queue to get in, mad! Left the park, home, changed, out to downtown for Macy's, bought a plate and looked at lots of clothes, finally found some trousers (Sean John) and shirt (American rag) which were/are lovely walk to Clift hotel for blackberry margaritas, on the second round (oops) we asked to watch the bar tender make then for future reference, basically its lots of ice with little of the actual drink, but that's probably for the best
Then to Colibre for Mexican, we learn't today that Colibre means 'humming bird', another blackberry margarita, then off to Mandarin hotel for cocktails and the to skybridge to watch the fireworks on the 48th floor, staff did stop one couple at the lifts who weren't staying but sneaking in to watch the fireworks, technically we werrn't staying, but did open a tab and were customers, anyway, was amazing that there were show firework displays timed to happen at the same time Back downstairs, two glasses of cava (yum) and staggered to Muni, to Dolores park, managed to get the 33 bus up the hill (phew) and we were home, two Will and Grace, bed! Thursday Hangover! We did very little to write about today, bit both spent most of the day writing, I was trying to work on song, but wasn't really working out, but worked on blogs too and all in all was a good day Bath then Leanne called round, wine, chat, Cheese, olives Then it was time to leave with Chad and Gene to go to restaurant to meet Christina It was tapas, so think we almost had everything on the menu apart from the sea bass, that they were really trying to push on us Bill was expensive, but there you go, nicked a napkin so all is equal Walk back with everyone, apartment, drinking, writing, up till 2am for goodness sake, but worked on 4 Spacedogsradio shows Friday Yet another hangover, but thats booze for you, but at least we won't be drinking now for a while, phew! Most the day spent working on new spacedogs radio shows, very exciting, think they are improving! Then it was time to get ready for duck lake show, went to get bus,
But got cab, arrived, bit of a wait but ended up with front row seats, even as they tried to add another row we sneaked in there too. Show was good, but too long, less is more, 3 hours in a theatre on an indie piece? And not any real ducks! Tut!
Cab back, Will and Grace, bed Saturday Relaxing day, breakfast, popped into Mollie Stones for essentials, home, lunch, working on space dogs radio, made Goulash for dinner later and out to Castro Theatre for Scary Cow short film festival, we had VIP tickets which came into their own later, stayed for 1st hour, best film was sort of documentary about the story of the Martini and where it cam from, did it come from Martinez or San Francisco? Then home via Frapez (smoothie) and Walgreens (stuff) home, dinner (delish) then back to Castro for 2nd half of festival, one of films was dull and too long but the rest were fun to watch and we got to vote for our faves Then upstairs for free booze and outside for free tacos, was talking to Leonard for most of the evening, a gay bible preacher into bondage, if you will Sunday Just in from lovely evening spent at Dosa with Michael, Maryann and Will. Food was excellent, the vindaloo was sublime! This morning, up, breakfast, out to FSC barber on Valencia St for haircut, great idea, you turn up, take the first free haircutter person and for 40 dollar you got yourself a new look. Its all very retro with the 50's style a music I scanned the line of people and saw one person and I don't know why, but I thought ' I hope I don't get her' and I did, was ok, she was a bit intense, 'you tend to lean your head' like, and? Anyway, whole experience was very exciting and felt recharged
33 bus home, lunch, out to Stern Grove for festival but was rammed and the park looked like a refugee camp with people perched on rocks like music loving sea gulls, if only we had had collapsible chairs and blankets et al Anyway, stayed for only short while, then off via a coyote warning!
Popped into shops at west portal, picked up some bargain CD's and back to apartment via Walgreens, Mollies and queen Malika for coffee and crepe (banana/ nutella)
Home, chilling out, writing, then out to Dosa on Filmore Twas a wee bit nippy, so had a wander along the street (as we were early) there had been some festival on that we missed, maybe next time eh? Restaurant, chatting, talking about my blog, seemed to stir the conversation nicely, all in all, great evening! and also enjoyed the sea creature lampshade things
Monday OK, we go home in 3 weeks time today! So much to do? The trainers are due to arrive today, very exciting!! Awake early, breakfast, online, will I be a web designer? Cleaner Diana arrived, and off for lunch to Dolores Park cafe, had lovely chai, banana, soy, smoothie! Checked mail and trainers arrived at 12.14! And very lovely they are too! Back up the hill, pop in Mollies and home, trainers, fab!!
Spent the day on the house, updating websites and working on space dogs radio Dinner was chilli, looking at plans for weeks ahead
Tuesday We have reserved a Zipcar today, so will be trip out to Stinson Beach and Muir woods! Breakfast, writing, getting ready and out we went! Car was short walk away and was lovely, even had a handbrake and a joy to drive! Fog hid the goldengate bridge as we drive over (spooky) and hit the 101 highway to Pallookaville well not quite, it was a foggy, sunny, blue sky, foggy drive, we had a quick stop at Muir 'overlook' to look at the stunning view, of, er, well fog actually, at least it was warm.
Popped into the 'toilet' and although it looked fine from a distance, on closer inspection you could see that basically it was a hole in the ground beyond the actual 'toilet' So drove on and hit Stinson, just as the fog rolled in, was odd to be on a beach with fog moving really fast like smoke in the breeze, seemed like a battle between the sun and the fog going on
Moved onto the 'town' looked at couple of places and decided to go with Breakers, both had breakfast things with eggs, yummy!
Went to look at the 'shops' in truth, there were only 3, one of which was only open at weekends
Back in car to Muir Woods, which was excellent, made me feel alive, charged and full of energy, incredible experience, bit similar to when we first came to San Francisco, did the shops et al
Drive back to San Francisco, enjoyed driving the car, home Rest and then out to Americano (cue the song) for pizzas, like the starter of sprout and artichoke fritti and the pizzas were yummy too, esp the one which combined goats cheese, lemon, chilli and caramelized onion, mad! Picked up tickets for LCD sound system film next week and train back to apartment, tired! Wednesday Up, breakfast, writing, out to Haight, which turned out to be lovely, and brought in a day of contrasts Paul bought coat in first shop we went in, then we went for great bales in 'cafe for the people', had a mooch down the road and then we and bought CD's in the amazing amoeba records, which is great shop and sells loads of great music, bought loads of stuff for spacedogsradio
Back on bus, dinner (goulash) and out to the the theater (darling) for My Fair Lady, where to start? This is what was in the press release: The San Francisco Playhouse has re-invented this classic Broadway musical to fit their intimate stage. By stripping the show to its core, casting much younger actors as Higgins and Pickering, as well as a street tough Eliza, our production aims to stir more romantic heat, while desanitizing our mis-conceptions of what was a very gritty London of 1912. Performed by a cast of 11 actors with two pianos, this My Fair Lady will return to Shawâ€™s original purpose while honoring the glorious score. This is Paul's review
Just in from My Fair Lady at the SF Theatre. Everyone on stage had graduated from the Dick Van Dyke School of Acting - with honours! Ominously the director welcomed us at the beginning of the evening to a "preview" and invited us to fill out a form in the programme with our tips and suggestions as "we are still working on how best to tell this magnificent story". We both looked at each other and said "They are not ready are they?".
Curtain up. Actually there was no curtain. Lights up. Here we are in Covent Garden or us it a mausoleum/graveyard from a previous production? Actors arrive on stage but have forgotten to bring their accents with them. The woman playing ELiza Doolittle, Monique Hafen, is stunningly devoid of charm and like the rest of the cast uses an international accent that travels from Ireland to India on to Australia and the US of A, where A doesn't stand for America. "With a little bit of luck" she occasionally lands in London ; Worse than the wandering accents is the costume design by Abra Berman. "Wouldn't It Be Lovely" if the individual costumes matched to the characters that wore them? . The dreadful costume design goes a long way to undermining the credibility of the whole piece with all the costumes seemingly from different time periods and styles. Elisa's father looks like he has wandered off the set of a school play, dressed in a thin cloak with rainbow colours and a scarf. He really looks like a dust man and nails that character by delivering his lines with camp relish.
The scene with the elocution lesson is suddenly and surprisingly tense, as it seems certain that cast and audience are in real danger from the uncontrollable oil lamp on stage with its ever increasing flame. The tangible fear in the eyes of Professor Higgins and Eliza unsettles the audience until Colonel Pickering helpfully ad libs that maybe the flame should be put out and Higgins should start over. The audience unclench their buttocks and with relief on their faces the actors cautiously movethe scene on, tentatively blowing at the reduced flame.
Credit where credit is due though. Richard Frederick and Johnny Moreno just about hold the show together as respectively Colonel Pickering and Henry Higgins. Eliza is the real black hole which they cant compensate for and the supporting cast also don't make their jobs any easier. Freddy annunciates - every - line - in - his - songs - using - his - hands - and - wide - eyes - to - summon - up - an - image - for - every - word. "On - the - street", bend knee, crouch down, wave hand over stage floor, "where- you - live", raise arm, point to front door, increase craziness in eyes, and gurn! His singing voice is fine but the delivery is so below amateurish that you find yourself staring in disbelief.
Another 'mouth falling open moment' for the audience is at the Ascot races where the direction inexplicably requires the cast to fall in to poses of simulated sexual assault and unintended buggery. We are perplexed by the sudden change of tone, which is wholly at odds with the music and words, and shows no understanding of how the humour should work in this scene. To avoid any further confusion a helpful glossary in the programme translates English to American e.g. Dustman we will all note is a Garbage Collector. But when Eliza shouts "move your bloomin arse", there is no equivalent translation "move your mutherfuckin ass".
The publicity for the show is so far removed from what is before our eyes that the Theatre really should be made to issue a further set of translations. "This classic Broadway musical is reinvented into a fresh new production designed to fit the intimate SF Playhouse Stage." should read "The classic Broadway musical is unrecognisable in a murderous production clumsily staged at the cramped SF 'Theatre". ; "By stripping the show to its core, the power, brilliance and humor of the original pour forth with new life " should be read as "By following the script in a totally pedestrian and unimaginative way, the brilliance and humour of the show both have the life strangled out of them". ; "Foregoing elaborate sets and extravagant production numbers, this My Fair Lady will focus on Elizaâ€™s emotional journey." was clearly "With not enough money to do justice to the script, and foregoing direction, imagination, design, costumes, dancing and accents, this My Fair Lady focuses on the inanimate features of a very wooden Eliza." ; So take a bow director Bill English. His programme notes stated that "presenting this chamber version with a young, passionate Higgins, a tough, determined Eliza and two pianos has been one of the great pleasures of my life". So at least someone enjoyed their evening. Well done Bill - "You Did It". "I Could Have Danced All Night" but not on Audrey Hepburn's grave. Bill - "Just You Wait". ; Hense to say, we left during the interval, went to the Hyatt for cocktails, but not as good as usual, so we left after one, off to Blush in Castro for cocktails, but they didn't do any so we left, off to Mollies for bottle of wine we wanted, but they didn't do it any more..... Home, wine, writing, bed Thursday Spent the day mooching round the apartment, out to post office for stamps and Mollies for food stuff Had a go at looking street and contemporary
Delish tea with organic purple carrots, sweet potato mash with fig balsamic vinegar and free range chicken! Food joy! About to leave to gig it with Howard Jones! Passed by the Milano hotel and we wondered if its possible to have a mint Milano in the hotel Milano?
Got to the venue, long queue and big bird!
Howard Jones was great, fogotten how many songs by him i knew and the crowd loved it, sound system was great too
After there cab ot bar for night cap of Taquilla Fix and well spicy it was too Friday Spent the day mooching round the apartment
Made eggs Benedict for lunch, its a complicated thing to put together, will deffo make again, with a little less lemon!
Out to Dolores Park Cafe to see Katharine Cole/ Kitty Rose sing her songs, and she was fab, great energy and using great effect on vocal to give harmony, clearly love what she does
Got CD and Paul got it signed Back to the apartment, writing, found software for visuals that works and with itunes, so happy about that, will be able to put together a show now Saturday It's all abit colder and cloudier than expected, right now sat in the sun taking in the rays This evening we have hired a car and out to Cabolt to an observatory to look at the stars, watch films, go shopping Just in after nightmare journey on freeway back to apartment, journey to observatory wasn't great, drivers were very 'moody'
Saw Saturn through telescope, was amazing, though I did think someone had drawn image on black cardboard Looked round exhibits
Saw a film on the 'time of maya' or something like that, bit dull and kind of interesting if you like been given tons of information about a culture in 15 minutes, but the seats were comfy and lying back in the dark, was so tempting to fall asleep
After that had expressing and twix (nice) which reminds me made a very delish carbonara for dinner! Yumalicious Wonder round exhibits
Back to watch another film, 'takes of the moon' bit dull again and really they need to pep it up it were all be asleep (maybe just me then?) Quick last look at Saturn, but Uranus not in view Journey back, jeepers, lots to cope with, low gas, journey taking almost 2 hours instead of 30 minutes, taking forever.... This from a website kind of sums it up I was stuck on the bridge from 9:30pm to 11:40pm on the evening of Saturday, July 14, a little over 2 hours. I had driven past a notification that there was an "accident" and to use alternate routes to SF but there was nothing about all 5 lanes being closed to clear the asphalt. It was horrible last night. And I want to see the company that was responsible for transporting the asphalt sued or at least shamed. A white diesel truck hauling 2 dump trucks carrying the asphalt was responsible for the spill, apparently a car had cut off the truck as it was approaching the S-curve. More likely, the truck was going way too fast, and lost its load trying to navigate/slow down in time for the stupid S-curve. The white diesel truck with the 2 dump trucks filled with asphalt was an accident waiting to happen and should be sued for having put the public at risk. What was it doing driving at 8:20pm on a Saturday night? It ruined my Sat night and that of thousands of other drivers who thought the traffic going across the Bay Bridge would be light but found a sig-alert instead, having to spend 2 hours in brutal parking lot type conditions just sitting and going 1 foot a minute. I called the CHP and found out that the SF log number from the CHP is: 1956 dated July 14,2012 and there is no info about the driver, or the name of the company that hired the driver and the trucks to carry the asphalt. idiots! Anyway, home now, wine, bed soon, active day tomorrow Sunday Up, spot of breakfast and out for the day, left the apartment feeling great, passed a dog on lead and unfortunately it wanted to attack me with claws and teeth, luckily there was barrier of my wallet to stop main force, but am slightly bruised and was upset, the owner didn't do anything though which afterwards did bug me Onto Trace for brunch, it used to be XYZ which we loved esp when we had a booth, it all seemed a bit too square (design) and cold (design) Monday
Had at go at playing with some ideas for logos for spacedogsradio shows
Tuesday Two weeks today we will be in London, hard to contemplate that at the moment Today was spent at the apple store, well 4 hours of the day. Two workshops on GarageBand and one on logic. I can see why people want to use logic, looks fun and you can do some great things with the software and looks fun to play with and the professionals use it, but would need new computer just to have it, so seems a little luxurious (and yes i had to spell check that word) to say the least Also popped into container store for well, mini container bottled things, old navy for jim jam bottoms, fresh for shampoo for Paul and walgreens for health stuff Workshops were great, middle one less so, and of only I had the software to pay with, but you need a mac, so will stick with Home, mint Milano time, Paul had a massage and been told of great places to go for food and stuff Then out to Michael and Wills for large glass of red and then out to Eliza's for crazy named food, like Drums from heaven Parrot in the men's room
lots of chatting about life, work, stuff, fun, enjoyable! vertical garden
bus home, at bus stop saw bar/ food place, liked the writing on the window
Home, updating our lives Wednesday Twas a shopping day today, out to El Macy's in Stonestown, short (allegedly) muni although it changed letters halfway through from M to K, make of that what you will, so basically, 99% of the people got off - fun! M, two stops and at mall, time for yummy soups (corn chowder and mexican chilli tortilla) the lid wouldn't come off mine so had ot take back for help (sad but true) Then to macy's which seemed to have more choice and the clothes were cheaper, so bought my wardrobe for the year, even saw a tie (that if i wore them) wanted
Tried on lots and lots, even got a designer shirt for £5.65 Then it was time to leave, well we had been there 3 hours
Back on the train to Castro, even Paul had the shopping bug and picked up coat for £28
Back to apartment, sandwich, mint milano and out again, past foxtail ferns
To Embarcadero cinema to see LCD soundsystem film, shut up and play the hits Fun, great energy, but I did feel that 'I can do that' so I will Then onto Contago for dinner, Past trans america
Yummy wine and food, starter was squash blossom stuffed with ricotta, heaven
Thursday The week is going by so quickly!! Had a great day, up early-ish as wanted to get to Gautier exhibition before was busy, no33 to golden gate park then walk (dodging the water sprays on the grass)
We arrived, and wow, the exhibition, really was alive, with manikin dolls with videos on, felt like we were in a show
Some were speaking, some were singing, some were talking.....
Original sketches from 5th element
Saw some great building blocks.....
Did the shop/s and out for lunch..
Through the goldengate park
Into cafe for the people for bagels, and yummy they were too.....
Then we hit the shops, and boy did we, gifts, fun things, new wallet from 'cheap thrills;
Great coffee and chocolate from 'stanza' - great indie music playing too
Into amoeba records, and Paul definitely has the 'shopping bug'
Tired, we head home, coffee, mint milano, curry for dinner, TV (big bang and 30 rock and Graham Norton on BBC America) Friday (already!!!!) Awake very VERY early for some peculiar reason so was pretty exhausted the whole day Breakfast and into town to meet Marrianne at MOMA for photo exhibition that was pretty grim though there was amazing video called tango which was really funny http://www.wat.tv/video/tango-zbigniew-rybczynski-2882h_2f1q3_.html Then out to cafe on rooftop for tea, my oolong was hand (or should it be 'paw') picked by monkeys The sun was shinning and it was a great day, then onto Bart to valencia/ mission for Limon and cocktails (yum) and nibbling on yuca and sweet potato fries (yum yum) Called in Dolores Park Cafe on way home to listen to http://www.austinfarrellmusic.com/ play live, was great if you like folk ragga music (and composting) Then back to apartment for catching up with writing, cava, 30 rock
Saturday Up to a yummy breakfast of honey granola, chai seeds and soy milk sweetened with agave
Then out to Queen Malika for coffees, then sorted out my CD's that have bought into flexible cases
Back and then ready for our day, we were on a architectural (difficult word to spell) tour of the financial district
Thinnest building in San Francisco
Didn't know what to expect, but it was brilliant and learnt all about POPOs privately owned public open spaces, where all new buildings have to have some open space for the public to use, but it not really advertised and there are secret gardens all over the city
Great tour, and was really interesting After the tour, back to Castro via Diesel for spot of shopping, Paul bought a coat, me, undies, in my size (petite) To Queen Malika for crepes, and boy was it hot/ sunny today
Back to apartment, Leanne suggested that drive to the beach, just before having a coffee and spot of shopping
Me with Mabell
Garden at back of shop
Onto the beach and dipped my toes into the pacific ocean
This is the car we went in
Sunday Left the apartment and passed a lovely bush
Today we hired a zipcar and started the day with brunch at Beretta, which was yummy, i had a virgin Mary and the lemon and horseradish juts blew my tastebuds off the planet, was truly mad! and the food was pretty good too! Then headed off for the scenic drive, and everything on paper sounded lovely
But it was horrible really. busy, lots of traffic, people, the mini cooper open top was a bit pokey/ noisy/ and on the freeway felt a tad vulnerable from the elements/ other cars. Up and down and back and forward we went, although as was driving and trying to concentrate didn't really get to see much, but driving up the steep slopes was exhilarating to say the least The tour took us to fishermans wharf, more traffic, we tried to avoid and head for golden gate, yet more traffic and tried to park to go to the shop, but was impossible and the 'overflow' parking had cones and even though it said parking was for employees from Monday to Friday, and this was a Sunday, a voice from above let us know that if we parked there our car would be towed, how delightful so we gave up on that one, and abandoned the tour, and head to the legion of honor for the 'man ray' exhibition, found it, head for the cafe to cake/ coffee and to be surrounded by birds ala Hitchcock
Man Ray, not very exciting really, about 4 images were OK, but a tad dull, as was the shop/s Paul wanted a photo of just outside the exhibition, was that was a 'no' from security
Carried on in the car and slowly head back, tried to find Cole Valley, finally did but no parking, so carried on Back to Castro, dropped off the car, Mollies for wine and stuff, Queen Mailka for coffee, finally started to feel normal after the car stuff Monday Our last week, next Monday we are homeward bound, today I must decide if i am going for that job interview in Bristol (or not) Its now the evening, and I still haven't decided, although I think it may be a 'no' Spent most of the day in the apartment, trying to look at the 'packing issue', morning coffee at Queen Malika, and lunch of crepe there too, all very lovely! Tried to upload spacedogs radio to an online storage thing so i don't lose my work, and it appears to be doing it, although am not convinced and won't be till i see the files on my iPhone In the evening we were invited out for dinner with Chad and Gene to a Vietnamese restaurant , we ate loads and twas all lovely, was particularly taken with the crispy noodles presented as a birds nest filled with seafood
Tuesday 24th July Breakfast and out to Queen/ Cafe Malika for coffee. Then we went to see an apartment for a future renting/ airbnb. The climb up the hill is a bit much and the stairs into the apartment are bit much, but the view of the city once you get there is great
Can imagine eating breakfasts looking at the city everyday (exhausted from the climb to get there that is) Wednesday breakfast then queen malika for coffee and bear apple turnover, apartment then out to see another apartment on Ord St, juts round the corner and also close by zipcars and queen mailka, one bedroom, small, but great outside space, so would be great for good weather Then Paul was going to an apple workshop and tagged along to 'buy an extra bag' not for me, really!
Popped into disagua, saw lovely shirt
But too expensive at 64, found later on ebay 40 cheaper So, small sandwich at Cafe Madaline
Then into Macy's for a browse and then Bart to Valencia, but for some reason the stops ain't named the same as what the driver says, so went on two stops more, went back, but not enough along Valencia so had a bit of a walk, hey ho, Onto FSC barber for haircut and felt completely pampered with hot towels at razors and stuff, engaged in conversation, sort of, they are not really chatter boxes in there
Back to apartment, more packing in the new bag
We were both shattered, so decided to go to super duper for burger, the vanilla shakes are very yummy. Onto mollies for wine, and vanilla and espresso bean ice cream with raspberries
TV, wine, tired, bed! Thursday Was the last morning in the apartment
I love this drink
Guess we had bought a couple of CD's then?
Head count to see if everyone present and correct
And after packing and placing a million tiny objects within larger objects we were ready to go for coffee/ bear claw at cafe malika
Played the game, where is Paul
We lived and loved here for 5 weeks
This is where I wrote some songs and worked on spacedogs radio
Back to the apartment, last bits and pieces and then out to pick up the zipcar from hattie.
The roadworks on 18th were VERY annoying with the fecking beeping as we tried to pack the car and we were off to the hotel, with its no turn lefts we finally got there and unloaded, checked in, and we were told we were staying on the top floor!!! Said 'hey' to Michael, I was called 'foxy loxy' not sure what it means, but it sounds great Back in the car, dropped off, apartment to drop off keys and back to malika for crepe (number 11) and coffee
Squeak getting in on the action
Said farewell to Queen Malika
Said farewell to Mollie Stones
Mobile air/ beach thing
Castro notice board
Said farewell and onto Castro for past bit of shopping in Cliff's Valley (sunglasses)
And said farewell to Castro
Muni to Montgomery, hotel, hello, room, top floor
Everything is all very wonderful in here
At 5 was feeling slightly peckish and low and behold cheese, crackers, fruit and bottle of wine arrived (complimentary of course)
Out for dinner to Dosa, 38 bus there, packed, restaurant, arrived on time although we did think we 30 minutes early, table upstairs at back of restaurant, Paul got us moved closer to the window. We had the tasting menu paired with wine and were slightly disappointed. 2 starters? instead of a dessert? small amounts of wine which apart from the first course were a bit underwhelming, and then the bill had $18 extra (mistake) and they wanted to charge $4 for the 'complimentary water', hmmm, would go again, but eat from the main menu, more choice and would be cheaper Back on the bus, was an 'entertaining' journey, with one mad person saying to another 'are you crazy' - crazy! Hotel, yummy wine
Writing, bed just after midnight, tired Oh yes, well is BBC America just mostly showing top gear??? Friday Had some very strange dreams, I was hanging out with some freaks (rubber, colored hair, piercings, that kind of thing) all well, I was the designated driver, trying to get up a very steep slope. Then we were being filmed and I was watching it played back, I was very camp with my bum cheeks showing through some trousers, but I was THIN, so that was OK with me So, its our last weekend here, we both can't understand where the time has gone, we have diaries and I have spacedogs radio shows to prove we did something! 'farewell to castro' maybe a good title for a book? Just in from viewing POPO's on a mini Paul tour with Leonard, was fun, sun was shinning and we had no probs getting into the secret gardens View of hotel/ room from corner of Sansome and Sutter
We had arranged to meet Leonard, all was quiet in the room, then suddenly there was a noise, what was it? it was coming from the street, it was a demonstration from the 99%, today it was the janitors about the 1% - its a big thing here So, met Leo, into a POPOS for a crepe (not as good as queen malika), then onwards to wells fargo, to the roof for views
Then we found one which was an open space downstairs, very peaceful
POPOS with fountain/ waterfall
We found a POPOS like a little oasis
The POPOS at 101 Calafornia was great with my friends the foxtail ferns
Sun reflected on the water
And finally it was 343 Sansome St, the best but at 15 floors up, it made my legs go funny, but it was great to be on the roof as we had seen this since we first started to stay at the hotel, and would be great to go back for lunch sometime
We arranged to hopefully see Leo again in New York (as you do) and back to hotel, and the fog rolled on in
Rest, bath, writing, getting peckish, then out to Wilson and Wilson for cocktails We just in from redwood room, you will be pleased to hear that after slight mix up we got free cocktails again, just like last time! It's quickly becoming a tradition! Before that went to Wilson and Wilson, took 35 minutes to get out drinks, but there were nice, Paul had serifs curse, me charlie chan, quite potent and yummy! Colibre for our usual's, drinks felt a little light on booze, then Cliff, which was busy and they didn't have our reservation, and didn't seem all that bothered really, cocktails arrived but were not right at all, too much lemon or lime and no booze, Paul took to the bar, much better and at the end waitress said that we didn't have to pay for them! Saturday (two days left) Breakfast, Paul had massage in spa, then out to Ferry building, bought some oil and vinegar from stonehouse, back to hotel and out again, Paul had workshop at apple, which he enjoyed, I did a bit of shopping Back to hotel, change and then out to the bubble lounge for champagne cocktails, first (pink lady) was great, but 2nd was sent back as too bitter, then onwards to contagna,
Food was great, and wine lush, evening and a bit mad with the very VERY drunk loud woman sat next to us We decided during our meal at Catogna, that fave restaurants on this trip have been (drum roll please) Queen malika Cotagna Bardesdona Colibre Americano Beretta Zero zero Trace Dosa Super duper Mo Eliza Firewood Myaccy Vietmese Perbacco
Sunday (last full day) Woke up to a foggy day and a slight hangover
View from our room
Funky light bulbs in the room
Downstairs, saw Michael and Marriann, made arrangements to see Marriann later. Out to shops, picked up last bits and pieces, Paul bought new coat from Gstar, back to hotel, change, nibbles and out for coffee to ferry building with Marriann, had delish chai freddo from Peets coffee, then.... Zero zero for meal, cocktails were groovy with cucumber in it
And then the last sunset arrived
Monday Last day, had a dream of opening restaurant, fusion style, called 'Merge' 'wake up and own the day' Morning of packing, not very relaxing, all 'do-able' I'm sure, the only difficult bit might be the journey from paddington to euston - we shall see! Went to POPOs for lunch, and the sun was shinning
Jupiter in my pocket?
Final 'taking of photos from the room'
Hoped the foxtail fern made is home safely
And here we are, in the virgin Atlantic lounge sipping cocktails, in 40 minutes we should be enjoying going through security!
Ok, so we bought more bags, then More stuff, and red case lock broke, then fixed, borrowed screwdriver from hotel, in car Paul realized he'd left iPad at hotel, in the room, after arriving at airport Paul nearly left new coat in cab, in lounge I knocked drink over, all in all, a near perfect day! But what is the local time? Onto plane, was a bit of a zoo with screaming children and 'can't be bothered parents' "Tabitha , is this your ipad"? Eventually we were moved back to the original seats we were in and all was fine, and we were off Said our goodbyes from the sky to everyone below, drinks, food - which was a bit poor, more drinks, bed, sleep (I think) awake, breakfast (poor) landed and thankfully we were first in with no one at security, bags came out, trolley, through customs and to Heathrow express Traveling light sir?
Tuesday (I think) To hotel, room, we were upgraded but the room was less fancy than the last one, but at least we were promised 'complimentary' breakfast Out to dinner to Carluccios in the airport, it takes a skill to remove all taste and flavour from the food, but this place managed it well In the airport, they had photos of London and we viewed the places we have lived
Back to room, TV, trying to stay awake, bed Wednesday So here we are, sat in Euston, at the 'sloe bar' called so as there is a 10 minute wait for coffee! I've traveled this distance, no wonder I'm a bit pooped
Train was ready, as we tried to find our carriage/seat a very unhelpful woman asked 'is this your own luggage, you're only supposed take as much luggage as you can carry' - which we were, so not sure what her actual problem was and certainly didn't help the stress rates Train, long, tooth was playing me up coz the filling had come out during our 'complimentary' breakfast, so just wanted the journey to be over Chester, Gwen picked us up, piled everything in the car and we were off on the final bit of the holiday On arrival home, hooray to find the garden (door step) all flowery and green