Mundane Journeys

31 07 2008

This is a woman after my own heart. Every week Kate Pocrass records a phone message that sends listeners to some corner of the City to have them notice – and sometimes interact with – small, usually unnoticed details. A few weeks ago, the journey was to a corner grocery in the TL. Instructions were to ask the guy behind the counter about the cut-out poster in the back of the shop. Can you imagine what those guys must have thought? It makes me giggle.

Here’s the number for Mundane Journeys. Call it! Call every week. Maybe I’ll see you out there…


What would YOU recommend to someone who wanted to take a mundane journey?



The Surprising History of Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat

30 07 2008

When I was growing up in Ohio, San Francisco was the place my grandmother loved, the place my parents got that yummy orange spice tea that we brought out on special occasions, and of course, the place that Rice-A-Roni comes from! Pretty much my entire knowledge of San Francisco was the Golden Gate Bridge and this picture. Who knew that I’d end up working for five years just over the hill from this scene, right at the end of the California Street line? My co-workers and I could tell which operator was on shift by the bell clanging, and we’d smugly laugh at the tourists who wore shorts. Honestly! You are NOT in L.A.!

Laughing Squid let me know that NPR’s Morning Edition will feature the history of Rice-A-Roni, that San Francisco treat. Tune in tomorrow, July 31, 2008 to hear all about it, or check the Morning Edition or Kitchen Sisters website if you miss it.

The Birth of Rice-A-Roni

San Francisco, 1948. The worlds of a young Canadian immigrant, an Italian pasta making family, and an old Armenian woman converge in this story of the creation of the “San Francisco Treat.”

After World War II, newlyweds Lois and Tom DeDomenico moved into the San Francisco apartment of an old Armenian woman, Pailadzo Captanian. During the day, while Tom was off working at his family’s Golden Grain Macaroni factory, Lois spent long kitchen afternoons with Mrs. Captanian learning to make yogurt, baklava, and Armenian rice pilaf while listening to the old woman’s dramatic life story — of the Armenian Genocide, of her husband’s death, her separation from her two young sons and her tortutous deportation trek from Turkey to Syria along with thousands of other women and children. Years later, when Lois made rice pilaf one night for dinner, Tom’s brother Vincent looked down at his plate and said, “This would be good in a box. We’ve got rice, we’ve got macaroni.” And Rice-A-Roni was born.


What’s YOUR favorite San Francisco treat?

Mission Mission

25 07 2008

If you couldn’t tell by now, I really like San Francisco but I love the Mission.  Earlier this week I stumbled across a great blog called Mission Mission. I want to steal all their stuff. Instead, I’ll just put a bug in your ear to head on over there and see what they got going on.

Here are a few of their recent posts that make me tingly all over:

New Tractor-Seat Stools at Mission Pie

Fruit on Your Fruit Trees Going to Waste? – About some Mission neighborhood people who give away their excess harvest to folks who can really use it at Treat Commons Community Garden (at 23rd and Treat) every Sunday from 1-3pm. They take donations! Tired of tripping on those apricot stones? Now you can do something useful with your fruit before it rots on the ground. Free Farm Stand.

Haiku Reviews of Mission District Taquerias  – Refers to another blog ( that does bi-weekly haiku restaurant reviews.  This week she did Mission taquerias. (She’s not as thrilled with Pancho Villa as I am). Here are a couple of the reviews of the reviews:

3409 24th St. (@ Valencia)

clean, well-lit, quite fine.
burritos yes, tacos no.
sometimes a bit bland.

   Yep, Papalote in a nutshell.

2288 Mission St. (btw 18th & 19th Sts.)
3211 Mission St. (@29th St.)
1003 Market St. (@ 6th St.)

ugh. why? well, it’s bad,
it’s dirty, and it’s not nice.
I don’t get it. blech.

   Wait, what!? Actually, it’s good, it’s no dirtier than Farolito, and it’s nice. I totally get it. Yum!

Famous for Eating Tacos

23 07 2008

You never know what’s going to happen when you’re waiting for your friend to show up for dinner. A couple nights ago I was ouside Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th Street (between Mission and Valencia) when a news crew showed up to do a story about salmonella-tainted jalapaNos. Lucky me!

By the way, my vote for best burrito has always gone to Pancho Villa. When I was there the other night, though, I had truly the BEST BURRITO EVER. I think the secret is getting it with refried beans – the regular pinto kind, not refried black beans. Yum! Oh, and mild salsa this time (no jalapeNos 😉 ).

Here’s one of my favorite photo sequences of my Uncle Ernie in Pancho Villa a few years ago.



What’s YOUR favorite burrito in town?


Owl in the Window

22 07 2008

One of my favorite things about my job as a feng shui consultant is that I get to go into peoples’ homes and see how people live. And one of my favorite things about seeing how people live is noticing those unique, precious sacred “moments in space” that could only come about through the alchemy of combining that particular person with that particular place.

This sweet view sang to me. I took the picture at a consultation in a Berkeley home last month.

Send me a pic of your favorite sweet spot (I’m at I’d love to share more of these with you all.



New England Vacation in San Francisco

21 07 2008

I’m not getting away this summer. So good thing my friend Donna finally persuaded me to have dinner last week at Woodhouse Fish Company. I’ve been hearing about it and passing it by for a few years since it replaced Cafe Cuvee in the Castro. I thought is was some upscale fish place, and was so delighfully surprised that it was more low-key and I actually felt for a few moments like I was on vacation in a New England village rather than sitting on Market Street (at 14th) staring at Safeway and watching traffic go by.

Our server was delightful, the food came fast, and it was DELISH. Here’s the confession – it’s not really the healthy kind of fish place. It was more like deep fried everything. But GOOD deep fried, if you know what I mean. You did know that authentic foods have less calories than their fast food counterparts, didn’t you?

BTW – Donna got the do-it-yourself lemonade… they bring out all the ingredients – lemon juice, simple syrup, water – and you get to mix it to your taste.  Fun and yummy.

What’s your favorite vacation-getaway-in-a-meal spot?

Goodbye BlogHers!

21 07 2008

I guess I’m officially a blogger, because today I went to a blogging conference! About a thousand women from around the world converged on Union Square to talk about all things related to blogging.

This is just my little shout out to say thanks, ladies! I hope to keep in touch and continue to learn from you. To the rest of you: hopefully you’ll some improvements in this site soon!