Bernal Heights Sock Exchange

31 12 2008

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If Bernal Heights were still how it was 20 years ago, we might be seeing a needle exchange here. Or if it were closer to the Financial District we might find a stock exchange. Today, though, this sweet neighborhood – my first when I moved to San Francisco in 1995, and which I still want to call “home” – is host to the Bernal Heights Sock Exchange, and it’s exactly the kind of thing you’d expect here.

Next time you’re looking for that missing sock – or have a few to offer – head on over to the Bernal Bubbles laundromat on the south end of the Cortland Avenue main drag. You just might have some luck!

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Skyscape at the de Young

21 12 2008

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img_2114img_2107img_2110  A few months ago my friend Donna took me to this wonderful part of the de Young museum I’d never been to before, even though I’ve sipped drinks and eaten lunch right next to it several times. In the back corner, behind the cafe, look for a mound covered with shaggy grass. Then walk behind it (wearing your entrance sticker and passing the guard) and you’ll discover an entrance into it!  Walk around the edges inside, then emerge into a round chamber with a big round opening in the ceiling. Not huge. Not technologically “advanced.” But profound.

 I thought you would enjoy these photos today, on this most powerful of solstices, going deep inside and looking forward to the return of the light.

P.S. Please comment below if you know what this is called.





Those floors! Skipping at the Embarcadero Center

16 11 2008

Embarcadero Center floor

 

I’ve always loved the tiled floors at the Embarcadero Center downtown… they are very cool, don’t you think!

I just did a little research about this place that I’ve pretty much taken for granted (except for the floors) for 13 years.  Did you know it has over four million (**gasp!!!**) square feet of office and retail space built on 8.5 acres, right in the heart of the old Barbary Coast. My favorite spot there, of course, is the cinema, which shows art, foreign and alternative films. (My advice: get there WAY early on weekend nights if you actually want a seat and aren’t just there to admire the floors.)  Pretty decent Indian food at Gaylord’s, too. I’ve even been salsa dancing on those floors – in my book, not recommended for ladies with heels!

What’s YOUR favorite spot at the Embarcadero Center? Comment below…





Who knew? Train through the Mission

11 11 2008

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Thanks (yet again!) to Mission Mission for the heads up on this a wonderful online display showing where the Southern Pacific Railroad used to run diagonally across the grid of Mission streets. Go to the display site for an oversized version to scroll around and see some great photos (be patient while it loads – it’s worth the wait!). The tracks beyond Valencia were removed in 1942. If you’re familiar with the neighborhood, you can follow the map and you’ll understand why a lot of things are the way they are.  Incredible!





Magical Morning Window

10 11 2008

I love telling people about my chair. This is where I go every morning to listen to the birds and talk to the trees, to read, write, doodle, highlight, plan, meditate, sketch, and do anything else that will help me start the day right, connected and tuned in to what’s really important. (Do I sound California or what?)

Here’s the view from my chair during that magical moment when the sunlight has just appeared.

How do YOU start your day?  Comment below…





Signs of Change

4 11 2008

Here’s my NEW favorite street sign, courtesy of the good people over at SFist. This street USED to be called Bush:

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Love the green light!

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For those who missed the past post, this was my favorite street sign before today:

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Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

30 10 2008

It’s coming up… my favorite San Francisco holiday: Day of the Dead. This is one of those gems that you just can’t appreciate without being there. The first time I went seven or eight years ago, I actually thought, “I bet Mardi Gras used to feel something like this before it became a tourist event.” It’s that magical and real and beautiful.

Day of the Dead – Dia de los Muertos in Spanish – comes at a time in the year when cultures all over the world consider that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thinnest. Native peoples in various parts of the Americas, including Mexico and Central America, believe/d that life is really a dream, and that when we die we awake to real life.  Hence, death was something to celebrate – a perspective that is still alive in some areas.  In some parts people go to the cemeteries and spend the day partying with their dearly beloveds.

Here in San Francisco, we dance with death in a different way. On November 2 there is a procession through the Mission district, starting at 7:00pm at 24th and Bryant, and ending at an altar exhibit at Garfield Park. You’re welcome to bring an offering for the community altar. 

Additionally, there are altar projects around the Mission District all week.  See www.dayofthedeadsf.org for all the details.

The picture above is me (second from the right) and some of my peeps who do this every year that the weather’s not too crappy. Let’s get the rain over with quickly!

What’s your favorite San Francisco holiday and why?  Comment below!

 If you like this post, you might also want to look at these: Balmy Alley, Mission Mission, Despacho