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Month: April 2014

Love in San Francisco – Part Two

Love in San Francisco – Part Two

squirrel lady

There’s just no way I can talk about anything in San Francisco until I tell you about my family’s new, special friend.

I want to introduce you to the crazy squirrel lady. You can find her in Berkeley, where people who are just a little crazy are green lit to go full-force bananas. She frequents the marina, where the squirrel gather to eat her treats. Now, before we get into those treats, Id like to tell you why she says she feeds a population of rodents. You see, she’s pissed. The city of Berkeley plans to exterminate all the squirrels in the marina area, because they are digging holes near the water and sewage is seeping into the bay. This may of course, all be in her head, I have no idea.

For their last meals, these squirrels are treated to a healthy diet of shortbread Girl Scout cookies. The cookies are broken into two or three pieces and held out for the little squirrels to come and bite. She offered to let my kids feed the animals, an opportunity which they obviously jumped at, while I cautiously watched.

Here’s a special Bay Area kind of crazy for you, show the rodent population love with carbs! They are going to die, so she takes special care to not let them die without experiencing diarrhea.

Now, on to San Francisco. When you visit, you won’t want to look like a tourist, caught in a tank top on a foggy, windy day. Take fashion advice from this local gal (below) and dress in layers. Heck, bring like four purses too.

layers

San Francisco is a small city by comparison, but still too vast to walk everywhere, so my weekend involved a few cab rides. I have a video of my. Our driver was from Yemen and apparently had cloudy vision. He absolutely expected us to recognize songs by Tom Jones and other singers of his era. We obviously only look 25, so he was clearly drunk.

Ok, here’s where stuff kinda hits the wall. I LITERALLY, no, like, literally have a film degree. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Motion Picture & Video. Yet, I didn’t think about turning my phone to take this video. I also don’t know how to change it, so you’ll have to make like you are eating a taco and tilt your head.

Our happy (and drunk) driver had windows down and ABBA blaring. He also kept doing some creepy finger popping trick, which the camera just missed.

Our taxis were all summoned through the app Uber. If you haven’t heard of this, listen up, it’s awesome. You simply request a taxi or Limo, depending on your wallet and sense of self-worth, with a tap of a phone button. Uber locates you, finds a driver and notifies you of both the driver’s phone number, car ID and a photo of their face. The driver has your picture too, so no one will be stealing your ride, pal! You are given the fee in advance and pay through Paypal, including tip. No need to worry that your driver might take the long-cut to get to your destination. The only possible way I can see this being a bad idea is if your driver is a murderer, in which case, I’m sorry I recommended this app to you. Hope you are in heaven.

Speaking of heaven, this girl is in it. Not me, I’m at my desk and see NO signs of iced coffee fountains and still have frizz. I’m talking about the girl below, in the little hobbit-like house. She works at Juice Shop, a tiny closet of a shop that sells freshly bottled juice. Other than being kind of boring, how sweet of a job is this? You can people watch all day, you’ve got your refreshments next to you and no one is going to steal your favorite pen from your desk. Also, she could probably sell drugs and totally supplement her income. Juice Shop: 1994 Union St. juice collage

“But Kim,” you ask, “What if I find myself in the middle of the Tenderloin, needing a healthy breakfast after a long night of bad decisions? Well, have I got just the thing for you. Walk yourself a few blocks to the edge of Nob Hill at the TenderNob, which is slang for “Who are we kidding, this is still the Tenderloin” and visit Farm Table. Go early, like maybe 3 am, if you are hoping for a table. There’s just one. They totally aren’t joking with the name. The store isn’t much bigger than the hobbit house juice store I just showed you, but it’s pretty good. It’s tough to find a place downtown with homemade yogurt, gluten free foods, organic everything and an almond milk for your coffee.  Farm Table: 754 Post St. 

farm table

Lunch time? Got you covered there, too.

pica collage

These are snapshots of our food at Pica Pica, a Latin inspired eatery which specializes in these little corn pockets called arepas. They are grilled on the outside and moist on the inside, perfect for holding together some tasty meat. I ordered the grilled chicken, which was marinated in love or something, it was SO good. The fat fries in the photo above are Yucca and tasted the opposite. Yumma, fat and dense fries for this chick. The restaurant is 100% gluten free, which is awesome for all you GF peeps.

If you have some Brazilian pals, tell them you are going to Pyka Pyka. One of our other cab drivers was surprised at our lunch location. Apparently, in Portuguese, pica means something really, really different than lunch. Oh boy, it is killing me not to insert joke here. Pica is also the name of a disorder where people are compelled to eat dirt, chalk or things of the sort. Maybe next time the Pica Pica folk open a restaurant, they can consult with a marketing firm.

I only had one dinner in the city, so you’re on your own for the next meal. Or, how about this for a segue…head over to Fresh & Easy, they have some changes in store. (Ba dum dum – cymbal sound). Which is JUST what I’ll be chatting about next go round. Also, I’ll add some funny photos in case you aren’t that interested in grocery stores. Happy Easter weekend to those who celebrate. Those who don’t, happy regular weekend!

Finding Love in San Francisco

Finding Love in San Francisco

Some nights, when I’ve run down my list of songs and the kids still aren’t asleep, I dig deep. After seven years of Disney songs, the patriotic stuff, the standard lullabies, made up jingles and camp chants, I’ve looked to songs of my past. My kids know the words to songs by Julie Andrews and one chorus of one song by Journey.

When the lights go down in the City, and the sun shines on the bay

Oh I wanna be there, in my city, oh oh h, oh oh, oh. 

That’s all they know, because that’s all I know!

Bay Area

If you find yourself visiting the Bay Area, you may want to bring some elastic waist pants. Perhaps some stylish jeggings or just go full mama and bring a giant belt to wrap around your snuggie. We have so much good food. While we may not fry it all up, don’t be fooled by the abundance of avocados. There are so many ways to go wrong. I would know, I am have been full since Sunday, after 32 or so hours in San Francisco. It all started at the edge of town…

port

You know what you can find in that there building? Calories. They live there and they want to overtake you. There is literally a cheese melting station, where (for the low-low price of $6.75), you can have a slather of bubbling Asiago spread over some carbs. Look, here’s the cheese lady! Don’t worry about the face she’s making. That’s just the way her face looks when she’s dropping snobbish sales pitches on curious onlookers. The moral of the story, be nice to everyone. You never know who is going to blog about you. I know that was wrong, but it still feels kinda good.

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Are you more of a meat lover? (Insert San Francisco joke here). Then folks, grab yourself a meat cone. Yep, a cone full of meat. The Mortadella in the left photo brought back too many memories of fried bologna sandwiches (my brother ate them, not me), so I asked for a cone full of salami. I’m not as manly as I thought I might be (which is not that manly at all), so I ate a measly few strips of salami before tucking it away in my purse.

Nope, don’t need to go back and read that sentence. It said, I put salami in my purse. It was $5 for my specialty cone guys. You would have totally done the same.

Meat Cone salamicone

Totally not sure how to segue from meat cones to oysters. But I’m pre-hetty sure there is a good joke in there somewhere. Instead, I’ll go with the unfunny. If you like good oysters, San Francisco has some. What’s the website for amazing writing, again? Feel free to go nominate me for somethin’.

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Gluten free folks need love too. We found ours at Mariposa Baking Company. Awesome salad dressing, super tasty sandwiches.

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Travel a wee bit further down the plaza and….

ferry plaza

You’ll find the exact spot where many a folk have left their heart…Blue Bottle Coffee’s cafe!

blue bottle list  

The New Orleans style iced coffee is so delicious. Not overly sweetened and so fresh.

Blue Bottle 

The plaza is full of so many treats. but a girl’s jeans can and should only hold so many calories in! Before I continue on with my photo tour of the weekend, let me show you what a mom getaway looks like.hotel

See any toys on those comfortable beds? Neither do I. Does the middle photo look like a restaurant that offers a kid’s menu? Nope, not to me either. Spot my boys running down that long hall? No way. A la, mom getaway.

It would just NOT be a mom getaway without chocolate, right? Let me show you the monstrosity of a store my friend, Jody, introduced me to. It’s divine, in every sense of the word. Also, it’s mind blowing how much some of the stuff costs. Jody bought three pieces of chocolate for around $7. Not like chocolate bars, like small, small chocolates. A box of chocolates to bring home for your mom? Bring at least $85, for the cheapest assortment. Remember though, she birthed you. She wiped your butt, she has dealt with so much crap from you, literally. Stop being so cheap and spend the $150 on a box that says I love you enough to buy you chocolate that was painted on with gold flecks.

There’s totally a scent of snobbery in the air, coming from what I (at other stores) would call the cashiers. However, these people sell expensive chocolate, so maybe I should call them chocolatiers? I don’t know. Doesn’t his look just scream, “Hey girl! I’m pleased as punch you came to my chocolate store. I’d love to help you!”?

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Dirty mug me all you want sir, because your goods are worth it. I’d let him slap me around if it meant I could have a few pieces of free chocolate. The store is a chocolate importer, bringing in bits of deliciousness from around the globe. CocoaBella and its glorious employees are on Union Street and I plan to visit every time I am slumming through that ritzy hood.

COcoabella

Speaking of poor people. We watched a hilarious comedy show at The Purple Onion, which is in the cellar or Kell’s Pub.

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We were cracking up like mad women over a few of the comics. Which may totally be because we had just finished a couple of cocktails. Either way, there are some funny comics trying to make a go of it. I would probably cross to the other side of the street to avoid them during daylight hours, but that’s just me and my suburban issues.

The point of this section? Kitty-corner or catty-corner from Kells is a Basque restaurant called, well, Bask.

Still stuck on catty/kitty. Here’s what University of Wisconson asked 10,000 people and came up with:

76. What term do you use to refer to something that is across both streets from you at an intersection (or diagonally across from you in general)?
a. kitty-corner (49.53%)
b. kitacorner (0.09%)
c. catercorner (1.34%)
d. catty-corner (30.38%)
e. kitty cross (0.00%)
f. kitty wampus (0.13%)
g. I can only use “diagonal” for this (12.31%)
h. I have no term for this (3.68%)
i. other (2.53%)
(10706 respondents)

I REALLY, really wish that kitty wampus was a part of my vocabulary. But, on to the paella. I’ve been dying for an awesome pan of paella since I watched snooty bomb-booty Gwenyth cook some up with Mario Batali, a good seven or so years back. I’m talking about on tv here, in case you thought I was way more famous that I actually am. Have you seen the photo of me at 18 with David Hasselhoff? Let me show you again. 

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Bask is authentic Bask food. Check out my freakin’ paella, pals! Heck yeah!

paella

Now that I have upped my street cred a bit more. I have to remind you to visit Philz Coffee!  We trekked the length of the city just to visit the original Philz, deep, like DEEP in the heart of the Mission district. If this were the Hunger Games, this district would come pretty darn close to killing the Tenderloin (aka ghetto) district’s butt. It’s the wild west over there. You aren’t in the suburbs anymore, little spoiled girls. There’s no city ordinance about blaring music out your low-riding window. Wait, that happens everywhere except my white-bread valley? Oh. I miss life outside of my bubble. 

Anyway, the heart of the Mission holds Philz. It’s fantabulous and I think I even liked my Ecstatic Iced Coffee (regular iced) better than the Mint Mojito Iced. It’s worth the trip to try it. Even if you can’t get a cab to come pick you up. Even when you try using your special app called Uber, like 30 or 40 times. philzSo there it is, some San Francisco food love. I toyed with putting up the photo of us we took in The Purple Onion, but the sparkle in our eyes is definitely induced my a bit of rum.

In hopes of reducing eye burnage, I have split this post into two. Come back Friday to read about my breakfast. I know, your pants are LITERALLY blowing off of you right now. I still haven’t got to Pica Pica, which by the way, please do not enter in the Portuguese to English translator box. I’m talking about the Spanish translation of Pica and not about the heart of the Castro District.

Well, I’ve noticed that it’s been a month since I have blogged. What a sad state of blogflairs. Luckily, you are already dying to read about picas. Talk soon, my little baboon! Love ya!