Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flower Power

Beautiful blooms from Buena Vista to Balmy Alley, the Panhandle to Cole Valley...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

East Bay Soul

Here are two funky East Bay soul tunes to start your morning, get you through the afternoon or get your evening happenin. First is Foxy Girls in Oakland by Rodger Collins and next is Find Yourself by Marvin Holmes, both from volume one of Bay Area Funk (1967-1976) on the Luv N' Haight label.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


In April the street artist Banksy was in San Francisco and left some of his work behind in different neighbourhoods of the city. Here is one on a building on Haight Street...

Friday, August 13, 2010

a san francisco of the mind

Here is a short slideshow film I made about the poetry of Lawrence Ferlinghetti...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thai Avocado Salad

Walking along Irving Street in the Sunset neighbourhood I saw a woman put a sandwich-board sign out on the sidewalk advertising the specials of the day at Marnee Thai. The appetizer Avocado Salad sounded really good so I stood there and waited for the restaurant to open. A few other people came and were milling around the door also waiting for it to open. Once inside I ordered the Avocado Salad and another appetizer- Potstickers drizzled with Green Curry Sauce- and that was enough for a filling lunch. The food was so delicious I thought I would try and re-create the Avocado Salad at home. Here's the recipe...

(this recipe makes 2 main course servings)

2 Tb grated unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup unsalted cashews
12 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 green mangoes
2 ripe avocados
3 Tb lime juice
2 Tb fish sauce
dash of chili flakes

In a small pan over moderately low heat lightly toast the coconut. Remove and set aside. Do the same with the cashews and set aside.
On a baking sheet toss the shrimp with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Bake at 400 for 6-8 minutes.
Peel and finely chop the mango. Peel and chop the avocado in 1/2" pieces.
Mix together lime juice, fish sauce and chili flakes.
Divide the mango and avocado among two plates. Toss with dressing. Top with shrimp, cashews and coconut.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Painted Ladies

San Francisco's painted ladies are a real joy to behold. While strolling along the streets you are greeted with bursts of colour and architectural whimsy.

Most of the Victorian houses were built in the late 1800s with redwood from nearby Mendocino and are either Italianate, Stick, Queen Anne or a combination of those styles that make them uniquely San Francisco. When they were originally built many were painted with bright colours, but when they fell into disrepair they were painted over with surplus Navy battleship gray paint. During both world wars cast iron trim was removed and melted down to use for shells. In the late 60s some people began painting the houses in eye-popping colours and it really caught on. Today many of the painted ladies have been lovingly restored and they are one of the many charms of San Francisco.