Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Old Couch.

Once there was a couch... and he loved a young girl.
And everyday the girl would come
And she would lay atop the fabric
And fluff the cushions
And dress it with blankets.
And read her books and watch her movies.
And when she was tired,
She would sleep on his pillows.
And fall asleep into dreamless slumbers.
And the couch was happy.

But time went by, and the girl grew older.
And the couch was often alone.
And the couch was sad.
And then one day, the girl came back
And the couch quaked with joy.
And he said, "Come, Girl, lay atop my fabric
And fluff my cushions and read your books.
And watch your movies and be happy."
"I am too busy to fluff cushions," said the girl.
"I want a newer home to keep me warm," she said.
"I want a change and I want big city adventures,
And so I need to move. Can you give me adventure?"
"I have no adventures," said the couch.
San Francisco is my home.
But you may rest on my cushions
And dream up your adventures.
Then you will be happy."
And so she did.

And after a long time, the girl came back again.
"I am sorry, Girl," said the couch, "but I have nothing left to give you -
My cushions are flattened, my pillows are limp.
Will dreams alone no longer suffice?"
"My bum is too padded for cushions," said the now-heavier girl.
"My seats are gone," said the couch. "The yellow hue, faded."
"I am too tired from work to host dinner parties" said the girl.
"I am sorry," sighed the couch.
"I wish that I could give you something.. but I have no padding left.
I am just an old couch."
"I don't need very much now," said the girl.
"Just an empty room, while I pack up these boxes before I move."
"Well," said the couch, straightening himself up as much as he could,
"Well, an old couch is still good for the next home.
Come, Girl, send me to the next abode so you may be on your way."
And the girl did.
And the couch was happy.

For what the girl didn't know was
The couch was also destined for greater things.
The couch was on its way to Burning Man
To fulfill the girl's desire for adventure.
And the couch was happy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Big Sweet Chronicles.

I'm on a mission. I'm making my way through 7x7 Magazine's Big Sweet List. Ambitiously. Furiously, some would say. After realizing that I had (shockingly) only consumed 13 of 50 listed treats, my goal for the remainder of the summer suddenly materialized before my eyes. I love sweets. I live, breathe, and consume multiple sweets daily. I thought I had the dessert landscape of this city down pat. 26%?? How could this be?

Considering I only have 3 weeks left in SF (well, two really, because of the wedding), I've set the measurable stretch goal of knocking out 50% of the list. Not counting week days, where lengthy commutes to Mountain View prevent me from making any real progress on said list, I really only have weekends left. Only two days a week - four days!! - in which to cram multiple desserts into.

Let's do the math, shall we? 25 - 13 = 12 / 4 = 3 per Saturday and/or Sunday.

Yesterday was Day One of Operation Big Sweet. Using the pre-text of the BFF's birthday dinner that I was planning, I opted for the setting known as Starbelly. Yes, they seem pretty happening every time I drive by, and yes, they have a fabulous wine bottle window display. But more importantly, it was the lure of the toffee cake (#8) that sealed the deal.

But one dessert alone would not a goal meet. What is a birthday without a proper birthday cake? Yasukochi's Coffee Crunch cake (#35) was in order. And why just stop there? Why not make it a multi-sweet affair?

Rather than spending the afternoon packing, I dashed across town to 2565 Third St., listed home of Kika's Treats and Sweet Revolution for some honey cakes (#11) and maple honey caramels (#18). Knock out two with one blow... or so I thought. But no bakery was to be found. As I curiously found myself stepping into a warehouse of sorts, #11 and #18 were not to be, in this eerily quiet office space that did not a store front make.

No matter. An adventure is not an adventure without its challenges.

Onward to Dynamo Donuts for a sampling of Spiced Chocolate donuts (#25). But alas, another wrinkle in time! Sold out, or so I was told, so I opted for Candied Orange and Lemon Pistachio instead. And then off to Three Twins for some Lemon Cookie ice cream (#5), which thankfully was readily available.

Day Two. Lying in a semi-conscious state, the first thought in my head is 'oh no!' as I bolt right up and mull over the melted pint of lemon cookie ice cream believed to have been left in car. The pool of congealed cream and sad, soggy broken cookie pieces. OH NO. Such a shame. Except my cousin happened to be awake and reassured me with the words 'I put it in the freezer.' Crisis averted.

Day Two is a lazy Sunday - a lazy cleaning Sunday. But on a lunch break, I'm determined to track down the honey cakes and caramels. Real Food Company does not carry these, but they do have the Poco Dolce Burnt Caramel tiles (#22). Hoo-ray for this!

Clean, frollic, find, graze, laze, read, pack, and unpack are some of the verbs that occur on this day.

And now off to dinner, at Izakaya Sozai, which was excluded from our LIST in question, but it's okay because they have fabulous ramen. And nearby is Andronico's, where I try my luck again. But no Kika's or caramels of the Revolution. Blurgh. But Bi-Rite does! And so off to Bi-Rite we go, which is oh-so-conveniently perched a Pizzeria and a Delfina away from one Tartine.

Let me tell you about Tartine: long lines, hipsters, and deliciousness! Morning buns are of course gone gone gone, but lemon cream tart (#1) is not. But even in my most ravenous state, I cannot consume the 16" tart they have in stock. Next time, I say and le sigh before carefully examining Bi-Rite Market's wall of chocolates.

Honey cakes: SOLD OUT.
Caramels: I'll take one box, s'il vous plait.

And so it goes. 18 of 50 and counting...

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Bucket List.

I'm winding down my time in SF, and suddenly, I'm realizing all of the SF things I need to do. Catch up with friends, for one. And get to know my neighbors.

Just a little while ago, while taking out the trash, I found myself chatting with my downstairs neighbor, and I wonder what's taken me so long. Apart from the rushed hellos while running up the stairs or emails about the monthly trash rotations, I'm saddened that it's taken me this long to invest in my neighbors, as they really are wonderful people. I have a million questions for them, how they got here, what they've been through, why the split, but it seems inappropriate and overly personal for a one month crash course.

There are meals to be had! Songs to be sung. And most importantly, desserts to be consumed in the company of friends I'll miss dearly.

Bucket List for SF:

  1. Benu - 1 down, 10 to go!
  2. Try Redd 
  3. Get coffee with downstairs neighbor
  4. Wicked karaoke showdown in J-town w/ Hannah & Eric.. w/ Eric as Glinda
  5. Find someone who hasn't yet seen Inception & watch said movie
  6. Beat Jan & Matt at Dr. Mario once and for all
  7. Ferry Building Farmer's Market uno mas time
  8. Knock out 50% of 7x7's Big Sweet list
  9. Go to Mayfield's when they actually have the Gilroy loaf in stock
  10. Finish A Confederacy of Dunces
  11. Check out the lovely & talented Maira Kalman's exhibit

To be continued..