Thursday, September 29, 2016


I am bias, but I just watched this three times in a row. I love you back Benjamin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SF: the inner mission.

Ben just passed his year mark here in SF and I am just over six months in. It has been a hectic, crazy, non-stop past year and a lot of that has been exploring and trying out as much as we can in the Bay area to get our bearings and take advantage of all the good food, activities and year-round weather!

Illustration by Gabriel Leonoudakis

Like any city, SF is cut up into neighborhoods and mini-cultures. Sussing out the personality of each neighborhood is interesting and challenging - not to mention the micro-climates we have to contend with. l figured I would start a series exploring different areas and neighborhoods and it only makes sense to start with our home base - the Inner Mission. So, get ready, here we go...

I'll start with the fact that in a city of hills, the Mission is flat. Thank the lord. It also is one of the warmest and sunniest parts of the city. Inside "The Mission" - you will here people refer to the Inner Mission, the Outer Mission, and Mission Dolores. The Mission has been a heavily Chicano/Latino area and the immigrant influence from Central and South America is still going strong. Having said that, more recently gentrification is steadily moving through the Mission and pushing the long-time residents out of the neighborhood because of skyrocketing prices.

Ben and I absolutely love the neighborhood. We love the location - so close to Dolores, Potrero, SoMa, Bernal Hill, downtown and in the other direction for our commutes, to Silicon Valley. We love the restaurants and variety, the fact that the neighborhood is holding onto some of its grit and history. We love the mix of people and languages on the street. We also love the food....

The Mission is packed with good food, here are some of our favorites for visitors and locals alike...
  • Tartine Manufactory - it just opened last month and we could not be more thrilled. It has a beautiful and casual layout and to die for pastries. Expect a long (long!) line but tables turn fast. (Local Tip: You can also bypass the line and go straight in for a cup of coffee or grabbing a loaf of bread.)
  • Farmhouse Kitchen - two words for you - Fried Chicken. This is not hyperbole when I say their fried chicken dish is one of the best thai dishes I have had. We love this place. It is casual, easy and putting out great food. 
  • Flour + Water - we would tell you to go on a week night and sit at the bar. Not sure it deserves all the hype - but the pizzas are great, service is solid and they are certainly a staple in the city. 
  • Stable Cafe - I love this place, it is charming and has a relaxed outdoor, garden area and who doesn't love a bright yellow door? For lunch, a pitstop or a quick snack - it is lovely and worth consideration. 
  • DUM Indian Soul Food - this place is even newer than we are, and a welcomed addition to 24th street. I could eat indian all day, any day and this place hit the spot when we stopped in to try it out a couple weeks ago. 
  • Jelly Donut - holy shit. If there is one thing you can count on me for, it is judging a good donut. This hole in the wall corner store on 24th has donuts that I dream about. I call them church donuts because they remind me of the ones we had growing up on sundays at church - perfectly cakey + hard frosting. You won't regret it. 
**Because you should know the good and the...less recommended, we would tell you to take a pass on Salumeria - overpriced and not as good as they say. 
  • Sight Glass - this might be one of the best styled, curated coffee shops I know of. And if you are looking for a yuppie hook-up - this place is a gold mine. I recommend the Vanilla Cold Brew - you can't really go wrong. 
  • The Coffee Bar - I have a soft spot for this place. I like their coffee, I appreciate their wifi, the crowd is varied and laid back, and the food isn't bad. It is a great little spot and I whiled away a good deal of time here when I was looking for a job. 
There are too many cool bars to list, here are a couple of our current favorites....
  • Wildhawk - might just be our new favorite bar. The inside of it was designed by friends of ours and this is a classy, small, neighborhoody, upscale go to for a date night and a solid cocktail. We are big fans. 
  • Evil Eye - this bar flies under the radar on Mission street and I'm not sure why. (Local Tip: Put your name in for dinner at Al's Place and then head over here for a cool spot to hang out with a great cocktail while you wait.)
  • Trick Dog - almost too cool for school. It is loud in here and you probably will have to wait for a seat at the bar, but the menus and themes that they change on the regular are reason alone to check it out and the selection is great, bartenders know what they are doing and the drinks are on point. 
  • Asiento - your perfect dive bar with trivia night on Mondays. If you close your eyes, squint hard and block out the mustaches and converses, you could be at a bar in NYC but the one with no pretense, great pint glasses and good beer. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

back east.

We were back in DC last weekend for two of our best friends who got married a couple months ago and their wedding party was on a boat on the Potomac. DC was in perfect, start of fall weather and it was so good to be back in the world of sarcasm, acceptable bagels and suits - if but for a couple days. We also got some QT with our favorite new newborn, Nora, hung out with our favorite 15 month old Freddie, and could catch up with friends. It was quick but wonderful.


Monday, September 19, 2016

old meets new.

How great are these classic books with new Rifle Paper Co. designed covers? I hung out with Hannah + Jordan + Stella + Djuna this weekend on Sunday morning, and they had just bought two of the books - the girls were loving them! These would make such great gifts for the kids of reading age.

Friday, September 16, 2016

take a seat.

This Leather Rhys Chair is a total looker.  I just love it and it comes in seven super rich colors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

times are a changin'.

We are so excited that the REI and Uline Arena in DC are scheduled for their grand opening coming up in October. This is four blocks from our house and we can't wait to check it out at some point when we are back there and see all the changes afoot...just crazy how much the neighborhood has changed since we bought. Here is the Curbed piece if you want to read more about it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

virginia is for lovers.

We made a super quick trip back east to celebrate with Sarah and Dave as they got married this weekend!  It was beautiful and amazingly humid (god I miss the humidity).  It was so full of love and happiness, it was just what we needed. And we got to see friends and catch up.

And this morning before we headed back to the airport, we grabbed a bagel and coffee and walked to the main quad of UVA. Holy smokes that is a beautiful campus! And for anyone headed to the Charlottesville area, we stayed at the Oakhurst Inn and loved it - would highly recommend.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

labor day getaway.

Ben and I went away for the long Labor Day weekend. This was actually our first California getaway since we moved out here. We looked into a whole range of weekend trips - from Joshua Tree, Idaho, Death Valley, San Diego, to Portland and more. In the end, we settled on a place just north of Bodega Bay (about 2 hours drive from SF) because we didn't want to have to fly, we didn't want to spend a lot and ultimately we just wanted to sit someplace with a view for the three days. We rented this VRBO and it was perfect.

We packed enough food so that we could cook every meal at the house. We watched our fill of college football including, of course, the Michigan game on Saturday and we sat on the porch throughout the day and for every sunset. And we went for a couple of absolutely breathtakingly beautiful runs along the coast at different parts of the Kortum Trail.

We didn't venture out to see or do much in the area, but we did swing by the Wild Flour Bakery on the way back to SF and it was a great little spot putting out really good bread.

book list.

I have been in a long and severe reading drought. Books have sat on my bedside table for months on months without being touched. But this weekend we went away for the long weekend (more on that soon) and I finally broke my reading block. So, for your reading list, My Name is Lucy Barton, was an easy and captivating read - just what I needed to get back on the wagon.