Category Archives: Bay Area

The fog that ate Point Reyes Lighthouse

Point Reyes Lighthouse on a rare sunny day
Point Reyes Lighthouse on a rare but exquisite sunny day

The windswept coast along Point Reyes National Seashore offers some of the most austerely beautiful scenery in the entire scenery-rich Bay Area. Standing atop the 300-foot cliff that overlooks Point Reyes Lighthouse, sunlight dances off ocean swells while waves crash into the rocky beach extending north along the coastline. If you can’t take a frame-worthy photo here, your camera must be broken. That, or the fog. Oh right, the fog. Did they not mention the fog before you embarked on the 40-minute drive from sunny Point Reyes Station? Or the fact that the lighthouse is the second foggiest place in North America (and the windiest on the west coast)? That’s not to say it’s still not scenic, just scenic in different way…moody and cinematic. Continue reading The fog that ate Point Reyes Lighthouse

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$84k to live in San Francisco? So that’s why there’s no kids

playground

You may have read the article a few weeks ago on KQED.org, on the minimum annual income a family of four in San Francisco needs for a “secure yet modest living standard.” It’s $84,000. Assuming Suzy and Billy (or rather, Emma and Ethan) get their own bedroom, a quick unscientific survey of craigslist shows that if you want a 3bdrm for less than $4k per month, you’re gonna have to live in the outer edges of the city, you know, in the fog: Bayview, the Outer Sunset, the Outer Richmond, Visitacion Valley. Even then, it’s a lot of dough. Continue reading $84k to live in San Francisco? So that’s why there’s no kids

Where to go for Thanksgiving dinner in the Bay Area

Personally, I prefer Thanksgiving at home, where all I have to do is cook and eat, or just eat, lazing around in my old socks and watching movies on Netflix. The idea of getting dressed up and going to a nice restaurant for dinner seems like a lot of work, plus I tend to feel bad for the poor stiffs who have to work that day. Continue reading Where to go for Thanksgiving dinner in the Bay Area

22 short quotes about San Francisco

We’ve all heard the quote a hundred times, and no doubt caught ourselves saying it to visiting friends who forgot to bring a jacket, along with a withering look. ‘You know what Mark Twain said, the coldest winter blah blah… har har’. The fact that Twain was never quoted as saying it doesn’t matter. He could have, and he should have. Which got me wondering about what other quotable people have had to say about the city. Unfortunately, a lot of them are of the same bland variety on how beautiful the city is, the same thing everyone says, just uttered from a famous person. So I tried to dig up quotes a little more unique or insightful, following:

San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality. (Paul Kantner) A bit of heaviosity from the pilot of the Jefferson Airplane.

I prefer a wet San Francisco to a dry Manhattan. (Larry Geraldi) I don’t know who this is, but it’s a clever zing/play on words.

When you get tired of walking around in San Francisco, you can always lean against it. (unknown) I’ve never heard this, but it seems like one you’d hear locals telling sore-footed visitors all the time.

It is a good thing the early settlers landed on the East Coast; if they’d landed in San Francisco first, the rest of the country would still be uninhabited. (Herbert Mye) Another zing to you East Coast.

What fetched me instantly (and thousands of other newcomers with me) was the subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States. (H.L. Mencken) Pedantic but true.

I always see about six scuffles a night when I come to San Francisco. That’s one of the town’s charms. (Errol Flynn) Where was Errol hanging out?

There is more grace per square foot in San Francisco than any place on earth. (Bishop Fulton J. Sheen) I’m not sure he actually crunched the numbers on this, but I’ll give him the benefit of being a bishop.

Now there’s a grown-up swinging town. (Frank Sinatra) Yeah, baby!

Two days in this city is worth two months in New York. (Robert Menzies) Another zing, from an Aussie this time.

I’m just mad for San Francisco. It is like London and Paris stacked on top of each other. (Twiggy) I bet she says that to all the cities.

I love this city. If I am elected, I’ll move the White House to San Francisco. (Robert Kennedy) Oh, what could have been.

We’re crazy about this city. First time we came here, we walked the streets all day – all over town – and nobody hassled us. People smiled, friendly-like, and we knew we could live here… Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for a trip to San Francisco… And the beautiful old houses and the strange light. We’ve never been in a city with light like this. We sit in our hotel room for hours, watching the fog come in, the light change. (John Lennon and Yoko Ono) Long and winding quote from Lennon, sounding like your average tourist.

To a traveler paying his first visit, it has the interest of a new planet. It ignores the meteorological laws which govern the rest of the world. (Fitz Hugh Ludlow) A 19th century writer.

San Francisco is a city where people are never more abroad than when they are at home. (Benjamin F. Taylor) Another 19th century writer, and yes, it’s still like that.

Careful now. We’re dealing here with a myth. This city is a point upon a map of fog; Lemuria in a city unknown. Like us, It doesn’t quite exist. (Ambrose Bierce) A sort of poem/limerick from a sometime resident… I’m not sure Ambrose existed either.

The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here. (Billy Graham) A little awesome from Billy.

You are fortunate to live here. If I were your President, I would levy a tax on you for living in San Francisco. (Mikhail Gorbachev) A little Russian humor, I think.

I’m proud to have been a Yankee. But I have found more happiness and contentment since I came back home to San Francisco than any man has a right to deserve. (Joe DiMaggio) Touching quote from a hometown hero.

East is East, and West is San Francisco. (O. Henry) I don’t quite get it, but it’s O. Henry.

I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved. (Mark Twain) This could be another of Twain’s many apocryphal quotes, but it’s better than the overused one about winter in summer.

Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips Cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco. (Joe Flower) I don’t know who this is either, but I like it.

What I like best about San Francisco is San Francisco. (Frank Lloyd Wright) Say what?

Pescadero revisited

So there’s more to Pescadero than I thought. After heeding the call of the ocean and taking a drive out Hwy 84, past Woodside, Alice’s restaurant, La Honda and San Gregorio General Store, we ended up in, like we always do on these trips, in Pescadero. But instead of our usual stop at Duarte’s and/or one of the two markets in town, we drove down North St, past the elementary and high schools, and stopped at Harley Farms Goat Dairy. An actual functioning goat dairy farm, it also is open to the public to come commune with the goats, which are quite friendly and come right up to the fence for a petting (and maybe a nibble on your sweater if you’re not careful). The farm is quite enterprising, and have opened up a shop in a nearby barn selling goat milk paints, yarns, goat-wool socks and fancy (and expensive) bronze garden tools. Continue reading Pescadero revisited

Four things to do this weekend (July 28-29)

SF International Poetry FestivalAmiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Hirschman. There’s a roster of 20 or so excellent, world-class poets coming to the city for the SF Poetry Fest. Reading take place all afternoon on Saturday at the Civic Center Plaza. And Sunday the North Beach Poetry Crawl runs throughout the day, capped with a street party in Jack Kerouac Alley adjacent to City Lights Bookstore. Continue reading Four things to do this weekend (July 28-29)

Procrastinator’s guide to the weekend (7/21-22)

Renegade Craft Fair, Fort Mason
This is a solidly DIY affair, with etsy type vendors from around the US gathering at the Fort Mason center to sell and display their crafts. The artists are juried, so there’s quality control, and with live music, food trucks and several tables laden with supplies for making your own goods, there’s a greater than average chance for fun. Continue reading Procrastinator’s guide to the weekend (7/21-22)