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I’m a published photographer

14 Jan

A while back, someone from Schmap, an online travel guide, sent me an email saying they were considering using one of my Flickr photos for their Paris guide. Well, it was accepted! It’s kind of a boring shot, but exciting, nonetheless, that they included it. And to think, if it wasn’t for San Francisco’s Amnesia, I never would have taken this image. Thanks, Shawn.

Check it out: Amnesia, Paris, on Schmap.com. Click on the bar name and you’ll see a slightly larger photo in the right-hand column. They put it in Montparnasse, but it’s actually in the Marais.

Good Food Day

4 Oct

Breakfast:

Lunch:

  • Carnitas tacos and tamarindo Jarritos at Mijita
  • Chocolate cupcake with coffee buttercream icing at Miette

Dinner:

  • Persimmon salad (with chocolate persimmons)
  • Beet salad with marscapone
  • Pomegranate poussin
  • Chocolate-hazelnut tortine
  • All shared, at Incanto

A vodka tasting where you don’t taste the vodka

4 Oct

Tiffany invited me to a vodka tasting on Monday night at Frisson*, on Jackson St. The venue was really cool — very 70s minimalist with an amazing back-lit domed ceiling.

After introducing ourselves to the PR folks, we were given the drink menu: an Indian Summer, with huckleberries and I can’t remember what else, and a more citrusy vodka drink whose name escapes me.

A vodka tasting? With mixed drinks?

I’m not going to say what brand of vodka it was, because I don’t want to disparage something I only tasted as a complement to the amazing huckleberry juice. But if one is launching a new vodka, especially a vitamin-infused vodka, where food critics might be, shall we say, a bit suspicious of the taste, wouldn’t you want to prove that it’s something that works well in a mixed drink and on its own? I feel confident I would have been able to taste it solo had I asked for it, but I find it strange that it wasn’t offered.

Further reading: Levitt, Stephen D. “Is Vodka Different,” Freaknomics blog, NYTimes.com. Aug. 31, 2007.

My take? Because vodka drinkers prefer an alcohol that, compared to other liquors like gin or whiskey, is tasteless, those people are more swayed by trends than by flavor. Therefore, new “it” vodkas can catch on, become hugely popular, then fade out when the next “it” vodka takes hold. Vitamin-infused vodka will, I’m sure, be huge in the Marina.

* The website automatically plays music. Surfer beware.

The California Taco, the Mission Burrito, and Please, Easy on the Rice

24 Aug

Burrito in el Toro
Originally uploaded by GavinBell

Jason Horn’s bio on his Chow.com stories is one place that mentions it, but nearly everyone who leaves the Bay Area or California laments the lack of Mission-style burritos. Oddly enough, the first time I heard about Mission-style burritos was when I lived in Portland and the nearest place to eat a cheap lunch indoors (a key thing to know when you live in a rainy city) was Taco del Mar.

I thought one of the funny things about this post on Emdashes was that tacos were cited as a reason to visit California back in the 1970s. Is that our culinary heritage?

So what is a Mission-style burrito? I think, for most of the world, it’s a non-Taco Bell burrito wrapped in tin foil. This Chowhound thread seems to say that the difference is rice, which my friend Prentice would take issue with. She points out — rightly, I think — that the rice is just really filler. Yes, it does absorb the liquid of the salsa, tomatoes, etc., but the quantity of rice in most burritos leaves me feeling that, even for a $5 burrito, I’m paying for more than I’m getting.

Of course, Wikipedia weighs in on the subject. My favorite section is the culture and politics. Only in San Francisco would a burrito become politicized.

There’s a reason I’m late to work most days

12 Aug

J-ChurchIt’s not me, it’s Muni. The Chronicle just ran a story on how Muni is hoping to fix the J-Church, its most tardy line. My favorite detail is how SF voters mandated that Muni show up as scheduled at least 85 percent of the time. Basically, the program to get the J-Church running on time was postponed while they got the T-Third running, period.

If I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem, right? (I think that’s the laziest rationale ever, so please note, I only use it ironically.) But I would like to compliment the driver who sounds like Miles Davis and always gives good updates to us frazzled rush hour riders. So I’m going to follow the Chron’s instructions, which I’m thoughtfully reposting here:

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is seeking regular J-Church riders who are willing to send daily e-mail updates about their trips.

They want to know:

Your name.

How often you ride the J-Church.

The days and times you ride.

Your telephone number and e-mail address.

Whether you’re a senior or disabled.

Contact the agency by e-mailing info@sftep .com

You can also call, but that’s so ’90s.

(I borrowed the image from epugachev.)

SFist.com Name-Checks My Friend

26 Apr

My friend Tiffany just got name-checked on SFist.com. Nice. And no, she’s not actually Matt Smith. But the art show review she wrote for SF Weekly is super funny.

P.S. This post officially commences the gradual transition of this blog from my vacation blog to my regular blog. It’ll be fun, I swear.

RIP: Livemusicisbetter.com

12 Sep

Okay, I have a couple lists to post. But first, a moment of silence for the end of a great SF local music listing site: livemusicisbetter.com.