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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The 9th Annual No Pants BART Ride Day 

So, I've never heard of this before, but a friend of mine just posted this on Facebook.

9th Annual “No Pants” BART Ride Day | San Francisco

The 9th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride will take place on Sunday, January 10th in San Francisco. The whole point to is ride BART without any pants (wear interesting undies and colorful socks) but to act completely normal.

Who knew?

Actually, here's the funny part:

Dick and I were walking around on Castro Street today, and saw a group of men with shirts, jackets, socks and shoes (and probably undies), but alas, no pants.

We just assumed they were some of the regular naked guys who we sometimes see on Castro Street. We figured they must have been a little chilly today, so they wore their shirts, and jackets and socks, instead of only their socks and shoes as usual.

So, I wouldn't have given it a second thought if they were totally naked, but since they had on shirts and jackets, we noticed them.

Go figure.

Gotta love life in the Castro! :)

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very San Francisco Christmas (Eve) 

I admit, I haven't been in much of the Christmas Spirit this year. With my Grandfather's passing, and following the period of mourning, we decided not to put up our Christmas tree, or even decorate for Christmas at all this year.

We've done a couple of things over the last few days to try to get into the Holiday Spirit: We watched "Elf" the other night, went down to Union Square yesterday to look at all of the Holiday Decorations, and had a really nice dinner at Pete & Richard's house with Blane last night.

Even so, I was still feeling the Holiday Blues this morning. To rectify the situation, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and specifically, to walk to "The Christmas House" on 21st Street.

This is Tom and Jerry's House in Noe Valley. No, I don't know them personally, but they have their names on the huge stockings on their house. :)

I love walking to their house during Christmastime. It really has a magic about it, and you can just see how much love goes into putting this all together year after year.

Dick, bringing the perspective

We stopped by Dolores Park to take in one of our most favorite views of the City. It's always so beautiful, but even better on a cool, clear day.

View from Dolores Park

On our way back home, we decided to stop by Harvey's on Castro Street for a drink. :)

As if a drink at Harvey's wasn't reason enough to make me happy - they were also showing "The Empire Strikes Back"! :)

Darth Vader at Harvey's

Hello, Bloody Mary!

One last picture to wrap up our walk around the Castro on Christmas Eve:

Here's a night shot of our neighbor's house. They add a little bit to it each year. Always makes me happy to see.

Happy Christmas Eve, to all!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puke on the Porch 

This is a new one.... kind of...

Last night, Dick and I were watching TV in bed around 10:30pm. Suddenly, we all (that would be Dick, Noe and me) heard a strange noise downstairs. Dick and I walked cautiously down the stairs, to see what it was. That's when I saw it...

Someone had (and please excuse the visual) projectile vomited across our porch and onto both of our front doors. (we can see this because our front doors have glass panes, top to bottom.)

Yeah, that's super gross.

After living in the SF for 14 years, I thought I'd seen it all: we've had drunk people knock on our door late at night asking for booze, drunk people stumble into our Halloween Party, used condoms found on our front porch (triple-ewwww!) and yes, have even had someone puke on the porch before.

But, this was the first time that someone walked up our stairs, stumbled around our porch, and somehow managed to puke onto our front doors.

That is all kinds of gross.

We figured there was nothing to do about it last night, so we went back to bed.

This morning, first thing I did was throw on some grubby clothes, armed with rubber gloves and water hose, and cleaned up the porch and doors. It took an hour, but I was very thorough.

Silver lining: The front porch area has been needing a good spray down/cleaning for a while. :)

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Like Ike's! 

The latest installment of the "What Trina eats while Dick is away" saga...

Oh, my...

Blane has been telling me about a sandwich shop called "Ike's Place" for several weeks now. Somehow, I've managed to live in the Castro for over 10 years without ever knowing this place was just a few blocks away!

Blane and I have both just finished a couple of major work projects, had some free time this afternoon, and decided to treat ourselves to a little decadence.

Here's the deal with this place: it's so popular, and so busy, plus the bread for each sandwich is baked to order, so wait time is usually between 15-40 minutes, depending on how busy they are! Whoa! Blane suggested that the best strategy is to phone in the order about half an hour before you're ready to pick it up.

...which is what we did.

I called in our order at 1:15, asked them how long I could expect for it to be ready, and they said 1:45. Blane and I got there around 1:35, waited 10 minutes in line, and as we were paying the cashier, our sandwiches were just being finished. Good timing!

So, what makes these sandwiches so good? I guess part of it is their "dirty sauce", which, according to their web site: Ike's house garlic aioli sauce, made with numerous herbs, spices, of course garlic, and some of Ike's own secret ingredients. Dirty Sauce is spread on the tops of Ike's sandwiches and baked with the bread, turning it into Dirty Garlic Bread, and then re-spread on the bottoms, just for that extra flavor.

Choosing a sandwich is a monumental feat. Take a look at their menu! (and that's not including the vegetarian and vegan sandwiches!)

What did we decide on?

Both Blane and I ordered the "Say Hey", or #24: Hot Pastrami, Bacon, Swiss
I had mine on wheat, and ordered it without mayo, but with mustard.

Blane had his on dutch crunch with extra dirty sauce and mozzarella sticks! WOW!

We did run into a couple of snafus. When I called in the order, they were out of bacon (what?!) and the french fries and onion rings weren't available yet. (again: WHAT?!)

By the time we picked up our order, the bacon had come in, but alas, no french fries or onion rings for us this time.

The thing is: I certainly didn't need bacon on my pastrami sandwich - I mean, come on! :)

The verdict:

The sandwiches were pretty spectacular. I was only able to eat half of mine, but oh, was it so very satisfying. I'm looking forward to my eating my leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

At Last! Good Chinese Food in the Castro! 

After living here in the Castro for over 10 years, we've finally found a good Chinese Restaurant that delivers!

My favorite Chinese Restaurant, U-Lee, is in Russian Hill, and doesn't deliver. Our other favorite, House of Nanking, is in North Beach, and also doesn't deliver.

Dick and I have tried many, many Chinese delivery places all over the City, and none of them have been very good. That has always surprised me. How hard can it be to find a good take-out/delivery Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco?

Yesterday, we were taking a walk around the neighborhood, and came across House of Chen on Noe Street, just off of Market. We had noticed it before, and had taken a mental note to remember it, but we never had. When we passed it yesterday, I noticed that it had a "As seen on YELP" sign on the front door.

That did it: I pulled out my iPhone then and there and did a search using the YELP application on my phone. (handy app, by the way) The reviews for this place were really good. Apparently, it's been owned and operated by the same family for 20 years. That's always a good sign.

Several reviews mentioned their Sweet and Sour Soup, one of Dick's favorites, and another mentioned their House Chow Fun, one of my faves.

So, we placed our order tonight.

It arrived within 40 minutes, as promised. The food was nice and hot, and it was GOOD! Dick also tried the Tai Chi Chicken, which was mentioned on several reviews.

Two Thumbs Up! We're so excited that we finally found a Chinese Delivery place that we actually like! Let's hope that it lasts!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Waiting for "Milk" 

Christopher and I are sitting in our seats in the Castro Theatre -
listening to the organist play "San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate"
and watching the slideshow of photos of the Castro from the 70s.


"Milk" at The Castro Theater 

It's 3:15. This is the line for the 4:00 show of "Milk" at the Castro Theater. It goes down the entire block, and curves around 18th

Christopher and I are going to see the 7:00 show this evening. We plan to join the line at 6:00. We'll see how that goes.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

A Strange Night in the Castro 

Wow. That was weird.

It's still gorgeous outside - my guess is low 70s, and perfectly still weather.

We decided to have dinner at one of the sushi joints on Castro Street. When we walked down (about 6:30) we noticed a group of people assembled on the corner of Castro and 18th. That's not unusual because that is literally the heart of the Castro, so things pertaining to the community usually form there. I noticed that everyone in this group was dressed in white, and we also noticed that they were standing together, singing. It was odd.

So, we had dinner. It was a long dinner. We sat at the sushi bar, and the sushi chefs kept giving us new yummy treats. :) But, I digress...

Two bottles of Saki, and several platters of sushi later...

When we left the restaurant, we saw about half a dozen cop cars parked around the corner of Castro and 18th. We went over to see what all the hub bub was about. From what we could gather, a group of Prop 8 SUPPORTERS thought it would be a good idea to come to the heart of the Castro and raise a ruckus.

Now, seriously. That's just stupid.

Obviously, they came to cause trouble. They came to slap our community in the face.
Basically, they came to be complete asses.

It was breaking up by the time we got there, so we started to head home.

Now, as I mentioned, it's a really warm evening out. That alone is reason for a lot of people to come flocking to Castro Street. As we walked up the street towards our block, we passed many people who were walking down to Castro.

That's when we got to the intersection of our block - which is about 3 blocks from Castro Street.

I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but I was too stunned at that moment. There was literally a police barricade blocking our block. Yep - a line of police officers spread across the street. We had to show I.D. to prove that we lived here.

After we were let through, I asked one of the officers what was going on.

His response, "I have no idea. I was hoping you could tell me!".

From what I gathered, the Prop 8 Supporters had actually marched down our block, fairly recently, and must have stirred up some trouble if there was now this much police presense. That's really strange to me, because as I said, we're a few blocks away from the heart of things.

Anyhow, I'm afraid that chaos of some kind is bound to happen tonight. Between the crowds of people coming in because of the warm weather, coupled with the Stupid Prop 8 people trying to raise a ruckus... well, that's just not going to go over well. I hope things don't get out of control.

I expect we'll hear something about this in the news later.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The World Premiere of "Milk" 

"Milk" - World Premiere at The Castro Theater

Tonight was the World Premiere of the movie "Milk", at the Castro Theater.

Dick and I weren't able to attend (it was a benefit, and sold out quickly) but it looks like it was an amazing evening.

Here's an article, with photos, of the event from sfgate.com.

The movie opens on November 26th. I can't wait to see it at The Castro Theater.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm addicted 

One of the great things about living in San Francisco, and living the Castro for that matter, is that we have so many wonderful food options. We are in walking distance of so many great restaurants that range in price as well as diversity.

Our newest discovery is Kasa, an "Indian Taqueria".

The menu is very simple - you select from 6 menu items (Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Curry, Aloo Jeera, etc.,) which is rolled in a yummy Roti (thin, flaky, buttery bread). It is also served with raita (a yogurt-cucumber dish) and a nice salad of jicama, cabbage, and red pepper. Yum!

All this for $5.50. You can't beat that.

So, yeah, I'm pretty addicted. It's only about 5 blocks away, and it's cheap and yummy. Between lunch and dinner, I've already been 3 times in the last week! egads.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mural on 19th Street 

I walk past this mural on the corner of 19th Street and Noe whenever I take my daily walk. It's been fun watching it progress over time.

Today, they were putting the final touches on it. I really like it.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Milk": The Trailer 

The movie, "Milk" is set to be released on November 26, 2008, the day before the 30th anniversary of Harvey Milk's assasination.

I just found the trailer for the movie. It looks like it's going to be great.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

The Times of Harvey Milk 

Dick and I watched "The Times of Harvey Milk" this weekend. I had heard that it is a very good documentary film - it won Oscar for Best Documentary in 1984.

The movie was outstanding. I'm so glad that we watched it.

But, here's what got me...

I've lived in the Castro for nearly 10 years now, so I've learned a lot about the the history and culture of our neighborhood. I think I know a fair amount of about Harvey Milk, and of his achievements, and his untimely death.

However, I'm just a little too young to remember the details of any of these things when they actually happened. I was only 8 years old, and my family had only just moved to the Bay Area in 1978 - the year that Harvey Milk (and SF Mayor George Moscone) were assassinated. I don't remember it at all.

What struck me about watching the documentary was that even through I knew most of the historical facts, I had not seen any of the actual media footage from that time period. That's what got me. I had seen photos of the candlelight memorial march, but seeing the footage of it nearly brought me to tears. I had heard of the riots after Dan White's sentencing, but I had never seen the footage of the police cars set on fire, or the riots outside City Hall.

It was very moving.

I found that I went through the gamut of emotions while watching this film: I was intrigued and inspired by watching the footage of Harvey Milk, during his election campaign, and seeing how much he accomplished in his very short time in office. I was brought to tears watching the footage following his assassination, and I was ANGRY at the verdict and light sentencing to Dan White.

As I said, I knew all of the facts and chain of events before watching the film, but it was done so well, and utilized the media footage in such a way that really moved me.

I wanted to watch this documentary before the "Milk" film comes out in the fall/winter. I really hope that they do as good of a job on the feature film as was done on the documentary.

I don't think that many people outside of San Francisco or the gay community really know who Harvey Milk was, or how much he did for Human Rights in general(not just Gay Rights). If you have a chance, please rent and watch this documentary. I think there's a lot of important history to learn here, and you'll be glad that you did.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

SF Gay Pride Parade, and a great big shout out to Andrew & Barry! 

It's that day/weekend again! The weekend when gays, lesbians, trans genders, and folks of all kind come flocking from across the globe to San Francisco to celebrate Gay Pride.

This year, it's even bigger than usual (and the largest turn out ever) because it coincides with the recent legalization of same-sex marriages in California.

Dick and I didn't go to the parade or festivities this year - we usually go, but for one-reason-or-another didn't go today. Instead, we strolled around the neighborhood last night and this afternoon, which was still quite hustley-bustley.

Anyhow, we just came home from our walk, and I hopped on my computer to see what's going on in the world today.

One of the sites that I routinely check is msnbc.com.

Here's what I saw on the front page:

Hey, I know those guys!

Here's the fun part:

I recognized those two guys in the photo immediately! That's Andrew and Barry! They are two of my dear friends who just got married (again) at SF City Hall on Friday!

What a great photo! I was so tickled when I saw it! I immediately took a screen shot of my browser window and sent it to them, in case it's not still up when they get home.

Barry had just sent me this photo of he and Andrew in front of SF City Hall after they got married on Friday.

Congratulations to Andrew and Barry (again!) and to all of the other happy couples who recently got married, or will be getting married soon.

Happy Pride Weekend, Everyone!

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Supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs 

Dick and I just came home from walking around the neighborhood. As we came to our block, we noticed that one of the little girls (about 8 years old) who lives on the corner had "set up shop" at the corner. She had a table set up with an "Open" sign.

We walked over to see what she was selling: Lavender bags - fresh lavender wrapped in pretty sheets of lace, tied with thin green wire, and finished off with a little tag. I admired her handy work, and asked how much she was charging for them.

$.50 cents each. (which I actually think is a very reasonable price)

We bought two, even though she told us that we qualified for her 3/$1 special. We told her that she could keep the 3rd so that she could keep her inventory stocked. (she was busy making more bags even as we spoke.)

I asked how business was so far, but she said she had only just opened and that we were her first customers.

I hope she does really well!

I remember several years back, when my friend Philip was visiting for Pride weekend,(which also happens to be this weekend) we stopped by a "Lemonade Stand" run by a couple of boys down the street. It wasn't the lemonade stand (or in my case, a Kool-Aid" stand) that I remember as a kid. These kids were selling Pellegrino sparkling water with choices of Italian flavored syrup! I think they were charging $2.50 a cup. I remember that these boys were making a killing - it was a particularly hot day for SF, and who can resist a lemonade stand (even if it is $2.50)?


Monday, June 09, 2008


Dick and I had dinner tonight at one of the local sushi restaurants on Castro Street.

We were seated next to two men and their toddler-aged son. I'm guessing he was around one-and-a-half or so.

As they sat down with their menus, with their son in his highchair, they asked him if he'd like to try some edamame.

"Would you like some Edamame?"


"Can you say Edamame?"

All I could think was, "This kid is barely old enough to speak, and they're trying to teach him a word that I'm fairly certain I didn't learn until I was in my 20s..."

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones! 

Indy at The Castro!

We're seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is showing at The Castro Theater!!

I'm so excited! I haven't seen a movie in this theater in a long time. It's such an amazing theater. It's an historic landmark. They even have an organist playing "San Francisco" before the show begins. So fantastic.


This is the first time that I can remember them showing a first-run film. Plus, it's been 19 years since the last Indiana Jones movie!

Color Guard Trivia:
Which WGI finalist did an Indiana Jones show in 1986?
Bonus: Who instructed their rifle line?

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Friday, May 23, 2008

For Sale: Historic Fire House ONLY $6.4 MILLION! 

I exaggerate. It's only $6,375,000...

This baffles me.

There's a house in our neighborhood listed for nearly $6.4 Million.
Who's spending 6.4 Million on a house in Noe Valley/Castro?

The premise is cool: it's an old, historic Fire House.
I'm all for that.

The pictures look very nice - very modern.
It has 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, plus it's over 6,000 sq ft. That's huge.

But still, $6 Million?

You know I'll be checking this place out when they have an open house. :)

Here's the MLS Listing.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Open Houses in the Neighborhood 

As we often do on Sunday afternoons, Dick and I went out today to check out some of the Open Houses in our neighborhood.

It's interesting: it's Spring, and it's definitely "Open House Season" but there seem to be more open houses on the market now then in recent memory.

Before we go out, we usually check the Open Houses in San Francisco Site to get an idea of what's open, and we'll map out our walking plan.

What's also interesting is seeing the number of houses listed at, or above $1.5 million. Clearly, we all know that there's a housing crisis happening in our country, but you would never know by what these people are asking for these properties. San Francisco Real Estate seems to still be as crazy as ever. Dick and I go out often, and while we do notice that some properties are on the market for weeks, and sometimes months (as compared to days and a couple of weeks) the prices for these properties still seem ridiculously high.

Whenever Dick and I check out a new property, we like to play "The Guessing Game" with each other. One of us will pick up the property brochure without looking at the details. After we walk through the property and leave, we will each take our best guess at what the listing price is. We've been doing it for years, and we've gotten pretty good at it. Usually, we're able to nail the price within $50,000 or so. Lately, though, we both have been taking the "housing crisis" and possible recession into consideration, and we both have been guessing figures much lower than what the actual listing price is. Go figure.

Here are a few houses that we saw today.

580 Sanchez
really pretty Victorian, nice location, updated maybe 10 years ago

offered at: $2,200,000.00

545 Sanchez Street
1880 Stick Victorian, seems to have a lot of original detail, and original floorplan (small rooms), double lot

offered at: $1,795.000.00

221 Danvers Street
I actually couldn't find a listing on the web for this location for it's current listing, but I did find one from when it was on the market more than a year ago. According to zillow.com, this property did sell in February of last year for just over $1.5 million. Dick and I saw the property when it was lasted last time, and the buyers/now sellers didn't do much to it since then. It's a really odd space - would need a lot of work, and probably a lot of permitting, but it is on a double lot.

offered at: $1,675.000.00

360 Eureka Street
This was a really cute and charming house - a cross between a Victorian and Cape Cod style (whatever that means). Small-ish (for the price, at least) but on a large lot. This was probably our favorite property that we saw today, and the only one in which the thought the price was near a reasonable range (which is still really high).

offered at: $1,495.000.00

656 Douglass
New construction on an old Victorian. Ridiculously large (who needs 6 bedrooms, and 5.5 baths?).

offered at $2,395,000.00

That's just a small sampling of what we saw today.
I'll say it again: do these people know what's going on in the housing market and the economy these days? Who is spending this kind of money on houses right now?

Whenever Dick and I go out to look at open homes, we always come home to our cute little His 'n Her condos, and feel so lucky that we have a home that we both love so much.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rock Band!! 

Auntie Tiffie, Evie, and Uncle Dick

This afternoon, I picked my niece, Evelyn, up from school for an "Auntie Afternoon" with me and my sister.

It started with a walk down to Bi-Rite Creamery, where we had decadent sundaes with 2 scoops of ice cream, brownie bits, hot fudge and whipped cream. YUM!

Then, we walked down Church Street to Market, and went shopping at Crystal Way, a store which I had brought Evie to before, and she just loved. Dick and I had given her a gift certificate to the store for her birthday, so she was able to have fun shopping with that yesterday. (incense, cone incense, holders for each style, and a rose quartz crystal in the shape of a skull!)

On our way home, we also stopped by The Castro Theater (Aliens is playing tomorrow night at 9:15!), Cliff's Variety Store, Chocolate on Castro (another favorite spot of my niece with a sweet tooth), and finally, the grocery store.

The highlight of the day was when the four of us played Rock Band on the Xbox later in the evening.

I've been meaning to blog about Rock Band for a while now.

A few weeks ago, we went to Jud & Melissa's to celebrate Jud's 40th Birthday (He's a leap year baby, so technically, it was his 10th Birthday). They had Rock Band set up, which Dick played a lot. He was addicted.

He was so addicted that he ran out to buy it the next evening (while I was away!) and even more addicted after the first evening, that he went out to buy a Guitar Hero Guitar the next day so we could have a bass guitar as well as a regular guitar. Oy.

It has been a ton of fun, and Evie was especially excited when she learned that we had it.

So, we formed a 4-piece band: Tiffie on bass, me on guitar, Dick on drums, and Evie on vocals. (We switched it around a bit throughout the evening - Dick and I switched, and Evie also tried her hand at guitar and drums.)

It was quite hysterical to hear Evelyn sing rocks songs from way before her era. Let me tell you, it was a bit disconcerting hearing my 11 year old niece sing "I think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage:

Bend me, break me
Anyway you need me
All I want is you
Bend me, break me
Breaking down is easy
All I want is you

I'm not sure what her parents are going to think when they see her walking around the house tomorrow singing these lyrics! They probably won't let me have Evie over anymore. :)

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Milk" movie wrap up 

Here's a good article from sfgate.com about the production wrap-up of the movie "Milk".

It's a wrap - San Franciscans go back in time once more for 'Milk'

I know I've said it before, but I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in a very minor way in this production. Diana and I were just two of hundreds of extras helping to recreate Gay Freedom Day, 1978, in front of City Hall. My sister and her boyfriend, Graham, participated in the recreation of the candle light vigil down Market Street for Harvey Milk.

What a great and unique experience to be part of something so historically important to our community and our city. The movie is scheduled to be released in the Fall. Can't wait to see it.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All Seasons Sushi 

Dick is having dinner with work colleagues tonight. Generally when he's away I fend for myself with either leftovers or a simple meal.

Tonight I decided to treat myself. We're all out of leftovers, and I've been craving sushi for a long time now. For some reason, Dick hasn't felt like sushi lately.

Anyhow, I decided to go to one of our favorite neighborhood spots, "All Seasons Sushi".

I love this place: great sushi, super friendly staff, plus they sat me at the sushi bar and gave me some miso soup while I wait for my order!

I hadn't been here since they remodeled. It's really nice!


Monday, February 11, 2008

The wonders of the Internet never cease to amaze... 

I've been a Facebook user for about 6 months now. I'm actually quite the avid user - I'm surprised how much I enjoy spending time on it. (read: time suck)

One of my favorite little dittys of Facebook is the Status Updates. Essentially, as a user, you share your current "status" (what you're doing, what's on your mind, random thoughts, etc.,) with your other Facebook friends. I update mine regularly, just for fun, and I really enjoy "watching" what my friends are up do at any given moment. (I know, it's all pretty Big Brother-ish.)

This afternoon, I refreshed my Facebook home page, and saw a status update for my cousin, Bruce.

Bruce is hanging at Queen Malika Cafe, a new discovery! 8m ago

Queen Malika Cafe is a fab little crepe/coffee shop less than 2 blocks from my house.

Now, of course, I still can't do the simple thing of picking up a phone.

Instead, I open iChat (which I know Bruce uses) and find him online to ask, "Are you at the Queen Malika on 18th St. in my neighborhood?"

and he replies, "Yes, come on down!"

So, I grabbed my purse, and headed down for a nice, quick visit with my cuz. It was great. I always enjoy having the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with anyone in my family, since our usual family gatherings are always so large, and it's hard to have a substantial one-on-one conversation with anyone.

Anyhow, this whole story cracked me up. Bruce surpassed me years ago as far as techno-geekiness goes, so it only seems appropriate that this is how we communicate to have a spontaneous hook up.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Is it me, or is this really ugly? 

...as if the bright red ATM machines weren't bright enough...

As I was walking along Castro Street yesterday, I noticed that they'd put the new BofA signs up.

You should know that the BofA building on the corner of Castro and 18th street is a really gorgeous old building. Now, while I appreciate that BofA needs to put up a sign letting customers know where they are, I really think they went overboard on this one.

The signs go around all 3 sides of the building. They are bright red and have that really cheap plastic look about them.

Don't they know that in this case, less is more?


Way to deface a building, BofA.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today's walk down Castro Street 

This afternoon, I took another stroll down Castro Street and caught more production action of the filming of "Milk".

It's such a surreal experience every time I take this walk during the production of the movie. There's something new to see each day, and even more storefronts have been transformed back to the 70s. Over the last couple of days, the street has been filled with actors and extras dressed in 70s garb, and cars from the era are the only ones parked along the street.

I was stopped, along with several other passer-bys, as the production crew was filming another scene in front of Harvey's Camera Store across the street. We waited for a few minutes as they wrapped it up before letting us continue. There are several campaign posters up on the windows of the camera store now, bearing Harvey Milk's name, but Sean Penn's photo. Surreal.

Harvey Milk's Camera Store and Campaign Headquarters transformed back in time.

As I walked down to Market Street I saw several more storefronts that had undergone the transformation. My favorite cookie store (Hot Cookie) now bears the Double Rainbow Sign. (that wouldn't be bad to have around, either!)

The Quickly Store (that makes bubble tea)is masquerading as a real estate office with several flyers taped to the windows showing the housing prices of the era: $40,000-$50,000!

Toad Hall, one of the most popular bars in the Castro during the 70s was resurrected. Dick and I watched the filming of a scene in front of this building this evening.

The Bank of America building, which is now a Diesel Store, has a sign bearing it's the bank's name on it again. (although they put it on the side of the building on Castro Street, where the Sprint Store resides, rather than the actual corner of Market and Castro.)

The Castro Theater has been restored to it's former glory. The colors are magnificent - I haven't ever seen it look so beautiful. I heard from a friend that the theater's marquis hadn't fully functioned since the 80s. My favorite part of walking past it today was what I read on the marquis: "The Poseidon Adventure"! (not actually showing!)

And finally, as I turned the corner of Castro at Market, I noticed that even the Chevron Station had gotten into the act: it's prices were turned back to the 70s as well!

I really love watching all of this transformation and action happening in the neighborhood. Everyone that I've talked to seems to be excited about it as well - we're all so happy to see that the producers of the movie seem to be paying to much attention to the detail of our great neighborhood.

Stay tuned. I think there will be another week or so of production before they wrap up.

Here's a great article about the movie and the filming in the Castro in today's sfgate.com.

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Friday, January 25, 2008


The Castro is going back in time! 30 years to be exact.

Production of the film, "Milk" has begun. Harvey Milk was was the first openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco, California, and therefore, according to Time magazine, "the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet".

He is considered by some to the be Martin Luther King of the Gay Community.

(from Wikipedia):

In 1972, Milk moved to San Francisco. He settled with his partner Scott Smith and opened a camera store, Castro Camera, in the Castro gay village. He emerged as a community leader, founding the Castro Valley Association of local merchants, and represented the neighborhood businesses in dealing with the city government.

Milk ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unsuccessfully twice, in 1973 and 1975. He emerged as a figurehead for San Francisco's large gay community, and was known as the "Mayor of Castro Street", a title which he himself coined. With each campaign, he garnered a larger number of supporters.

Milk's opponent in the 1975 race was Art Agnos, who would win the assembly seat by 3,600 votes out of 33,000 ballots cast.

After San Francisco switched from at-large to district elections, Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors on his third attempt in 1977, the first openly gay elected official of any large city in the United States, and only the third openly gay elected official in all of the US, after Kathy Kozachenko and Elaine Noble. Milk represented District 5, which included the Castro.

In his eleven months as a Supervisor, he sponsored a gay rights bill for the City as well as – famously – a pooper-scooper ordinance. He was also instrumental in defeating Proposition 6, The Briggs Initiative, backed by State Senator Briggs, which would have allowed openly gay men and lesbians who were teachers to be fired based on their sexuality. In November 1978, Proposition 6 was soundly voted down by Californians.

Harvey Milk was assassinated, along with then-Mayor, George Moscone on November 27, 1978. They were killed at City Hall by Dan White, a former San Francisco City Supervisor. In a controversial verdict, which led to the coining of the legal slang "the Twinkie defense," White was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the assassinations. The movie is being filmed now, and is set to be released towards the end of the year. Director Gus Van Sant is directing the film, which stars Sean Penn as Milk.

They are doing some of the filming on Castro Street, and have transformed part of the street to the way it looked 30 years ago. Harvey Milk's Camera store was on Castro, between 18th and 19th Street. He lived in an apartment upstairs, and used the back of the store as his campaign headquarters. The same building which he had lived/worked in has recently been transformed, as well as some of the businesses around it.

I took a walk down Castro Street yesterday, and snapped some photos. I didn't realize until I was taking the photos they were actually in production. You can see a scaffolding set up in the middle of the street (where the orange cones are) in one of the photos, filming a scene in front of the camera store. You can also see how some storefronts have been transformed, although the businesses inside are still open for business! Our favorite Thai restaurant, Thai House Express is temporarily sporting the facade of "China Court", which is what it was for years, until only about 3 years ago. You can also see "Aquarius Records" next store to it, which has also been long gone. (Thanks to Andrew for the photo of the Aquarius Records sign being put up.)

Since I took these shots during production, you'll see that all of the cars in them are all period to the late 70s. They even went so far in detail that I noticed them painting all of the sidewalk trash cans beige, over the dark green that they usually are.

I also took a photo of our beloved Castro Theater, which is also getting a face lift. I'm not positive, but I assume that the timing of it's new look is coinciding with the filming of "Milk".

Lastly, I'm including a couple of photos that I took from Harvey Milk Plaza, which is on the corner of Market and Castro, down by the entrance to the MUNI Station. There are a series of photos down here depicting the life of Harvey Milk, showing the impact that he had on our community.

I recently heard about the "Milk March" which will be held late in the evening of February 8th. The movie is looking for volunteers to appear as unpaid extras. They will be recreating the famous Candlelight march through the Castro the night after Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated in 1978.

I signed up for this evening, as well as two others (which don't seem to be mentioned on the web site anymore). I think this will be a fascinating opportunity to be a part of something important. For me, it's not about "being an extra in a movie". It's more about having the experience of participating in something that is so historically significant to my neighborhood, and my community.

Let me know if you'll be there on any of the nights - would love to hook up with some friends!

Here's a really good article about the movie production that I just found on the B.A.R.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Castro Street Fair 

What a gorgeous day to be outside!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh, Who are the people in your neighborhood? 

These are the people in my neighborhood!

As Dick and I were walking in our neighborhood today, we stopped at the corner of Castro and 18th Street. (Which according to Philip, is "arguably the gayest intersection in the gay neighborhood in the gayest of gay cities.")

We looked to the corner where the BofA building is, and there were 4 fellas dressed in full pink bunny suits waving madly at anyone who would wave back. We couldn't figure out why they were there, they just seemed to be happy to be wearing bunny suits, carrying white roses, and waving at passers by on the corner of Castro and 18th.

Oh, here are the people in my neighborhood...

Ah, yes. Just another day in the neighborhood!

"They're the people that you meet,
when you're walking down the street,
they're the people that you meet
each day!"

..and now, because I have the song in my head, here's the original Sesame Street version with Bob (Bob was always my favorite!):

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Pride! 

It's no wonder why I love to read Tales of the City, I'm living in my very own version!

Happy Pride Weekend.
(a.k.a. one of 3 weekends when we don't move our cars)

I took a quick walk around the neighborhood this morning. I had to go to the bank, drop off a prescription, etc.,

This is Pride weekend, so Castro Street is pretty packed. I thought I'd extend my walk to see what's going on in the neighborhood. There's a lot of people, a lot of balloons, lots of music, et.,

But, here's the topper:

As I walked past our local pet store, I noticed something new. All week, they had a window display of little plush dogs wearing rainbow-colored angel wings. Today, there was disco music blaring out of the store, and the little dogs were replaced...wait for it...with topless men, in go-go shorts, wearing the same rainbow wings. Now, I wouldn't have thought anything of this if it were almost any other store, but, um..... It's the pet store!

I couldn't help myself. I had to take a picture :)

Only in San Francisco, and only in The Castro...

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Easter Bunny wears Leather Chaps 

At least he does in my neighborhood....

This morning, I was treated once again to one of my favorite Easter in the Castro sights:

A big bear of a man, dressed in a full pink (and furry) Easter Bunny suit, (ears and all) wearing a big black leather jacket, drove up on his big, phat Harley bike. He hopped off his bike, and toted his easter basket up the stairs to the home of one of our neighbors.

One of these years, I'm going to have to snap a picture of him...

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