Monday, December 27, 2010

Brunch in Darlinghurst @ Bill's 2010

Urban hiking means nothing to me without enjoying food or drink along the way.  I walked from Surry Hills to Darlinghurst. Mostly zig zagging my way around Liverpool Street... followed that road for awhile until I ran in to Bill's - I've been waiting years to return to Sydney to have brunch at Bills. When my cuz Justine came to San Francisco in 2002, she gave me a host gift; Sydney Food by: Bill Granger. Still one of my favorite cook books.

This is a true urban garden - drought proof plants and concrete instead of grass. At least the concrete is grass colored. Is this part of the Water Plan to 'drought-proof' Sydney until 2025? I don't know, but looks low maintenance to me.

I like to make things up or pretend I know what I'm talking about... so, I'm going to call this type of architecture Bauhaus - a German expression for house for building.  (Not to be confused with the 1970 band Bauhaus)  Anyway, this type of building is functional, rational and industrial. If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see the orange building in the background - Still walking along Liverpool Street in Sydney.

Life happens even on a brick wall - Liverpool Street Sydney

Bills Restaurant

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Deus on a Rainy Day - Camperdown Sydney

Motorcyles for the postmodern world -- Deus 

98-104 Parramatta Rd Camperdown 
Sydney NSW 2050
One of my favorite stops while shopping around on a rainy day in Sydney was at Deus -- located in a renovated warehouse in Camperdown, Sydney.   My cousin and I stopped in for a break from the rain, to check out the cafe and look at some very cool vintage bikes...Started in the cafe 

From photos
A Robert Moore installation of painted race numbers hangs over communal tables. It really worked well with all the bikes parked just outside the cafe. Read more about Deus Cafe in Camperdown, Australia. 

From photos
Boston Baked Beans have never looked so good. The food there was amazing but a bit $$. Then again, everything in Australia is $$

Australia 2010
After breakfast we ran in to one of my favorites Reg Mombassa & I got him to sign, color and draw on my book. Random running into him as I was just telling my cuz that I loved all the Mombo Surf Graphics.

From Australia 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Farallon Islands Sailing Trip

At 7AM in the morning, we sailed 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco to the Farallon Islands carrying two staff members of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO), Keith (owner of the boat), two of his friends and me.

Louisa's Photos
My friend Keith (above in red) volunteers his time, boat J-130, and all the gas to transport supplies and PRBO staff to the Farallon Islands. This is us sailing out of the bay with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Golden Gate Bridge with sunrising in the east.

From Louisa's Photos of Farallon Islands - 2010
Once at the island, we had to off-load all the supplies to a dinghy.

Louisa's From Farallon Islands - 2010
The only way on and off the Farallon Island is by crane. The crane on the right of this picture lifts the dingy with passengers and supplies out of the water and on to the island. It was really cool to experience and kind of scary too.
If you'd like to see video of the dingy and the crane going in and out of the ocean, Click on these two links to see my YouTube videos:
-- Dingy at Farallon Island (45 seconds)
-- People in the dingy and in the air at Farallon Islands (1 minute)

From Farallon Islands - 2010
As you may or may not know, the Farallon Islands are closed to the public. This walking tour we are on is a once in a life time opportunity to see the island first hand!  Currently the islands are managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and PRBO Conservation Science.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Walking from the crane to the PRBO quarters - do not step off the wooden path, there are birds nest everywhere.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Very rustic quaters for the staff, but at least they have a gas stove.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Walking along the wooden path on our tour, here is a picture of the outside of the staff quarters. They are weathered from the conditions and need a little TLC.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Group photo of our Team. I'm in the white top and yellow pants

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Hiking up to the lighthouse - stopping to take a look at some of the birds and make some photos.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
It's a long way down - this is where we got to see a Gray Whale and California Seals.

Louisa's photos Farallon Islands - 2010
View of the staff quarters from the Lighthouse

From Farallon Islands - 2010
We got to see a playful bunch of seals splashing around in the ocean. I could imagine the soundtrack for the movie Jaws in the background and was just waiting for a great white shark to jump out at any moment.

Video of our guide talking about seals (somewhat hard to hear audio)

From Louisa's Farallon Islands photos - 2010
More photos from the Farallon Islands - our private walking tour.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
The only Great White Shark we got to see was a toy one at the quarters.

Truly a magical day. We did see some gray whales, endangered birds, seals, massive jellies in the water. The elephant seals attract a large population of Great White Sharks to the islands. In 1970 Farallon biologists witnessed their first shark attack, on a Steller’s sea lion. During the next fifteen years, more than one hundred attacks on seals and sea lions were observed at close range. By the year 2000, biologists were logging almost eighty attacks in a single season. CHOMP!

Video of our guide talking about the Brown House Mouse problem on the island and some solutions to fix the overpopulation of mice - Yuck. The mice attract hungry migratory burrowing owls. I guess this is not a good thing?! They (mice) eat a rare gray seabird called the Ashy Storm-petrel. Other animals effected by the mice are the Farallon arboreal salamander and cave cricket, only found on the Farallone Islands.

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Sailing back, we took PRBO crew members back to stateside

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Containers with unwanted trash

From Farallon Islands - 2010
I got to sail! Was really beautiful out in the Pacific Ocean

From Farallon Islands - 2010
Was a long day, but nothing like seeing the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise (this was taking in the AM)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Take You Down To Chinatown

While walking through San Francisco's Chinatown, I stumbled upon this store front window display; mocking the roasting ducks hanging in the windows along Stockton Street. I've never purchased a roasting, hanging duck... looks horrible. However, these 'New. Peking ducks gone wild', located at the storefront on 630 Kearny Street, look a little more appetizing than the ones on Stockton.  The artist, Niana Liu, recommends voting for her ducks for each SF Duckstrist. I'm sure they would do just as well as any other candidate running for supervisor. 

Broadway in North Beach, SF
On a side note, San Francisco is the 12th most populous city in the United States. Asian Americans are the fastest growing of all the major ethnic groups in the US.  Honolulu comes in first place with 64.9% and San Francisco in second with 18.8% of total population. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

San Francisco Street Art Political Gridlock

Street art by Political Gridlock

Fox News 1% News 99% Fear

Street Art in San Francisco continues to entertain me. Above photo is a perfect example of the creative and outspoken residents and visitors of the 415. Using paper (US) currency as a medium for lowbrow, street-art propaganda really hits this counterculture's point. Money aint worth the paper it's printed on and war and media are whore for the dollar.

This style of graffiti started in the UK in the 1970s, but my first time seeing it in San Francisco.

Street art by Political Gridlock

Sidenote: FOX News is a Republican Bar

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Louisa on the Diving Board in Yosemite 2002

Diving Board in Yosemite 2002
I was at a dinner party in Interlaken, Switzerland last sunday (10.03.2010) with a bunch of daredevils!! One was a BASE jumper from Australia, Grant R, the others was a beautiful woman from California now living in Interlaken; had no fear of sky diving, walking across makeshift footbridges or jumping off cliffs. Kind of made me a little insecure about my complete and utter fear of heights. I do have a fear of falling and heights, however, if someone bets me to do something, how can I say no.  I once read that "smart may have brains but stupid has balls". Well I do pride myself on the latter... Here is a little example of my 'stupid has the balls' story...

After hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite in 2002, my roommate bet that I wouldn't go out on the diving board. Here is a photo of me inching my way out to the edge. I did get out to the very tip of the diving board, but somehow can't find the photo. LOL just like the BIG fish that got away I guess.

We started the hike from Camp Curry located in Yosemite Valley at about 4000 feet elevation. There is a short, flat walk from Camp Curry to Happy Isles, the trail-head. We walked up the 'misty trail' to the first fall - Vernal Falls. There are some great photo ops here and I would take the time to enjoy the views, take some photos and then continue on to the Nevada Falls. It's about 8 miles up to the top of Half Dome (8842 feet). Once at the top of the Dome, we had lunch, took photos, climbed (well, I climbed) out on the Diving Board and then took a nap before heading down the ropes again.

Climber on El Cap in Yosemite
On our way out we stopped to take photos of the guys/gals climbing El Capitan - I've always wanted to climb, but can't get off the ground

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen & Horner Pub

Cows, Swiss Cheese, Annabelles, BASE Jumpers, and four girls on Bikes

Annabelle and Cow Switzerland 2010

ProBASE Jump World Cup Switzerland 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Focaccia! Homemade in Sciarborasca

One of the many reasons I fly to Italy every year... the homemade Focaccia!

Tomatoes and Olive Oil Focaccia  Italy 2010 - Varazze, Cogoleto, Sciarborasca

My family make the best... BEST Focaccia

Breakfast - Focaccia!  Italy 2010 - Varazze, Cogoleto, Sciarborasca

Everything is homemade here with the family. I love it!

From Italy 2010 - Varazze, Cogoleto, Sciarborasca

I really need to take notes and learn how to cook like this... She uses no notes, all from memory

From Italy 2010 - Varazze, Cogoleto, Sciarborasca

Monday, September 20, 2010

Madrid ~ Spain 2010

Traveling to me is about Food, Sports, Art and Wine - Madrid has all of that!

From Spain 2010, Madrid
One night & two days in Madrid! Lets go! First stop was for Tapas

Second stop for dolce

Dolce is a must Spain 2010, Madrid

Elise and Louisa walking around the park Bosque del Recuerdo (Forest of Remembrance) & exploring

Bosque del Recuerdo (Forest of Remembrance)Spain 2010, Madrid

"The Forest of Remembrance (Spanish: Bosque del Recuerdo), formerly known as the Forest of the Departed (Bosque de los Ausentes), is a memorial garden located in the park of El Retiro in Madrid, Spain that commemorates the 191 civilian victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the special forces agent who died in the attacks on 11 March 2004. The seven suicide bombers subsequently killed themselves on 3 April 2004 while under siege by security forces in their apartment block."

Jessica StockholderSpain 2010, Madrid

Art in the Park by Jessica Stockholder - This building, the Palacio de Velazques, is centrally located in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid.  Designed by the architech Ricardo Velazquez Bosco.  Very cool stop on our urban hike!

Elise checking out living art Spain 2010, Madrid

After walking the park, we stopped at a very cool bakery called Harina. Must stop there again to eat, um, everything! (H) arina is located at Plaza de la Indenpendencia, 1028001 Madrid, Spain

Bakery Harina Spain 2010, Madrid
While eating our 20 euros of dolce, we meet a very sweet guy that told us of MUST EAT AT places in Madrid. We took notes and later got the information and addresses!

From Spain 2010, Madrid

Dinner at a place that took us 45 minutes to find, but well worth the effort. Locals only spot and very hip (was told that it was written up in the WSJ) Must ask Elise for name of restaurant am possible if she remembers what we ate!

At dinner we met a cute Spanish guy that invited us to a 40th birthday party!

From Spain 2010, Madrid

Later at the birthday party we met all the friends (all knew each other from Ibiza) - Elise and I had the best chocolate cake at this birthday party! So good... still trying (but think I may have) replicated the yum!

From Spain 2010, Madrid

Our hotel was... clean and cheap

From Spain 2010, Madrid