Monthly Archives: May 2010

San Francisco Restaurant Suggestions

Chez Maman (Potrero Hill).

  • This place is amazing. It is very small, but the atmosphere is warm and cozy with a view of the kitchen as the chef’s create incredible dishes. It is an explosion of pleasure for your taste buds.

Universal Cafe (Outer Mission)

  • This is our Sunday morning haunt. Their menu changes every week, but the french toast is a taste of heaven. Each week they have a different way to prepare it. My favorite was when they took Texas toast, encrusted it with pumpkin, and put a dollop of whipped cream on top. The Sunday they used cherry compote is a close second.

Hard Knox Cafe (Dog Patch)

  • This is where you go for a bit of Southern soul food. They are famous for their fried chicken, but I think they have the best hamburgers in San Francisco. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

OSHA Thai Restaurant (2 locations – Valencia Street and Union Street)

  • The atmosphere is great, and the food is even better. When it comes to Thai food, this restaurant is unbeatable.

Limon Peruvian Cuisine (Valencia Street)

  • The eye for detail is definitely present in the preparation of the food, and in the presentation. Try the Peruvian Cola, it is like liquid Starburst candy.

Memphis Minnie’s BBQ (Haight)

  • I can’t say this is the best BBQ that I’ve ever had, but it is definitely the best I’ve had in San Francisco. Give it a try.

Absinthe (Hayes Valley)

  • The decor is great, the food is great, the location is great. They have a book, yes a book, of wine selections. If you opt for the cheese platter, you can mix and max several options to tailor it to something that will make your taste buds sing.

Bon Appetit!

Mike

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Thoughts on Life, Slavery, and Death

I work in the East Bay and spend a lot of time commuting back and forth over the Bay Bridge. Sometimes, I turn off the radio and just spend the time letting my thoughts drift. Below I have listed a few thoughts that I had this week. They are ideas that I revisit from time to time.

1. This week I discovered that a couple that I knew from my past who had so many things against them made it and have a successful life together. They overcame poverty, teen pregnancy, lack of self-esteem, etc. to become educated and raise a family together. Good for them. 🙂

2. Are the U.S. citizens the new Masters? How many adults and little children are working in sweat shops for very little pay throughout the world so that we can buy clothes and other goods at cheap prices? We all know it is going on, but we don’t do anything about it. Why do we continue to buy from countries that treat the workers so poorly? Is a cheap price for a shirt really more important to us than the health of the child laborer in another country? Many people will appease their consciences by saying that if we we didn’t buy the goods, then those families in other countries would starve. News Flash: They are already starving. Don’t you think that the plantation owners in the Old South also had certain unrealistic thoughts that appeased their consciences? Are we building the American way of life off the backs of slave labor in other countries?

3. If we truly believed in an afterlife, would we be so afraid to die? If someone believed there was a place without pain and agony and everyone was totally happy, why try so hard and take so many medications in order to hang on to this life?

4. Money allows a person to have more experiences in life, but in the end, it means nothing. It doesn’t mean a person with money was a better person or had a better life. It means more options, but that really is about it. When you die, you literally leave everything behind. This includes the dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty laundry in the hamper, the food in the fridge, and all the money in the bank. A friend of mine this week said that she and her husband have decided that they want to live each year like it is their last. If they want to do something and can afford to do it, then they are not waiting. Not a bad way to live life.

Just some thoughts.

— Mike

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San Francisco Dreaming

S.F. Beach, Spring 2010
S.F. Beach

S.F. Noe Valley
Noe Valley (near Castro)

AT&T Park during a Giant's game
AT&T Park – Home of the Giants

S.F. SOMA
SOMA (South of Market)

S.F. Noe Valley
Noe Valley (near Castro)

S.F. Beach, Spring 2010
S.F. Beach

S.F. Noe Valley
Noe Valley (near Castro)

S.F. spring, 2010
This is a reminder that Mother’s Day is tomorrow, May 9th.

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Earthquake Country

A friend of mine recently sent a link that shows historical footage of San Francisco in 1906 just days before the major earthquake and fire. It was taken from a streetcar as it moved down the tracks toward the Ferry Building. Unfortunately, about the only thing that survived in that video is the Ferry Building because the rest burned to the ground in just a couple of days. Check out the link at http://www.flixxy.com/san-francisco-1905-historical-footage.htm I would make the link a hot button, but I’m working off of a Mac now instead of a Dell, and I haven’t totally figured out which keys do the cut and paste.

As I view this video and watch the men in suits and the women in Victorian attire, I wonder what they were thinking and planning. Some may have been wishing those precious, last days of normal away by thinking, “I can’t wait until three days from now when I get to go to such and such a party or event.” Maybe they were thinking about the home improvement project they were going to do at home or were in the midst of accomplishing. Maybe one or two of them had planned a trip out of town and would unknowingly escape the pending horror and devastation. They had no idea of knowing that in just a few days an earthquake and fire would totally change their lives and the face of the city forever.

I grew up in tornado country (Western Kansas), and lived 12 years in the heart of tornado alley (Tulsa, OK). Tornadoes are natural disasters that I understand, and I have a certain comfort level with the threat possibility. Earthquakes, on the other hand, make me a little uneasy. So far, I have lived in San Francisco for nine months, and I have not felt an earthquake. One thing I have noticed is the beautiful, mild weather. We don’t freeze in San Francisco, so we never have ice or snow. What they consider hail here is really just a light form of sleet. Most of the time rain is just rain, and it is never really accompanied by thunder or lightening. Unlike my previous residence, Portland, the sun shines here almost all of the time, and this is even supposed to be an El Nino year. So, on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, the possibility of property damage or injury from a natural disaster is very low here. This can definitely lead to denial and a certain comfort with the thought that earthquakes really won’t affect my life. This feeling is bolstered by the fact that I work with several people who have lived in the bay area all of their lives, and they have yet to be drastically affected by an earthquake. But, when it does happen, and the predication is that the big one will come in the next 20 years, the results can be catastrophic. Granted, a much stronger building code may make all the difference when the next big one hits.

I have decided that I will be the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” of San Francisco when the next big earthquake occurs. This is what I tell all of my friends, so it must make it true. 🙂 I have my emergency provisions together, and my camping tent and equipment is in one big bag and ready to grab in the case of an emergency. If my building collapses, I fully intend to be standing on top of it when the dust clears. Morbid, but these are the thoughts I have as I continue to transition from living in tornado alley to residing in the middle of earthquake country.

—Mike

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