Sunday, January 27, 2013

south of market

With our lease expiring in six short weeks (agh, where did the last four and a half months go!?), Dave and I are apartment hunting yet again. Er, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we are still in the neighborhood scouting phase (aka the 'Crap! This city is still feels so very foreign to us and we have no idea where to go!' phase).

Whenever I meet someone new here, their first question is not 'what do you do,' but 'where do you live.' Like it or not, in cities like Chicago and San Francisco, your choice of neighborhood defines you -- to some degree, at least.

So where do we fit in here? With the hippies in the Haight, hipsters in the Mission, or frat boys in the Marina (um, no)? Or maybe with the 'urban pioneers' in SoMa? There's only one way to find out: explore, right?

A few days ago, I met Dave for lunch in SoMa (where he works) and wandered around the neighborhood a bit. It is a little (ok, a lot) rough around the edges, yes, but there is potential. I think? Maybe?

p.s. These cracked me up:

Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters

Moving to San Francisco

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

lazy sunday

Dave and I have been making a point to get out as often as possible and enjoy this beautiful California weather. It is still such a novelty for us to actually want to leave the house during the month of January, let alone walk around without a winter coat(!). If we were still living in Chicago, we would be in full hibernation mode right now. Because yes, it reached a jaw-dropping -4 degrees in Chicago yesterday. That is the kind of cold where your lungs ache, your snot freezes (sorry, but it's true), your eyeballs burn, and three layers of thermal underwear is still not enough. No, you don't go out in that unless it involves a paycheck.  

Anyway, last weekend, on a particularly gorgeous San Francisco Sunday, we found ourselves exploring the Lower Haight. First we fortuitously stumbled into Maven for a fan.tas.tic brunch, then to Le Cafe du Soliel for (more) coffee. On the walk home, I sincerely thought my heart was going to explode from happiness... or perhaps it was all that caffeine :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Exciting Saturday night here at the Stinnette household. While Dave is hard at work, I am organizing my photo library (I am really trying to get a grip on my file management, which is so terrible it's embarrassing). 

In the process, I came across this one from last summer: 

It's pretty much my new favorite. There are very few photos of me and Dave because well, I'm usually the one behind the camera. And candid photos? Forget it. They just don't exist.

Even though we're not even looking at each other, and I'm futzing with my hair like a teenager, I simply adore it. We both just look so... happy.

And happy we are.

p.s. There is a good reason why most our friends call us 'Mr. & Mrs. Grey Crayon' :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

a gloomy day in the mission

Last Saturday was a gross, rainy day in San Francisco, so Dave and I decided to cheer ourselves up with some authentic Mission burritos (a SF original we had yet to experience). 

On our way, we stopped at a fancy little coffee shop on 16th for a pre-lunch snack (like you do). It was lovely... until I started eating my donut, which tasted suspiciously like cardboard with sprinkles. Turns out, it was cardboard with sprinkles -- it was a vegan donut. Now, if you happen to be vegan, that's cool; I support you. But here's my personal message to all the establishments of the world: selling baked goods under the guise of containing butter is cruel and I beg you not to do it. Just label it, okay? (If you are wondering, I ate the whole thing because, I mean, it was still a chocolate donut after all.)

Moving on.

After pre-lunch, we decided to browse the random shops along Valencia until we were hungry again. It was here we discovered an ipod for sale an antique store. I'm still struggling to process that.

All the way down Valencia, I dragged Dave into every single mid-century furniture store we passed (of which there are like, a million). For Dave, who hates shopping, this was pure torture. Not even the functional - and free! - Ms. Pac-Man machine we stumbled upon could keep him sane. And so finally, a few hours later, we started towards our long-awaited burritos.

We were a mere half-block away from the restaurant (where the Mission-style burrito was invented, apparently) when we heard the sweet sound of a mariachi band. Now, who doesn't love a good mariachi band, right? Right. It was coming from the Mexican restaurant across the street and it was packed. Dave and I looked at each other, shrugged, and said 'well, it must be good'.... We followed the music and ditched the burritos.

The mariachi band finished their set about two minutes after we sat down, of course. Disappointed, we decided to order a pitcher of margaritas. It was enormous. 

Of course, we knew we didn't have to drink the whole pitcher... But it was raining outside and we didn't bring an umbrella. After we finished our prawn fajitas, we lingered and slowly sipped our margaritas until the pitcher was gone. By 3pm, we were definitely tipsy. Ok, we were a little drunk.

Time to go home and take a long nap, which is precisely what we did. But not after missing the bus and waiting in the pouring rain for half an hour.

I had to include this photo so you too could enjoy the sheer awesomeness of these chairs.
If I ever own a restaurant, I am furnishing it with these. No question.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

a fine romance

Considering neither of us had never set foot in the state of California when we made the life-altering decision to move here, it could have been a monumental disaster. Our original plan was to move to Portland or Seattle, and truthfully, I was brokenhearted when it didn't work out that way.

Then we arrived in San Francisco and fell head over heels with a pretty little peninsula on the edge of the world. Now I can't imagine life any other way, in any other place. I have developed a major crush on this city and I hope this feeling of constant wonder never fades.... Nah :) You and me, San Francisco. We have an everlasting kind of love.

The colors, the architecture, the sounds, the shops, the weather, the food, the views, the flowers, the hills, the coffee, the people, the sunsets, the markets. All of it. I'm in heaven. Heaven.