Saturday, December 20, 2014

DEAREST FRIENDS...



Village Corner Bistro, Carmel-by-the-Sea


...since 1956 (when I was two).

At Christmastime (or anytime), old friends are the best friends,

especially those with whom you shared Christmas Eve during childhood.


THE MONTEREY PENINSULA





The land of Cannery Row and Steinbeck.



SF AWAKENS





From my room on the 26th floor, the city illuminates and comes to life.





UNION SQUARE, SAN FRAN, CHRISTMASTIME







This elderly gent had just come out of Tiffany.

He seemed to realize there was far more Christmas spirit out in the cold with this quartet.



And nearby, on California Street...





Friday, December 19, 2014

TADICH GRILL



This is Ken, perhaps the finest server on Planet Earth, and maybe why Tadich Grill continues to be San Francisco's finest dining experience.


Since 1849, Tadich Grill is the longest continuous-running restaurant in San Francisco.

For very good reason.




Without a doubt, the finest, freshest oysters on the half-shell (from Samish, Washington) I ever ate.


JACK KEROUAC ALLEY (NORTH BEACH)





In North Beach, between a beat bar called Vesuvio and City Lights Bookstore, is an alley once called Adler, now named after a writer who defined the road.




CITY GLIMPSES








Nothing like a cable car for a sense of place.




Sign in window:  Wherever you are, be all there.  Give presence.





ROOM WITH A VIEW



Telegraph Hill

If in SF only one night, this is what you want to see from the privacy of your room.



BIG CITY FIX






Thursday, December 18, 2014

GUERNEVILLE









The drugstore sign of my childhood. 

Glad to see it still exists, somewhere.





A "five-and-dime."  Miss this, too.

Thank God for Guerneville.


Happy CoW


RUSSIAN RIVER ROADS














RUSSIAN RIVER













The best kind of booty


FLYING GOAT COFFEE





The cappuccino is pleasant enough, but strong, so I return to the barista and request a tiny top-up of warm milk.

“I don’t do that,” she sneers, as if she is a famous chef who will serve a hamburger with only toppings she approves.  “Perhaps you need a different drink, a misto or a latte?”


“No, this one is fine,” I say.  “It just needs a few drops of warm milk.”


“Well, I’ll have to charge you fifty cents.”


I shrug.


She reluctantly pours.  And instructs the cashier to ring up a sale.

Fifty cents.

In her mind:   Did she think I was trying to muscle in on a more expensive drink? Or might therapy and meds be in her future?

Little wonder Starbucks does so well…




HEALDSBURG A.M.






HEALDSBURG AT CHRISTMASTIME



















Dry Creek Kitchen.

Maybe the world's finest scallop pot pie.

(And the peanut butter bar is no slouch either,)





Christmas orbs:  past, present, & future


Saturday, December 13, 2014

HOLIDAY READING





As he crisscrosses America -- driving in search of the present, the past, and himself -- Larry McMurtry shares his fascination with this nation's great trails and the culture that has developed around them. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MARK TWAIN'S 9 TIPS FOR LIVING YOUR LIFE





1. Approve of yourself.
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

2. Your limitations may just be in your mind.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

3. Lighten up and have some fun.
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

4. Let go of anger.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

5. Release yourself from entitlement.
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

6. If you’re taking a different path, prepare for reactions.
“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

7. Keep your focus steadily on what you want.
“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

8. Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good.
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

9. Do what you want to do.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”




Friday, December 5, 2014