Friday, February 26, 2010

Question for you, Dear Readers

I am going to San Francisco in 2 weeks for a weekend with friends, D flying in from Seattle and K crossing the bridge from Berkeley.   We have never done this - longed for it - but between work, children etc. etc - you get it. But, it's actually happening and I am, of course,  thrilled and - in a food tizzy!!!!!!!

Like all good, food obsessed people I'm haunting the chowhound boards and other trustworthy web sites. But, I want your opinion.

Here are the places under serious consideration:
Town Hall

Also maybe Flour + Water
or Delfina

I have never been to any of them.

I am open to suggestions but before you are kind enough to do that please know that I have been to Zuni Cafe, The Slanted Door, A16, and some wonderful place in North Beach that I can always find but have no idea what the name is.   And I will very definitely be making the annual pilgrimage to my beloved Greens for too many pastries.  Oh, I can hardly wait. Brown paper bag filled with treats, it's back outside to find the perfect spot to sit (okay, it's a cold piece of concrete but, really, it's perfect) and gaze out at the Bay while the wind whips my hair into a tangle of knots.  This I will likely do by myself as, at the earliest possible hour, the plan is take a cable car from our SOMA-located hotel over the hill to the end of the Powell-Mason Line then trek along the bay, up and down the hill to Fort Mason, down all those crazy stairs, and through the parking lot to Greens.  Not everyone thinks a fruit tart is worth this kind of thing at 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning. Especially with a hangover.

So -have you been to any of the places on the above list?  Lunch or dinner?  What did you eat? What did you love, hate. What do you dream about? Please, let me know.

Monday, February 22, 2010

And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses.  Won't you stay, we'll put on the day and we'll talk in present tenses...
Joni Mitchell

February is my favorite month. Here in LA the sun shines warm and lovely, the ocean from my window is the bluest blue.


 I try to take the month into me, holding it in my heart against the months of overcast that are coming  and the later, terrible heat of August and September. 



Out in the garden the lavender and lemons bob in the wind. But can you see the grass?  It's out of control.  I have this theory, very annoying to my children, that a family should be able to take care of its own garden.  I think it's good, no essential, for kids to work outside.  So, a few years ago, I fired the gardener.  And, somewhat regularly, we are out there with the push mower and the clippers.  It's a struggle because they whine (though with repetition the whining lessens)  and I get frustrated.   But we get the job done, and they have learned to get satisfaction from that job, from pleasing their mother, from tending their own small plot. 

 Sometimes, as you can see, things go a little bit wild.  I have not had the will to force the issue lately.  The grass is being allowed to take over.  Its wildness suits my current mood. But one of these days I will feel the call of order again and we will be out there, with the sun shining on our backs and the morning air filled with promises of lemon-aid for a job well done.

Tenderly I will use you curling grass
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from the old people and from women
and from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps
And here you are the mother's laps.

Walt Whitman

Monday, February 15, 2010

On the Beach and an upcoming reading from Mary Oliver

A spectacular day, sunny and warm, the kind of day that reminds you why you came to Southern California. How incredible it still seems to be outside, barefoot, in February.  I walked down to the beach at sunset and found this piece of log or, more likely, pilon.  It was so good to kick off my shoes and walk in the cold sand, so good to be there alone.  I hope, wherever you are, that you had a moment of peace outdoors today. 

Poet Mary Oliver is reading next Thursday, Feb 25 at 8 at UCLA.  For poetry deeply, personally resonate yet anchored in the natural world there is no one like her.   A special discount of 25% is available for purchases of 2 or more tickets at Ticketmaster.  Use the code OLIVER.