Thursday, June 14, 2012

eye candy

Cafes, wine pairings and flowers. The past week could be summed up with those simple things. My senses were on constant alert with the beauty of the city this week.

I explored my way through some great cafes in the area (some of which serve some tasty alcohol concoctions). I savored my mornings and afternoons with a variety of espresso blends, people watching and an occasional glance down at some books. 

Some new friends hosted a chocolate and wine paring party earlier this week. Yes, that's right, CHOCOLATE AND WINE together! It was delicious. After that I was inspired to search the city for some more food paring combos. I came across some delicious pastries, desserts and of course, some tasty wine.

The endless amounts of flower stands in the city seem to be that "pop of color" needed for the summer. I was temped to stop at every one just to smell and pick up a bundle to carry around with me for the day. This weekend's farmers markets were full of beautiful hydrangeas, lavender bundles and buckets of colorful perennials. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

week #1

The past several days have flown by. I cannot believe I've been in the city for a week already. So much has happened and I'm excited to see what's to come. 
I spent the first few days finding my way around the city, mostly getting lost. 
Here are some snap shots of what I've found, enjoyed, and savored. 

the cutest homes
sweet lavender shortbread cookies at Miette in the Ferry Building 

blue bottle coffee 

organic donuts on National Donut Day 

the General Store

$1 bubble tea in my neighborhood 

free samples 

In regards to "keeping things simple" I'm not sure I'm succeeding. The city feels like a financial vacuum where time and money just get sucked away. I've found a few tips that have helped me save time and money but the food, coffee, and travel fares add up quickly. 

Some common lessons I'm learning: 
1. layer, layer, layer: the weather here is constantly changing depending on the area and time of day. I've found it helpful to carry a denim jacket, leather jacket, or trench coat with me before I leave for the day. Invest in key pieces that will go with as much as possible. 

2. find free samples and order hot water: my grocery budget is not too impressive so I'm finding ways to stretch it when I can. I've indulged in some treats here and there, but I've found some tasty bakeries and cafes that give out free samples and let me order hot water for my own tea bags. 

3. ditch public transportation, your gym membership and GPS,  and throw on some heals: I've found the best workout for my legs and glutes-- getting lost in the city with a cute pair of heals. Not only am I forcing myself to know the city streets faster, I'm getting a great scenic workout (an a few blisters) in the time being. I'd like to think that I thought of this before the fact, but this "tip" came out of desperate necessity on one of my first days. 

4. make new friends, they won't bite: I've had a blast getting to know so many people here in the city. It helps being connected with a church (Reality SF shout out!) and pushing myself to go out even when staying in my pj's sounds a little better. 

5. keep trying new things: there is constantly something going on here, and I've enjoyed pushing myself to experience new atmospheres, foods, and people. Taco night with friends, literature readings, art walks, drinks, interviews, they never end! It's so much fun finding out what this city has to discover. 

I've made it past my first week in a new city and can't wait for more to follow.