left coast loving

yesterday in the bay, it rained and rained and rained some more but the temperature was a delightful 60 degrees Fahrenheit. i am loving the west coast or the left coast, a political expression that has been re-purposed in the art world on this side of america. it has everything to do with being in a new environment after nearly one year in NYC. what can i say, i am inspired by traveling and new experiences!

you ask, hey Lala! why do you love San Francisco so much?

1. FOOD – healthy, whole and heavenly. today we had lunch at Gracias Madre, an organic vegan Mexican restaurant in the Mission district. i nearly broke down and cried. yum yum! 3 words: Butternut Squash Quesadillas (with pumpkin seed salsa)

2. PEOPLE – easy, breezy, and friendly. many people greet each other on the street and everyone has been super helpful when approached (i’ve gotten lost a few times already πŸ™‚

3. WEATHER – it’s not hot or even warm but it’s not freezing πŸ™‚ need i say more?

4. LANDSCAPE – breathtakingly (is that a word?) gorgeous!! the architecture and surrounding mountains lift my spirit and my calves.

5. CLEANLINESS – i looked up in the subway station and was not horrified plus my allergic reaction to cheese pizza is non-existent here.

6. NATURE-ORIENTED – aren’t most Californians?

7. INTELLIGENT – in quoting the NY Times, San Francisco ranked in the top 3 of book sales around the country in 2009. reading is fundamental. i visited 4 or 5 bookstores within blocks of each other today and to my surprise, each were bustling with curious readers.

8. ARTSY – this post pays homage to the amazing 3 day art festival art called, Left Coast Leaning. my hosts, bryant and jidan got tickets for saturday night’s performance. each piece was engaging, meaningful and vibrant. this event was held at the Yerba Bueno Center for the Arts. a lovely evening which began with another fantastic meal at Osha, a thai restaurant owned by two sisters.

9. GREEN – there are recycle bins everywhere and reminders to conserve too.

10. ENTREPRENEURIAL – San Fran is a city full of boutiques, thrift shops, cafes and bars run by young, progressive types.

this is not a “dis” against NYC, my hometown. my love for the Big Apple is deep and undeniable. however, i can see san fran in my near future.

i should really go to bed now. i trust that you are keeping warm, drinking loads of herbal tea and eating hearty and whole food! winter is right around the corner!

love and light and more love

*Lala*

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san fran man

i’m in love again.

with san francisco, that is. it’s only been 3 days since we reunited but i remember its touch as if it were yesterday. since i have limited time to write or edit my writing, here are a few images that will give you a glimpse of Day 2 in the foggy city. later this afternoon, i will journey to oakland for the first time ever. i have a feeling my stay will become more colorful moving forward. considering i worked for most of the day yesterday, i am going to the hot springs in japantown for a morning of peace and relaxation. it’s always about balance πŸ™‚

had a lovely breakfast at Cafe GoLo (corner of Gough and Lombard)

i am weak for french toast - this was delicious

John, owner of Cafe GoLo, very accommodating

time to get to work at the ferry building - got some good interviews

famer's market - one of the best on saturdays, i hear

it's chilly by the wharf, needed to warm up with hot chocolate - Blue Bottle style

you can park your bike in the subway - yay!!

made it to the Mission District but was too full to enjoy tacos 😦 but next time!

super dope music at Revolution Cafe - thanks to Sam for the recommendation

thrift shopping in the Mission - had to buy gloves

more thrift shopping, but now in the Haight - hi Austin from L.A.

ended the evening with a film, Wasteland about artist, Vik Muniz. great story.

remember to EAT YOUR GREENS!!!

hugs and love from the Bay!

*Lala*

body clock


most weekday mornings start off nice and easy, with some reiki, meditation, music or a combination of the three. however, as the time creeps closer to nine a.m., the panicking commences. i have recently been tasked with coming to work a ‘little earlier … just in case there’s an emergency.’ at first i thought to myself, we are not saving lives and it’s kinda crazy that people find the need to make demands that go totally against another person’s body clock. by body clock, i mean some people rise with the sun (without the help of an alarm clock) and others (like me) have a hard time sleeping at night, hence the term night owl. punctuality has always been an issue for me. plus, i have never been a fan of rushing for anything, it’s important that i feel like my life is NOT being consumed by working for other people. yet the fact remains, i am currently working for some one and i must play by their rules. Suck it up Lala — at least you have a job to be late to!


while we’re on the subject of rules, i want to share a story about an occurrence last week with a police officer in a Brooklyn subway station. i wrote everything down after our brief interaction. Here are my notes:


C train – I swiped my Metrocard and immediately noticed a cop standing in the center of the staircase. When I am running late, which is often, I eat my breakfast before walking down onto the platform level — usually it’s a fuji apple or a bagel with some random spread or veggies on it.


When my brother first moved here, we foolishly jumped the turnstile at this very station. Seconds later, a cop approached us from this very same section of the staircase and promptly gave us a summons to appear in court. Of course, we weren’t carrying I.D. — at least that’s what we said. We never made it to court because we never gave our real names.


I knew exactly why that cop was standing there but since I’d just missed the train and had some time to kill, I approached the officer slowly, leaned in, and whispered, “is everything okay?”

He calmly responded, “Yes, everything’s okay.”

I pushed further, “are you sure? why are you standing here like this?”

“I’m here to make sure everything is safe, to protect you.”

“From kidnappers ..??” Playing along, I gave him my most quizzical look. “Is that why you are hiding?”

“Oh, well you know, if I stand here, I can see all angles of the station,” he fibbed.

“I can see everything from here, you should stand here.” I grinned.

“No, it’s better if I stand here,” he challenged.

That crazy whistle or ringing noise was activated to indicate the train’s near arrival. I moved in a little closer and purred, “Can I take your photograph?”

He raised his eyebrows, glanced upwards, and said, “the train is coming” in hopes that I would drop my question. Seeing that I was still standing over him, he responded by saying, “we’re not supposed to do that, I could get in trouble. They don’t like us to take photographs.”

“Whose “they?”

“The big guys, my boss — cause it may end up in the newspaper or on the internet.”

“Oh, I don’t work for any newspaper or internet, I’ll only take one,” then I held up my index finger to make my intention clear.

He hesitated, “If you didn’t already tell me … that would be different but now …”

Fumbling through my bag, I pulled out my camera gingerly. Speaking softly and quickly, “The train’s coming, stay still, I’ll be quick.” I switched my camera’s color mode to B&W then positioned it and made one photo.


Even though he failed to tell me the truth as to why he was hiding on the staircase — to fulfill his summons quota — I blurred his face to honor my word. I could never be a police officer or part of any military because I clearly have a hard time NOT breaking rules and pushing boundaries. I suppose we need both types: the rule breakers and the rule makers to make this thing called, civility, work.


Tonight, I am going to see Sufjan Stevens at the Beacon Theatre!!! YAY!! My second live performance this week … this past Tuesday I had the ultimate pleasure of seeing Brad Mehldau perform his latest album, Highway Rider, in its entirety at the Carnegie Music Hall. I totally love his work and think he’s brilliant.


And pick up a copy of this magnificent book by Ms. Isabel Wilkerson titled, The Warmth of Other Suns.

Giving thanks for the most gorgeous November weekend!

I love his beard!

Peace & smiles

*Lala*

failure is everywhere

New Podcast

The book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A man who would cure the world, tells the story of one doctor, Paul Farmer, M.D. who founded Partners in Health to address the lack of health care in poor communities throughout the world — his first facility was built in Haiti over twenty years ago. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. During a Q&A at a Dartmouth First Year Lecture, he said: I prefer to surround myself with people who are not afraid of failure, people who take risks. Failure is everywhere and is nothing to be afraid of. (i am paraphrasing).

This statement moved me and I wanted to share it with you along with this declaration I came across last week-ish on WordPress. To me, the only failure is not trying at all.

Failure Manifesto

Failure is your fault, no fault, default. Failure is mistakes, double-takes, roller skates. Failure is missing it, missing hits, missing shit. Failure is melting, yelping, coping. Failure is blurry, worry, Murray. Failure is weeded, needed, pleaded. Failure is soon, womb, swoon. Failure is here, near, fear. Failure is choosing, losing, musing. Failure is old, cold, on hold. Failure is halting, salting, waltzing. Failure is ouch, slouch, pouch. Failure is love, shove, sort of. Failure is new, boot, pig snoot. Failure is broken, spoken, woken. Failure is finding, binding, winding. Failure is burn, yearn, kern. Failure is dropped, chopped, topped. Failure is pure, sure, bonjour. Failure is hate, late, dinner plate. Failure is sudden, wooden, couldn’t. Failure is power, cower, shower. Failure is yours, soars, dinosaurs. Failure is human, Newman, rumen. Failure is glorious, tedious, part of us. Failure is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

The images are from the walls at Eyebeam Studios in NYC.
It’s watermelon season:)

*Lala*

happy people

Happy people don’t write. – Edna O’Brien (author of The Country Girls a book I’m reading now)

I could not agree more. My journals are filled with phrases of longing and imprints of heartache and sadness. I noticed this one day as I flipped through the pages of my 20 or more diaries. When I am extra happy, the camera is my most loyal companion and the pen is forgotten like an overworked pair of boots.

Hence this blog with its mini-anecdotes and random photographs. Typically, if all is going well in my world, I make photographs and don’t feel the need to express myself in words but having a blog forces me. When I am working through life’s downs and ups, the words come more easily and my desire to make photos is buried beneath the heaviness and hurt. But again, knowing that I need to update my blog pushes me to shoot even when I don’t feel like it. I am grateful for Lala the Sunchaser for many reasons.

Having a blog is a great disciplinary exercise plus it’s awesome for the heart space. Each day I walk the streets with a watchful eye and present spirit, I try not to text while walking or talk on the phone too much cause I just may miss some thing or someone interesting. NYC is full of eye candy, engaging scenery, and beautiful art work.

Today, I wish to document that I am HAPPY, HEALTHY, WHOLE and ENJOYING MY LIFE –truly!

July has been about working lots, connecting with folks, and pushing beyond my comfort zone, beginning with a hang gliding adventure in Middletown, NY and ending with a two hour reiki session.

My one month “boot camp” experiment did wonders for my health and productivity. Only, as of now, the thrill has gone and I have been sleeping in later and later with each passing morning. Yet I am still waking with the sun which feels great. And, lastly, I am following my heart, using my voice even when I am unclear about how my words will be received.

I often ask myself, what is the worse that can happen if I speak my truth or make a move. If I can live with the consequences, I take a deep breath, leap into the unknown, and concentrate on a positive outcome. So far, so good!

The photos are of new and old friends. I love working in SoHo – it’s super inspiring and I am always meeting new people or bumping into old acquaintances πŸ™‚ Give yourself a hug today and have a beautiful weekend. *Lala*

SIDE NOTE: Even when I write about my “troubles” or heartache, I always end my journal entries with a show of gratitude because I realize my problems are minuscule compared to others and I feel awful complaining about such trivialities. Giving thanks for options, opportunities, good health, a wonderful family and friendships, peace of mind, talents, a bright spirit, amenities, and love. And thank you for being a part of my life — directly or indirectly!

My lens was foggy underground but I totally love this guy’s sense of style. We had a brief interaction after work one day.

HAPPY SUMMER! HOT ! HOT! HOT! YAY!! Oh, go to the beach, I was there 2 weeks ago and it only took one hour to get there!