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 🙂

3. WEATHER – it’s not hot or even warm but it’s not freezing 🙂 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*

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 🙂

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*

my first love

New Podcast!

When I was nineteen, while living in the South of France, I met a man from Djibouti. His name has escaped me but I remember looking at his face and seeing my father. I was drawn to him, the smoothness of his skin, his droopy eyes, and his disproportionately large hands. We met on a bus heading to Marseille for a zouk dance. Without introducing himself, he asked me if I had ever been in love and who was my first love? In French, of course.

Vous jamais avez été dans l’amour ? Qui était votre premier amour ?

My initial response was:

Bien sur, j’ai un petit ami que j’aime beaucoup. Et vous?
Of course, I have a boyfriend who I love a lot. And you?

I had been living in France for less than three weeks so I struggled even to communicate those words. What I really had been thinking was that my first love was my father, but he may have misunderstood so I sat in silence for the rest of our journey.

Lobster Roll & Fries - yum!

For any girl who grows up with her father, he is your first major male influence. His smile is the first you see, laugh you hear, words you cling to, he is everything to you and more. A protector, a guide, a teacher, a play mate, and Santa Claus, all in one!

Clams & Linguini - de-lish-i-o-shis

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my father’s passing – having died the morning of July 22nd, 2000. There was a time I could conjure up his smile or the sound of his voice in a daydream. With time, many of those details have faded. Although, I still remember these things:

  • Food was his main squeeze – next to my mother
  • Math and History were his favorite subjects – he adored the History Channel
  • He was awfully serious one day then a total clown the next
  • The Godfather and Heat were his favorite films
  • He could write with both hands (ambidextrous)
  • Not many people could beat him at a game of chess
  • He taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car (scary thought)
  • He is most certainly the funniest man I’ve ever met — even til this day
  • He loved cheese yet I don’t believe he’d ever had the chance to experience “real” cheese
  • Respect was his most used word –  and GET DOWN!, but that’s two words. (We were always climbing something.)
  • My father loved music – in particular jazz

Last night, I made this podcast mix titled, Dear Dad, for him and for any one who appreciates jazz music. You can also go to the iTunes Store and search for “Lala the Sunchaser” and subscribe so you can listen on your iPod, iPhone or computer:) Enjoy!

If you’re father is alive, tell him you love him today.

Vegetarian Dim Sum - all gone!

Giving thanks for life and a father’s love,

*Lala*

Cherries and Peaches are in season! So sweet this year!