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*

yearning for learning

weeks ago, i read this article in the NY Times about something called The Big Shaggy … this paragraph particularly spoke to me:

Over the past century or so, people have built various systems to help them understand human behavior: economics, political science, game theory and evolutionary psychology. These systems are useful in many circumstances. But none completely explain behavior because deep down people have passions and drives that don’t lend themselves to systemic modeling. They have yearnings and fears that reside in an inner beast you could call The Big Shaggy.

You can read entire David Brook’s article titled, History for Dollars, by clicking here.

the primary focus of this article specifically relates to the declining job market and a greater emphasis on humanities in the education system. however, i gathered much more especially after reading hundreds of comments.

the article itself is rather confusing if you ask me yet my understanding of The Big Shaggy is such: it’s the inexplicable pull towards one direction (good or not-so-great) versus another.

why have i chosen certain relationships over others? why am i living in an over-crowded and polluted city when i much prefer the ocean and natural environments? why can’t i be satisfied with working at the neighborhood grocery store? why have i moved to four different cities in my adult life? what inspires me to reach for the stars? why can i be so difficult at times?

could it be the inner beast in me?

where have you experienced your inner beast? in the kitchen? on the dance floor? in the boudoir? when you’re drunk? in the boardroom? on stage? Yes! to all of the above.

it’s been brought to my attention that the following 12 months are critical in terms of planning the next nine years of my life. if i am going to accomplish my goal to publish a book then i gotta dig deep and concentrate for long periods. in fact, i am working on taming my inner beast so that i can get some work done. now that i am 100 percent again, i must be careful not to repeat some un-healthy habits that ultimately bring gloom and doom. The Big Shaggy has worked for and against me over the years. being an artist, many days i’m in overdrive in relation to humanities. i could definitely use a lesson or two on practicality and mathematics.

this past weekend, i danced and raged all day and night because it was my birthday (yay)! it had been awhile since i had done it up in new york city πŸ™‚ i had a super blast plus i have the blisters to prove it. speaking of blisters, starting next week, it’s all about bed rest and boot camp! that’s right, i have registered for a 4 week boot camp course. what better way to re-introduce discipline and focus into my life. i know, i must be crazy!

now, think about it. can you awaken your inner beast or is it time to tame that bad boy???

What have you observed about yourself lately?

How deep are you willing to go to uncover The Big Shaggy in you?

Are you living life to the fullest or holding yourself back?

What can you do to achieve your wildest dreams?

i believe if we focus on being our best self then the ugly beast will fade in the background. or is it all plain bullshit?

i am giving these questions a great deal of thought.

until we meet again, give thanks for every day we are here NOW cause life is precious and brief.

Happy Summer Solstice!!

*Lala*

Eat a plum or peach today. Yum!

p.s. the images are from an exhibition at The Invisible Dog gallery space in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; NY.