Cool kids, coffee, old (and new) friends, scenery: visiting Oregon last weekend for a wedding...
- Stumptown Roasters
- McMenamins @ Edgefield
- Ace Hotel in Portland/Clyde Common
- Stumptown Roasters, close-up
- kids bike chaos
- Stumptown Roasters, view from the front window
- the Pearl District, near downtown Portland
- J. Raymond in forced pose @ McMenamins
- Mt. Hood, scenic backdrop for the meteor shower later in the evening (few braved the cold) / room @ the Ace Hotel
- Portland signage/kids' table
- J @ Ace hotel
- driving, some serious greenery above (outside?) of Portland
Barry Bonds has had a busy couple of days.
The Fillmore farmer's market is the coolest one we've checked out yet. Live music every week, and the group playing this past weekend was *really* good. The blue thing you see in the guy's hand above - to the right of the starbucks - is a short horn (trumpet?)...
Gratuitous veg pix...
Its a smaller market, but you can find almost anything thats in season here, organic and "regular." Plus bread, flowers, etc. And they accept EBT. But, no dogs, sorry.
They're the skinniest letter and resist sticking to the marquee-updater's suction-cup tool.
We spent part of Friday evening at <Flex Camp/>, a series of sessions about Flex (development tool), held at the Adobe office in SOMA.
SF and the bay area is teeming with awesome and often free tech resources. Yeah, I know this is probably obvious, given the proximity to Silicon Valley, but I'm still pretty dazzled by it. If you're interested in a particular application/software/technology, chances are you can find a lecture or conference or some sort of learning session, often led by the inventors/innovators of said technology. Or, you'll find you know someone who knows someone who knows the guy who invented the track-wheel on the ipod. Its pretty cool to learn about Flex from the people who spend their days developing it.
I was also amazed at how many people showed up on a Friday evening and stayed through the pizza and beer and beyond the intro session. As I mentioned to J., these events strike me as a potential swinging singles scene, though the demographics are still skewed favorably for the ladies.
Still a good way to spend part of an afternoon.
Along with many people, I have mixed feelings when hearing/reading about Barry Bonds' getting close to matching/breaking the home run record.
When I had a chance to go to the Giants/Braves game yesterday afternoon, though, I got kind of excited. Who could pass up the chance to witness history being made? Unfortunately, it was not to be. That's ok, I enjoyed my beer and peanuts. (And the rest of the game.)
Any clue what this is? Hint: an actor lurking around the Financial District may be finding things a bit drafty...
You got it... Apple guy! Fruit of the Loom. Filming a commercial @ Pine and Sansome yesterday morning. This shoot had some serious lighting, trailers, and security. But somehow they left the apple just sitting around on the sidewalk. I should have seized the opportunity and the costume and gifted a lucky someone at Christmas.
Come to think of it, I didn't notice the green leafy guy. What is he supposed to be, anyhow? Artichoke?
This past weekend I surfed, drank a lot of coffee, and soaked in the wisdom and enthusiasm of presenters and fellow blogging-attendees of WordCamp! (Simultaneously!) WordCamp is a two-day conference for users and developers of the WordPress blogging application, featuring speakers on topics from usability to design to future WordPress developments. I'd been totally wound up and geeked out about this for several weeks.
There's nothing better on the internets than a good blog. I love the infinite potential of writing plus design plus obsession/occupation/expertise/free time. And the possibility that other people will think your finished product is worth their time. So after a spell of blog-envy, I finally set up my own. And immediately realized the amount of work required to make it appear effortless and at least slightly interesting. (I'm sure J is starting to tire of me constantly snapping photos "for the blog"). Lucky for me, W.C. came along at just the right time.
I really enjoyed the fact that everyone at the conference was approachable, 'experts' and 'civilians' alike, and was excited to talk about whatever they had going on. WordCamp confirmed what I'd suspected: people are doing very cool and interesting things. You like funny cat photos?
W.C. presented a ton of information over the two days, and I'll defer to others for an in-depth review. I highly recommend the sessions with John C. Dvorak and Om Malik, Matt Cutts, and Rashmi Sinha. And as it was a *bloggers* conference, I'd say stay tuned for slides/podcast/video to start turning up.
Meanwhile, I'll share with you the running list I kept of Things to Look Into. I tried to keep track of names/ideas that people mentioned during the course of the weekend's conversations, both on- and off-stage. Websites, applications, books, people etc. Will these improve my content/usability/stats? Check back in awhile and see if things are looking better/faster/sparkly-er.
Things To Look Into v1.0:
- Dan Gillmor on "Citizen Journalism" (Center for Citizen Media)
- Liz Strauss, successful blogging (successful-blog.com)
- Tumblelogs - "If blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks." (tumblr.com)
- Informit - web development and design resource
- Google webmaster console (Matt Cutts!)
- SlideShare, for hosting and sharing slides and presentations. Definitely worth a look.
- Jamaes Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds
- Duncan Watts, Small World Project
- stumbleupon.com, "channel surf the internet"
- Guy Kawasaki (who didn't mention Guy Kawasaki)
Today began with an earthquake... At just before 5 (so I've read), we were awakened by rattling blinds and a shaking bed. After initial sleepy annoyance (what IS that?!), it took one second to realize it was not only the bed but the entire room/building/block/city that was moving. This was my second earthquake and the first was much kinder and gentler - we were sitting on the floor eating pizza, and the apartment just swaaayed back and forth. It was so mild that for a split second we actually thought the upstairs neighbors were just cranking the bass on their stereo again.
Number two had much more going on. No one that I've spoken to slept through it, and more than one person mentioned getting a little concerned as the shaking kept on as long as it did. Growing up in the midwest, the natural threats we dealt with (tornadoes, blizzards) usually came with at least a little warning: the icons in the bottom corner of the tv screen (white for a watch, red for a warning), enough time to run to the basement or to make a last trip to the grocery store for bottled water and jiffy pop. The Big One (earthquake) that's long been predicted for the west coast isn't going to give the luxury of a 'heads-up.' Its just going to happen...when we're sleeping or at work or walking home from dinner out.
In general, keeping track of the details that different climates/altitudes require reassures me. I like packing sunscreen and having to drink water. Knowing you need to hike early to avoid summer lightning and storms, that your towel will take two hours to dry in Denver, two days to dry (if at all) in Martha's Vineyard, etc. The earthquake thing has me a little off guard. You can look at the maps and know where the faults are. And you can put together an earthquake kit of bottled water and chocolate to help you get through the days after if a major one occurs. But, aside from sleeping under your dining room table, that's about it.
Dude. The control freak in me does not like this one bit.
(PS. Looking forward to WordCamp this weekend)
Check this out: Replate.org
I've noticed this SF site mentioned several times over the past few days. Its "an open-source food activism project." Two guys formalizing something you might already be doing.
(*Carl Sandberg: "The fog comes in/on little cat feet.")
Its mid-summer and sure enough, the fog is rolling into SF daily, just as everyone assured us it would. Its really cool.
This past Friday evening found us exploring two new/new-to-us places with friends Ian and Sheena...
We met after work at Cantina in Nob Hill. (No sign, keep an eye out for tall wooden shutters and and an ear out for Ozomatli-type music.) Jordan M. was working behind the bar, and he entertained us with stories and mixology, both of which made it difficult to get off our barstools when it came time to move on for dinner.
We've had a reservation at A16 for a few weeks now - 4 people at a decent hour of 7 or 8 (or 8:30) is apparently a hot ticket. And walking into the restaurant is, as Sheena said, like walking into an aviary. Think sorority party din. I haven't lived here long enough to totally pick up on the stereotype of the Marina resident, but I'm suspecting the sort of crowd found in the bar at A16 on a Friday night might just be it. At one point while waiting in line, I was *dared* to use the men's room by a woman trying to impress her date. No catch, just...the men's room. That sort of thing.
Luckily, you make a beeline straight through the bar area and emerge in the restaurant in the back. And, hello, the aroma that greets you on the way in... I'm not a huge meat-eater, but this was definitely carnivorous in a good way (apologies to the vegan readership), reminiscent of Easter dinner (pork, ham, various charcuterie). It wraps itself around you and leads you by your nostrils, just like in the cartoons. We swooned a little as we moved through the main seating area to the outside garden area (lovely).
A16 has had a lot of press in the past few months, and I think we were prepared to be either completely underwhelmed or blown away; I'm going to go out on a limb and say we were pleasantly surprised by a solid showing. Though all of the evening's choices (food-wise) were good, if not super memorable, the butterbean and octopus salad was a clear standout (who knew, right? Good thing Ian was there to order it, because I don't know that we would have). And while that night we weren't totally convinced by the concept of the sweet/salty dessert (caramel/fleur du sel ice cream?), I can't stop thinking about it. Verdict: they've got some potential, that A16. Our experience was solid, occasionally great. Recommended, especially if you go with friends (as we did) who like mulling over the pepperiness of the olive oil and how pizza is really best with an egg on top.
NextAid.org fundraiser this eve @ Vessel.
Lounge: Beautiful interior, quite posh. Lots of comfy seating and interesting details to check out. WAY too dark in the most inconvenient places (bar/bathroom), causing squintiness and annoyance, remedied by cocktails chock full of bubbles and antioxidants. One bartender snarky, potentially too cool for school.
(Earlier photos removed after I realized they were too dark to make out anything.)