Saturday, August 23, 2014

a (second) week with audrey


It's the last Saturday of my summer break. On Tuesday, I'll be back on the morning train, probably regretting how late I'd stayed up the night before as I ache for another latte. It hasn't quite hit me yet that classes are resuming so soon, especially because I've just had the loveliest week with my friend Audrey.

Most of the week was spent showing her around San Francisco. I've been spending a lot of time indoors lately -- hiding from the obscenely hot weather, mostly -- so it was nice to wander around and show her some of my favorite places. Apologies, this post is a bit of a mess. 

We hit several stops on Monday (8/18). We started with lunch at Onigilly and Plentea, which are conveniently located right next to each other. Every time I pass by it there's always a line at both, but the wait is definitely worth it. Plus, there's a cozy seating area on the second floor of Plentea where you can escape the crowd on the first floor. (There are also outlets so you can charge your now-dying phone because you were refreshing Twitter incessantly in line.)

Afterwards we took the bus over to Japantown. We stopped by one of my favorite cafes in the city (if not my favorite so far), YakiniQ Cafe. I haven't been in there in ages and it's still the same, homey place I remembered it to be. Following our caffeine pick-me-up we strolled through the malls across the street, and headed over to Pika Pika to take pictures together. Both YakiniQ and Pika Pika are musts when you visit Japantown, so bring your friends next time you're stopping by! 

I picked up yet another box of Palty hair dye while we were there -- it definitely lightened my hair (I suppose the third time's the charm -- or was it the fourth?) although it's still not the color I want. Oh well. Maybe next time? I'm so close to achieving my dream hair!

We ended the trip with some delicious takoyaki over at Cafe Hana.

The next day I showed her around Berkeley (around Shattuck and Telegraph). Audrey and I had lunch at Paris Baguette before we browsed some thrift stores and record shops. I got some journals over at Moe's Books -- I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing in a handwritten journal again. I don't know. Something about it feels right at the moment.

On Wednesday it was back to San Francisco. Audrey was curious about Sushirrito -- yes, it's exactly what you think it is, and yes, it is delicious -- so we stopped by to have lunch there before we popped in and out of shops on Haight Street.

^ There was this lovely collared dress I tried on over at Wasteland. In the end, I didn't buy it -- actually, I can no longer remember why, but I'm sure I had a good reason. Something about saving money for the upcoming semester...yeah, something like that.

The rest of the week progressed calmly. After spending three days straight walking around the city we decided to rest a bit. On Thursday we spent most of the day having coffee and flipping through magazines at Barnes & Noble, and then had dinner at my favorite sushi place ever. On Friday we spent the evening reading creepy stories and playing some horror games. I've been in the mood for some good horror lately...I just can't seem to find any piece of media that'll satisfy the particular craving.

Audrey left this morning around noon. I returned home to some gifts she left behind -- some perfume from Lush, along with a lovely letter that made the space she left behind all the more harder to ignore. 

But there's no use in being sad, really -- goodbyes suck, but we talk and make each other laugh every day across various internet platforms, so in a way, it's like she never left! 

That's one of the best things about getting to meet and spend time with friends you made online: after you say your farewells, board your flights, and return to your own corner, you're never really alone -- all you have to do is pull up their name on a screen, and you can pick up right where you left off.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

north beach, art update (commissions still open!)

This past Tuesday I took my darling friend Elle around North Beach. It's been years since I've been in the neighborhood, and upon returning, I wasn't sure why it took me so long to revisit it. All those restaurants, all those cafes and cute little boutiques...definitely right up my alley. (Unfortunately, not literally).

Started out the day at Beacon Coffee & Pantry. Very nice place, lovely interior, gorgeous lighting, and the drinks were delicious. Won't be my first time stopping by. There were so many cafes around to choose from, but something about this place sold me when I was reading about it on Yelp.

Caffe Greco was recommended to me by a friend in the city, so I knew I had to take Elle there. I got to try my first cannoli! I thought it would be way too sweet for my taste (I'm not a huge sweet tooth) but it was actually a lot richer than I was expecting. Stil pretty good, though.

I've been spending a lot of time with Elle this summer, and I still miss her every day. It's August, and classes resume at the end of the month, and as much as I'm dreading falling back into that routine, I know I'll have a lovely summer to look back on. Besides! I still have a few things to look forward to before fall semester starts up. Audrey, who I stayed with in LA during spring break, is coming up to visit me!

Other things:

+ I'm seeing The Horrors @ The Fillmore in October. Also, Drowners are playing here again in that same month. Still debating on whether or not I should go since I have class that night, but...I mean, we all know how well I can resist a good show. (Spoiler: I can't. I'm awful. I have no willpower. Especially since there's the chance I'll get to chat with the band again.)

+ Art commissions are still open. As of this moment, I still have four slots available -- please read the information here for details. In the meantime, I've been drawing a lot, to keep the creative spirit alive. Here's (yet another) Holmes and Watson sketch I whipped up:

What I've been wearing: I hate summer weather. The end. Summer as a holiday I adore -- shame that it comes coupled with the temperatures I can't stand the most. My sense of style hasn't really changed since spring ended. I've mostly been wearing shirts and my favorite pair of high-waisted shorts. But! I am wearing necklaces on a regular basis again. Here's a photo of the ones I've been alternating between.

What I've been inspired by: Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and literally everything about her aesthetic. Cosmic goddess, Sailor Scout galaxy grunge (by the way I'm enjoying the SM remake), pastel space witch, intergalactic femme fatale, whatever the hell kind of aesthetic you can come up with -- she can do it. I've spent hours on YouTube watching live performances. You should watch this video of Rattlesnake and Digital Witness live @ La Cigale Paris 2014. (Flashing light warning.) I'm still hitting myself on the head for missing her show here back in March, as well as the show in LA that she did while I was there.

What I've been listening to: A lot of St. Vincent, obviously. For some reason I've been revisiting some favorite bands from middle school, particularly Ladytron, Modest Mouse, and Death Cab for Cutie. (Ladytron were really fucking good, man. Forget Lana's "Blue Jeans", Ladytron's "Blue Jeans" still kills me with how great it is.) I had no fashion sense then but damn I had a hell of a music library. Oh, and I'm still dancing along to Late of the Pier, and still waiting for their next album even though it's been six years. On nights I need some voiceless, instrumental fuel for my creativity, I listen to Zoe Keating's wonderful cello work. (You might recognize her from the Elementary soundtrack. Check out "Escape Artist" and "We Insist".)

What I've been reading: Why do I even have this section here? I haven't read a book in months (that wasn't required for class). I've got two literature courses coming up, so that'll be fun. I don't know, do random articles of information about, say, deadly ingredients in cosmetics or the journey your luggage makes in an airport count? Writing murder mysteries with friends puts some really strange things into your browser history, let me tell you. That being said, don't mind me if I wipe it clean -- pardon me for a moment.