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Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream: Jake Godby's Arm is Truly Committed

I finally got to stop by Humphrey Slocombe the other drizzly day for a taste of pastry chef's Jake Godby's quirky ice cream. I'm not someone who generally likes quirky for the sake being quirky, but Godby has a way with his ingredient pairing that's subtle and sophisticated with just a touch of attitude. The banana ice cream with crushed red hots, for example. Cinnamony and streaked in pink with a honest fresh banana flavor, it's whimsy at it's best. On the flip side, his balsamic-caramel is very adult, very deep. I made the mistake (or had the good idea) of taking his Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream and putting a scoop of it in a cup of espresso for a double-whammy affogato. You could sell that stuff on the street.

Google Pioneer Opens Calafia in Palo Alto

In general, Palo Alto and "culinary mecca" aren't necessarily synonymous terms. But former Google god, Charlie Ayers, the chef behind the multi-billion-dollar company's dining success, has set out to change that. First order of business: Bringing a much-needed, top-notch eatery to Palo Alto's once-forgotten Town & Country Village.

Department of Eagles at Cafe Du Nord

Romantic oddity Department of Eagles played sold-out back to back shows (two hours apart) last night at Café du Nord, proving that they've graduated from a budding hipster obsession to a full-blown sensation.  Playing from last year's lauded album, In Ear Park, their performance was delightfully delicate and compellingly haunting. Daniel Rossen's vocals scatter but simultaneously remain immediate, sweet and eerie - the perfect compliment to a blustery San Francisco weekend.

Lunar New Year Floral Displays

Those who celebrate the Lunar New Year seem to have gotten it right - after all, wouldn't you rather wake up on the first day of the year surrounded by flowers instead of empty beer cans? Exactly. Stop by the Conservatory of Flowers, where from now until February 8th they are celebrating the new year with a botanical bounty of artfully arranged floral displays, all created for this year of the Ox. You can also attempt your own arrangement at home, which, depending on the flowers used, may bring luck to you in the upcoming months. Here's a list of several commonly used plants and their meanings:

Peach Blossom - Luck

Kumquat - Prosperity

Narcissus - Prosperity

Chrysanthemum - Longevity

The Dap Kings at The Warfield: A Bit More than Amy Winehouse's Back Up Band

For sheer Dap-ness, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ throne may have been usurped by Michelle and Barack – the first couple are no doubt the new king and queen of Dap. But anyone who saw Barack on Ellen knows his dancing genes came from the Kansas side. Meanwhile, Dap-Kings’ front woman Sharon Jones, is all soul, all funk and live at the Warfield tomorrow night.

The 7 Best Coffee Shops with Free WiFi

Until the techies’ dream of city-wide WiFi becomes a reality, coffee shops are still the best places to plug in and plug away. Here are seven of our favorite spots for free browsing and good coffee.

Over Marimekko? Some Pillow Alternatives

Want to add a little classical pop to your otherwise neutral interior?  Are you as over Marimekko as I am?  Then black & white pillows might be the way to go.  Check out my top 5, after the jump!

1.  Blah Blah Cushion, $125
From designer Donna Wilson. 100% lambswool. Feather and down insert. 
17" x 17"

2.  Salvor: Mini Owl Pillow, $55
Handprinted water-base ink on 100% cotton broadcloth pillow. H 14"

3.  Ant Pillow, $170-$180
From designer Bev Hisey.  100% wool.  16"x16", 11"x18", or 14" round

DJ AM and Travis Barker Back on the Scene at Mezzanine

After a long hiatus, DJ AM and Travis Barker of Blink 182 are back on the music scene.  The somewhat last-minute show last Friday at Mezzanine marks the pair's first San Francisco show since last year’s tragic plane crash. The two reunited on New Year's Eve to play a party in Miami and have since developed an unlikely partnership—a live DJing and drumming set that they plan to take on tour. Props to the fresh concept, but does the act pan out onstage?

The Hater's Guide to Valentine's Day

Singles of the city, brace yourself: the annual doomsday, which divides people into two categories - alone or coupled - falls on a Saturday this year.  (Oh, the horror!)  Here’s our list of ways to commiserate with fellow haters, celebrate singledom or just plain ignore the day’s existence.  (But, alas, if you must partake in the holiday, please consult our guide of Non-Cheesy Valentine's Day activities).

30% Off at Rose and Radish

A thank you is always appreciated, but when it's attached to a sale, well, that's just icing on the cake. In appreciation of those who chose to forgo the large chain stores and keep it local this holiday season, Rose and Radish is offering 30% off on any in-store or online purchase from now until the end of the month. 30%... that means around 90 bucks off these vibrant Thomas Eyck pillows in shades of yellow, pink and purple. Now that's quite a thank you, indeed.

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