Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.
In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.
My boyfriend and I have definitely worn down many a tire tread driving to the perfect little redwood pocket known as Butano State Park, just off Highway 1 at Pescadero Beach. So, imagine our surprise when, after an hour-long drive from the city on Saturday, we roll up to the park entrance and instead of the usual newts and banana slugs and towering redwoods hailing our return, we find bright orange barricades and a sign that says, "Closed for the season." What happened next launched the flying pigs from their pen in a frozen circle of hell: I did not panic. I did not curse my luck. I simply—and calmly—stated the obvious, "It's time for Plan B."
A recent SFGate article announces that the efforts to preserve California's most beloved alpine lake will soon receive—barring any hicups as the bill passes through the senate—$415 million to, among other worthwhile pursuits, eliminate a dangerous infestation of Asian clams, quagga and zebra mussels and remove erosion-and-sediment-and-fire-causing deadwood from 33,000 acres of surrounding forests. As always, the snarky commentors on SFGate bring up good points, especially @shutterbuggery who says, "The problem is too much development, too many casinos, too much of just about everything human. You can't turn back the hands of time—especially with introduced species.
Market Street and I have something of a love/hate relationship. I love how the city’s main artery cuts straight through all the neighborhoods that matter, from the peaks of Portola to Castro to Duboce Triangle—skimming the sides of the Mission, Hayes Valley and SoMa—and continuing right on downtown to the Bay. I love that it gets my bike and I from home to work in just under seven minutes flat. And then there’s the hate part. Despite my ride being only seven minutes long, I seem to have at least one near-death experience every day. Clueless drivers, massive potholes, insane cabbies, wheel-swallowing train tracks—did I mention clueless drivers?
When I stepped off a ship last October after a month at sea and saw the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, gleaming in the morning light, my heart fluttered. It was the same giddy feeling I’d had the first time I saw the bridge, 25 years ago, when I drove someone else’s Buick Riviera all the way from Denver to California and finally through the tunnel that frames the bridge’s magnificent towers, the bay and the city beyond: I’m home.
If you're thinking about shaking your tail feathers to the electronic dance music at PacificSound's Sunset Party opener this Sunday, April 25, at Stafford Lake Park in Marin, consider putting safety and the environment first by taking the bus there. Not just any bus, mind you. I wouldn't suggest you jump on Golden Gate Transit in scant party attire and a few open bottles of booze. TransportedSF's tricked-out biodiesel buses, which seat 40 adults each, come complete with dancefloor, state-of-the-art sound system and film projector.
Ten years ago, Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, visited Amsterdam. After days spent wandering the cobblestone streets, he was left with one prevailing observation: The city was dominated by bicycles. A vast majority of Amsterdammers—55 percent according to the Earth Policy Institute—peddle to and from work. A trend of that scale doesn’t go unnoticed—not by Forbes, at least. “I like going to a new environment and looking at what humans have created,” he says. “Amsterdam just isn’t a car culture.”
Obsessed with: Camembert, pimientos de Padrón, white truffles.
In the last five years: Been to Thailand, India, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Mexico.
A certain British photographer friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, recently told me that while America has certainly its faults (we won't go into his phonebook-length list of USA grudges), the National Park system was not one of them. Since I'm a card-carrying member of National Park Service's America the Beautiful Annual Pass program, said British photographer friend was preaching to the choir. During National Park Week, April 17-25—that's, like, now, peops—entry into all of the the US's 392 National Parks is free, gratis, on-the-house.