Blog Archives - AM Musings
 
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Pachelbel's Canon in D at the Berkeley Rose Garden - click the photo to hear the music
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Berkeley Rose Garden Wedding
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A boy watches the wedding
August 14, 2011 Berkeley Rose Garden:  While visiting the Berkeley Rose Garden on a sunny afternoon, men in suits and women in fine clothes gathered one by one at the base of the garden.  The strains of Pachelbel Canon in D Major glided over the roses and the bride and her escort aided by a cane proceeded slowly and gingerly down the rose covered walkway and steep steps to the waiting friends and family below.  I don't know anyone in the bridal party, but for a few moments, we were witness to this simple and beautiful ceremony.  It was a chance and happy encounter.  Pachelbel's canon is a popular and beautiful choice for wedding processionals. Friends and relatives of ours may remember a string quartet playing this same canon at a wedding in December 1985. . . 

 
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Whole Foods - Potrero Hill San Francisco
Polished chrome brackets contrast against the satin stainless steel handrail.  The bracket is a little clunky and I don't think wrapping the bracket around the handrail makes for a better design.  Not a lot to like or dislike here.  
 
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Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
Freight and Salvage Coffee House featured Dan Hick and his Hot Licks last month, fun but predictable.  The LA based opening act Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, however, blew me away.

I'm a new fan of gypsy jazz and they sounded fresh and exciting.  Check out the encore with Dan Hicks below.

At the end of the performance Dan Hicks invited the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet to join them in a rendition of "I'll See You in My Dreams".
 
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I went to pick up my lunch and walked by this fountain as I have many times.  Installed underneath stairs without any place to stop and contemplate the fountain, people walk quickly by without giving it a second glance.  Once the decision was made to place it, I guess they felt the need to enclose the fountain to  protect it from vandalism.  So there it sits in splendid isolation. 

The net effect is not a little sense of calm and repose, but of sadness.  Good idea, wrong place.
 
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San Francisco Neon Sign
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Hong Kong Neon Signs
Just as I've been lamenting the demise of the Balboa Theater and the loss of another neon sign, I snapped a photo at a Chinese restaurant of a neon sign.  Somehow it would seem that Chinese characters would be difficult to render in neon, but somehow it renders well.  The fluidity of the brush doesn't seem to be lost.  Perhaps the master craftsman shaping the fluid quality of the hot neon glass has a kindred spirit with the calligrapher.

Although neon signs may be getting scare in this country, they still seem to be thriving in Hong Kong and another Asian cities where commercial streets are still filled with neon signs - each one a veritable Broadway of lights. 

 
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Mexican Chairs
Mando's Mexican Restaurant in downtown Pacific Grove (near Monterey, CA) has these rustic sturdy chairs that are surprisingly comfortable.  Assembled from tree branches, the joints were very tight and there was no woobbling.  Clearly no two are alike.  It's a nice addition to an otherwise perfunctory space.
 
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Reedley Peaches at Bi-Rite Market
Bi-Rite Market on 18th Street carries organic peaches from Reedley - my hometown.  I don't miss the heat of the San Joaquin Valley summers, but I do miss the tree ripened fruit hanging in our backyard garden, the fresh corn and the vine ripened tomatoes that my parents grew.  Every summer my parents would can vine ripened tomatoes and bring them up to San Francisco for us to enjoy.  They formed the basis of simple pasta sauces throughout the winter and needed no more than a little olive oil and herbs as they were so sweet and flavorful. 

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The Reedley garden - now gone
The garden is gone now, supplanted by a new home, just the memories triggered by visits to the local farmer's market and markets like Bi-Rite linger.  I smell the fruit and compare them to my memories of the ones sitting on the trees and vines in the 100 degree heat.  In Reedley you can still drive down a country road to an unattended fruit stand, bag your own fruit, and leave money in a slotted box.  

Impossible to find the same fruit here, but I'll take the best I can find - which is pretty darn good!  We're entering the peak of the harvest season for peaches and tomatoes.  Enjoy our bounty while you can. 

 
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Roast Port with Crispy Skin - Porridge King
Porridge King in Daly City is located in the same mall as 99 Ranch Market, a mecca for Asian food on the peninsula.  I go there when I don't want to fight the crowds and parking in San Francisco.  I find the BBQ items in 99 Ranch a bit sub par so I usually go over to the Porridge King for something better.  Seeing a whole roast pig hanging on a hook can be a bit off-putting, but it can also be a thing of beauty depending on your perspective.

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Photo of Jook - wikipedia
Porridge refers to a thick rice soup called "jook" in Cantonese.  Chinese eat it for breakfast, a light lunch or snack.  Koreans also call this soup "juk", but usually serve it to small children or someone ill.  It's easy to eat and easy to digest.  You would think that naming your restaurant the Porridge King, would mean the jook was really good -- not necessarily so here.  The jook here is somewhat bland saved only by what condiments you add to it.  The roast pork at porridge King on the other hand is really good.  Sweet succulent meat with crispy skin reminiscent of chicharones.   A whole roast pork is a signature dish at many important Chinese events, skillfully carved into serving pieces and re-assembled to maintain it's whole appearance.  Look for it at your favorite Chinese deli.

 
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Folsom Street Chalk Left April 2011 - Right July 2011
I originally posted the image on the left in April 2011.  Look what has happened after 2 months.  Perhaps someone has rubbed against the chalk as the center portion has deteriorated while the edges have not.  Nothing is static.  We are constantly changing and learning.  Applying yesterday's excellent solution may no longer be excellent.

Time plus experience give us a tool to plan for change.  That tool is judgment.  The world of architecture and the building industry is changing quickly.  Like all of us, architects need to look ahead and move with the times.

 
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Tartine's Kamut Carrot Cake
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Tartine's Country Bread
San Francisco's Tartine Bakery at 18th and Guerrero is supposed to have some of the best artisan bread around.  The daily bread comes out at 4:00 PM and I'm told it sells out quickly.  I was there on a Thursday in July arriving after 5:00 PM and there seemed to be a good stock of  loaves in the back.  This last time I went on a Tuesday at 5:30 PM thinking I would still be able to buy a loaf.  No - they were sold out!  I'm told on Tuesdays, they bake substantially less bread than on other days.  Fresh out of bread  so I had a gluten free carrot cake made with kamut flour and a cup of tea.  It was good -- dense with carrots present and without the need for the familiar cream cheese frosting.  I'll go another day to get my loaf of bread. 

If you go on Tuesdays for bread, go before 5:00 PM.