Blog Archives - AM Musings
Pine Street Bath November 28, 2011
The bath is nearing completion.   The ceramic tile work is done and the tile installer did a great job.  Plumbing fixtures have been installed.  The cabinet base at the left is re-used, but it will be getting a new counter-top and mirror.  New doors, new light fixture,  and painting still needs to be done as well. Enough is done to get a sense of how the completed project will look.  So far so good.
Left - Bronze Cheekpiece of a Horse Bridle 1000 - 650 BCE Iran: Luristan Region Right - Earthenware Vessel in Shape of a Bull 900-800 BCE Northern Iran
As part of my Asian Art Museum docent training, we're learning different techniques of engaging people with the art.  The latest technique we practiced was "compare and contrast".  By comparing two different objects, it allows people to focus and really look at each one. 

These two objects were assigned to me to present using the compare and contrast technique.  I asked the "visitors" to pretend they were buying these as gifts for two different people and to decide which is the most appropriate for each person. 
Sig Zane Aloha Shirts
Aloha shirts are fun, particularly old silk collectibles that sell for hundreds of dollars.  After this golden age of aloha shirts, the look devolved into ticki-tacki tiki shirts - some good, but most not so good.  I've been looking for good contemporary aloha shirts and I've found Sig Zane, who sells nice ones on-line at with a store located in Hilo, Hawaii. 

I particularly like these two - both with simple bold graphic images with taro leaves or carp.  The taro leaf has a charcoal background and the carp has a black background.   I don't like all of their designs, but every so often I see one that is striking.  They also have women's and children's clothing in similar patterns.  The productions don't seem to last long, so if you see one you want, you'd better order it before you forget or else it will be gone.

Happy Thanksgiving All - We have a lot to be thankful for.
Shanghai Dumpling Shop - Millbrae
Back in April 2011, I wrote about "little dragon buns", xiao long bao and where to find them in San Francisco.  Well, now I'm recommending you drive south near the San Francisco Airport to Millbrae to try the xiao long bao at the Shanghai Dumpling Shop at 455 Broadway in downtown Millbrae.

Definitely worth the drive, they are the best I've had in recent memory.
I recently parked in the Northbeach Garage where each space is marked with an interesting fortune.  Sometimes I look before I park, but this last time, I just parked and then looked at what I selected. 

Opportunities are like clouds.  New ones are always appearing, but they only last for a while.
Sometimes, places just stick in your mind.  For me, Brompton Quarter Cafe is one of them.  I happened upon it after visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  In an old building but with large corner windows, it has a stylish interior with causual dining upstairs and a more formal dining room downstairs. 

I liked their fresh peppermint tea and made a point of going back on our next visit, but alas they were out of peppermint!

PS - Happy Birthday Katie!
PH Artichoke Fixture in copper
White Artichoke from Y Lighting
This is my favorite mid-20th century light fixture.  I had only seen it produced in white.  The fixture is composed of multiple sheets of thin metal assembled painstakingly by hand.  It is about 18" in diameter by about 18" high.   

Recently I saw it produced in copper and the effects are wonderful in a dark restaurant space.  I would love to use one somewhere but the price is prohibitive at over $8,000.  The copper and stainless steel versions are slightly more.  There was also a  special edition done in gold plate.  I'm sure spectacular with an equally spectacular price!

Poul Henningsen - Designer
The designer is Poul Henningsen, (1894-1967),  a Danish architect who designed many light fixtures.   Although many have taken this idea and made "inspired" designs from it, none seem to have equaled it.    

The white ceramic tiles have been installed. 
Park Chow
Park Chow in the Inner Sunset looks as though it might have been there forever.  Close to UCSF and Golden Gate Park, it has a laid back nostalgic air as though it were a survivor of 1960's.  

The food is mostly straight forward American food with several Asian offerings.  It's been a family favorite for years.  On "warmer" days you can sit comfortably in the front entrance patio or on the roof-top deck.  Both have heaters to fend off the chill.  Prices are modest.  Food is good.

In my blog series of In the Realm of the Senses I picked a handrail bracket for my Pine Street remodel last August.  Take a look at the selected bracket here.  Well  about three months later, they are being installed.  What you don't see in this photo is the painstaking work that had to be done behind the sheetrock.  

Like many 100+ year old buildings, the walls were uneven with various layers of plaster and sheetrock.  Because of the precise alignment needed for the brackets, the wall was opened and solid wood (blocking) was installed between the wall joists to form a solid straight surface and the finish wall was evened out.      Our contracto Kenji and I talked about the merits of installing the bracket connection perpendicular to the wood handrail or vertical.  Installing the brackets vertical means the wood handrail needs to be drilled at an angle -- a more difficult procedure.  We picked vertical.  This link shows a cool video of how the bracket is installed.