I’m always envious of people who can really successfully thrift for themselves. Either my body is weird for vintage (or at least certain eras), or I just don’t have the right imagination to look at something that’s off see how to alter it into perfection — and thus so often browsing through vintage or thrift shops leaves me frustrated. Which is why when I do find something that fits and looks good the piece becomes so much more than just what it is — that needle in a haystack. I’ve hardly been able to stop wearing this 70s dress since discovering it in a certain Seattle thrift store the other week, and couldn’t resist pairing it with these fabulous wedges from Modcloth. With the weather this warm there’s no excuse to not take some tall strolls around a (very flat) part of town.
Every time I look at this photo I wish I was eating that bread all over again; one of the best baguettes I’ve found outside of France by far — and the butter! So creamy, so sweet; I don’t know what they’re doing up there in the PNW but if it results in butter like this than I approve. The other week while in Seattle my hosts introduced me to Bastille as we were cruising the Ballard Farmer’s Market one sunny Sunday, looking for a brunch spot, and they couldn’t have picked a better place. I know, because I tried. And failed — each time I stepped out on my own without a local’s advice, relying on Yelp or other online guides. I suppose I assumed, what with speaking the same language and having easy access to the internet, that I would have no problem navigating a new city, but each mediocre meal was a reminder of how important it is to have a local’s insight. In the end, anything my friends recommended turned out to be heads and shoulders above the top whatever lists or highest reviewed spots, and two of these places happened to be directly across the street from each other — one being the beautiful French café in question; which felt like a Parisian train station in the best possible way, and had the most amazing œufs cocotte I’ve had since Mamie Greens…
… and the other being a cozy, intimate coffee shop serving up pour overs and tasty, tasty espresso drinks in a funky, tucked-away, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location. Bring a book to exchange, or just borrow one from their shelves and sit in the window while you read and sip your macciatto and watch all the hip cats in Ballard walk by. The Anchored Ship would have had me just with their interior design — with it’s carnival lights and miniature ships (which really is all I ask for in a coffee shop) — but I’ll come back for the espresso and the grilled cheese.
I have an announcement to make which may come as a surprise to no one — I am a crazy old lady in a very young body. I may or may not be a time traveler from about 90 years; my name is actually Doris, and now I do my best to fit in to this strange new world of horseless carriages and Twitter, but every once in a while I have to put on some rhinestones and high-waisted vintage swim pants and just let it all hang out. And that’s the best explanation I can give you for my tendency to occasionally dress like an absolute lunatic. How I convinced my significant other to document said lunacy even though he hates this outfit (as my friend astutely point out — this is not a “guy” outfit), I can’t explain. I guess this is what love looks like.
Here I go again giving away all of my secrets. But you know I love you, dear readers; nothing but the best for you, and (in honor of the weekend) today that means the latest secret brunch spot in San Francisco. Hurry on over to Padrecito at the corner of Cole and Carl — so far Zazie’s down the street is still stealing their lion’s share of the the brunch crowd, but once the word gets out that this Californian-colored Mexican fare is outdoing Zazie’s French-diner menu (and has a killer cocktail program with a full bar to boot) the wait times are just going to skyrocket.
As it is, this particular day I strolled in and almost had the place to myself. Normally a bad sign for restaurants in this town, but in this case the slowness can be more credited to their newness than the quality of the meal and experience — which was top-notch. Some might think it’s wrong to leave the Mission and head into Cole Valley for Mexican food, but ultimately I don’t see a reason to be ashamed. Living and eating in California is a celebration; a celebration of the fact that we’re in the heart of this lush and rich farmland, with so many wonderful meal components within a short distance of our table. The natural result of that is to elevate traditional dishes into seasonal ones, like adding asparagus and fava beans to chilaquiles. And edible flowers (speaking of which, the polenta-platano pancakes pictured below are almost too pretty to eat, but you would really be remiss not digging in). Beautifully presented and delicious, seasonal, organic brunch foods served with strong coffee and stronger drinks open Friday (!) to Sunday — what more can you ask for on a weekend morning?
Great minds think alike, or so the saying goes. It shouldn’t surprise me then, to meet so many bodacious babes at the event Free People threw in Bernal Heights the other week to connect with their NorCal community. A couple of the girls and I couldn’t resist penciling in a rendezvous before we all departed on mutual upcoming travels, and it seemed appropriate to let Free People inspire us. I get so much daily inspiration from the FP blog, and their monthly catalogs — it was a delight to channel all those vibes into one enchanted forest picnic. The girls and I all met in San Francisco one hazy afternoon, and they help me carry in the pieces for the ideal bohemian-caravan-themed reunion. We had all agreed to show up in the perfect little white tee FP had gifted to us after the DIY, and it was fun to see how we all styled that piece so differently. After a some nibbles and chatting, we switched up to some gorgeous FP evening wear to take the picnic to the next level.
FP Dress: Similar Here
All photowork credited to the indefatigable MB Maher
Meeting bloggers in the real world usually comes about through one form of online stalking or the other, but for the first time ever I connected with a fellow blogger via Instagram (which means my long overdue mastering of hashtags has paid off in a big way). Julie’s blog is A Lady in London, but truly — this babe is a lady of the world. After moving from SF (specifically the Marina; where we met and chattered away on this lovely afternoon at one of her favorite wine bars) to London in the 2000s, she became one of the first souls with the bright idea to start documenting one’s life with photos and words through this crazy online thing called blogging. Now her hard work and pioneering spirit has paid off with a career in traveling, eating, drinking and inspiring others, (before we all die of envy, she assures me its not as glamorous as it sounds. Not that I believe her.). Not only was it fantastic to meet such a kindred spirit, but it was so inspirational to discover someone who’s been able to harness this bizarre thing that we do into a career for herself. Another career blogger — Elsie of A Beautiful Mess — wrote at length recently about the future of blogging as an industry, how weird and unpredictable it often is and how exciting and life-changing it has the potential to be. Julie herself generously offers webinars sharing her hard-earned knowledge and tips. I’m more inspired than ever to be a part of this fledgling industry; to see how it continues to grow and change, and to find ways to make my mark on it. As Elsie pointed out, it’s not new anymore, and the market is more saturated than ever, but despite that it’s an industry that’s still not mastered, and until it is, the playing field is open. In the meantime, I’m going to keep enjoying the small perks blogging brings me — meeting amazing women in one beautiful location or the another around this globe. After our wine Julie took me on a mini walking tour, pointing out all her old haunts around this waterfront neighborhood, and we relished in the late afternoon sun of spring pouring through the Marina homes.