Archive for December, 2009

Top Tunes of 2009

December 27, 2009

Once again, it’s that time of year. In no particular order, here are some of the tunes that moved me in ’09.

  1. Relator Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
  2. This Tornado Loves You Neko Case
  3. Hysteric Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  4. Vertigo Anya Marina
  5. Microphone Coconut Records
  6. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris Morrissey
  7. Bow to the Middle The Rosebuds
  8. Help I’m Alive Metric
  9. Gimme Sympathy Metric
  10. Maybe so, Maybe no Mayer Hawthorne
  11. First of the Gang Zee Avi
  12. Evaporar Little Joy
  13. Beach Mew
  14. The Fixer Pearl Jam
  15. My Turn Basement Jaxx
  16. Skeleton Boy Friendly Fires
  17. I’m Good, I’m Gone Lykke Li
  18. Olympic Airways Foals
  19. Can You Tell Ra Ra Riot
  20. Animal Miike Snow
  21. 1901 Phoenix
  22. Kids MGMT
  23. Fever Taka Taka
  24. Xavia The Submarines
  25. Song for No One Miike Snow
  26. Gobbledigook Sigur Ros
  27. Fitz and Dizzy Spells Andrew Bird
  28. Blackie’s Dead Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
  29. Soldier of Love Sade
  30. Two Weeks Grizzly Bear
  31. I Can See Your Tracks Laura Veirs
  32. Young Adult Friction Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  33. How Long Do I Have to Wait? Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  34. Empire State of Mind Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
  35. Wild Young Heart Noisettes
  36. Heads Will Roll Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  37. Lisztomania Phoenix

It’s Not You, It’s Me

December 27, 2009

If Chicago was the first love and New York the trophy girlfriend, is San Francisco the one to marry? It’s too early to tell but like a trophy girlfriend, there was no long-term future for us and New York. Sure, it was exciting. It was fun. And there was always a sense of pride of in answering the question: “Where are you from?” The answer: “New York City. Brooklyn.” The unspoken answer ended with “Motherfucker”. And the implied answer was “We live in the best, the toughest, the most exciting city in the world. There’s nothing you can say that will impress me because we’ve seen it all.”

However, where was this relationship going? The crazies on the subway, the tiny apartment, the frenetic pace, etc. And the thought about having a kid there? Fuggedaboutit. Like a trophy girlfriend, NYC was becoming a colossal pain in the ass and we began wondering if it was worth it all.

Now we’re gone and post-break-up, reminiscing about the good things (and tending to forget the bad). We definitely enjoyed the 3.5 years there. It wasn’t all bad by any means. In fact, it was pretty good. And we do miss plenty of things about Brooklyn. Has New York ruined us for all future cities? And why do I talk about NYC like it’s an ex-girlfriend whom I’m still hung up on?

It was such a unique experience and one that I’d recommend to anyone with the means and desire. But like anything else, it just takes time to move on and to find new favorites and to create new memories (while still holding onto the good memories of your past) in a new city. We’re starting to get more settled into life in the Bay Area and liking it. And if we ever really need to see New York, we can always go back and visit for one more fling, right?

Xmas Day

December 27, 2009

Xmas Day was nice and quiet. We made our way to Inner Richmond for some Burmese food at Mandalay.

Afterwards, we drove to Lincoln Park, Cliff House & Ocean Beach to enjoy the scenery and mild weather.

Xmas Eve 2009

December 27, 2009

On Christmas Eve we walked around Union Square and took in the festive sights.

For dinner, we had a really nice meal at Michael Mina. We had the three-course prix fixe menu.

Here’s a rundown of what I had:

Course 1 (trio): Wolfe Ranch Quail ~ Pistachio and Truffle

• Herb Roasted Breast, Poached Prune, Sauce Périgourdine

• Leg Confit Jambonnette, Pomegranate Aïoli, Frissé Salad

• Seared Foie Gras, Persimmon Coulis, Pistachio Butter

Course 2 (trio): Fatty Pigs ~ Mangalitsa and Kurobuta

• Tenderloin, Schnitzel, Spätzle

• Short Rib, Braised Cabbage, Poached Quince

• Braised Shoulder, Potato Rösti, Apple Mustard

Course 3: Dessert

Michael Mina’s Signature Root Beer Float

• Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Though the atmosphere wasn’t exactly what we expected, the service and quality of the food were top notch and we enjoyed a special night out.

Thanksgiving 2009

December 27, 2009

It was great having my brothers visit from Philly and NYC for Thanksgiving. Here’s a recap of that visit’s events.

Tuesday, 11.24.09 – Grabbed dinner at South Food & Wine bar.

Wednesday, 11.25.09 – Picked up my bros at Golden Gate Park and headed to Cliff House for some amazing views and lunch at the Bistro. You’ve gotta go there and try the popovers!

Afterwards, we checked out the area around the Legion of Honor and Lincoln Park.

In the afternoon, we did some shopping around Market St. and then picked up my wife from work and made our way to Hayes Valley where we had dinner and drinks at Suppenkuche. Afterwards, we strolled down Hayes St. and ended up at dive bar Place Pigalle.

Thursday, 11.26.09 – Who knew cooking took so much work? We had a great meal courtesy of my wife and my cousin came over with a tasty pumpkin/pecan pie.

When we finished eating, we decided to walk around the neighborhood to counteract the calories gained.

Friday, 11.27.09 – We ventured down to Monterey and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Afterwards, we walked around the town and got lunch at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Then we hopped in the car and drove along the Pacific Coast Highway back to SF.

In the evening, we went to North Beach for a tapas dinner at Iluna Basque whose chef, Mattin Noblia, was recently on Top Chef. He even has his signature red scarf autographed by fellow Top Chef castmates adorning a sacred spot in the restaurant – above the toilet.

Where I’ve Been

December 27, 2009

It’s been a busy Nov & Dec, so using the end of the year to catch up on some posts….

Tuesday, 12.01.09 – We were fortunate to attend a function at the Museum of the African Diaspora on behalf of Firelight Foundation, an organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. We were touched by the story of Betty Makoni, a CNN Hero, who founded the Girl Child Network.

Thursday, 12.03.09 – Met up w/ old friend from NYC and his partner at Ironside.

Saturday, 12.05.09 – Met up w/ old friend in town from Dallas at 21st Amendment.

Wednesday, 12.09.09 – Grabbed a drink w/ B-school alums at a work happy hour.

Thursday, 12.10.09 – Hung out with a couple co-workers at Beretta. It reminded me of a Brooklyn type place – good music (The Smiths, Depeche Mode, etc.), signature cocktails and good grub. Might need to come back here.

Monday, 12.14.09 – Work-related dinner and drinks w/ our agency partners at Town Hall.

Tuesday, 12.15.09 – Holiday work function at Presidio Bowl. Impromptu dinner and drinks w/ a few co-workers at Betelnut.