I feel like a broken record when, week after week, some national news takes precedence over my thoughts and heart. It’s nothing compared to what the people directly affected are feeling. And I don’t expect the world to be all sunshine and rainbows. But is anyone else completely exhausted by all of this hatred and violence?
I studied journalism — I know that “if it bleeds, it leads.” Yet it feels like we can’t even get so much as a day anymore without some terribly traumatic event being splashed all over the news, social media and our day-to-day conversations. Such conversations are important. I’m not denying that. But I do wonder how long we can possibly continue to shout (into vacuums) at each other, when not many seem willing to listen?
- Help Heather and Other Charlottesville Victims: The President may be reluctant to say it, but I’m not: White supremacists are domestic terrorists. There is no room in this country for such ignorant bigotry and violence. Don’t @ me comparing this to Black Lives Matter. Seriously. Pour your energy into something useful, like donating to help the victims in Charlottesville, Va.
- Lady Gaga: I can think of very few artists who are so consistently vocal about being inclusive and accepting of all humans. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and finally had the chance to see her perform live Sunday night — her first-ever stadium show in the US. She spoke about Saturday’s events, of course, and brought 40,000 to their feet — and many of us to tears as well.
- “The Cure” – Lady Gaga: Something about this recent release of Gaga’s really strikes a chord with me. Maybe it’s because all we need to hear sometimes is, “I will be right by your side.” Whatever the reason, it’s been stuck in my head for days and I’m not mad about it.
- The Summer of Love: Isn’t it ironic, Alanis? Don’t you think? I walked into the de Young Museum’s exhibition about The Summer of Love on Saturday, having no knowledge of the Charlottesville events. An hour later, and I couldn’t unhear the news. What a blissful hour it was, though; exploring fashion, art, culture and more from one swinging summer that defined San Francisco 50 years ago.
It’s the longest day of the year today, and it sure does feel like it! Not that it’s a bad thing — I am quite amazed at how we’re already well into June and don’t mind a day off feeling a bit longer.
Why am I off, you ask? Well, my HS bestie is in town for a visit and we’re taking on San Francisco like never before. We have tickets to a comedy show, a comedy drag show, wine country and more… a jam-packed 72 hours is in our future.
She even brought a little southern sunshine with her, as our temps climb into the 80s and SF residents freak the F out over the heat. I’m not immune to freakouts myself — life without central A/C is no joke.
So although it’s been a few weeks of less-than-stellar obsessions, I promise to be back at it again like Damn, Daniel next Wednesday.
In the meantime, please enjoy…
In case you couldn’t tell from yesterday’s social media teaser, I’ve been on a bit of a high kick lately. It could be from binge-watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race” or because I am slowly losing all of my last fucks to give, but I’m all about “drag” this week. You’ll see.
- Drag Queens of Comedy: A friend suggested this event a while ago, and the date finally came for us to enjoy these lovely ladies’ raunchy routines. I laughed so hard I cried, and I envied the hair and makeup I’ve never quite nailed myself. The singing, the dancing, the jokes, the SHADE of it all! Brava, queens… you slayed.
- Dragon Beaux: This iconic establishment is reported to have the best dim sum in SF, and I’m happy to report back how delicious it truly is. From the dumplings to the noodles and steamed buns, you really can’t go wrong. It’s worth making a reservation and avoiding the crazy-long line — you won’t be disappointed.
- A Draggggged Bachelor: • BACHELORETTE SPOILER ALERT • We’re only in Week 2, but there’s already more drama more than Nick’s entire season. DeMario’s ex showed up to tell Rachel he’d been running around on both of them. His face says it all… and Bachelor Nation didn’t hold back on Twitter. God bless this ridiculous reality show and the people it brings with it (like my hometown boy, the professional Tickle Monster).
- “Supermodel (You Better Work)” – RuPaul: Well, obviously. The queen of all queens, RuPaul, has brought both awareness and joy to millions through various platforms (and I’m not talking about the shoes). Her legendary hit single is extra ‘90s, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If loving Ru is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
A San Francisco tradition, a local legend, a Monterey murder aaand a Kiwi songbird… What’s not to love?
- Ferry Building Farmer’s Market: I’m not one for crowds, so I didn’t think I’d ever be brave enough to shuffle through this iconic Saturday farmer’s market along the Embarcadero in SF. A friend convinced me after our gym class this weekend, and although it was packed — thanks in part to the gorgeous weather — it was such a treat to support local businesses. Perfect produce, fresh flowers and artisanal accoutrements, oh my!
- Slim’s: Established in 1988, Slim’s is an SF venue for the history books. I made my patron debut there Sunday night, seeing Electric Six for the third year in a row — this time, with a friend instead of my ex 😁 While I’ve enjoyed each of their performances, the band sounded better than ever… and I think Slim’s had a hand in that. The vibe is cozy but dynamic, cool but not pretentious. I’ll be sure to revisit soon and test my theory with other performers.
- “Big Little Lies”: If you haven’t been watching this HBO miniseries, explain yourself. I’m not the biggest fan of Nicole Kidman or Shailene Woodley (or Reese Witherspoon, lately), BUT this show blew my biased expectations out of the water. The characters are multidimensional, the story is riveting and the soundtrack alone makes it worth a watch. If you’ve seen through the finale, check out this article about the characters’ costume choices.
- “Green Light” – Lorde: I’ve loved all of Lorde’s singles thus far, so it’s no surprise her long-awaited latest is a hit. Her vocals remind me of Ellie Goulding meets Asteroids Galaxy Tour, with her own signature sound ever-present. Don’t let the upbeat tempo and pop feel fool you — this song is about devastating heartache and loss. Well done, Lorde. I can’t wait to hear what else Melodrama brings.
Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you’re all able to celebrate the women in your lives every day, but especially so today. If you’re anything like me, you dug out your LRD and toasted the fab females you’re lucky to love 😉
- Shannon’s visiting!: Hot off the heels of my former roomie’s visit, my cousin Shannon arrives tomorrow! It’ll be her first trip to California and I hope to make it a memorable one. She always brings out the big kid in me, and I always… well, I always entertain her with my impatience for tourists. Just look at those mischievous smirks — it should be a hoot!
- Beach Blanket Babylon: As much as I don’t love tourists or touristy things, I will happily see this campy, historical revue in SF anytime! I took Erica last week and am excited to return tomorrow night with Shannon. The hats and humor are outrageous, the songs are fantastic and it truly is a can’t-miss experience.
- JLSF March Madness Kickoff Party: As Provisional (AKA first-year) members of the Junior League of San Francisco, we put on a fundraiser for the League. Our March Madness Kickoff Party is next Thursday, March 16, and is sure to be a success. We’ll have a silent auction, wine pull, photo booth and games — what’s not to love? Get your tickets (or make a donation) here.
- “Girls” – Beyoncé: This isn’t my fave of Beyoncé’s body of work, but there is arguably no better female anthem than this. Top five, at least. I heard it blasting in my barre class this morning, on my Chariot ride to work (props to Maria for the lady power!), and am pumping it now for good vibes only. Who run this mother?
You know what I’ve found to be the best way to deal with post-election depression? A sample of the steps I’ve taken since last Tuesday:
- Delete my Facebook app — I can’t deactivate because of too many organizations that use it religiously for events, but this has been a HUGE help.
- Pour myself some wine — even if I only have red wine on hand and made fish for dinner. I think Jesus would understand.
- Throw myself into volunteer opportunities — because it always feels good to give back.
- Surround myself with people who make me laugh — and make me think in a constructive way.
With that said, let’s get to it!
- AIDS Memorial Grove: I had the pleasure of volunteering here on Sunday, and what a powerful day it was. We heard numerous stories, talked about the ongoing fight for AIDS education and prevention, and we helped set the stage for a candlelight ceremony on November 30. Doesn’t get much better than that.
- Tonga Room: I met up with my sorority alumnae group recently at this iconic SF establishment. The tiki vibe is easy to poke fun at, but it truly has some of the tastiest cocktails and most entertaining live performances. I recommend a front-row table, if you can snag one, to enjoy the show without an obstructed view.
- My IMDb Debut: A college friend and his brother will soon open their grilled-cheese storefront, and lucky ol’ me attended their tasting and taping for an upcoming Food Network show. All nerves aside, I delighted in the creative creations and inventive flavors. Naturally, I should create my IMDb page sooner than later 😉
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: I recently discovered I have a Netflix app through Comcast, which almost justifies the $$$ monthly price tag. Almost. And yes, I’ve been too stubborn to buy a damn Chromecast, Apple TV or Roku. I’m also late to this game, but the eternally optimistic Kimmy Schmidt makes for a binge-worthy show with an infectious earworm of a theme song. Dammit!
Today marks my second San Franniversary, so I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned since moving here. Bonus: It’s apparently (and arbitrarily) San Francisco Appreciation Week! If I’m missing anything, I’m sure you’ll all let me know 😉
1. Never, ever, EVER call it “San Fran.”
I realize I broke this cardinal rule in the very title of this post, but I believe a pun makes it OK. (I haven’t gotten an eye-roll yet in my empty apartment, at least.) For some reason, SF residents absolutely cannot stand calling their beloved city “San Fran.” It’s “SF” (pronounced “ess eff”) or “The City” (though I still save that for NYC). And I’m guilty of the hatred toward “Saaan Fraaan,” too. It strikes a nerve, sounds sooo country and feels like a betrayal to the Bay Area. Even worse: “Frisco.” *shudders*
2. There won’t be a heat wave in August.
It goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, but bring sweaters and jeans if you visit SF in August. With an average temperature this year of 58°F, you’ll thank me later. Easiest way to spot tourists here each August? They’re wearing overpriced Golden Gate Bridge sweatshirts from Fisherman’s Wharf, because they figured it’d be hot like everywhere else. On the flip side, September and October are our warmest months. I don’t make the rules; I’m just sharing them.
3. NorCal is very different from SoCal.
I haven’t personally experienced Southern California yet, but I’ve heard enough comparisons to feel confident in this lesson. NorCal is bourgie and techy, chilly and pretentious — while SoCal is beachy and sprawling, warm and pretentious in a different way. Also: Don’t expect me to “pop down” to San Diego or LA while you’re there on a weekday, since they’re 400+ miles away. I still love you, though 🙂
4. We work smarter, not harder.
Work/life balance is a constant topic of conversation here, almost to a fault. I haven’t worked in the smallest of startups — so there is some variation — but for the most part I believe SFers find efficiencies in their work, suggest changes to organizations’ processes and don’t have to prove their worth by how many hours they work. We value getting in, getting shit done and getting out to live life away from office walls.
5. We take our wine and our sports seriously.
This should come as no surprise, given electric playoff seasons from the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants,and San Jose Sharks — plus the recent resurgence of the Oakland Raiders. Even the 49ers and A’s fans are fiercely loyal. And while wine and sports don’t necessarily go hand in hand, you can’t be just south of Wine Country and not have a strong appreciation for vino. Cheers to that.
6. Oakland is SF’s cooler cousin — and kinda too cool for me.
I haven’t explored nearly as much of Oakland as I’d like to, but what I have seen has been mostly awesome. The Fox Theater is a phenomenal concert venue, there are awesome restaurants and bars to try all over Downtown, Lake Merritt and more. Get comfortable with the BART map first, though, as I’ve gotten turned around and spent way more time on the train than is ever necessary for one human.
7. Trolleys are not the same as cable cars.
This is a lesson I’m still learning, as anyone within earshot is quick to correct me when I mistakenly identify a trolley (or streetcar) as a cable car. The key difference is how they’re propelled, which is exactly why I can’t seem to keep them straight. All I really know is, both types are adorable and strangely efficient forms of transportation — provided you avoid the stops at each end of the cable car lines.
8. Public transportation is laughable.
Ask me two years ago, and I’d say I would never, ever miss the MTA. But being out here, I miss the subway nearly every damn day. MUNI is inefficient, dealing with traffic and breakdowns and shitty people who refuse to follow the rules. BART is a hot mess of its own. And while I understand this city wasn’t built for the massive influx of people, it’s frustrating to feel like there aren’t any major changes in sight for affordable, efficient, reliable public transportation.
9. Uber, Lyft and Chariot are godsends… mostly.
It’s no wonder, then, we freaking love rideshare and shuttle services. Since Uber and Lyft were founded here, we’re often a test market for new features (and promos!) before they’re rolled out nationwide. I relied heavily on UberPool with my last job, since my 2.5-mile commute would take more than 50 minutes on MUNI. I’m now blessed with transportation reimbursement from my employer, so a shuttle service like Chariot (also founded in SF) makes commuting and getting around SF a breeze.
10. SF is a fantastic place to live.
There are plenty of challenges living in a big city with rich history and recent gentrification. It’s easy to take it for granted, but it’s truly become my favorite home. Whether making jokes about Karl the Fog; braving tourists on Golden Gate Bridge; or enjoying the quirky, eclectic local vibes, SF will always have a special place in my heart.