So today seemed like a good day to RANDOMLY post a photo for RANDOM PHOTO FRIDAY.
So today seemed like a good day to RANDOMLY post a photo for RANDOM PHOTO FRIDAY.
I realized over the weekend that I don't have a whole lot to say about Slow Food Nation. Despite my best intentions, I ended up attending only one of the many events, which hardly qualifies me to write authoritatively about it.
For that single event at the Taste Pavilion, I had every expectation that there would be long lines for food - and indeed there were - but having expected it, I wasn't frustrated. I simply walked around and took in the venue and the art. I loved the creative use of materials, from gorgeous bottles of olive oil to glass mason jars to paper umbrellas. It was inventively and beautifully staged, and therefore a treat for someone who loves eye candy as much as I do. I soldiered through the crowds for a few bites of cheese - I do have my priorities, after all - but didn't have the patience for most of the lines.
Did Slow Food Nation live up to its mission? I'll leave that for you to decide. I've assembled a list of links at the end of this post where you can read the thoughts + opinions of people I respect who have considered the issue far more carefully than I have.
It turned out that what I wanted most on the last official weekend of summer was not to run from one gathering to the next, but rather to rest and relax, spend time with friends and enjoy good food + quality conversation. And that is exactly what I did.
I do have some photos for you - I promised you those, and here they are. As you'll see, I've focused on the artful design of the venue. Enjoy.
Assorted pickles. Pretty.
Lamp made from a mason jar. I thought this was a fabulous idea - can't you just see these scattered around a porch to light late summer evenings?
A "ceiling" created by jar lids suspended from fishing wire. This was one of my favorite "installations."
I 'm feeling out of sorts today - sweating in the sticky heat, astonished + aghast at certain choices made by a certain septuagenarian politician - so I chose a photo that instantly puts me in a better frame of mind: the Golden Gate Bridge at twilight, the tops of her towers enveloped in misty fog.
I love this bridge. Have I mentioned that before?
I never, ever get tired of walking on the beach beneath it, listening to the lonely wail of the foghorns while the waves splatter against the rocks.
Regimes change; the bridge stands. People make foolish choices; the bridge holds them as they travel from one side to the other. We weep, we laugh, we wonder; the bridge absorbs it all.
I'm off in search of hopeful vistas + beautiful sights.
Hope you are too. Happy weekend!
If you’re anywhere near San Francisco, and unless you drive with a paper bag over your head, you know that Slow Food Nation is upon us. The persimmon-colored signs are draped over every light pole and bus stop on the safe side of Market Street, and the chatter in food circles is centered around who is going to which events.
I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. Contrary to what some might think, I don't have a stack of invitations to rub shoulders with all the right people at special insider events. I'm just like anyone else, checking out the Slow Food site and pondering whether or not to participate.
Here's a peek into what’s been rattling about in my brain.
On the Hey, This Might be a Good Thing side:
On the Something About This Doesn’t Feel Quite Right side:
These are just thoughts; I’m not trying to reach any conclusions. I believe that many benefits will come about through Slow Food Nation, and certainly a lot of dialogue will be generated, which is All Good.
In fact, I’m going to join the herd and traipse down to one of the Taste Pavilions over the weekend, where we’ll doubtlessly jostle one another for bites of this and that. I’ll try to snap a few photos for those of you far from San Francisco.
What do you think about Slow Food Nation?
Photo above: a slow-baked treat by a very talented friend.
It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post, and I’m not going to grovel, I’m just going to say: wow. Wish I could feed you stories about diving off an exotic reef, or at least dipping my toes into the Pacific, but no: I’ve had projects + deadlines + stacks of Things To Do. My fingers, lo, they have been flying.
But the air is beginning to clear, and I’ve taken a couple of days to replenish my sleep deficit, and I'm starting to feel human again. The air is turning crisp, and I'm greedy for the last few weeks of summer. I’ve taken to getting outside early in the morning, feeling the fog dissolve into mist against my skin as I measure the light with my eyes, pleading silently with it not to go. I’m not yet ready for dark mornings and murky afternoons. Light: please stay.
Coming up for air, I stumbled across this strand of inspiration: perusing the New York Times online, I found an intriguing piece on John Stewart, brilliant-witty-handsome news anchor with serious content beneath the snicker. Buried on page three was this gem by Stephen Colbert (speaking here about working with John):
That paragraph stopped me for a moment, pulled me back to center as I wondered: what am I distilling?
Am I still digging for the pure stuff, staying the course through the last couple of drops?
Am I being patient, disciplined and focused? What’s coming through?
(It takes space + time to parse those questions. They get right to the heart of everything I hope + fear as it relates to writing + communication.)
More soon. Really and truly.
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I don’t often blog about the projects I’m working on, but one of my client sites launched recently, and I'm so excited about it, I had to share: 479° Popcorn is an artisan popcorn venture based here in San Francisco, the brainchild of a wonderful woman named Jean Arnold. It was a pleasure to work with Jean and the rockstar team at The Engine Room, who designed this gorgeous packaging that has been mentioned by everyone from The Dieline to Packaging Digest.
Organic, local ingredients + sustainable business practices + meticulous attention to detail - 479° Popcorn is the real deal, and I feel fortunate that I got to be involved from the start – working on everything from the packaging copy to the website.
It's so much fun to see it out there in the world!
If you happen by BiRite or Blue Fog Market, or if you’re far away from San Francisco and get a jones for caramel popcorn dressed in fleur de sel – 479° Popcorn has the goods.
As we peel away from our computer screens and dive into this midsummer weekend, I wanted to share some links with you that have tickled my eyeballs over the past few days.
I’ll start with a link to a photographic tribute by Phillip Toledano. This ode to his father is far and away the most moving thing I’ve seen online in a long time. If you only visit one of the links in this post, go here. Keep a tissue handy; you’ll need it. To navigate from page to page, hover your mouse near the bottom of the image; the edge of the next page will appear; click on that. Gorgeous UI.
(Via the geniuses at 37 Signals)
This is Sophie. If stuffed tattooed pigs make you squeamish, you might not want to check out the site of Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, whose art is stunningly original, diverse and occasionally disturbing. Oh, live a little and click on over.
The NYT recently posted a fascinating piece about contemporary Chinese female artists. Subtext: How is the concept of feminism expressed in China?
After I read the article, I went back through my notes + photos from last month’s opening of Dialogue China Part I at the Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery at 49 Geary, which I hadn’t expected to like, but ended up loving. Well – I didn’t love all of it, but I was captivated by several pieces. As I looked back through my notes, I realized that most of the artists were male, but here’s a piece (above) that I snapped by Liu Bolin.
If you live in San Francisco: Elins-Eagles Smith will be showing Dialogue China Part II from September 4-30. Can’t wait.
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That’s all I’ve got for now.
Here’s hoping your weekend is full of beauty. It’s the first weekend of August; one more month before fall begins to fold its wings around us.
Slurp up the sunshine and soak in the clear, starry nights.
See you soon.
(Sorry there aren't any pictures. Didn't take my camera. Oops.)
9:37 am – The hallways at the Westin St. Francis are quieter today than yesterday; the frantic energy has mellowed. I walk through the rooms in search of coffee. I finally find an espresso stand located in the room next to the book table. Fog on brain begins to lift.
10:17 am – Need to secure a spot in the room that will surely be packed for Elise Bauer’s talk. Kalyn and Lydia have already started saving seats: smart.
10:35 am – The room is starting to fill up. Elise walks in; the buzz begins. In a matter of moments, all the seats are filled; people line the walls and sit on the floor.
10:45 am – There are so many reasons to admire Elise, and here’s another: she knows how to present. She’s not only an expert in her subject, but she also hews to a strong narrative arc. She uses PowerPoint to keep the audience engaged as she moves through her topic. Someone turns to me at the end: “That session was worth admission for the entire weekend.” Agreed. You can see her entire presentation here.
11:50 am – I step back into the Zwaggle room to tell them how glad I am that they're here. They've drawn an old-school style thermometer on a piece of paper to show how many pounds of swag they’ve recycled. It’s already over 800 pounds. 800! Pounds!
1:50 pm – Photographer Me Ra Koh puts the awesome into the afternoon with her super-informative session. She talks about aperture setting + shutter speed + AI servo and chants: “How low can you go… with your ISO?” She’s effusive and warm and generous with information; I’m scribbling notes as fast as I can. You’ve got to read the story of her journey.
3:45 pm – I can’t decide whether to go the Blog to Book session or the session about the potential dangers of blogging personal information. I decide on the latter. The first half hour or so is intense. The stories coming from both the panel and the audience are raw and frightening. The Internet can be a scary place indeed. Then, slowly, the intensity begins to lift; the talk begins to turn to the fact that there is danger everywhere, but we still have to live out loud, be authentic, stay strong and be smart. Powerful stuff.
5:15 pm – When Heather Armstrong (Dooce) and her husband Jon walk into the Grand Ballroom for the closing keynote, the temperature changes. I think Heather is a phenomenal writer, but what is more interesting than Heather Armstrong is the effect she has on people. In close proximity to a group of women, approximately 65% of said group begins to hyperventilate. People stand up to ask questions and instead deliver incoherent blather. What does she represent to them - A difficult relationship with Mother? That mean girl in high school? The bad boss lady? On stage, she’s gorgeous and witty and etc., but I’m riveted by the crowd. What is going on here?
6:57 pm – The last BlogHer bash is at Macy’s. In the handbag aisles; between the shoe racks. I get it: girls like to shop. But I’ve never been a department store girl, and besides: I’ve got a greyhound at home who needs her dinner. I chat with a few lovely people, finish my flute of champagne and scoot out. Crisp white sheets are calling my name. My brain is full; I’m tiiiired.
(As you can see, I'm posting this Sunday night. There was an UnConference "Day 3" today, but I was all tapped out.)
Did you go to BlogHer? Thoughts?
I hate being an absent blogger, not because I think I'm letting my readers down (there is so much good content out there, am I right? and who has time to read it all, anyway?) but because blogging does something for me. It gets me out of my head, out of my little self-contained bubble, makes me examine my assumptions and question my conclusions and... well.
It's good for me, blogging is.
But lately I've been cavorting with my new love, and visiting my family up in Oregon, and kissing my nephew, and cranking through lots and lots of (good, interesting, wonderful) work, and so my planned posts keep slipping further and further into the future...
I have so! much! to share!
And so many fabulous photos trapped on 2 + 8GB SanDisks.
(Turns out that shooting RAW files is a handy way to obliterate any remaining hard disk space, not that I had much left, but dude, now it is SO GONE. And when I upgraded to Leopard? My Mac stopped "seeing" my 250GB La Cie external hard drive. Turns out that lots of other people have this same exact problem. TECHNICAL FOUL, APPLE. That is SO NOT OKAY.)
Oh, and I have so many questions to ask: like, WHY did Michael Bauer review Beretta before I walked my lazy self over there had a chance to go? Now I'll NEVER get a table! And why don't I ever hear any foodie chatter about Masa's? It might be one of the best kept secrets in the city! And...
The BlogHer conference is this weekend, and I'm going, but I haven't so much as looked at the schedule or made a grand plan of attack, complete with lists of the people I have to meet. I'm afraid that I'll be roaming the halls, frightening bloggers and trying to figure out Which Panels Are The Best Ones.
Pray for me.
I'll resurface soon.
PS: Is anyone else out there going to BlogHer? Email me. Maybe we can hang out. Or at least haunt the hallways together...
The Legion of Honor is one of my favorite places in the city, not just for its massive pillars and soaring ceilings and gorgeous art, but also for where it sits, at the crest of a hill overlooking the city, swaddled in misty ocean breeze.
This is one of the stone lions that sit at the entrance.
Somehow this shot captures how I’m feeling today: quiet, reflective.
Here’s what I’ll leave you with for the weekend:
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell
Love the questions. Live everything.