Sunday, October 25, 2009

Top 5 Records

Happy Birthday! Top five records of all time (in no particular order):

Radiohead: OK Computer
Simon & Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
The Beatles: White Album
Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hello New Jersey!!

Princeton: Days three and four!

We left Philadelphia with love in our hearts for our fabulous hosts, The Krazewski's, after a lazy, chatty morning and nutritious breakfast. We packed up our Kia Rio and got on the Turnpike, Princeton bound.
(these sunglasses came with the car --sweet extra 'eh??)
The rain had lightened up a little, affording us a scenic drive through beautiful fall leaves, and we made it to town by about 2. I'll just say right now, Princeton wooed my romantic heart, and I can't believe that this is what some people know of their "college years." The University is amazingly gorgeous, old, charming, full of towering, heavy architecture in stone and brick and everything you see in movies and on TV.

We strolled the ivy-covered campus, pretending to be dashing co-eds with parent's weekend on our mind, and then headed over to Small World Coffee for cups of apple cider and hot chocolate. We continued our stroll around the town's high streets and did a little shopping (of course) before heading back for a run and a shower and a dip in the hot tub (ahh, resort living). Dinner at the recommended Triumph Brewery, where we each had a sampler of 7 exceptionally tasty 5oz beers, and a delicious dinner.

Tired travelers and recent Phillies fans, we watched the Phillies game and went to sleep, ready for wedding festivities.
Sunday = Jimmy and Nina's wedding day! Chilly and rainy, I still think the Mountain Lakes House where they got married was the most charmingly romantic place, set in the woods, full of fall leaves and on a lovely lake. We celebrated, drank warm apple cider, and awed over Nina's bridal beauty.

I pretty much love Princeton, and would like to visit again. Someone should move there so I have reason, or else, I might just push my kids to live what I couldn't and go to the University (on scholarship of course, that it ridiculous kinds of cash).
On the way to the airport the next morning, we stopped at Dunkin' Doughnuts, (since it was open at 4:30am, why not?) and I have to say: not impressed. That was NOT good coffee, but for the morning Andy and Kerry ran on Dunkin'.
Andy got on a train to Maryland, I flew out of Newark alone, and said goodbye to the East Coast's seasonal charm, to our Kia Rio, and to vacation-living.
Until next time, Mid-Atlantic, thanks for the memories.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's never sunny in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, day's one-point-five and two!!

Took a little trip to the East-- coast that is, and spent the first two days in Philadelphia. We left San Francisco on a twice-delayed red-eye Wednesday night, flew into Newark and landed at 7:30 am. Adventurous and thrifty souls that we are, we decided to take the bus to a rental-car site a little ways away, rather than rent at the airport and pay lots more. So one grande and one vente drip to-go, (no pastry because we were heart-set on build-your-own Grand Slams in the future) and we made our way to the NJ Transit stop to catch the 8:30am, #72 Bus to Woodbridge Shopping Center. This was a local bus, and lead us on an hour and a half scenic tour of residential Newark. We finally got in the car and on the road at about 11am, and began the Yelp quest for a near-by Denny's. Oh what a breakfast! Then: welcome to Pennsylvania.

We took the Turnpike's --NJ to Penna, for my first turnpike experience. BTW, for those of you who don't know --it's just a freeway that's a toll road, and they have little truck-stop-like fast-food malls along the way. Can I just say, what is with the abreviations on the road signs?? NJ, Phila, Penna?? Can't you write the whole name? Arrived in front of our lovely host's, Troy and Caitlin's darling Chestnut Hill, PA victorian flat about 2pm, and I tell you, I was ready for a nap. So much for seeing the city, we napped and then spent the evening with The Krezouwski's at their small group for dinner and Bible study. A fantastically spent evening of fellowship.

After a weak run in the AM, we headed in to Philly to meet Scott Ritter for lunch, and a walk around UPenn, where Scott is starting med-school. Cold and rainy but, Penn is beautiful, and all full of old brick buildings and iron staircases in old libraries. Thank you Scott Ritter for a delicous lunch and an excellent campus tour.

After UPenn, we took the car and drove over to Rittenburg Square where we delighted in Belgian beer, mussels, and fries and got out of the rain, at Monk's (I yelped it here). Next up: rico suave. We walked down the street and around the corner for happy hour mojitos at the recommended Alma De Cuba. So swanky, it makes you want to out on a slinky top, sit in their low, low mid-century-modern club chairs, lean over the table and whisper to your date about that time when you were in Cuba and the heat...
The only things we knew we wanted to see and do in Philly were the art museum and cheesesteaks, so we drove to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for their Friday night happening, which is similar to what the Academy of Science does here, but geared for the older Philly crowd-- 5-9pm, cocktails and snacks, and a live jazz band. All we really wanted was the Duchamp exhibit based around his last work Etant Donnes. Amazing.
We had to be kicked out. So we left, pretended to be Rocky, and went for steaks at Jim's. This vegitarian ate a little, she ordered: Wiz, with, and could you please make it 1/2 steak and 1/2 veggies? I have to say, yum. I was a little freaked out, our Nutritionist hostess, Caitlin, told me that if you haven't had meat in a long period of time, your body no longer has the digestive enzymes to break it down, and you can get very sick-- so I only ate a little of the steak side, and my body was a champ. Don't worry, it's not a perminant step to meat-eating.

It took us two hours to get home, as we got very lost, but got to see the beautiful bridge, and boathouse row, and feel near the liberty bell at one point, and excercise locking our doors before finally finding our way back to Chestnut Hill and passing out exhausted, in love with Philadelphia, but ready for Princeton.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The grass is bluer on the other stage

I love San Francisco and it's love of festivals, and I especially love The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. I think it's my favorite all year, and this year was no exception.

Dr. Dog

Bluegrass Bikes!

We skipped out of church a few minutes early to make it to see Dr. Dog, and they did not disappoint. Over to Billy Brag, who is nothing good outside of Wilco and Jeff Tweedy. Please do not bring your politics into my bluegrass festival, no thank you very much. Scored an excellent spot to stick around for Old Crow Medicine Show, and in the meantime, boogied to the likes of Mavis somebody and to The Knitters. A very chilly evening, but with very warmed souls, thanks to fried chicken, mac and cheese, new wine in a new wineskin, backyard bbq chips, and plenty of Boddingtons. Then came OCMS and you rocked us well, young men, you rocked us well.

Four weeks and counting.

This is what seven miles looked like tonight:

I now run past the bridge, and to the ballpark before turning around. I''m also developing a relationship with Icy Hot.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday nights are for lovers (of art, music, and each other)

Dear David Bazan,
Thank you for starting your tour in my fair city, and for doing such a great job at it. So nice of you to bring our friends too, what a fun surprise it was to walk into The Independent and be greeted with people we love but did expect to see! You bring out the best, well done.
Team Kerry and Co.

Before that, we went to a special (to us) Anniversary edition of First Thursdays, and saw (among others) and loved this Michael Gregory show at the John Berggruen Gallery. It struck such a chord in my wanderlustful heart, and makes me want to be on a long road trip in the heartland. (I wish I could add an image here, especially of my favorite from Western Constructs, "The Way Things Dissolve" but I think they are protected, and rightfully so, I guess.)
Go see it, I know you'll love it.

John Berggruen Gallery
228 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm Monday through Friday
10:30am - 5:00pm Saturday