Category Archives: Travel

The Big Picture Catch-Up

I don’t think I’ve had a few spare hours to sit down and really add much of consequence to this blog.  I’m taking that as a good sign – it’s means I’ve been busy with too many cool things to have downtime at a computer.  Especially having time to load up tons of pictures.  But alas, I had some time today.

Pictures from San Francisco are all up.

Day one
Day two
Day three
Days four to six

I didn’t do a whole ton of record shopping.  It’s neat to go looking at places, but I’m not sure what I need is to come home with more stuff to find places for. Besides, I used to be more on top of it with being into new bands, etc.  I still am to a degree, but nearly as much as when I did the distro / store.

Amoeba was neat in terms of having so much stuff. The prices were not so neat.  In fact, they weren’t so neat in any of the record stores I went too, except for Rasputin Record’s used LPs.   I think part of me thinking it’s overpriced is being spoiled from doing the distro / store and getting whatever for wholesale.  Oh well, still fun to look.  Aquarius Records was cool, although smaller than a thought it would be and I definitely suffered from being unfamiliar with a good deal of what they had. Thrillhouse Records was closed both times I walked there, once in the rain. Lame.

San Francisco certainly has a ton of neat things to do in such a small area.  I had a great time.

Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea gardens was day one.   I bet the gardens are neat at any point, but the fall leaves were kicking in and that was nice.  Academy of Sciences had some  interesting exhibits.  I like the living roof.

I mentioned earlier in a post the Sutro Baths and Lands End.   That was the AM of my second day – the first day I had to myself while Amber was in her conference.  Fifty easy minutes by bus from where we were staying.   From that, bussed to King of Thai for a late lunch.  Then I bussed to the foot of the Golden Gate bridge.  The next few hours were spent walking that and relaxing on the far side.  A neat view- but very noisy, especially considering my morning was spent alone in the woods and on the beach.  Then I bussed over to Haight to walk to strip and apparently have people offer me drugs every other block or so.  That was sort of amusing.  I also discovered a new type of store that is full of taxidermy and skulls and associated shadow box displays for sale. Complete with lots of signs saying you can’t take pictures of anything.  They did, however, have a gallery in the back with lot of pictures of birds in suits like this.

That evening Stevie Wonder was playing at the conference Amber was attending.  Free drinks / food and Stevie Wonder, duh.  And Keytar solos.

The following day was just me at the DeYoung Museum, and then exploring the mission district.

Where I ran into another weird store.  This one had almost nothing in it, and was definitely more interested in (I’m assuming) like, the aesthetics of items and the look of the store.  I guess a lot of store are like that in some way.  I just didn’t understand it’s existence or use of space. Take for example a giant red tub with a fur in it soon as you walk in.  Or how they sold records, but only one.  I mean they had like 14 copies of it, but it was the same record.  I guess it’s a store for people who love browsing while shopping, but for totally unrelated objects,  aside from (again, assuming), the tangential relationship each item has to the fact that the owner likes them.

The next day I did the downtown thing and made generous use of the fact that my friend had me added to the guest list at the Museum of Modern Art.  I arrived two hours before they opened though, so I got to walk around and look at busy downtown people and things at the bay like saber-tooth tiger skulls and fog.

MOMA was really neat. They had a exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photography, which was weird since the book I brought to read for the trip was about the most influential 100 photographs of the century, and it had more than  few of his in it. They also had a neat display on photography and voyeurism. Again, stuff from my book.   After looking back through the pictures I took,  I noticed a real penchant I have for taking my own picture in front of modern art paintings.

Or in the case of the second one, not a painting, just modern art. I guess.

The next day Amber I went to Alcatraz.  I didn’t realize how big the island was.  We took a neat tour of the history of the gardens on the island, and then did the Alcatraz audio tour.   The PM was spent checking out the Fisherman’s Wharf area, the big highlight there was this group of acrobatic street performers.

The last day we all went to Sausalito!  It was a neat little town and oddly reminded me of a small waterfront own in Italy.   A street performer was doing these sculptures on the water front.

Not at all a bad way to spend a week!

I still have lots of pictures from Christmas and my grandmother’s funeral and repast to put up.


San Francisco Planning

So I’m planning how I’ll spend my time in San Francisco.

Muir Woods, check.  Alcatraz, check.  Aquarius and Ameoba records, check. Golden Gate park, Japanese Tea garden, Haight-Ashbury, King of Thai, Green Apple Books, check check check.  All exciting, all going to be awesome. 

And then I started reading about the Sutro Baths and Cliff House.  File under ‘Something I never knew existed and seems pretty neat.’ 

Wikipedia does well what it does here. And the Cliff House website has many historical pictures from the operational baths.

A good deal of the old footage in this video was taken in 1902 by Thomas Edison, Inc.

Italy Pictures

Amber and I were in Italy for two and a half weeks.  I’m just now putting up the pictures so when our parents saw them the first time, we’d be there in person to talk about them too.

Here are about 300 photos in mostly chronological order.

Vacation! What book to bring?

So, we’re not going yet, or tomorrow, but sometime my wife Amber and I are going to Italy for a bit.

Saying when on here would be silly, since I’ve probably at some point posted up pictures of  things vaguely valuable that I own and don’t want to get robbed.  Unlike the people who bikesnob mentions here, whose inane ‘minimalism’ only seems to render the “I”, with all its deep anthropocentric associates,  to a little “i” – as in, of course, Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, Ithinkthisreplacesreallife, etc – I have things I like and don’t want to get stolen.  That biksnob guy has some great ‘read it at work’ appeal by the way.

But yes, Italy. I’ve never been for a more than a few days, and that was on tour with a band I’m in, and it was only in Northern Italy.  This trip includes Rome, Florence, Civita di Bagnoregio, Cinque Terre, and Volterra.  Amber did all the heavy lifting in terms of reading up and planning the trip so we’re not say, in a town on a day when everything is closed, or stranded in some small town because the bus doesn’t run on Sunday, etc.  For that I am eternally grateful.

I’m been learning about what I’ll be seeing – reading about Rome, watching documentaries about Michelangelo, etc.  But I’ve been having one hell of a time figuring out what book to bring.  I just finished reading A Place of My Own, only to discover I have now read everything Michael Pollan has published.  With my safety net of a good and stylistically reliable author removed, I’m floundering for something new.  This is where being only a Children’s Librarian has it’s downside – on a daily basis the majority of literature I’m checking out is for kids.

So Italo Calvino the Italian author? I love it, but maybe too dense for a vacation book. His only one that was pretty laidback was Numbers in the Dark. Plus, I’m a sucker for short stories.  I got John Mcphee’s Silk Parachute, and realized I might have to pack a dictionary as well.  I read enough chapters of The Tipping Point to realize Malcom Gladwell annoys me.

And I don’t need to get all the way out to this place, settle down with an excellent drink and start reading a book that annoys me.

Books on deck to consider include Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace, a collection of Best American Short Stories, edited by Alan Lightman, Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel, and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (an old professor of mine reccomended that one for it’s insanely awesome bad guy). Okay and maybe Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, but the library didn’t have that. Although this guy makes that book seem pretty interesting.


Animal Kingdom. Click here for more pics.

At home hangin’.  More more more!