Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bikes, books y typewriters.

The mind is a magical labyrinth with a few hidden layers and a myriad of corners which trigger one's memory.

I walked into a book store like a fish would go straight into a florescent bait. LP's and books are florescent to me. The Beatles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the window at this shop has beautifully arranged and it rotates displays every few weeks, I'd estimate. Today, the last day in May, this window was freshly finished.
taken with mi mobile.

Due to my extreme curiosity, I've found out that the 33 ⅓ book series have accepted proposals for 2013/14 new releases.
33⅓ is a series of books written about music albums, featuring one author per album. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, the series is edited by David Barker. The series title refers to the speed of an LP album. -wiki
They have also posted their complete list of series (from 2003 to May 2012) on their blog: A complete list

Once I walked inside the bookstore, two books I have read placed next to each other said hello to me. Patti Smith's Just Kids + Keith Richard's Life. The latter being the thickest hard cover book I can remember reading in the last few years. That old pirate has plenty to say and share. Both good reads, will make you listen a little closer to some of their early works and I found them both somewhat parallel, I recommend them.

I found these images awhile ago wanted to share them for quite some time now. This is the right time and right post for them.
I'm not sure nor do I care if they've made the internet rounds previously.
All these findings and thoughts often come together like poetry, the gap we don't mind gets closer between New York and London along with the sound of some heavy riffs in the background.
Here are Smith +Richards on their bikes:

Patti and her bicycle. Meatpacking District, New York, NY. 1999.
Patti +her bicycle. Meatpacking District, New York, NY. 1999. Credit: Steven Sebring via flickr

The tricycle shot is included in his book. Both Keith Richards photos found via Google.

I don't particularly find the bookstore's clerks friendly, but that is not a problem. Moving on.
Speaking of its displays, earlier in April they had my favorite window display arrangement (so far).
It was pleasant to walk past it whenever I found myself in transfer mode between the buses 1California +the 22 Fillmore, which is also at the intersection of this bookstore, next to a coffee shop – how convenient!
cherry red everest
cherry red everest. taken with Hisptamatic - April 11, 2012

The coffee shop adjacent to it is Peet's. Also, yesterday while I was on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street, I heard this man say "I'm waiting for you here outside the Starbucks, the brown one" and I thought that was particularly cute. Not because of who is who in the big corporate coffee business and their proximity with their beginnings blah blah blah. But because the man was well into his late 80's, had a smartphone with him, spotless worn shoes, a dandy hat and he was able to express quite clearly where he was without being specific. That was perhaps the way he describes this particular spot to his partner, his kids. Who knows.

Back to the typewriter +old charming men, if you have bought a poster from me, you may have seen a note or your address written on my typewriter included with your purchase.

I'm only the 2nd owner of a beautiful Royal Quiet typewriter that I believe is from the early 60's, possibly the 50's, which was handed over to me by a very special Italian man who is no longer with us. He was into his mid 90's and was one of the first business men to settle in Cow Hollow (we are talking about almost 70 years ago) and got his start as a baker in North Beach. Awhile back in 2008 he asked me if I knew any shop that would repair the typewriter's ink reel. At the time I was working in Berkeley so I said sure, there are a couple of places I could think of, and the machina was once again running like new. He still sent letters to his relatives in Italy.

There is a strong link of love and gratitude and I consider Rico family. Every time I visited him, he always offered me coffee and a tiny glass of Campari. Warm the belly, and warm the soul.
He always smiled and asked about my job and family. And if I was still riding that bici (in Italian the sound is bee-chee). He was an amazing baker, and I feel very special to have received several years his infamous cookie baggies with Italian cookie treats during the Holiday season, with my name on it.

Rico +son. San Francisco circa late 60's
It is also the right time for me to express and share with you this special bond. I miss hearing his loud classic music on the flat upstairs on the weekends.

I use the typewriter almost everyday since Rico's passing last year and before returning to blogging (which I had considered done with) I wrote many letters and notes, many of them sent, many of them not – to slowly begin to think and give my mind a small break and a somewhat creative therapy outside the web. He passed a few days after my brother did. 2011 was monster. A monumental beast.

The typewriter continues to be a pivoting tool for me to communicate and send letters via snail mail. I feel tremendously special to be able to continue this tradition and pounding on it constantly and that his machine has not been abandoned with no one using it. I think Rico would be pretty happy to know that, he wanted absolutely nothing to go to waste and he was an inspiration for me to learn about his work ethic and background as an immigrant hard worker. Anything is possible if you work hard at it, and be good at math.

the royal deluxe

By walking past the bookstore yesterday with coffee in hand, it triggered multiple layers of thoughts, feelings and words, songs and an aftertaste of Jack Daniel's roughness mixed with the multiplicity of Campari – as I type these lines to share with you.

The universe talks to us, it is easy to be too busy and miss its quiet whispers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Let's do a little bit of catching up with los local events. Mucho good stuff happening this month.

That time of the year again. Lots of goodies, power station and an after work party. 
The two bike citizens on this year's promotions are very nice, and represent a very mellow non-racer type but not sure why they are headless?!

However, other than that, very cute. Poster courtesy of PDF dowload from the bike coalition, I have found the español poster :)
Find a near by power station +goodies: here

Thursday, May 10 | 6-9pm, Public Works, 161 Erie St. "Celebrate San Francisco's biggest day of bicycling at the SF Bicycle Coalition's big Bike from Work Party with DJs, a photo booth, fabulous raffle prizes, snacks hosted by Whole Foods and complimentary bicycle valet. $5 for current SF Bicycle Coalition Members, $10 for non-members or join at the door ($35) & get in free."
Further SF Bike Coalition BTWD 2012 info here: link

Further Bay Area info here: 
In which I found the SF commuter of the year, this year is a woman (YES!!)
Congrats to non-profit lawyer Selena Kyle

My friend James is doing a fun karaoke fundraiser this week.
I mean this man was a fund-raiser machine last year (his 2010 personal post here) he raised a monumental $28K (!!)

The Mint Karaoke Lounge 1942 Market St, San Francisco
Thursday May 10th, 7PM
FB event here: link 
The Crazy 88's AIDS/LifeCycle Team is hosting this year's most festive fundraising event for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation! The first 150 guests who pay the $8 cover will receive a California Roll from neighboring Sushi Delight restaurant and a feather boa…..because there is no such thing as enough boas.

On a musical note, the Brian Jonestown Massacre recently dropped a new album,
and they are playing this Friday 11th at the Fillmore.
BJM opening for some other band, at the fillmore, March 2009

COUNTDOWN: 3 Days – $14,825 Raised of $40,000 Goal San Francisco to Santa Monica – Seven Days, 500 Miles / May 12-19
"How about a group of Los Angeles friends, biking from San Francicso to LA (home). 500 miles, seven days, fully loaded ride for their friend Kam. None of the conveniences like mobile tent cities, swag wagons or fully stocked rest stops. These guys do it rugged, not professional cyclists and are powered by motivation.
Through this project they hope to raise awareness of my rare genetic muscle debilitating and degenerative condition; HIBM, because it's no longer about finding a cure; it's about funding the cure."

Thanks to Kam for contacting me directly, this is a great ride/cause/awareness for HIBM.
How lovely is their poster? You can also download it and promote it, and check out the good things they have going on.
Please visit their site +my best wishes in their efforts. +Facebook page +Twitter

Tuesday, May 15, 2012. 7-10PM 
21+ $12 in advance, $15 at the door
FB event page link: here
Alice, the fantastica woman organizing these events posted:
"Ding ding, it is that time of year! Time to ride your bike and draw the cute girls of San Francisco with their bicyclettes."

Sewing 101 Machine And Hand Basics
For AIDS LifeCycle Fundraiser $38

Monday, May 21st, 7:30PM-10:30PM
Learn basic sewing skills including how to cut fabric, how to use a simple pattern, and how to perform a few different stitches.
Workshop info+link: here

My friend Gwen is doing the ACL 2012 ride,
she is close to reaching her goal, check out her page here:
AIDS LifeCycle 2012 Team Pedal Savvy

ACL 2012: KLAW
On that note, also dear Klaw has
already reached her goal but she
notes 'why stop there?!'

visit her fundraiser page here:
AIDS LifeCycle 2012: Kristen

I'm a little late about this April fundraiser,
but the spanglish promotion is at its finest.

Expect no less coming from a sweet San Francisco/Tejas
connection via my homie Rio Yañez.

Here is their ALC page:
AIDS LifeCycle 2012: Si Se Pedal

SF local ride organized by Christy over Rickshaw,
check out the event's +facebook page

"We're partnering with Girl Bike Love to present the SF edition of 
CycloFemme: a ride to encourage women in cycling.
Friends, women, mothers, children, sisters, dads, brothers: everyone is invited!
Honor the past, celebrate the present and empower the future. |
Join us at 9 am at the Rickshaw Factory for a morning stretch before the ride courtesy of Giggling Lotus yoga:
9:30 am Meet up at Rickshaw Bagworks in the Dogpatch if you haven't
joined us for yoga.
10:00 am Depart on the ride
MORE INFO: +route +cyclofemme +facebook +twitter

Local bike advocate, friend and all good-things Ian, has combined his great local energy with yummy Malaysian inspired food into a great new project, now on kickstarter. mamakSF has been getting the love +support from my friends (velovogue, cylrab, wheelright and the SFYellow Bike, and more)
Support mamakSF on kickstarter

"After many days of planning and hair-pulling, mamakSF's Kickstarter project is up and running. You have been supportive and patient with the build up of 'the little bike food cart' that could. For that, I am forever grateful. We wouldn't be here today without your love, support and belief.
It's not all about funding via Kickstarter, though that helps.
I hope I get to feed many, if not all, of you some day. Let's get this food party started!"

Find/follow MamaK SF: +Facebook +Twitter +Website

The local zine The Bold Italic publishes the coolest articles one of the most recent posts I sent to a bunch of my friends (was April the break-up month?) Ex-Factor survival guide here.They have recently turned the spotlight to pedal-powered delivery services, I of course love Bicycle Coffee +glad to learn about new and upcoming ones I had not heard of. I'm happy to see the magic kurry kart which is well known around town +the bikey community (spotted in the mission, 2009)
link: The Bold Italic: Pedal Pushers


"Local bicycle enthusiasts celebrate San Francisco’s vibrant bicycle culture with 60-second video “Do the Wiggle.” Instant classic reminds all cities that robust bicycle infrastructure supports healthy, sustainable urban living."

links +info: +therealnumbers +wigg party

This week the opening of the first Tijuana Bici Estación takes place on the 6th street stretch of downtown Tijuana, México. 
Congratulations to local bike advocate Arturo and everyone down there on 2 wheels making a difference with so many projects and new good things happenings to Tijuana. 
So rad.
Visit their FB page here: link

-Fotos borrowed from their FB page.

2012 Tour de Peninsula presented by Raleigh Bicycles and Talbot’s Cyclery, recreational bicycle ride 
Sunday, August 5, 2012, rides start at 7:00 am and 8:00 am, kids at 12:00 noon. 

Start/finish at Eucalyptus Picnic Area, Coyote Point Park, San Mateo, California. 

Enjoy a day of cycling and outdoor fun with family and friends. Proceeds benefit San Mateo County Parks Foundation and Bicycle Sunday—car free biking on Canada Road.
-foto from"
"The 2012 Tour de Peninsula offers Bay Area families a day of fun, fitness, and healthy family activities. Now in its 21st year, this ride is one of Northern California’s most fun recreational cycling events/family/social gatherings. Held in the scenic, mellow Coyote Point Park alongside the San Francisco Bay in San Mateo, the TdP is a perennial highlight of the Bay Area's recreational social calendar. The TdP is a variety of great cycling routes designed for all levels, from young children and first time riders to serious cyclists. During and after the ride, a day of family fun activities takes place in the park, with a children’s playground, barbecuing, picnics, live music, and equally lively conversation. Proceeds benefit San Mateo County Parks Foundation and Bicycle Sunday – car free biking on Canada Road."

 One of my long time favorite blog readers David Jabber 
will be participating in this year's Climate Ride.
"This September, we will bike 300+ miles over five days, to raise money for a host of great organizations working toward real climate solutions.Climate Ride has emerged for me as a key opportunity, along with a handful of others (Keystone XL action, etc.) to make a significant contribution and tackle the challenges which so many of us very deeply care."
Check out his page here: link

- - - - - - - -
Okay well, that's lots of good stuff going on. 
That is all for now, have a beautiful week. xxomeligrosa

Friday, May 4, 2012

walls, windows y weather.

beautiful sunset
This sunset earlier this week was wicked beautiful.

- - -
Bikes and the City got a haircut, gained some weight and got a little makeover. Well, I am not Terry Gross but there was a much needed dose of fresh air. I had not updated any visual features since the beginning, it is what's in the inside that counts, right. There are small updates in general.
How do you like the new look of the blog? Hope you enjoy it.

To be honest, I have been overwhelmed in a very loving way, with the feedback +support in the last few weeks, I had sincerely not expected this online momentum after being away for quite some time. I had considered myself not strong nor capable to return here or anywhere, many things were just completely out of the picture, I was completely checked out of the existing world. There is a time +place for everything. The process and forces of grieving are a beast of their own.
I'm not trying to catch up, life moves fast. I'm happy to just be here and in my own pace be present, day to day.
We humans, are fragile beings. So once again, thank you.

Okay, here is a new set of photographs around the city. The weather has been beautifully diverse. Not sure why people would complain when we get a little rain, this is northern California and we don't quite get the drastic season changes to shovel snow or deal with unbearable humidity. I'm a fog worshiper that is no secret, but I also have enjoyed the recent random warmer days. We got to see some monumental thunder lighting show a few weeks ago and here is a photo from the local news: msnbc link

These were all taken between March-April, in San Francisco and a couple of them in Marin county.
All photographs taken with my Leica lens/Panasonic LX5.
- - -
kitteh lovekitteh love. that cat in the window and what appeared to be its owner. affection maximus./polk street
inside the owl tree. /tendernob
best sweater. ever. /pacheights
lobster attack
the interiors of the recently remodeled Brenda's have cool cement textures. and a giant lobster. /lower polk street
nok nok
noc noc is as colourful as it is dark. good place to drink gulden draak. /lower haight
carrot branch
weekend lunch in point reyes. /marin county
window ese
window watcher. /mission district
red poppy
has been quite sometime, red poppy. /mission district
mimis wall
mimis wall.
lady gaga y elton john
lady gaga y elton john?
kid in love
these last three above taken in the south of market.
choba r+r y yo
new orleans iced coffee +chismes. the guys +i chillin in mint plaza. /downtown
sightfilm. /7th street
a memorial for a young man shot +killed at the corner of divisadero +eddy, San Francisco's 18th homicide for 2012. /western addition
heart 2
heart 1
a quiet rainy day in union square. /downtown
bus friend
mi new bus friend.

rain +hearts +umbrellas. /mission street near 5th
sight sip
early morning solo sight sip. /7th street

- - -
Michael Miller's exhibit "West Coast Hip Hop - A History in Pictures" was presented last week for two days at fifty24 in the lower haight /link. The presentation of the photographs was sharp and the uniqueness of the West Coast culture during that period of time jumped right out of the walls. I was intrigued by the printing process, the quality of the pieces was visually provoking.

- - - -
♥My best wishes and fun times to the beautiful bicycle community in the San Diego/Baja Cali/Tijuana area riding the fantastic beach coast 33rd biannual Rosarito-Ensenada bike ride this Saturady, 5 de mayo. Can't wait to see some pictures :)

That is all for now.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

polk, cholas y picasso.

Two events this thursday, two neighborhoods:

The 3d artworks of Rio Yañez | presented by asterisk. More info /link
My favorite mission-native local artista and homie Rio is having his first Bay Area solo show. Congrats Rio!
photo by
My first Bay Area solo 

Polk street is one of my favorite arteries of the city.
I have written extensively in the past, I am glad to see an walk art that has taken off as of March this year.
Not sure their site at the time I tried it,
but here is some info from the facebook page:
There's no start point and no end point, but on May 3rd
our neighborhood galleries are open until 10pm celebrating
lower Polk's thriving arts community.

This Art Walk will feature the "Artists in the Alley" Outdoor Night Gallery. 

Fern Alley (between Polk & Larkin) will closed to house the night gallery 
of local independent artists as well as special exhibitions by our neighborhood galleries.

10 Galleries are open until 10pm
The Kasa Indian Food truck will be at one end of Fern Alley
The Lower Polk Art Walk opens the following galleries to the public:

Shooting Gallery, White Walls, Nine Four One, The Popular Workshop, Siete Potencias Africanas