Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hemlock, 2009.

I really enjoy finding old sketches.
This small notepad is not as old, but I found it this past weekend quietly hiding underneath a very broken transat saddle I somehow refuse to get rid of. I am very minimal and don't usually keep or hoard stuff at all, but this saddle has been an exception.

Finding a notebook with my notes and sketches is always a good time to pause and peek back into moments and observations.

found a mini pad from summer 2009. this is dated july 24th, a friday.

This had to be a random guy across the bar. Omar and I, along with a few other friends used to go to the Hemlock for happy hour quite frequently as it was a pivotal bike route point for many of us and our jobs during that year. We usually sat by the pool table (now communal long table) or at the bar where we could kinda see the bike rack. When it was earlier and slow, you'd see a bike or two inside.

Some of mi favorite moments at the Hemlock since turning 21 have been hanging out with the guys after I got laid off before the recession, Spectrum playing in that back stage, my mom getting free drinks because, well she is my mom –Not that card– because I can leave that woman alone and she would've chatted up with the bartender anyway, she engages people within seconds, has great narrative, has probably read a book about it, and was born in chaotic city urban settings. If you've met her, you know there is no need for explanation, but I like expressing admiration.
And also one of Ratta's birthdays.
And you can still get a baggie of hot peanuts for a dollar.

That little red notebook was given to me by my dear friend Daniel, he is from the East coast and moved back to Nueva York shortly after college. He visits from time to time. We miss him. I miss him. and speaking of birthdays, it was Qeli's birthday this month and feel grateful she is just a Bart ride away. As well as my girlfriends from school within a bus ride.
see, hear, speak no daniel
[Qeli, yo y Daniel] This was from 2009 as well, Muffin took this foto from across the table. We had dinner at Toyose on Noriega and 45th.
I love you friends.

Slowly more present, and proud of myself for somewhat getting back to the notebooks, writing a bit, y sketchpads almost on a daily basis.
To life, to my friends starting families (♥and babies!) old friends, and new. So lucky to have in my life, even the ones that have parted ways –– and to Qeli's birthday, we will be celebrating this Friday.

Words propelled by a halt upon a mustache recorded on a random, singular page.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Books, breakfast burritos y cafecito: Atwater Village, Los Angeles (June, 2012).


Over mi breakfast burrito this morning, I started thinking about great spots for breakfast burritos outside my family+relatives kitchens, of course.
In 2012, during a short weekend getaway to Los Angeles, we visited this hole in the wall for the second time in the Atwater Village, a neighborhood in Los Angeles located northeast neighboring Griffith Park and Silverlake. I first pleased my belly there with papa-veggie-love as suggested by la Ratta awhile before that.
“All burritos have cheese”. –– Everything should have cheese.

As pointed out by my mom, this place appeared in a Bourdain episode (her celebrity author/TV boyfriend) I guess that is pretty good, as it provides a ton of business to smaller mom/pop places.
The papas in those burritos ARE super deliciosas, have yet to find another place similar to Tacos Villa Corona. I chatted with one of the women for a second in Spanish and she gave me a sticker, she said “just please dont stick it around our place, it is for elsewhere than here, OKAY?” :) –– Sí, OK pues, I replied.

Anyways, walking around Atwater was a bit of a challenge, I think that day was in the mid 90°s F.
A bookstore.
Kaldi was a cute coffee shop. Caldi means hot in Italian, indeed it was!

Just wanted to share a few pictures, from that summer morning in 2012.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, Jack.

Leonardo DiCaprio and a bike. 
Como el vino | Like good wine. 

[Exclusive Photographs by Max Vadukul - screenshots of, slideshow images via Esquire]

[Exclusive Photographs by Max Vadukul - screenshots of, slideshow images via Esquire]
Slideshow by here: Esquire | An Afternoon with Leo May, 2013
Interview here: Esquire | The Moment Leonardo DiCaprio Became a Man January, 2014

Saturday de walking y art reception.

Hi. Thought I'd share some of the restful energies with you, brought by this 3-day weekend in mi little corner of the san universe. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed tomorrow Monday and will try to do my best to sleep in, french press coffee at home 2x, then go to a movie theater for a dose of Hollywood visual cholesterol with a side of buttery popcorn and DiCaprio eye candy.

Yesterday the day was tremendously clear, sunny, dry, strange but we'll take it. 70°F is even rare during summer. Anyways after having a solid dose of coffee, there were a few miles to be walked.

This knowledgeable wall has been up for quite sometime. I suspect it may change soon.
This is kitty corner from Pinterest HQ.

Behind me is one of the two entrances to the concourse. The last time I stood here to take a picture I had frenchie with me, foto taken minutes before I started riding home and got beyond drenched in the rain, with a mean flat. That was at the end of 2010.
Potrero Hill gets PH balanced. This is a cross fit studio, the sign says. Letters done by known Graffiti artist Ben Eine (London).

In a not so distant past, I spent long mornings, nights, and tremendous. I loved my time at this school and the tremendous growth I experienced. Mi alma mater, they have since officially removed and Crafts at the end of its name.
* …If you are a typographical case of OCD like I am, you can still see that the beam where Arts once rested in the right hand side, is a bit longer than its opposite end, where California sits. Also, from the center of the building, it can be clear that approx. 8 letters on the left (orange 1/3 side of the bldg) versus 3 on the right (white 1/3 side of the bldg) throw the whole thing off balance.

Arch is one of my ultimate favorite art supply stores in the world, heavily focused on design tools and needs for the various CCAC design programs. And a bunch of other super cute paper, and Otto – the adorable boston terrier running the show. Had not been in a few years, they are currently celebrating their 10th anniversary. Love you, Arch.

I have yet to visit Phillip's RideSFO store, he goes on super cool mountain rides on the weekends and closes the shop.
These little flowers just around the corner from Bottom of the Hill were just cute. Like they are saying hello or something. Good small venue, I haven't been there in awhile, maybe soon.
Then got home and chilled out for most of the day, watched basketball and read a bit. Found in my to-read magazine and readers pile this great article about San Antonio. I have been to Austin and would love to go back to visit Texas again. La Calitexican y Volker were just there a few weeks ago, and she brought me a beautiful letterpressed coaster from Ocho. It is graphically beautiful. – Gracias :)
Later in the evening we got to check out the Opening for “The Mission Condition: Outwardly Mobile,” “Site In Progress,” & “Florecer” at the Red Poppy Arthouse, one of my few favorite artistic communities in the city, featuring the art by my favorite woman muralist in town: Mona Caron.
This was a display dedicated to AIDS, or by an AIDS group, regret forgetting to write down its info, was behind in the corner. Beautiful masks.
The tree piece was amazing.
Mingle time around the mural and the installation. Read more about it here: Redpoppyarthouse.

After the reception we walked over to La Taquería and I had a burrito with a tecate. Afterwards we were feeling a bit festive because of 3 days off and stuffed our faces with a delicious slice of Mission Pie (had the pear frangipane) and a cup of coffee.

Trying a new uploading method qhich seems a bit quicker/easier, the blogger platform may not be the friendliest plug-in site, so there is a tab in [insert fotos] which lets me just select from the phone. It's pretty easy but they don't link back to flickr, where most of my pics have lived for years. We'll see.
After having my HTC Evo and repairing twice, was sadly cheaper to get a new phone than to replace/repair what it needed. I have a Nexus 5 now and like it quite a bit so far.
All photos were taken with my mobile.

That's all for now, have a great weekend.
– xxomeli.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

a long walk at the end of 2013.

During the Holidays the city becomes fairly quiet and it is one of the favorite times to go on long solo walks. I wanted to share these few fotos before I forget, and before another year goes by.
a long walk on the northside.

The weather lately has been unreal, was extremely nice for the Holidays and well, no complaints there.
I also don't know any better.
I have been attached at the hip with the Pacific ocean my whole life. This is just quite strange. It has been a record dry year and we have not seen any rain. I miss the rain. More than a few years ago when I was about to finish my degree, it rained for 38 or 40 days straight between Jan-March. I remember it quite clearly because for the last few days I just never wore dry clothes. Would have been more effective to invest in good bike fenders and rain gear, but being in college, in love with life and somewhat careless was perfect and amazing.

The weekend before the last of last year, I had brunch with Dallas in North Beach. Then stopped at Citizen Chain to catch up with the guys and later waited for the bus up the street for about 2 seconds. Then decided to just keep walking, thought it would be a great little hike up Fort Mason from North Beach until I got tired or hungry again.

I started by getting to the Aquatic park, and then hiking up towards Fort Mason.
a long walk on the northside.
After observing the Bay for a bit alongside a tourist, he asked if I could take his picture (he seemed to be traveling alone) and handed his phone and thanked me for the snap. So refreshing and cute. He smiled and parted ways the opposite direction.
I stopped to see this gizmo window I hadn't seen before. I usually do this walk with my mom, and don't recall seeing it before. Well that is one bitch of a little hill, so I took my sweet time and checked out this piece of really cool Sky Diary informative window/kiosk.
a long walk on the northside.
a long walk on the northside.
a long walk on the northside.
You can turn the knobs and that shows you each blue panel like a quilt thru the window. So cool.
a long walk on the northside.
Checking out the East bay. You can see our shiny new Bay bridge about 2/3 to the right. And that red/white ship is the historic 1886 Balclutha.

a long walk on the northside.
I took a little break, was a tad out of breath… There was a mob of all-teenagers BMXers zooming down the hill.

a long walk on the northside.
Around Fort Mason. I thought the winter Renegade fair would be happening, but turns out it happened in the Concourse center in the south of market/Potrero bound.
a long walk on the northside.
A fellow observant of the natural moments.
a long walk on the northside.
Birds y boats.
a long walk on the northside.
Frosty the yacht man.

And then down westbound on Crissy Field where I got to people watch, dodge running bunnies and luckily got to get a coffee at the Dynamo Donuts kiosk before they closed for the day. I love sitting in this corner to observe people, big cargo ships and the sun go by. It is magnificently peaceful.

a long walk on the northside.
I see you.

a long walk on the northside.
Crissy Field.
a long walk on the northside.
Crissy Field.

Here is a video:

I do this regularly in various points of the city. Long walks, easy thoughts, smile at trees, drink some coffee, absorb some sunlight – or misty fog. It is my own little reminder and constant observation that we humans, are small.


Monday, January 13, 2014


Thirteen of January.
Just wanted to say hola, and hope the new year has started well for you. It has been a rather peaceful and serene pace for me. Learning to live and cherish a tranquil lifestyle has been has been a journey of its own. I am ready for 2014 and the people in it. Places. Moments. The stories waiting to happen.

Here are three quick images from this past Saturday. Grateful to have had a day with a hefty art dose.
Will post more pictures and words as the month settles.

Fotos were taken with the LX5 unedited and straight from the camera.
All the best,

A fog/rain Saturday morning in the (admission free)  DeYoung's tower. Having been there a few dozen times, I learned that morning that its official name is Hamon Observation Tower.

Enjoyed an early morning at the David Hockney exhibit beginning at 930am. That was a first, but meeting with a small group, timing-wise that worked out great. Joined the drawing group afterwards and had a great time sitting down in the museum's cafeteria a couple of hours after the museum stroll, amazing to see there were so many people out and ready to check out the exhibit fairly early. Didn't learn until sitting down outside the coat check desk (where the picture above was taken) that it was quite crowded due to the exhibit's last days. Makes sense, but it doesn't. Not sure I will go to another early museum activity that doesn't allow me to consume oodles of caffeine while at it … :)