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Christmas in San Francisco

Christmas in San Francisco

Today, as I write this, is January 6th, which is also known as Epiphany.  This is the day that the Three Kings brought their gifts to the baby Jesus.  In France, they celebrate, as the French celebrate most things, with a cake.  The most traditional of these cakes is called the Galette des Rois, and is made of puff pastry with an almond paste filling.  

Anyways, we are not super religious around here, but I like a good story and a good cake, so the combo is hard to resist.  We are making the Galette des Rois today from scratch based on a David Lebovitz recipe. 

Since today is technically the last day of Christmas, the 12th of the 12 days, I'm reflecting on the fun we had.  Starting with my brother arriving on Christmas day, which was the best present ever.  We did a lot, and I feel like my Grandma is going to ask, What did you guys get up to? so I may as well write it all down!

The day after the day after Christmas (we celebrated on a delay, treating Christmas Day as Christmas Eve, and Boxing Day as Christmas) we went to see the Rauschenberg exhibit at the MOMA.  It was basically the same as the one I had seen in New York in July, but it was still good, and I love all of the ways that Rauschenberg explored and redefined what is considered "art".  After the museum, we walked over to the Ferry Building and then into Telegraph Hill and then for some good cardio walked up the Filbert Steps and Napier lane.  I love walking up these steps and seeing the houses along the way and views of the city.  There were way too many tourists at the top at Coit Tower, but in this case the journey is as fun as the destination.  My parents used to live on Napier Lane, so I'm guessing they never bothered with the stair master at the gym.  Its super cute up in there.  Next time I walk up I want to continue down into North Beach.

On the Friday, we went to see the two Exhibits now on at the Legion of Honor, the Gods in Color exhibit and Klimt and Rodin exhibit.  Gods in Color is a fantastic exhibit that explores the fact that ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture, were not in fact white, as we see them today, but were indeed elaborately painted.  I remember reading this one time a long time ago when I was looking at the Elgin Marbles in the British museum.  There is a tiny little card telling you that these white marbles actually used to be brightly colored.  This gave me such a thrill and it is delightful to explore this in this exhibit.  The Klimt and Rodin is interesting because you do not at all think of the two artists as contemporaries and yet they were.  They have some beautiful Klimt's juxtaposed with Rodin.

After that Culture surge, we headed into Hayes Valley for some lunch.  We had a quick lunch at Lers Ros, and then wandered about Hayes Valley.  Hayes Valley is definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods.  We hung out in the park and then walked by the shops and then decided to walk to the Divisadero Corridor.  We stopped at Sight Glass for a cup of coffee and some cold hot chocolate (for some reason the hot chocolate was less than lukewarm, it was strange since we had just had it hot at the museum at Sightglass, but apparently on Divisadero the hipster barista had not mastered the hot part of hot chocolate.  He was very nice in his short sleeve mock turtleneck attempting to make hot chocolate hot, not once but thrice, each time with a pretty little foam heart. But alas, it was never more than below room temperature.) After that enjoyably odd experience we headed home.

On New Year's Eve we went to our favorite BBQ place on Divisadero for dinner before heading to the Masonic to see Dave Attell and friends live for a comedy show to bring us into the New Year.  It was a good dinner, we always get a burger and spicy fries. And it was a fun show.  When we got out, the fire works were just going off, so we watched them from up on Nob Hill which was incredible.  It was great to be in Nob Hill on New Year's Eve, with all the lights on in the park across from Grace Cathedral and the sky at the Bay being lit up by Fireworks.  Definitely my best New Year's Eve yet.

New Year's Day we chilled, woke up rather late and ate some healthy pancakes from the Tartine All Day cookbook.  And then made a Zuni roast chicken and bread salad.  We were too full to eat my pavlova wreath, so we left that for the next day.

On January 2, we did my favorite Divisadero to Castro to Mission walk.  You start the walk at Divisadero and Mc Callister, walk straight along and up Divisadero past all the shops and cafes until Divisadero forks and on the left becomes Castro.  You then walk all along Castro street, pass the Castro Theatre and along the heart of the Castro district and then turn left on 19th Street. You walk along 19th pass some beautiful homes until you hit the top of Dolores Park for a stunning view of the city. From there we walked through Dolores Park and onto Valencia and then headed deep into the Mission.  We originally were going for tacos at La Taqueria, but they were closed so we kept walking until El Farolito. After a big meaty lunch we walked all the way back! Man that seemed like a treck, but it was still a lot of fun.

So there you go! We hit up 3 museum exhibits, 3 neighborhoods, 1 comedy show and a lot of good food. Not bad for 10 days.

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The Ferry Building, a pink house with Coit Tower behind, an art deco mural on the side of a building and the many stairs of the Filbert Steps and Napier Lane.

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Hayes Valley.jpg

Hanging out and having fun in Hayes Valley, in my favorite graffiti'd alleyway

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Incidentally, it's finally Fall here in San Francisco! I could not get enough of the purple buildings and the red foliage.

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The Great Wall of Tea

The Great Wall of Tea

Diary: An Alternative (Action) Christmas Movie list

Diary: An Alternative (Action) Christmas Movie list