Saturday, April 23, 2016

San Francisco Over New Years ... and Mission Dolores (San Francisco de Asis)

Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.
~Elizabeth Gilbert 

Over the extra long holiday weekend, in Sausalito, I headed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the city a couple of times ... Still listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic." 

One trip over the bridge was for an amazing seafood meal at Tadich Grill ... YUM!!! The place was hopping. If you go when people are getting off work (it's in the financial district) it's packed and you may have to wait a bit. You have to swoop in and grab a stool, as soon as someone gets up, but it's definitely worth the wait!

Tadich is believed to be the 3rd oldest continuously run restaurant in the U.S.!  (The only two older restaurants are Union Oyster House in Boston (1826) and Antoine's in New Orleans (1840).

Julia and I both ordered the seafood Cioppino which is apparently their specialty and let me tell you it was chocked full of seafood goodness ... Prawns, bay shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, mussels, and white fish simmered in a tomato based sauce that is out of this world. And the garlic bread was great for sopping up any last morsel. O.K., I'm getting so hungry as I type this!

Julia and I after sampling ...

By the time we left it had definitely died down in there ...

See the sign? It says established 1849! Very old for California!

On New Years Day, I headed back in again, but on my own. I was a bit nervous to drive into the city on my by myself (I know I live in L.A. but it's still an unfamiliar city!) but with Siri's help in directing me, I made it to Amanda's place for her her open house!

She lives in a great old building and I wish I'd taken photos of her her yummy brunch treats but I was too busy eating them!

You can tell by the light I stuck around for awhile!

As I mentioned in the previous post, Amanda is an old family friend. She and her family lived 3 doors over growing up, and it was fun to see her brother Steve there too, who was my childhood friend, honorary brother, and fellow mischief maker! (For instance, the time we walked across the railroad tracks, to the pet store, and bought ourselves pet mice without telling our parents!)

The oldest of friends!

Love these old buildings!!

If you're alive,
you're a creative person.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

City Hall ...

Keep you eyes open.
Listen, follow you curiosity.
Ideas are constantly try to get our attention.
Let them know you're available.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

And, the day I left, I also drove through the city on my way out. I couldn't help but stop and take more architecture pics! 

You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. 
Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith 
and focus and courage and hours of devotion. 
We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

I also wanted to stop at the  Mission San Francisco de Asis. How could I resist? I mean, Saint Francis after all! Anyway, the mission is obviously the city's namesake, as I think most of the California Missions are.

I thought, if I could actually find a parking space nearby, then it was meant to be that I'd stop at the Mission.

As you can see ...

There's my little red car in the foreground, and there is the Mission right across the street. It was the only spot and the best parking karma ever! Clearly Francis wanted me to be there! 

Next to the old Mission you can see the larger Mission Dolores Basilica ...

Mision San Francisco de Asìs
Founded 1776

Also known as Mission Dolores, for the nearby creek named Arroyo de los Dolores, or "Creek of Sorrows." It was the 6th of the California Missions.

"It is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra." 

I love the painted patterns on the ceiling! And, of course, I'm a huge fan of the old California Spanish architecture.

There is a breezeway between the mission and the basilica ...

There were standing placards in the walkway, with the history of the mission, as well as old etchings. This one, below, I found the most interesting. The caption says "Bullfight at Mission 1842."

It was only a day or two after the New Year and as you can see, the pretty Christmas decorations were still up, in the Basilica. A choir started singing so I tried to be extra low key with my camera!

I liked the stained glass windows that represented the various California Missions ... Below, San Rafael Arcangel and San Francisco de Solano.

You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office 
to live a creative life.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

I grew up in Ventura, so I had to get a shot of the San Buena Ventura window ...

And of course, if you have explored my blog much, then you know I enjoy photographing a cemetery!

You have to participate relentlessly 
in the manifestation of your own blessings.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

"The Cemetery and Gardens of Mission Dolores are located adjacent to the Old Mission. The beautiful gardens have been restored and planted with traditional native trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants from the 1791 period."


"Mission Dolores is the final resting place of some 5,000 Ohlone, Miwok, and other First Californians who built Mission Dolores and were its earliest members and founders."

I also made it to the Mission San Raphael Arcangel, while I was in the Bay Area, which I will probably post down the road a bit. Enough Mission for now! Lots of other things to get to! 

I finished my Book on tape of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, before heading back down South. It was a creative pep talk that I needed. Speaking of which, I am finally working on a new series of works and priming wood panels for oil paintings!

If you want to visit the Mission website, click here.
The website for Tadich Grill is here.

Big April Blessings! 

What is creativity?
Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. 
The work wants to be made,
and it wants to be made through you.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Years in Sausalito

What is creative living?
Any life that is driven more strongly by curiosity 
than by fear.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

When I said I got behind on posting, I wasn't kidding. 

After Christmas (3 1/2 months ago?!) I decided I didn't want to be home for New Years. I wanted to go somewhere and get the hell outta dodge, as they say. I was feeling the need to jump in my car and ride like the wind! Or at least ride like the driver of a little red Mini. 

Anyhow, not long ago my friend Julia moved up to Sausalito and I figured that that was a drive I could do on my own, so I gave her a ring and asked if she had plans for New Years. Long story short, I hit the road and headed North!

I listened to some music but then started my new audio book "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I was ready for some creative inspiration, and it was perfect! How often to you have 6 hours straight to listen to an audio book?!

Let inspiration lead you wherever it wants.
For most of history people just made things,
and they didn't make such a big freaking deal out of it.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

Sausalito is a tiny little seaside town across from San Francisco. In fact, on my way into Sausalito from S.F. I took the Golden Gate bridge. It was late and I couldn't really see much, but I'd have more chances to see the bridge later.

There is a building that used to be a restaurant but it's empty at the moment, so you can take the path between it and the water, into the little town. 

In the way off distance, (pictured below) that little group of buildings is San Francisco. The first island looking thing to the left of it is Alcatraz.

Perfectionism is just a high-end,
haute couture version of fear ...
just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat,
pretending to be elegant 
when actually it's just terrified.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

That day was particularly spectacular but even when the clouds roll in there, it's lovely and charming.

Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times-
a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses, 
and to those who are specially touched by God.
is available to everyone.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Lots of little shops. Many are crappy souvenir places, or expensive crappy souvenir places. Then there are the really nice shops which are super pricey.

However, even in a crappy little souvenir shop you can find fun things you don't want to live without! I thought this was a perfect watch to wear for teaching the kids. It's fun, I don't care if it gets paint on it, and it was 12.99!

The only other place I really shopped was Soxalito. They sell ... well, socks. Hundred of different socks with anything you can think of on them. Appreciated the ones with the Mona Lisa and Starry Night.

I didn't get a shot of the socks I bought but they are green with pieces of sushi, and another pair have world maps! SO cute. I thought the Star Wars knee-highs were fabulous but a little expensive and impractical. Except maybe the storm trooper. He'd go with everything.

The older I get, 
the less impressed I become with originality.
These days,
I'm far more moved by authenticity.
If your work is authentic enough, believe me ~
it will feel original.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

Another shot of San Francisco and Alcatraz.

So this, I believe, is the central question 
upon which all creative living hinges:
Do you have the courage to bring forth 
the treasures hidden within you?
~Elizabeth Gilbert

My old family friend Amanda (who came with her mom to Ojai for the Artists' Studio Tour this year) happens to live in the city and came over the bridge to meet me for lunch in Sausalito one day.

This cute place has wood fire pizza, a bocce ball court, and is right on the water ...

Bar Bocce

And then Amanda and I met Julia for some wine tasting at Bacchus & Venus.  That Amanda behind the crazy wine pouring head! So fun to meet with her up there and catch up!

And we shut the place down.

Possessing a creative mind 
is like having a border collie for a pet;
if you don't give it a job to do,
it will find a job to do- 
and you might not like the job it invents.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

New Year Eve at Poggio's

Jules and I actually had a drink at a place on the water first, then ate Italian food at another place, which was across from the water, and then ended up at this place. (Also Italian, where we had some really good carbonara the first night!) The photo above was taken right before we left, (after midnight) and right before I left with about 25 balloons!

Julia and Me 

Next up, I'll post my San Francisco shots and the best ever cioppino!

Be Brave.
Without bravery,
you will never know the world
as richly as it longs to be known.
Without bravery, your live will remain small-
far smaller than you probably want your life to be.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Blessings and light!