Friday, January 27, 2012

My Birthday

This is what it looked like at 9:00 a.m. on my birthday.

A lot different from the beautiful sunrises we often see:

It was even more dense when I got up at around 7:00. I wondered if this was just San Francisco's way of ringing in my birthday. Since I am now considered "middle aged," I don't look forward to birthdays as much as I used to.

At about 10:00, the sun started peeking through and the bridge began to appear.

Soon aftere that, it turned into an unusually lovely day for this time of year, so a nice birthday welcome after all. Thanks to all for the many happy birthday and well wishes!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Telegraph Hill

Before the holidays and before it got too cold and rainy, Tom and I decided to take an urban hike up Telegraph Hill. We stopped at Levi Plaza along the way.

We checked out the little Levi Strauss museum.

Here is a denim loom

and some jeans from the 1880s.

I like this 1987 jean jacket. Why didn't I have one of these??

Then, we tackled the Filbert Steps.

They lead up through a beautiful resdential area with houses and gardens on each side.

Somehow, Tom always manages to attract a black cat. (See posts from Nov. 26 and Apr. 24 for other photos of the black cat whisperer.) A resident told us that this cat's name is Mimi and that she has a reputation for being a bully. Apparently, she beats other cats up and enters their houses through the kitty doors to steal food. But she looks so sweet!

As we continued up the steps, we passed this cool deco building. According to the interwebs, the building was featured in the film noir movie, Dark Passage, with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Bacall's character lived in an apartment in this building and several key scenes were shot here.

At the top of the hill is Coit Tower. Coit Tower is a 210-foot art deco tower, built in 1933 at the request of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco.

It contains fresco murals created as part of the Public Works of Art Project, the first of the New Deal federal employment programs for artists.

We took the rickety elevator up to the top of the tower.

We took in the magnificent views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and the piers.

Finally, we climbed down the hill into North Beach and shared some delicious wine and food at Mario's.

We'll have to do it again soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who Dat??

The Saints are facing off with the Niners in the playoffs today in SF. We didn't get tickets, but we went to a regular season Saints vs. Niners game a couple of years ago with our buddy JJ. Here are a few shots of the tailgating and game-watching festivities. Go Saints!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Houston Life

I'm sad to admit that the holidays are finally over, but what better way to conclude the holiday festivities than a tour of the new St. Arnold Brewery facility?

The St. Arnold Brewery touts itself as Texas' oldest craft brewery and has been around about 17 years. Saint Arnold himself is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers. The tour experience at St. Arnold is great and has become wildly popular with the locals as well as visitors to Houston. You pay a $7 entry fee, which includes a small glass, tokens to sample the beers, and a brief guided tour of the brewery facility. We started out by tasting a few of the beers. They have a delicious root beer, too.

I included this next photo because I think the guy behind me must be St. Arnold incognito. He looks just like the mural picture!

The tasting was followed by a lecture and tour led by one of the founders of the brewery, Brock Wagner.

St. Arnold seems to pride itself on quality over quantity and only sells its beer in Texas and Louisiana. They only have 36 employees. Too bad we can't get it in SF, although I like the idea of a small, local enterprise. Here are some of the brew houses.

This is a fermenter.

They use whisky barrels for some of their beers.

St. Arnold has a fun, funky vibe with colorful murals

and a tie-dye car.

Can't wait to go back!