Thursday, December 24, 2009

New York: NY: New Yack City, Holiday Edition

It feels great - and seamless - to be home! I've been here for a week now and am almost caught up on time time difference. So far it's been an endless string of lunches, dinners, and drinks with some very dear friends. The only drawback is the weather: there was a blizzard on Saturday night. When I teetered out of Sasha's in open toe heels at 6am on Sunday the streets had yet to be plowed and there wasn't a cab in sight. Now it's either banked or has melted into slush - but still brrrrrrr!!!

I've been relying on friends to take photos (Claire!!!) on account of shitty camera but here are some vids we made for Shrimp's birthday at the Warhol-themed Christmas party. One caveat: the camera didn't roll until around 3:30 so some of us are really feeling the hour.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eastward Ho!

Tonight Lu and I are pulling an SFO --> JFK to spend 18 days in En Why See. SEE YA NEXT DECADE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles, I'm Yours!

I am in LA again for a work trip - and happy to be here! I am staying at the charming Farmer's Daughter Hotel on Fairfax (which, come to think of it, reeks of a non-union labor - yikes!). I ate a delicious salad at Tart, the adjacent restaurant, yesterday afternoon. Last night I met up with Alex and Andres. I bought a vintage mink stole on Melrose and then we ate dinner at the Hare Krishna Temple's all-you-can-eat vegan buffet. I was first reluctant to eat here because I knew the lighting would be terrible (it was) but once we arrived and heard the chanting and tamborining spilling from the temple doors I was happy with the decision. The food was very good though we certainly did not eat "all we could."

Today I am running around in preparation for a work event in Culver City but I hope to catch both Ms. Talia Reyes AND Jenn Su in two seperate meet-ups. Tomorrow, back to SF!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Disco Christmas

7 Duncan hosted another holiday party on Friday night. We originally conceived it as a disco-themed party, back when Samantha thought she had her solar powered disco ball. The beloved graduation gift was misplaced somewhere during home renovations in Santa Monica yet the theme persisted...FOR SOME OF US (Treat Ave, Cake, and I were the only sequined in attendance - typical). The party started off super crowded and ended up super sloppy - in a good way. It was lovely to see everyone's shining faces. A special shout out goes to Erin and Dave for the festive headbands and to the appearance of once long lost Tina Lax. We mazel toved some glasses of mulled wine, the "house cocktail," and got creative with the decorative disco balls. Our kitchen is still a mess.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


wake up to this! @ steep ravine

I can't express the satisfaction I'm feeling after finally executing a plan that's been MONTHS in the making!!

Back in July 2008 when Katie, Laura, and I hung out with some locals in Bolinas, we met a guy who told us about nearby sulphuric hot spring that form during the low tide. His description painted a truly unforgettable Northern California experience. WANT!!!! He drew us a map in Laura's moleskin and gave us directions that must have seemed super explicit to the stoned boomer. They were actually quite vague. But we swore we would realize the adventure!! Then Laura lost her moleskin. Setbacks.

Fast forward to June 2009. Ben, Pete, Katie, and I were making dinner one night when Ben brought up his visit some months back to the hot springs. BINGO! We instantly began researching the tide calendars for the area and found a campsite nearby. I called the next day and made a camp reservation for the nearest available date that worked with the tide predictions. December 4th/5th. DONE AND DONE!

As the date approached, I admit that I was feeling anxious about the trip. I'm a city person and don't feel comfortable in nature. It doesn't feel natural! I didn't love the idea of missing 90's night to freeze my tush off on the December coastline either. I admit that I considered NOT going (!). Luckily, my wonderful arboreal friends forged on with the plan. The rest is history.

We drove up after dark to the Steep Ravine Campsite in Mt. Tamalpais State Park on Friday. Our crew for the night included me, Lula (stowaway!), Shrimp, Pete, Melinda, and Samantha. Our campsite was in a beautiful, secluded area atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific. It was a foggy night so we were hardly cold. We prepared a gourmet feast with both vegetarian and omnivorous iterations. We had a really fun night dancing around the campfire until 3am - and were even visited by a pair of guileful raccoons.

In the morning the view of Stinson Bay was even more breathtaking. We ate breakfast at camp then drove into Stinson Beach for coffee (we forgot the French press! grrr!). We walked along Stinson's shores. Sam and Lula headed back to the city. Pete, Shrimp, Melina, and I set off to explore the exact site of that night's hot springs. Since the location is revealed by word of mouth alone, we had to investigate several possible trails. We met a quartet of naked locals at the bottom of one path deep into the rocky cliffs of the bay. Though reluctant at first, the gave us specific directions to the hot springs. YES!

Andy, Ben Hyphen, Steve, and their friend Carmen came up for the afternoon and we went over to Bolinas for a walk on the beach. We came back and got the fire and dinner preparations going. Ben and his friends Mark and Paul arrived. The day trippers left. Then, just when we thought she was stuck in the city with a broken fan belt, Laura pulled up in Coco! Such a wonderful twist!

The nine of us piled into the van and drove to the head of the trail. The descent from the highway to the ocean is quite precarious. The terrain is steep and rocky and there were few headlamps among us. After about 25 minutes we reached the area where the cliffs crumble into boulders and meet the surf. Hidden behind the boulders, a wall of rocks encased a large pool of hot water. The scent of sulphur was unmistakable. We stripped down and joined the lot of mysterious bodies in the water. Between the exertion from the hike and the heat from the springs, we didn't feel cold, despite the wind howling off the water. We were nestled in pretty closely: one headcount reported 29 people present. It was hard to make out the faces of our fellow bathers but everyone was friendly. All of them lived in the neighborhood and had been coming to this spot for many years. Most were aging hippies, several with ponytails. I had never seen so many saggy white asses in my life! Joints passed around and we sang songs beneath the clear sky. I saw a shooting star too! After a while the waves came in and began to hit the pool. The temperature of the water dropped as the tide rose. We scrambled back up to the rocks and got dressed. This was tricky since it was so dark and slippery. While stepping back into my underpants a woman standing behind me - in a similar state of undress - slipped on a rock and took me down with her. Ouch! Apart from the resulting scrapes, we all made it back to the campsite in once piece and continued the merriment (of course we brought the bongo! and a tambourine, recorder, and mandolin!).

We nature lovers returned to the rainy city today, mission accomplished. FANTASTIC!!!!

(perhaps more photos to follow - my camera broke so I'm relying my fellow campers)