Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lyon stairs and Golden Gate Park

Another thing that caught my attention in San Fran that was, surprisingly, not clothing, was plants. Eucalyptus, cypress, hemlock, flowers in January! and the largest holly bush I've ever encountered. It had been raining for two weeks straight resulting in the intense green of this lawn in Golden Gate Park.

This is the Lyon Street stairs where Pac Heights folk come with their personal trainer to huff and puff up the roughly 269 steps while being inspired by the view of the bay. The smoothly molded hedges and aforementioned greenery made me very very happy.

san francisco, ca

Me in either fake or vintage Burberry outside Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. We didn't go in because it was $7 and we've already been to the definitive one in Portland. And to be fair, the Japanese garden in Rockford, Illinois ranks right up there too.

Again, same wooden stance at the Embarcadero with Bay Bridge in the background.

These painted ladies are across the street from Molly's apartment in Pacific Heights. I ended up taking a lot of photos of buildings and geographic scenery and none of people because the San Francisco architecture is stylish and the people are not. The hills render heels both irrelevant and dangerous, but there's something steeper than the hills suppressing sartorial flare. I saw a ton of unremarkable skinny jeans and Chucks or vintage frock with leggings. TSE figures large here, Comme des Garcons not so much. Stringently, rigidly laid back is the vibe.

santa cruz, ca

This is the surf break in that quintessential surf town, Santa Cruz, and those dots in the water are very small surfers. The Gidget competition was underway, for rip riders under age 16. Molly and I drove down here from San Francisco with a detour in Pacifica for the Pacifica 21K trail run. It's impossible to overstate the beauty of that trip on Highway 1. Fortunately for all, I was not driving but instead was doing a very good dog immitation -- perched at the window, sun on my fur, ears flapping, quite filthy and indescribably joyful. On a Yelp, we went to Lilian's Italian Kitchen for dinner. It was a 90-minute wait but the smell was so heavenly, it couldn't be denied. Ordered takeout and enjoyed one of the best meals ever in the cozy ambiance of our Super 8 Motel room. Did I mention we had fish and chips and a Heineken out of the can on the pier for lunch? As we watched the surf competition? Obviously, one of the best days of my life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cub on University, St. Paul

How embarrassing. I already caught these kids this past summer. St. Paul really is a small place. That, plus they're sporting their winter pimped out goth stuff now. The studs and whatnot are for traction. But seriously folks, what I like about these two is their creativity and willingness to make goth their own. Are they Martha's Kids or what? Ex., she added all those patches to her pants herself. She likes to tell people she skinned the raccoon and crafted that fine hat but it isn't true. What counts is that she was on a camping trip when she got it. Very Davy Crockett. That's a mink skull pendant. Savvy devil that he is, ordered about a thousand studs online for $30. Nearly used them up on this project, both outer jacket and layered jeans vest. Bullet belt and wristlet are sort of a violent presentation but he nails the proportion, n'est ce pas?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

snow's up

I caught this chick on a -10 degree morning and thought she was a bit under-dressed. I mean, where's the hat? I have been practicing winter survival techniques, i.e. covering exposed thoughts of tomatoes and basil growing in the garden and limiting heat loss by sealing up gaps in my full-body sumo suit. I wonder if southern infidels look at us and think, Someone needs to liberate those poor oppressed wretches.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cub on University, dairy aisle

I stand corrected. Long have I labored under the misconception that dressing for below-zero weather was a utilitarian exercise, and that grocery shopping did not warrant sartorial consideration. This mother (left)/daughter duo gave that flawed idea a roundhouse kick to the parka. Mom made her own purple tunic, vest and hat, including the extensive embroidery.

Friday, January 1, 2010

island living

Ah yes, island living, Minnesota style. Here I am out for a stroll on Pikes Island in the Mississippi River on New Year's Day 2010. Since the wind chill was well below zero, this jaunt was well planned and outfitted. Allow me to describe the style I adopted for this occasion, working from the outside in. Oversized acrylic hat keeps beans much larger than mine warm without itching. Our dog took a liking to the fleece-lined leather chopper mitts once, so they're a little chewed but still toasty effective. As long as you never have to make a pincer or in fact do anything with your digits aside from hanging there, as I am so aptly demonstrating. Meet my ugly friend, Big Teal. It's essentially a down comforter with sleeves. Holding off up-drafts, snowpants for big people, lined with fleece. Canadian-made mukluks are faux fur outside and in. That way I don't have to worry that baby seals were brutally clubbed to death to make my boots. Also I don't have to worry that anyone will stop me and say, "I like your boots."
The next layer consists of Smartwool socks so thick they stand, walk and talk by themselves, cotton leggings, a cotton and linen Geoffrey Beene pleated skirt (even in the depths of winter I like to honor summer), bulky cotton turtleneck sweater and glove liners under the mitts. Assorted smalls, strictly decorative, do not count toward retention of body heat. Shortly after this snapshot was taken, I had to pee.