Happy Halloween : Sustainable Caskets

In honor of Halloween, I thought I would share this modern & sustainable casket by UONO. It's available in 14 different colors (with individualized colors available through their "Haute Couture" service), is fabricated from untreated jute and eco-resin and is biodegradable within 10-15 years. It's also appropriate for cremation. From the website: "The high-gloss varnish is water-based and ecologically harmless."


New Music: She + Him

Beautiful combo : She { Zooey Deschanel } + Him { M.Ward }

You might recognize her name and face from a slew of movies and TV appearances (my favorite of which was her character on Weeds) but here she debuts with M.Ward on an album that delivers "that 70s California sound".


I hate the History Channel

Not really, but what do you know? Tonight I was watching a little TV, flipping channels and came across the History Channel. The program was "Mega Disasters" and the feature tonight was the next big earthquake in San Francisco!

Of course I knew prior to moving here that it has been predicted that SF will be hit by a major earthquake at some point in the near future, but watching that program was not at all comforting. Watch video from the feature here.

What really terrifies me, is to think that I could be alone and *really* scared for my life if a disaster like that struck. And they kept saying in the feature, "it could happen at 9AM tomorrow". So evil!


Against the grain

Objets d'wood are so hot right now!

I love the contrast between nature and technology that a lot of these products convey.

Natural protection for your iPhone from Miniot. Carved from a single piece of wood { oak, padouk, cherry, mahogany, walnut } and engraved with your monogram or personal message. Also available for your iPod Classic.

Watches from Nixon remind you that there's more to life than being on time!

Eco-friendly style from iWood. Do you care about the planet but want to look cool too?

And disguise your laptop in a natural skin (wood veneer) from iamhumannow.

And for a quick, FREE fix, throw a woodgrain texture up as your desktop wallpaper!


Etsy talent : Tinctory

The work by Eva of Tinctory reminds me of the smocking on the little dresses my mom made for me when I was teeny tiny. Eva makes them all by hand, using mostly recycled silk. One more thing to add to my Etsy wishlist!

What are you hoping for?

My new cube / office is great — a lot of space and walls on which to hang fun posters and such. But right now I don't have any fun posters because everything is in boxes on the truck. So this morning I was browsing online a little bit, looking for one of those colorful and graphic Obama posters to order when I came across these free printable posters on Hyperakt!

They are FREE to download and available in 5 different colorways and three sizes: 24"x36", 11"x17" or 8.5"x11".

The image shown above also makes for a pretty nice wallpaper for your desktop.


the new flat (at least for a couple of months)

My bedroom (!!!):


The garden view from my room:

The red roof next door that looks beautiful in the 6'oclock light:

The wedges of buildings seen from the back porch:

Garden of Eden

Today on my lunch break, I went out to check out a store I've only walked by twice but have already noted as evil temptation: Eden+Eden. It even has a tempting name. From the window, I spotted a few things that could easily find their way onto my new desk:

They also have some fun jewelry.

The shop keeper happened to have stepped out (my wallet thanks you), but next door I found AREA San Francisco, another cute shop run by John and his sweet pup, Finley. Area carries modern design for the home and garden. A great place to find a gift for a someone with a modern sensibility (don't worry, I'm sure they sell gift certificates).

On my way back to the office, I spotted a sign that sparked my curiosity: Carrots. I wandered in to find myself amidst racks and racks of ridiculously gorgeous clothing. They showcase hand-picked pieces from the collections of some of the most exquisite designers such as Peter Som and Stella McCartney as well as some up-and-coming designers such as Richard Chai (who perhaps shouldn't be referred to as "up-and-coming" any longer ... especially considering he recently designed a line for Target—isn't that a sign that you've "made it"?). While I don't think I'll be shopping there anytime soon, it's still great to see up close and personal what designers are putting out there right now.


dim sum & mos def

My favorite part of San Francisco thus far: Chinatown. I went to get my hair cut Friday at my new salon, Elevation, which is less than a block from the Chinatown Gate, so I figured I'd stroll through and get a bite to eat. Of course I had to check out everything before committing. There are a million options from the all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet complete with an announcement being blasted from the front door (no thanks) to fancy sit down restaurants. I went with a casual dim sum shop.
After that I browsed some of the Chinatown tourist shops just because they're so much fun! I didn't buy anything ~ my photos will suffice. But expect gifts from Chinatown this year!

As always at this time of year in any city, there are too many things to do on the weekends. It's a great problem to have but sometimes it's a bummer to have to pick and choose when you'd like to go to everything! Yesterday I had the option of going to the Red Bull SoapBox Race or a free concert in Golden Gate Park. Anticipating a huge crowd at the race and the probability that we probably wouldn't even be able to see much, Jackson and I ended up going to the concert. After all, how often can you see Mos Def for free?

One thing I've noticed in the past few days about San Fran ... the style! It's great. Everyone looks so good. I normally feel a little weird about taking pictures of people on the street, but I caught a couple things yesterday at the show.


The SF adventure begins.

My things have shipped off and as of this morning, they were in Chicago, getting ready for the trip out to Oakland. I have to say, that if you ever need to make a significant move like this, I highly recommend U-Pack / ABF. They have been fantastic. Everyone from the U-Pack customer service to the ABF truck drivers to the terminal operators. They've all been friendly and helpful without even the slightest edge of impatience.

And so I have also shipped off and landed smoothly in the Upper Haight. I'm staying with a friend for the first few nights in town but should be able to get into my sublet this Sunday.

I spent my first—beautiful, though almost TOO HOT—day in San Fran just casually walking about, hopping from one place to the next with no real agenda in mind. I started off with coffee and breakfast on colorful Haight St., which really doesn't "wake up" until 11 or so, and then found myself walking amongst the towering trees of the Panhandle—a park built atop shifting sand dunes.

At the end of the Panhandle, I encountered the California DMV. So I figured it was a good time to transfer my license and become an official resident of California! Of course sitting at the DMV is always a lot of fun.

I failed the written exam the first time. I think they got me on some San Fran-specific questions that had to do with parking on hills and driving down curvy streets. But I passed the second time around and am now official!

After that, I NEEDED to eat. So I took my first MUNI ride (well, first as an SF resident) and headed down to check out the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero. And wow. YUM. I think I just died and went to Gourmet heaven! It reminded me of Quincy Market in Boston, but a much more selective version.

After checking out all of the options, I finally decided to go with a little Mexican from Mijita. Fish taco and chips w/guac.

A long day out and about. More adventure to come!


Lasts ...

Yesterday, my mom surprised me by pulling up to my yard sale with my baby girl, Riley. Ok, so she's not such a baby anymore, but she's still so sweet. Of course then I had to ditch the yard sale, leaving everything out for free, and enjoy an afternoon in JP with my mom and my pup.

But considering her age and family history—both of her sisters have bone cancer (we know this because they are owned by my Aunt & cousin)—this may have been the last time I will ever see her. Sad.

On top of that, it was my last fall in New England and my last time out and about in my lovely neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. At least for a long time.

I'm definitely going to miss living here. It's been such a nice place to call home for three years.

And lastly, last night was also my last night sleeping in my big green house.


The current state of things

Are messy. Funny how our lives sometimes mimic what's going on on a much larger scale.

The world is a messy place right now. As I was hanging a YARD SALE sign up today, which lists "shoes" as one of my "for sale" items, an old man with an overgrown beard and awkwardly fitted clothing came up to me and inquired about them. I said to him, "I'm sorry sir, but they are women's shoes." And he was disappointed. He looked down at his feet and said, "I'm practically barefoot here". He went on to tell me about how "back in the day" he could go to the department store and get a pair of shoes, but now they are a hundred bucks or so and that on an income of $600, he can barely make ends meet already. He said he was doing better when he was on the street—which he was for 6 years, until 2007.

It made my heart break a little. I told him that the thrift store was right down the street, but he says he goes in there every day and they don't have any. I would have taken him to the shoe store and bought him a pair myself if I weren't already in a tough place with money—with moving and all.

Here I am, moving from my cheap, comfy house and decent-paying job to the most expensive city in the country—for which I had to pull money from my savings. Is this the smartest move I could be making right now? Stay tuned!


Drowning in corrugated cardboard

Today, my 28' trailer is being delivered for me to start packing it up with all of my things. I can't believe this is really happening! After a little bit of research and getting some quotes, I decided to go with ABF U-Pack. I was really close to choosing Pack & Ride because they had exceptional customer service—one of the owners called me personally and talked me through everything, then when I told him I was choosing U-Pack he called again and offered me a lower price. Unfortunately, they just don't have enough out there about them in terms of customer reviews (positive or negative) and for a move like this, that's what I needed to see.

I had contemplated getting a pod type of container delivered, also offered by these companies, but it is more expensive and you are limited to that space. With the trailer, if I end up needing more than the 6' of space I had quoted, I can take it for approx $150 per additional foot. Not bad. I can also use less space and deduct accordingly. Seemed like a win-win deal. And they also will leave the trailer at your house for several days (like the pod), so you can slowly pack it up rather than have to do it all in a few hours.

And it *supposedly* should only take 5-10 days to get to Cali.

So, I'll let you know more (hopefully positive) news once this giant gets delivered and then sent on it's way next Tuesday.


San Fran : 2nd most sustainable city

While Boston was named #6 on SustainLane's ranking of the most sustainable cities in the U.S., San Francisco was named #2 (behind Portland, OR)! Yayy. I knew I'd like living there :)

I'm proud (of my new city) to say that they were the first in the nation to ban plastic bags at major grocery stores. They also plowed city hall's green to create a vegetable garden and called for a policy promoting urban gardens and fruit-bearing trees on street medians (though I'm not sure how that would mix with car exhaust).

SF was also named
#1 in Waste Management
#1 in City Innovation
#1 in Energy & Climate Change
#2 in Planning & Land Use
#4 in Water Quality
#4 in Green Economy
#4 in City Commuting
#5 in Air Quality

Unfortunately, it's ranked at #47 for Natural Disaster Risk, due to its position on the San Andreas Fault and risk for tsunamis.

Annnnd #50 in Housing Affordability !!

Experience Wii Page Takeover

If you haven't seen this awesome "page takeover" (it's not a real takeover because it's a "fake" page), you have to check it out:

Experience Wii YouTube page takeover