Underground Brunch at I Forgot It’s Wednesday


I recently discovered a friend of a friend, Jenny Wang, is a magnificent chef who runs an underground dinner and brunch club, I Forgot It’s Wednesday, out of her Lower Haight home with her partner in cooking and life Matt.

A Sales Operations Specialist at Hired by day, Jenny uses her culinary school background to concoct unbelievable meals on the evenings and weekends. Delicious food and impeccable presentation aside (you’ll see in the photos ;), their apartment is rustic chic, gifted with ample natural light and makes you feel right at home. My only regret? I forgot to snap a photo of Matt’s beautiful Bloody Mary and mimosa bar! I’ve never had a Bloody Mary quite like Matt’s ๐Ÿ™‚ I hear the secret ingredient is pho broth!

Jenny and Matt made spiced pop corn for appetizers

Jenny and Matt made spiced pop corn for appetizers

Matt and Jenny's beautiful table

Matt and Jenny’s beautiful table

Jenny made the terrariums herself

Jenny made the terrariums herself

Our brunch menu! 3 courses of deliciousness

Our brunch menu! 3 courses of deliciousness

Multicolored beet and goat cheese gem with parsley and jicama in satsuma-argan oil vinaigrette to kick things off

Multicolored beet and goat cheese gem with parsley and jicama in satsuma-argan oil vinaigrette to kick things off

Rosemary & mullberry buttermilk loaf, millionaire's bacon, 64 degree egg, whipped yogurt, watermelon radish, baby kale and scallions. Yum!

Rosemary & mullberry buttermilk loaf, millionaire’s bacon, 64 degree egg, whipped yogurt, watermelon radish, baby kale and scallions. Yum!

And to polish things off, kettle corn-infused panna cotta, Dick Taylor dark chocolate shavings, granny smith apples, and a sweet stout reduction for an air from the fair

And to polish things off, kettle corn-infused panna cotta, Dick Taylor dark chocolate shavings, granny smith apples, and a sweet stout reduction for an air from the fair

Not pictured: Matt’s Bloody Mary and mimosa bar, and the sorbets served in pho soup to cleanse our palates right before dessert. Jenny tries out a different combination each time, and to welcome spring we were served kiwi, lemon and dill sorbets. And I almost forgot the peanut butter and bourbon cream filled oreos at the very end.

Jenny, you always know how to treat us ๐Ÿ™‚

The SF International Tea Festival


The great thing about San Francisco… is that there are always fun festivals to attend on the weekend! Maker’s Fair last week, tea expo this week, and next week, a Friendsgiving up in Tahoe! It’s good to be young in SF ๐Ÿ™‚

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building

Twin Soles was soooo amazing! Highly recommend them if you enjoy soft, soulful tunes ๐Ÿ™‚

This guy was so awesome! He knew anything and everything about tea :)

This guy was so awesome! He knew anything and everything about tea ๐Ÿ™‚

There were loads of adorable tea sets

There were loads of adorable tea sets

Do YOU know what biodynamic tea is? Think "organic 2.0"

Do YOU know what biodynamic tea is? Think “organic 2.0”

I loooove Bruce's ginger ale! They have it at the Imperial Tea Court, which was, coincidentally, at the stand right next door.

I loooove Bruce’s ginger ale! They have it at the Imperial Tea Court, which was, coincidentally, at the stand right next door.

Kitty tea steepers!

Kitty tea steepers!

Amazing Chinese tea set, right?

Amazing Chinese tea set, right?

Free tea cups!

Free tea cups!

There was a geisha making sencha from scratch!

There was a geisha making sencha from scratch!

The discipline of sadou :)

The discipline of sadou ๐Ÿ™‚

Because everyone needs chocolate to go with their tea ;)

Because everyone needs chocolate to go with their tea ๐Ÿ˜‰

We went on a little tour of the Ferry Building afterwards and stumbled upon this charming shop with cheddar biscuits. Yup! You read that correctly.

We went on a little tour of the Ferry Building afterwards and stumbled upon this charming shop with cheddar biscuits. Yup! You read that correctly.

And that’s it, folks!

Renegade Craft Fair in SF


I had so much fun at the Renegade Craft’s fair today! Thanks again to Eli for sending me the link ๐Ÿ™‚

This was one of those deals where I took way too many pictures, so this 1st blog post back will be skimpy on words, but very rich in images. Enjoy!

The Venue

The Venue

The first thing we see - free jerky. Yum =3

The first thing we see – free jerky. Yum =3

There were lots of cool succulents!

 

Do-it yourself wool buddy kits

Do-it yourself wool buddy kits

Knit jewelry

Knit jewelry

Coolest mobile, EVER!

Coolest mobile, EVER!

Sure! We can be friends.

Sure! We can be friends.

I roamed the warehouse for 1 hour before I finally found the crowing jewel of the fair: adorable little macaroons.

I roamed the warehouse for 1 hour before I finally found the crowing jewel of the fair: adorable little macaroons.

I know I should share... but they're so darn good!

I know I should share… but they’re so darn good!

Lil' pumpkins

Lil’ pumpkins

Warby Parker is so November. Now, the hippest get their glasses here!

Warby Parker is so November. Now, the hippest get their glasses here!

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Custom-made leather guitar straps with cats? Check!

Custom-made leather guitar straps with cats? Check!

I'm so excited about this place! I bought some of their hand lotions as Christmas presents - they were founded to donate to good causes. Check them out at curelifeproducts.com

I’m so excited about this place! I bought some of their hand lotions as Christmas presents – they were founded to donate to good causes. Check them out at curelifeproducts.com

Quick photo break. Such an amazing view :)

Quick photo break. Such an amazing view ๐Ÿ™‚

Lil' kiddy onesies with cats!

Lil’ kiddy onesies with cats!

More delicious snackage

More delicious snackage

Did I mention there was a lot of very tempting food?

Did I mention there was a lot of VERY tempting food?

Cacti!

Cacti!

Such cute owls

Such cute owls

Couldn't get over these awesome displays!

Couldn’t get over these awesome displays!

Display 2

There were lots of beautiful succulents

There were lots of beautiful succulents

Have they revealed the winner yet? I want a hammock...

Have they revealed the winner yet? I want a hammock…

SFSU students taught fair goers to make oil prints!

SFSU students taught fair goers to make oil prints!

Yum

Yum

Bowties!

Bowties!

Clam homes for hermit succulents? Oh so hipster, but perfectly adorable...

Clam homes for hermit succulents? Oh so hipster, but perfectly adorable…

These were so cool! I really wanted to get one for my apartment. I wonder if I could make one ;)

These were so cool! I really wanted to get one for my apartment. I wonder if I could make one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh so foxay

Oh so foxay

Knit cupcakes. Delectable!

Knit cupcakes. Delectable!

Mew!

Mew!

Will your puppy be a frog or a rainbow next Halloween?

Will your puppy be a frog or a rainbow next Halloween?

And that’s it for Part 1! I’ll see you all very shortly for the last photos ๐Ÿ˜‰

A Little Attempt at Tech Fiction


This is a very different blog post I write today, but I thought this could be interesting too. I attended a fiction writing workshop for the tech community last week and my 1st assignment was just to write something. It’s a little socially analytic and rather a reverie on the tech side, but I would love read your feedback!

Notes From the Fringes of the SF Tech Scene

A bird is singing. A bird? Yes, a bird is singing right outside my window. It’s a gorgeous day out, the sky a brilliant shade of blue and Glen Park is sleepily coming out of its peaceful slumber.

It’s a funny thing, living in Glen Park. It’s one of the few bastions of San Francisco neighborhoods still fighting off the assault of all the Googlers, and Facebookers, and miscellaneous other tech startupers engulfing the city with their 6 digit pay checks and voracious appetites for Meetups. In Glen Park, jogging strollers and bright-eyed family dogs are largely more ubiquitous than bespectacled coders. There are not Hackathons or startup houses, just families who have lived in San Francisco their whole lives enjoying brunch at Tyger’s.

Who am I to talk though? I’m a techie myself. Well, so to speak. I don’t know how to code, unless you count a few timid and rather futile flirtations with Codecademy and Le Site Du Zero. As fascinating as the world of web design and databases and compilers churning to keep making our applications faster are, music, writing and my cats and friends always stay steady at the top of my priorities. (I’m still working on mazimizing my time, sadly such a finite resource.) So how does the artsy, cat-obsessed, barely post-adolescent type get involved with startups? Why, doing everything the engineers don’t have the time or interest in doing: the marketing, the recruiting, the fundraising… there’s lots left, but nothing quite as fascinating (or glorious) as building.

Engineers are the kings of the Silicon Valley. They design, they build, they test and automate and optimize and release… some pretty amazing things. When I unlock my iPhone (or imagine using my retina to do so), I see just a few dozen of the many apps they have created that truly make my life more informed and enjoyable – the ones that get a drone to deliver my burrito, tell my scooter fill up on gas & pull up by the curb in front of my apartment in 10 minutes, or simply order me to get off my butt and go on a hike today (yes, my shirt knows what I did yesterday and it’s not happy!). Not to limit engineer’s work to apps, since the work they’re doing on automating and refining medicine, or on bringing space shittle flight to the masses is just as useful and even more revolutionary in many ways, but I simply can’t afford a digital doctor or shuttle ticket just yet. And while I too resent the conceited variety of engineer that patronizes me since I don’t know how to code, I love and admire the many humble, down to earth and caring engineers I have befriended over the years. They’ve always opened their brains to my desire to understand what they do and guided me through some pretty confusing online coding tutorials.

The hipsters engineers poke fun at on Hipster or Homeless aren’t the cool kids anymore. They just don’t bring any creative energy to the table, and as a quirky, curious kid in high school, this feels like a victory for the outsiders who cared about learning and inventing more than being cool and attractive. So while I continue to spend too much time blogging, writing and walking my cats, and birds just don’t sing when you’ve got $300+ headphones drowning the rest of the world out, I secretly hope Code Made Cool might just whip me up into tech royalty.

Latest and Hottest German Import


Latest and Hottest German ImportOne of my coworkers wrote a very popular travel guide cum romantic novel, How to Love San Francisco: A Year in the City by the Bay, in German and held a soft launch at RocketSpace last week, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to her very exciting novel!

Johanna Lehmann, aka author Hanni Bayers, treated us to a live reading of one of the first chapters of her novel (just one of the few that have already been translated into English!) introducing us to her heroine, Hanni’s, adventures in San Francisco. Part romantic novel – I hear there are rumors Johanna may be adding some erotic scenes ๐Ÿ˜‰ – and part travel guide, each delectable chapter is followed by places to visit so you can experience and discover hidden spots few city-dwellers even know about.

Don’t believe me? Read the first chapter for yourself! You can start reading Hanni’s romantic trials and tribulations into the American dating scene, and her travels in San Francisco today – download a free chapter here, and help support the English translation by donating to Johanna’s Indiegogo campaign!

BloomThat, Because Startups Don’t ALL Have to be Tech!


It’s not the techiest thing, but it’s definitely a very San Francisco kind of startup. BloomThat offers a curated selection of ~6 bouquets composed of beautiful locally sourced flowers (check the pictures!) that come wrapped in eco-friendly burlap donated by Weaver’s Coffee each day and, get this, are personally delivered by a bicycle courier within 90 minutes of when you order. It’s perfect for that last minute birthday present!

BloomThatThis story isn’t about the timeliness though, but rather the real efforts of this adorable little startup. I got my boyfriend a gag gift on Bond for his birthday, but they don’t deliver the same day so I really have no clue when it will arrive, so at 3:30 pm I was trying to figure out what I could do to make his birthday more special, and decided to send my metro San Francisco boyfriend flowers.

The selection was gorgeous, but what really blew me away was the service! My delivery window was 5:00 – 6:00 pm, so I was a little surprised when I didn’t get a surprised Google chat message from my love, but rather a phone call around 6:00 explaining that my bicycle delivery guy had slipped in the rain and gotten in an accident. Thankfully, my courier was fine and another one was on his way to deliver the flowers. The customer service was so great though! They updated the address so the flowers would come to us at dinner that night and texted me updates so I would know when it got there!

Needless to say, I’m glad my delivery guy was OK and Matt loved his flowers!

Matt with his flowers

Favorite Startups from 1776’s Challenge Cup!


The 13th and final stop in 1776‘s global Challenge Cup tour took place at RocketSuites in San Francisco last Thursday. After 12 regional Challenge Cups in leading cities such as London, Beijing and Tel Aviv, the last 19 startups pitched for the chance to enter the final round in DC and win funding!

All of the startups pitching in the 4 categories, Education, Energy, Health and Smart Cities, were amazing but I found 2 especially interesting: Scoot Networks and HandUp.

Scoot Networks

Scoot Networks

Scoot Networks is like City Bike Share for electric scooters!

Super simple, easy and cheaper than getting a Lyft. You download the app on the Apple or Android app store, sign up for a quick orientation meant to explain how everything works and get you comfortable driving the scooters, then check out the map for the nearest Scoot location to grab your ride.

It’s a great alternative to buying a car or scooter, and at $4-6 (my own average) a ride, much cheaper than Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services!

HandUp

Hand UpI always feel uncomfortable giving cash to homeless people. I really want to help, but I worked hard for that money and want to make sure it won’t end up paying for drugs, alcohol or worse… so I fell in love as soon as I heard the pitch for HandUp.

HandUp has a smart phone app that allows you to donate money to a homeless person if they choose to give you their HandUp number or landing page, and donations go through HandUp to pay for food, shelter and other daily life necessities. Plus each beneficiary has a case manager there to help members make the best use of donations, and you can see where your money helped them go.

Follow HandUp and the other San Francisco winners’ progress in the final round of the Challenge Cup here!