After I finished my aerobics class at Koret gym I decided to walk to Trader Joe’s and pick up some food for dinner. I was in the mood for something light, refreshing especially because the gym was about 90 degrees and I just got done sweating for an hour. As I strolled through the market I started craving Caprese salad. I picked up some some fresh basil, mozzarella, and some cherry tomatoes, (i like using cherry tomatoes rather than normal sized tomatoes because I think they are more flavorful, they might not look as pretty on the plate but they definitely taste better, and thats what matters right?). I also picked up a baguette, and a cheap bottle of red wine.
I arrived home and took out all the ingredients and put them on my kitchen table.
So next I washed the basil and the tomatoes
I am one of those people that has to eat when I am cooking, I always pick at the food that is being prepared (i usually get kicked out of the kitchen for this). So I decided to have some bread with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.
Chopped the tomatoes in thirds, sliced the mozzarella and added lots and lots of basil.
My cat Smalls is obsessed with me and has to be everywhere I am, he sniffed out my salad and passed, earlier that day he brought a mouse head into the house, he was so proud.
For dessert I had sliced mango with fresh squeezed lime juice, my roomate Cinthia put me onto this, she puts lime juice and hot sauce on absolutely everything. Its delicious and adds a little kick to such a sweet fruit.
Ok so I know that my meal is extremely simple but thats how I eat, I don’t cook extravagant meals with a lot of components and after a long hot day it was the perfect light lovely meal.
I made the best steak sandwich! Ever since I was a kid my dad always made the greatest sandwich’s in the world, he always said they were so amazing because he put love into it (as cheesy as it sounds). “You gotta put mayonnaise on both side of the bread that’s the trick!” he would tell me. I never really make sandwiches, just because its not really my thing, but I made this sandwich when I was home over spring break and it was literally the best thing I have ever put into my mouth. It was pretty simple too, mayo (on both sides), mustard, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, pickles, onion, cheddar cheese, steak on toasted sourdough bread. It was awesome. Be creative and try something that you normally leave for someone else because you think they are better at it, you never know, you might be great too! Here’s a pic from my blackberry
This past friday as my girls and I searched the city for a new bar/club to spend our night, my best friend cinthia remembered this bar called Double Dutch she went to freshman year in the Mission district. She said of what she remembered it was cool, played good music and had an eclectic group of people. So we gave it a chance.
When we arrived the place was packed, people were break dancing, turf dancing to old school rap, watching the action or just plain having a good time. We sat down in a booth that looked directly at the bar and people watched for a while before we got some drinks. As I looked around the small cozy chaotic place I was pleasantly surprised. I got up to join the commotion on the dance floor and had chance to notice the amount of character the place had. On one wall a framed picture of a New York tagger skateboarding through a construction site, on the wall behind me was a huge graffiti piece,
on the wall near the bar was a case filled with vintage SBs, and my personal favorite the wall behind the DJ was filled with old school boomboxes.
Most bars don’t go through the trouble of trying to create a atmosphere like Double Dutch, they figure a bar, some seats and alcohol is all you need. So if you like hip-hop, relatively cheap drinks, dancing and being surrounded by people who just want to have a good night, check out Double Dutch.
Today at 11:45 we were finally allowed to enter the ‘secret garden’ up on our very own Lone Mountain campus. The ‘secret garden’ is managed, maintained by a very kind man named Father Tom Lucas who let us listen to his very educational and insightful ramblings for over an hour. The garden has been flourishing for over 9 years and Tom has been putting the flesh on the bones for quite some time. He is a master gardener and very knowledgeable about his passion and hobby. He says that “running water is essential to a garden, it brings in different elements, birds, fish, raccoons, different plant life and even red-tailed hawks.” Their are 25 to 30 people living in the Jesuit community on Lone Mountain and garden is their secret sanctuary. People come to eat lunch on the patio, or dinner on a warm night, indulge in a cocktail before dinner, reflect and pray, read a book or just simply enjoy the scenery or incredible view.
Father Tom Lucas had a lot to say about the importance of gardens. He talked about their great significance not only for the community but especially for himself. He better understands life through the metaphors the garden provides, the idea of weeding, watering, pruning, planting, and enjoying as a reflection of reality and the human body and should. He says “a garden gives you room, thats why we have Golden Gate Park, it provides lungs for the city, for physical health and for mental health”.
The “secret garden’ for most students might just be a forbidden place on campus, but to the Jesuit community and especially Tom Lucas it is a artistic project, a temperal artform, and most importantly a metaphor for life.
The pictures of the garden will be shown in the next post!
I found this book called San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park by Christopher Polluck, it looks pretty interesting and its dedicated to exploring every inch of our beautiful park so check it out!
The Conservatory of Flowers was erected in 1879 by a man named James Lick. It was opened to the public that year and was shut down and re-opened two times after due to fires and windstorms. But many people such as Charles Croker who donated the funds to restore the conservatory in 1883, and Hillary Clinton who helped start a $25 million restoration campaign in 1999, helped keep the treasure known as the Conservatory of Flowers up and running.
The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is a wonderful place not only to relax with family and friends but also to become educated about the various plants within the conservatory. In the Conservatory there are aquatic, lowland, potted, highland plants. People are readily available to answer every question and help further explore curiosity.
There are also special exhibits that make the Conservatory a particularly unique place. In May of 2005, Ted the Titan, a corpse flower, attracted more than 16,000 visitors while it was in bloom. This year there is a exhibit called the Butterfly Zone. The exhibit features 25 different species of butterflies that are free-flying. This allows you to see them drinking nectar and getting covered in pollen. As you enter into the world of the butterfly you get a first hand account of plant pollination. These creatures play a critical role in plant pollination and the general life cycle of plants. As you walk through the exhibit, you can actually see the butterflies taste the nectar with their feet. Being so close to the butterflies allows you to truly appreciate their delicate wings and exotic colors.
(these pictures were taken from the Conservatory of Flowers website, they are amazing so check them out.)
My experience in the Conservatory of Flowers was probably like many others experience. Peaceful, educational, gorgeous, entertaining and just plain amazing. I wanted to talk to the director of the Butterfly Exhibit to ask him/her questions about it. I wanted to know about how the butterflies are transported, who funds the exhibit, how it is maintained, who is responsible, what goes into a project as big as the exhibit and much more. Unfortunately I was unable to talk to the director because the exhibit was extremely packed seeing as it opened just 2 weeks ago. I was able to speak to a worker that was gardening at the time instead but there was a a definite language barrier. Next time I explore the conservatory I would like a personal experience so I was thinking that I would talk to a volunteer who simply enjoys the conservatory and wants to be apart of it just like I do.
To see historical and current photos of the Conservatory of Flower check out my Flickr sets!