Changing San Francisco, CA

I can be annoying to travel with.  I’m usually the first to shower and get dressed because I’m itching to go, walk, and explore.

But, when something slows me down, I’m probably also reaching for the camera.

This happened on a recent October morning in San Francisco, when the view from the hotel room pulled me away from the door. See the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and Alcatraz? Now, imagine watching them rouse as the light changes from grey to pink to white.

Seeing San Francisco from this point of view gave me a whole new appreciation for the city. It also reminded me to stay in the moment.

6AM, from the window of Loews Regency, 40 floors up

6AM, from the window of Loews Regency, 43 floors up

7AM, pink and blue hues paint the sky

7AM, pink and blue hues paint the sky

8AM, bright lights means time for work.

8AM, bright lights means time for work.

Chinatown, San Francisco, and Happy 2015!

On our way back home from Napa and Sonoma, we detoured through San Francisco’s Chinatown, which meant we had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day — any nips from the chill were zapped away by the sun — and gazing over the swath of San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean felt freeing.

Because it was Christmas Day, Chinatown was alive. Bakeries drew crowds hungry for moon cakes; the alleyways bustled with tourists; and storefronts displayed a motley of knick-knacks: good luck cats, New Year cards, jade bracelets, hologram 2015 calendars. The air resonated with traditional Chinese string music from the strumming busker.

This unplanned side trip turned out to be a happy one. On that note, I wish you all a prosperous and healthful 2015. May it be full of surprise, unexpected detours, and happy outcomes. XO

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

chinatown2SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCchinatown1chinatown3

Intermission III: An Oscar-Worthy Trip to LaLaLand

The last week of a great trip is always tough. Each day seems to pass quicker than the one before, and the list of things to see and do grows longer as one becomes better acquainted with their surroundings, having immersed themselves deeper into the fabric of a place.

This is how it went for my sister, Katya, and me in the last few days prior to her trip back home to Sydney. We packed it all in: Universal Studios, LA downtown (we needed to drive by the Cecil Hotel, currently making crime story worthy news), Malibu, a side trip to San Francisco, all of Urth Caffe’s locations. We happened to catch some spectacular sunsets as well.

The trip may have started with tourist sights high on the to-do list, but it finished with talk of a possible UCLA transfer. I couldn’t be prouder – my sister had transitioned from wide-eyed tourist to enthusiastic traveler. Here are some highlights my sister’s trip to Los Angeles.

At The Getty Villa, Malibu

At The Getty Villa, Malibu

Seated Hermes, Greek God of travel and commerce

Seated Hermes, Greek God of travel and commerce

Malibu Pier

Malibu Pier

City lights from the Griffith Observatory

City lights from the Griffith Observatory

Sunset from the Griffith Observatory

Sunset from the Griffith Observatory

Lombard St, San Francisco - the world's windiest street

Lombard St, San Francisco – the world’s windiest street

Painted Ladies houses line Alamo Square, San Francisco

Painted Ladies houses line Alamo Square, San Francisco

My sis and I making heart shadows

Me and my sis making heart shadows

Sea Lions at Pier 39, San Francisco Wharf

Sea Lions at Pier 39, San Francisco Wharf

 

Views from Sausalito -  joined to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge

Views from Sausalito – joined to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge

Me and my sis - meeting of the minds as we look over the view from Sausalito

Me and my sis – meeting of the minds as we look over the view from Sausalito

Golden Gate Bridge via iphone

Golden Gate Bridge via iphone

Sis taking pics

Sis taking pics

Panorama via iphone

Panorama via iphone

San Fran's Filbert Street at night

San Fran’s Filbert Street at night

Francis Ford Coppola's, Cafe Zeotrope

Francis Ford Coppola’s, Cafe Zeotrope – in San Fran

DSC_1975PS

My sis with The Simpsons, at Universal Studios

My sis with The Simpsons, at Universal Studios

Sunset views of LA's downtown

Sunset views of LA’s downtown

Tree line from Elysian Park, near Echo Park, LA

Tree line from Elysian Park, near Echo Park, LA

Farewell cake made by my husband for my sis - Raspberry baked cheesecake accompanies by prosecco topped with those red berries

A farewell cake made by my husband for my sis. It’s a raspberry baked cheesecake served with glasses of prosecco

A Crafty Weekend ~ Brooklyn, NYC

In Brooklyn for the 8th year, Renegade Craft Fair (RCF) set up tent by the foodie stalls of Smorgasburg and the trash ‘n treasure finds of Brooklyn Flea this weekend.

Instead of scrolling through beautiful artisan wares on one of my forever favourite websites, etsy.com, I strolled by dozens of stallfronts selling innovative handmade products… live.

Usually held at McCarren Park, this was the first time the RCF was held by the East River. With a front row water facing view of the Manhattan skyline, this *new* location is genius. Over both sun drenched days, the event attracted many summer lovin’ DIY inspired New Yorkers. Such is the appeal of Williamsburg; a dose of collaborative craftiness injects the ‘hood with excellent added-value.

An event I highly recommend, even if it’s simply for inspiration and ‘stallfront shopping,’ RCF weaves its way around the US and UK throughout the summer, and into fall.

The Renegade Craft Fair differs from traditional arts and craft fairs by focusing on DIY and indie-craft culture. Each individual fair is juried by our Chicago-based staff from hundreds of applications to purposefully feature a curated, eclectic array of young and emergent designers producing original and handmade goods in a wide variety of media.

 We feature artists creating innovative work using traditional craft methods, but not based on preexisting patterns or products.*

Take note: At the end of this post are some dates for residents, or for fortunate travel hoppers, of LAX, SFO, ORD, and LON – the fair is coming to a location near you.

Until then, enjoy these images in, and around, the fair.

Across at Smorgasburg ~ ice shaving at People’s Pops. Handmade equals hard work.

Meanwhile, along the East River waterfront…

Los Angeles and San Francisco, US

LA’s 4th Annual event will take place Saturday + Sunday, July 28 + 29 at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

SF’s 5th Annual event will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 21 + 22 at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, from where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Chicago, US

Chicago’s 10th Annual RCF will take place Saturday + Sunday, September 8+9, 2012. Vendors will stretch down Division St. between Damen + Paulina, in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

London, UK

The 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair London will be held Saturday + Sunday, September 15 + 16 at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London’s East End.

For more info, see their site: renegadecraft.com*

Happy New Year Wishes ~ An Autobiographical Post

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I find that a good quote sgive me the perspective that I need.

Closer towards the end of this year, I started this blog so that I could share stories about what I love to do most: travel. Along the way, my husband bought me a camera. And with that, another passion was born. The gift is as much about learning a new art as it is about cultivating patience.

Capturing everyday moments in NY is so much fun. Near Radio City Music Hall

Writing and photography have brought me a lot of joy over the past couple of months — I didn’t realise how much until I started compiling photo-essays and sharing them with others. In turn, I am so grateful to the supportive blogosphere and the talented authors and photographers of inspiring posts.

Whether armed with a list of resolutions or not, I hope the following quotes will inspire you for the New Year. All photographs, except those credited to Antony Schuster, are my own.

Wishing you all a very safe, healthy, and wonderful 2012!

Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it.” ~ David Guy Powers

Ground Zero

“A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day.” ~ Proverb

Golden Gate Bridge , San Francisco

“For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

Mount Rushmore in Pennington County, South Dakota

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~Andy Warhol

Warhol monument in Union Square, NY

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide

Sydney, Australia

“The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” ~ Ivy Baker

San Clemente beach, Orange County, CA

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” ~ Plato

New York Public Library, NY

“From small beginnings come great things.” ~ Proverb

St Louis Gateway Arch, Missouri

“The journey not the arrival matters.” ~ T. S. Eliot

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” ~John Lennon

At The Guggenheim Museum, NY

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which those who dream only by night may miss.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

At the Monaco Montecarlo Railway Station, Principality of Monaco

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country.” ~ Anais Nin

Our May wedding day in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.” ~ Pablo Neruda

Family Love in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” ~ Alan Cohen

One of my first outings with the Nikon in Park Slope, Brooklyn

“I took some time out for life.” ~ James L. Brooks

Near Radio City Music Hall at Xmas, NY

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

“Gran Elefandret” by Miquel Barcelo in Union Square, NY

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” ~ Goethe

Grand Canyon, Arizona

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Brian Littrell

“Holiday Under the Stars” at Time Warner Centre, Columbus Circle, NY

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ~T.S. Eliot

The New York Public Library

“Drink and be thankful to the host! What seems insignificant when you have it, is important when you need it.” ~ Franz Grillparzer

Drinks with family and friends in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster