On our first night in San Francisco, it was a classic November evening with driving rains. Flights were delayed and by the time we got to our friend's condo in Pacific Heights - it was 11:00 our time and we were starving and exhausted. Because of the weather, we just ventured two blocks down the street to Florio, an absolute gem of a bistro. It reminded me a little of 'b' here in Bolton Hill, in that, on a Saturday night in that weather, it was packed with people from the neighborhood. This isn't a destination restaurant, simply a wonderful, local bistro serving marvelous food.
Despite the fact that our friend was chummy with the owner and waitstaff - so was everyone else, and without a reservation at prime time, we happily sat at the bar to have dinner. My friends both had one of Florio's signature dishes - a hanger steak with fries, and I tried their special - a braised shoulder of pork with leeks and carrots in farro - it was out of this world. I took some notes on the dish, and assuming I can find farro (an Italian grain, like small barley) at Whole Foods, I'm going to try and make it tomorrow. Either that, or I'll have to write in to Bon Appetit and ask them to get the recipe for me. It was the perfect comfort food on a cold, rainy night when you just want to relax with friends over a good glass of wine...
Mukasey was giving a spirited defense of the Bush administration's legal policies when his speech began to slur and he lost track of his thoughts about 30 minutes into his talk. Seconds later, he became rigid and then began to slump.
If I was asked to give a spirited defense of the Bush Administration's Legal Policies, I would have gone rigid and fainted too, but probably not before I threw up.
Mercedes, the German carmaker and a unit of Daimler A.G., said on Monday that it would spend $220 million to build a new flagship sales and service center under a luxury apartment complex planned on the West Side of Manhattan.
So while US carmakers are pleading their case to Congress for a $25 billion bailout (which, BTW is on TOP of another $25 billion they got last year to incentivize them to create cars that reduce reliance on gas that people would actually BUY), their competitors are trotting out more fancy showrooms and hoping things turn around by 2011.
WTF GM?? Building gas guzzling SUVs for the last decade when everyone knew this was coming.
I know we had to bail out Wall Street. I know we have to give homeowners a break on their mortgages to avoid foreclosure, and I know we have to bail out the US automotive industry for the good of the country whether I like it or not - and I don't. Not one little bit. But damn it - when this is over, I want a break on MY taxes, an economic stimulus check (that I never got), and some kind of recognition or profit from the fact that I pay my bills on time, have no credit card debt, and didn't buy a house I couldn't afford in the first place.
I am not gay, I am not married, I have never been married and at this time in my life, I do not intend to get married. But I wish that for others. I wish it for everyone who wants it.
If you are against gay marriage? Fine - don't have one. I didn't. I won't. I could care less. But I do care about people being happy and people having the same rights as others. Especially when it does no harm to anyone else.
I woke up last Wednesday morning in a country that had elected its first African American President. Something many people thought might never happen. I am full of hope for this country for the first time since I have been eligible to vote.
And yet I also woke up to that reality in California, one of the most progressive states in the country, which, due to a vote carried largely by African American and Latino voters - the very constituents who elected that black President for the first time in American History - Gays and Lesbians cannot legally marry.
That made me immeasurably sad. Keith Olberman said it best...
If someone ever asks me to describe the perfect day, I would have to say that last Tuesday came pretty damn close. At least as close as a day back in February that I went snorkeling off the coast of Aruba with my friends followed by a wonderful sunset dinner at a great restaurant.
Fast forward to November: Same friends, only this time we are in Napa Valley on a gorgeous, crisp, clear, fall day, when the sunshine is intense and yet the light is soft. We spent the day visiting beautiful vineyards, tasting extraordinary wines in some incredibly lush locations. Along the way, we stopped at Dean and Deluca's in Napa for provisions of gourmet cheeses, charcuterie, fresh vegetables, pate, crackers, and other tapas nibbles, and we also stopped at Domaine Carneros for sparking wines.
We headed back to the resort at 4:00 PM and went straight to the spa (which is every bit as luxe as the website describes) for our "Friends Forever" service, a total chick indulgence, which included a massage, body scrub and facial for all of us, followed by a private wine and cheese service in the Wine Cave next to the spa.
And as if that day weren't perfect enough, we returned to the gourmet kitchen in our condo, lit a fire in the fireplace, set out the spread of wine and food we had purchased, and settled in to watch the election returns on the flat screen plasma TV and celebrated the fact that there is now a President elect who is eloquent and can speak in complete sentences without embarrassing himself or our country.
Napa, friends, wine, spa, food and celebration.
Yep - that goes down in my book as one of the most perfect days EVER.
With relatively new, very expensive, energy efficient windows and a brand new roof, I have been reluctant to turn the furnace on until after Thanksgiving.
So far, it's been a balmy 65-70 degrees in the house, but with the cold weather last night and tonight, it's beginning to slip a bit. The house is quite comfortable with a sweater in the house and a down comforter on the bed as low as 60 degrees. Below that and I may have to give in.
I also have a fireplace that can add anywhere from 3 - 10 degrees to the living room depending on the ambient temperature.
It's 64 degrees currently - so far, so good, and Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away....
I got home from CA around midnight last night and ditched my bags in the front hallway.
Then I went straight to bed.
The alarm went off at 6:00 AM as usual, and I reluctantly got up and got ready for work. It seemed strange that there was very little traffic on the way to work, and even more strange that there were no cars in the parking lot when I got there.
Not suprisingly, no one was in the office at that hour since it was only 6:30 AM.
My alarm clock and the clock in the car were wrong, and with the time change happening more than a week ago - I totally forgot.
WOW - I ate some exquisite food and drank/ bought some even more amazing wines.
1. "Friends Forever" spa treatment in a wine cave (yes - wine cave - carved in to the hillside) at our resort: Massage, body scrub, and cheese and fruit tray with wine for four friends, followed by a soak in the hot spring and sparkling wine.