have a magical weekend!

This is a photo that I grabbed from my best friends' FB page --- they went on a hot air balloon ride last weekend and tagged me in the picture so I'm sharing it here. Also because I miss them and if I wasn't so broke right now I'd hop on a plane to NYC in a heartbeat.

Wishing you a sunny weekend my friends.

the day i bought a poem

While my friend Holly bought some lavender and carried them with her everywhere, spreading lavender scents as we wandered around and took countless pictures of cookies and tea, and everything else along the way. (In other words, this is what happens when two SF bloggers are let loose on a sunny Saturday morning.)

Here's Holly and her beautiful hair, taking pictures of crabs while I took photos of retro-inspired grocery bags and dreamed of the day when I'll have a DSLR so I can take more photos of pretty little things I see.

This is the part when a cute, dreadlocked hippie boy gave us free samples of delicious nectarines and I was too shy to take a picture of him so I took one of the produce instead. And oh, did I mention that hippie boy had the sweetest blue eyes?

Here's the Ferry Building and all its goodness. And the part where we met a new friend and his little poem store. He said that he comes here on most Saturdays. (Remember how I first wrote about him here?)

This is the poem that he wrote for us. I don't even know how we ended up talking about Converse (the unofficial counter-culture shoes) and how Nike bought it back in 2003, but Holly and I both knew that we wanted him to write a poem about it. And he did. I have such a hard time writing poetry on the spot, so hats off to him. And don't you just love a poem 'written' by an old typewriter?

P.S. You can read Holly's take on our Saturday wanderings here.

this made me smile

I love watching shy, dorky characters fall in love. And the warning sign posted at 2:04 -- priceless!

Courtesy of Academy Films via tiny abstraction

you and me and this island of hope

Its 9:45 and drizzly, I'm bunched in a winter jacket, hands in pockets, not even thinking about the irony of shivering cold in the middle of summer as I walk to my neighborhood bookshop. One of the many things I love about where I live is how I can still go to a bookstore late at night. It's comforting to know that whenever I feel the need to be surrounded by books outside of my own, I can just walk a couple of blocks and there I'll be, browsing through the poetry section, stealing words from Rilke, Lorca, Haas, Plath, Neruda.

Tonight I saw a homeless man smile at his reflection on a window of a Japanese restaurant. He turned around when he saw me and said have a nice day. I was too caught up in taking mental notes of the moment that I forgot to say anything back. Only when I was already a couple of steps away from him did I realize it and by then, he was already walking towards the opposite direction.

Further up another homeless man was talking to himself while pushing his shopping cart. I don't know why every time I see a homeless person I keep wondering about their families. They could be a son, a brother, a father, a husband, an uncle, a grandfather, a friend, and my heart aches just so, but I still walk away.

At the bookshop, I grabbed the first book that I laid my eyes on: Essential Keats. Just reading the title brings me joy. I haven't been writing or reading poetry lately and I feel like an errant lover, lost in my days filled with summer festivals, concerts, road trips, family gatherings, longing for a time when I will finally sit down and write. It's always a tricky balancing act, the need to experience everything and the need to step back and write about it.

Last Friday night at the poetry festival, someone was reading her poems in Chinese and I started tearing up. I didn't understand a word that she said and I struggled with reading the English translations through my tears, but the way she read it struck a chord deep inside. Wanting to hold hands with you, wanting to be the shield you can't avoid. These words sounded so much more beautiful in another language.

(Photo from ffffound via the rockstar diaries)

hello from LAlaland

Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend. I'm in SoCal right now, its hotter than hot, the freeways are still congested and you sit in traffic for hours and hours, L.A. is still smoggy as ever -- but I'm having a grand ol' time. It's good to back in my old stomping grounds. More pictures and stories to follow since I don't have internet access at my aunt's house.

(Photo taken somewhere at the Central Coast, on our drive down)

my summer has officially begun

Yes, yes, yes. My aunt and I are driving down to Southern California today for a family get-together. I am so excited! I'm bringing my laptop so hopefully I will be able to blog from there. Or at least share some photos. And oh, don't you just love this tote? I saw it via A Cup of Jo and it was love at first sight! I might just break my self-imposed shopping hiatus for this one, what do you think? (You can buy it here).

bastille day

Yesterday was Bastille Day and there were small celebrations all over the city. I didn't know about it until my friend greeted us a bon 14 Juillet. I have visitors from out of town and we spent the afternoon walking everywhere. We walked up the Filbert Steps to Coit Tower and saw this dog. I was cracking up when my friend Anne said, Oh, he must be French, he's wearing a striped shirt.

Come to think of it, I was also wearing a striped shirt, skinny jeans, ballet flats and a light scarf --- unconsciously dressing like a French girl, perhaps? The best part was walking by a Bastille Day party on our way back to their hotel. They were serving crepes and cupcakes and playing Edith Piaf songs in the background. Further down, there was a gorgeous couple kissing passionately in the middle of the sidewalk and we all smiled when we heard someone said, "wow, that's just like a movie." The scene reminded me of this famous photo by Robert Doisneau, it was oh-so-romantic and so French.

keats and a field of flowers

I just learned about the movie Bright Star (via lumiere) and oh my, the film stills look absolutely stunning. I know very little about Keats and I must admit that I tend to avoid reading 18th century romantic poetry, but I do remember really loving Ode to a Nightingale when I was still in high school. The movie is based on the love affair between Keats and Fanny Brawne and received great reviews at the Cannes Film Festival.

P.S. Here's a short clip from the film. Can you imagine reading Keats' letter in a field of flowers? Ah, I think my knees would buckle too.

happy 4th of july!

Wishing you a bright and colorful weekend!
{oh how i LOVE the patterns of these origami papers}

my summer reading list

"...if you want to get high, don't drink whiskey; read Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats, Neruda, Millay, Whitman, aloud and let your body sing."--Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

I'm re-reading some of my favorites. Thank you, SF Public Library.

the poem store

I was tired and hot and about to tear my hair out during last Sunday's Pride Parade when I saw this man and his little poem store. Watching him type away a poem on his old beat-up typewriter amidst all the chaos that was going on around him was like a breath of fresh air.

Just to give you an idea of how thick the crowd was, here is a shot of one stage (and there were many stages) at the Civic Center where the parade ended. Finding this lone poet in the crowd was such a wonderful surprise. I wondered how much he charged for each poem or if he was giving them away for free.