Small willow grove

Sausalito, CA (February 2012)

sauzalito (Spanish) – meaning: small willow grove

One of my favorite photo sets was taken during my trip to Sausalito, California. Sausalito is a small town off the San Francisco Bay in Marin County which overlooks the city. It’s an 8-mile bike ride from Fisherman’s Wharf and we had to cross the Golden Gate to get there. This trip has been one of the most adventurous I’ve taken since I braved getting on a bicycle after almost four years of not being on one. It took a lot of courage (and convincing from Gracie: “It’s a reflex, Kara. You’ll never lose it.”) but I’m glad I came through because the experience was well worth the trouble.

I hope I’m able to come back to Sausalito in the near future. Though until that time comes, here are some of my favorite shots from that memorable Saturday. Enjoy!

Lavender fields are abundant in Golden Gate Park.
A spectacular view of the city before crossing the bridge.
Bucketlist: to cross the Golden Gate either by bike / by foot — Check!

Continue reading “Small willow grove”

Pier Market

I’ve been looking through my JTA photos and I realized that I haven’t posted my Pier Market set. It’s one of the best lunches I’ve had in the Bay Area and I can’t wait ’til I get back again. I dined with my brother, Franco and my dad’s best friend, Tito Bernard. I wasn’t able to take note of everything we ate, but that Seafood Jambalaya was probably the best I’ve had!

Continue reading “Pier Market”

Sushi Zen

Now tell me, who doesn’t love sushi?

Last week during Labor Day, Franco treated me to a special Japanese dinner before he left for Manila. By now, it’s quite obvious that my brother’s favorite cuisine is Japanese, so expect a lot of posts like these when I go out with my brother. This date was a spontaneous answer to our sudden craving for Asian food, sushi, and of course, all things RICE!

I promised myself 6 months ago, that before I left San Francisco, I would go down 19th Avenue and explore the Sunset district. I’m glad to have that item off my bucket list thanks to Franco. Along Taraval and 19th, there’s this hole in the wall Japanese restaurant called Sushi Zen which is famous for their signature rolls.

You would have to get through that tiny white door which could be tricky to open, but don’t be fooled by the size of it because it was quite spacious inside. It actually reminded me of the restaurants along Maginhawa, where the looks of the exteriors can get really deceiving.

We decided to get three plates of sushi for ourselves and Franco had a helping of miso soup on the side. I was quite disappointed that we had to buy the miso separately. Other Japanese restaurants would normally serve this while you were waiting for your meal. However, the service did not disappoint and so did the food. Our orders came right on time and our server paid extra attention to our needs.

When our food came, we were in heaven. See for yourself:  Continue reading “Sushi Zen”

Lessons from a $2 ride

Everyday, the MUNI serves as my own little place of reflection. Cliche as this may sound, I have also found myself here. Today, I tried my best to capture the emotions that come alive when I step inside the 5, 28, 38, 31, 14L, 22, 43, or F–and hopefully immortalize the familiar feeling of hope that it never fails to give me once I step off.

There will be moments when you're left alone--and that's okay. We all need our space anyway.
You meet different people who are, just like yourself, fighting their own battles.
At times you may think you're helpless, but others need your strength.
Complicated stops are things you will encounter and overcome.
And in these stops, you will learn when to put your foot down and say "This is enough."
Other people will have finished the journey you are yet to take and you must use this as your source of hope.
Some doors close--
--while some are left wide open.
A lot of things won't make sense, but there will always be light if you just lift your head high.
You will find inspiration in the most unexpected things-- San Francisco's streets speak of a kind of life you never knew existed.
Finding your way won't be easy, but you'll get by. (You may feel the need to call for your mother at times, but this time--you're alone.)
People are carrying their burdens from Point A to Point B and suddenly your problems seem insignificant next to theirs.
But whatever happens, happens. You just gotta hold on tight.

Why don’t I own a tablet?

Answer: books

I figured that if I had an iPad or a Kindle, the environmentalist in me would promise never to buy anything that consumes paper ever again. That, of course, includes books. And while being recently dubbed ‘Amazon-literate’ has helped me add books to my collection, owning a tablet would just make me resort to hoarding e-books I probably won’t even read. Either way, I believe it helps me to a) control my lust for an iPad and b) save money because now I have a legitimate reason not to get one.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw an advertisement for the SF Public Library’s Annual Book Sale in Fort Mason. I wanted to go so bad that not knowing where the place was and having class later that day didn’t stop me from getting there. Over an hour’s bus away from home, getting lost, and having a vicinity official escort me to the place, I finally found Fort Mason– or should I say, heaven by the bay.

As you can see, it was in the middle of nowhere: (I was also freezing to death, by the way.)

But once I stepped inside, it was love at first sight.  Continue reading “Why don’t I own a tablet?”