Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Pride Celebrations

After Saturday morning's hot 12-mile training walk, Dick and I managed to muster up enough energy to head down to the Castro for more Pride Celebrations. We hooked up with Pete, Richard and Blane at Toad Hall. We met around 3:30, so it was busy, but not yet crazy. :)

Dick, Richard and Blane at Toad Hall

After a couple of drinks at Toad Hall, they started clearing out the tables and stools, preparing for a larger crowd. We decided to take our party over to Twin Peak Tavern at the heart of Castro and Market. We figured it would be crazy-busy, and that it would be unlikely to find a table for 5 of. Amazingly, we found a table on the balcony, overlooking the crowd. It was a little hotter up there, but away from the crowd - but great people watching!

our view at Twin Peaks

We left around 6:15, as things were really getting crowded, and decided to have everyone over for pizza and Star Wars!
I mean, that's how everyone celebrates Pride on Saturday night, right?

Star Wars!

Saturday's 12+ mile training walk

Saturday's Route

It was another beautiful day for a training walk! Saturday morning was clear but hot, by San Francisco's standards. We managed to stay in the shade most of the time, and often had a nice breeze. It wasn't nearly as hot of a walk as I thought it might be - feeling lucky!!

We did a 12-mile walk, which started at the Warming Hut.

Beautiful, clear morning!

Wa walked through the Presidio to Mountain Lake Park. This was our first break. Unfortunately, the bathrooms are currently closed for renovations. They had 3 porta-pottys, which all-things-considered, were pretty good!

We went onto Lake Street, onto 8th, and into Golden Gate Park. We walked by the CA Academy of Sciences, and across from the De Young Museum.

CA Academy of Sciences

The De Young Museum

We had our lunch break at Andronico's on Funston & Irving, then made our way into the Sunset for the Triple Stair Threat!

The first set of stairs, which was new to us, was on 15th. They were deceivingly long - just when you thought you were at the top, there were more!

15th Street Stairs

View from the top of the 15th Street Stairs

We continued on another block or so to the Mosaic Stairs on Moraga & 16th.
Hands down, these are still the prettiest stairs in San Francisco!

The Mosaic Stairs!

View from the top of the Mosaic Stairs

Once at the top of the Mosaic Stairs, there are still (plenty) more! We turned right on Noriega, and climbed the short staircase along the wall...

more stairs, leading to...

... leading to the HUGE flight of stairs going up to Grand View Park!!

stairs leading up to Grand View Park!

It was an unusually clear day at the top of Grand View Park! Dick, who was walking with us (Yay, Dick!) took this photo of the group.

group shot, minus, Dick the Photographer

Here's Dick!

Having finished with Stair-a-palloza, we walked back down the hill onto Morago,onto Funston, which became Judah, which became Parnassus. We had a quick water/bathroom break at UCSF, then went to Stanyan, which became Jordan, which became Cherry, onto Jackson. We continued onto Arguello, and back into the Presidio.

I took this neat, futuristic/Jules-Verne looking photo of Alcatraz with a blimp flying by, near the Palace of Fine Arts

We made it back to the Warming Hut around 12:30. Bravo to all who survived the heat and the stairs!

Linda and Sandy finishing their walk for the day

My phone's weather app showing the current temperature when we finished our walk. It's HOT!

Saturday's stats

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Celebratory Night in the Castro

It was an amazing night in the Castro! So much energy, so much happiness, and so much love!

I walked down around 6:00 to meet up with David and Miguel and Pete & Richard. I got there a little early, and enjoyed strolling down the street, taking in the moment. Everyone was smiling. People were holding up flags and signs for equality. Gay people, straight people, families with children. We were all there together to celebrate this historic day.

Here are a few photos that I took along the street. (Castro Street was closed off from Market through 18th)

I eventually hooked up with David & Miguel. We asked a nice police officer to take our photo. I'm not sure how it is that I'm standing in complete shade, while David and Miguel are in the sun.

Miguel, Trina & David

David and Miguel looking stud-ly in front of Harvey's

We had some great people watching while we waited for our table.

Some Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence walking by. "Hi, Sisters!"

Pete and Richard made their way down, and we were able to score a table at Harvey's right next to the window! It was the perfect spot to watch the developments of the street, all from the comfort of our table, with drinks in hand.

Pete, Trina, David, Photobombing Girl, Miguel & Richard

Andrew and Barry posted a photo that they had taken on Castro Street. I told them I was there, looking for them and never found them. They managed to find me after I posted a photo of our group at Harvey's!

Andy and Barry! Happy Anniversary (tomorrow)!!! What a celebration it will be!!

Blane and Christopher both made their way over after work. Our party size expanded!

Pete, Blane, Trina, David, Photobombing Girl, Spencer, Miguel & Richard!

We had the perfect table at the window to watch the crowds go by.


We started heading home around 8:30. The party was still going strong, and the sun was just starting to set.

The party just keeps on going!

I came home and took a photo of the City from our deck. It was a perfect and gorgeous night. Warm, clear, happy.

the end to a joyous day

Love and Equality for ALL

This morning, I woke up to the sound of helicopters flying over my neighborhood, and for once I know it's for a GREAT reason!!! Wonderful, amazing day for equality and justice for ALL!!!

headline news online

Today, I reminded of an afternoon in February, 2004 when Dick and I were asked to be witnesses of the marriage of our friends, Pete & Richard. I was already blogging way back then. Here's the post.

My thoughts that I wrote on my Facebook wall today:

Friday, February 13, 2004: Dick and I had the honor of witnessing the marriage of our dear friends, Pete & Richard, at San Francisco's City Hall. We waited in line for over four hours with hundreds of gay and lesbian couples waiting for their turn for equality. It was an amazing, joyous day, and an important day in history. It's been a long and bumpy nine years since that day, but TODAY we made tremendous strides. Welcome to the beginning of a future of equality and justice for ALL!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Grandma Chow's Angel Food Cake Recipe

I spent the full day on Tuesday visiting my Grandma Chow in Stockton. I asked her beforehand if she would teach me how to make the Angel Food Cake that she's made for our family gatherings for years and years. (It was a favorite of all of children while they were growing up, and remains a favorite of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, too!) I've been trying to learn recipes from her whenever I go visit, if she has the time and energy.

Luckily, it was the coolest day of the week. It rained the day before, and that morning, and temps were only expected to be in the mid to high 70s. It would be much hotter the remainder of the week.

We went out to lunch, I ran some errands for the both of us, then we baked a cake in the afternoon!

Here is Grandma Chow's Angel Food Cake recipe!

Grandma Chow's Angel Food Cake

9 eggs (large and white) -take out of fridge 2 hours before using
1 cup cake flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup water


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Sift flour
Remeasure to 1 cup
Measure 1 cup of sugar (less sugar for less sweet cake)
Add to bowl with flour
Add 1 teaspoon baking powder

In a separate mixing bowl
Separate 9 Egg yolks
Add water while beating (1/2 cup)
3 minutes

Add flour with sugar and baking powder mixture

Beat 5 min

Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Beat one min

Use large mixing bowl
Mix Egg whites and cream of tartar
Beat until stiff peaks
(about 10 min)

Fold into creamed mixture

Pour into Angel Food Cake Pan (rinse with water)

Bake for 1 hour:
300 for first 45 min
325 for last 15 min

Flip upside down immediately on a glass soda bottle

Cool for 1 hour, 20 min

Use a butter knife to loosen cake from sides of pan.

Here are several photos I took while we were making the cake. My Grandma has used the same mixer (a Sunbeam) for the last 40 years! It is only the second mixer she has ever had!

creamed egg yolks and water, mixed with flour, sugar and baking powder in the background, egg whites and cream of tartar beating in the front

my adorable Grandma!

watching the egg whites beat

stiff-peaked egg whites

testing the stiffened egg-whites

the two bowls of mixed ingredients ready to be combined

carefully folding the creamed mixture into the beaten egg whites

pouring the batter into the cake pan

final mixture in the cake pan

1 hour later...

taking the hot pan out, and putting it onto the glass soda bottle

cooling the cake upside-down

loosening the cake from the pan!

Monday, June 24, 2013

"To see a world you otherwise could not see" Part 2

Almost two years ago, I walked past an empty lot in the Civic Center area on my way to jury duty. I wrote a blog post about it here. At the time, I assumed it was a construction site, and that a building would be going into the empty lot soon.

I walked by it again today for the first time since 2011. Turns out, the empty lot is being used for a community garden! What a beautiful way to utilize the space. It's such a visual treat to see in the middle of the urban city.

Funny, I had just used the photo that I took of the lot two years ago as the cover photo for my Facebook page. I love the words that are written in wooden letters across the ledge. So beautiful and artistic. It seemed so out of context while the lot was in construction a couple of years back, which was part of the reason why I was drawn to it. It makes a lot more sense seeing it now in it's current state.

Here's what the urban community garden looks like now:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer in San Francisco

Yep, it's the third day of Summer! Looks about right. ;)