I submitted a few photos to JPG, your votes would be very much appreciated.
This photo came from a recent trip to Redwood.
And I shot this when we were in New York.
This is one of the more bizzare episodes I've watched/read about in some time. A Houston Police Department cop apparently responded to a noise complaint by going onstage at a club called Walter's in Houston and tackling the guitar player...
I can't describe how sad this makes me:Robert 'Bobby' Cook -- owner of S.F. tavern that was full of owls
Robert "Bobby" Cook was a man who liked owls.The Owl Tree Was a class act. One of my favorite bars in San Francisco. Ice in the urinals. Strong drinks. And, of course, owls. Owls everywhere.
He collected owl paintings, owl sculptures, owl knickknacks, owl stained-glass light fixtures and stuffed owls. He displayed them all inside C. Bobby's Owl Tree, a downtown San Francisco tavern that he owned for 30 years.
"He just enjoyed owls,'' said his son Michael Gardner. "Something about owls stuck in his mind.''
Mr. Cook, 75, died Sept. 14 of cancer in a San Francisco hospital, a few hours after mixing martinis for his regular customers and shutting down his bar for the night.
Bobby poured a hell of a cocktail and ran one of the best bars in the city. His dog was frequently in the bar with him. And he was pure class. A dying breed of bartender who dressed well, spoke well, and exuded elegance. Along with the 7-11 Club, The Owl Tree was one of my favorite places in San Francisco to get a drink.
I loved it. And I always admired the man who ran it.
A funeral will be held today at 7:30 p.m. at Halsted N. Gray-Carew and English mortuary, 1123 Sutter St., San Francisco. Tip your glass to C. Bobby this evening.
I'm sorry, did you say "bear farms"? As in, farms where instead of corn or cows, they grow bears?
State wildlife officers arrested four Chinatown merchants Wednesday on suspicion of selling vials of bear bile for medicinal uses.
Fish and Game officials believe the fluid may have been imported from China, where bears are raised on farms to make bile for traditional Chinese medicine.
Animal rights activists have called on China to phase out bear farms....
I really want to go to China.
I (usually) love Magnolia, my neighborhood brewpub. The food is usually first rate--though it can certainly suffer at times, and i'm talking to you, poached eggs!--and the beer is always amazing.
I love having fresh, seasonal grog right up the street from me--though my liver may be less enthousastic.
So, I'm really psyched that The Alembic is finally opening. It's going to do for liquor what Magnolia does for beer. Phew! And just in time too, as my tolerance was making me pile on the pounds in order to get good and lubricated. The food looks to be just as good, if not better as what Magnolia has on offer, while the interior sounds really cool. In any case, here's the official announcement. See you there.
At long last, the big announcement we've been dying to tell you about for many a month now: Magnolia has a sibling! We are very pleased to announce the opening of the Alembic Bar, located at 1725 Haight Street between Cole and Shrader. What is it? Well, we hope it will be many things, and you will make it so. But we have lovingly assembled an library of small-batch, artisan distilled spirits, domestic and imported craft beers, premium sakes, and unique, limited production wines, creating a temple to the diverse and delicious world of alcohol.
As you might expect, Magnolia's own house ales play a key role in the draft beer selection, and we throw a little local love toward our fellow companions in the Bay Area beer world. We're excited to pick up where Magnolia leaves off, celebrating the way in which artisans near and far dedicate their lives to crafting magical elixirs and the freshest, best food.
Our bartenders are craftspeople in their own right, marrying the flavors of these wonderful spirits with juices squeezed fresh daily, soda from small bottles (no gun), premium (and in some cases housemade) bitters and other ingredients, and fresh garnishes. The renaissance that has cocktail culture picking up where it left of before Prohibition is firmly a part of the Alembic's mission.
Not to be outdone, Chef Eddie Blyden has pulled out all the stops for the Alembic's menu, with an eclectic array of small plates. Eddie's menu has regional American and global influences, all prepared with local products from folks we know, as much as possible. Chef Blyden has risen to the challenge of pairing food with the assertive flavors of our spirits list and his sourcing here at the Alembic is a continuation of his philosophy at Magnolia. Seasonal, local and sustainable remain the key elements of our vision at both places.
Building the Alembic was an extension of our sustainability philosophy, with the use of as many reclaimed building materials as possible. The wood that lines the walls was salvaged from a 150+ year old barn in Wisconsin while the floor was similarly saved from a 100 year old Pennsylvania barn. The ceiling is an historically reproduced tin pattern and the light fixtures over the bar are historical reproductions with 1890-style Edison bulbs. The highlight of the space, though, is the bar itself, lovingly crafted from the original bleacher seats from Kezar Stadium, built in 1922 from old-growth Douglas Fir. We've left the seat numbers intact for your amusement.
The name, since you may be wondering, comes from the 1200 year- old Persian word, al-ambiq, which was the name of the first distilling apparatus. It was adopted by the alchemists of the Middle Ages where it assumed an additional meaning of refinement and coaxing the purest essence from something rough and raw. Today, some distillers continue to work with so-called alembic stills and the word remains a metaphor for a place where refinement and magic intersect.
Together, Magnolia and the Alembic proudly carry on a tradition of nourishing the community, providing gathering spots for the neighborhood while turning folks on to some of the best and most interesting tastes of the local food and drink renaissance. As with Magnolia, we look forward to all of you adding your own energy to the Alembic.
The Alembic is just four blocks west of Magnolia next to the legendary Red Vic Movie Theater. Public parking is 4 blocks away at Stanyan and Beulah and the Alembic can be reached by Muni (the N-Judah stops 4 blocks away at Carl and Cole) and Bus #'s 7, 71, 33 and 43 stop within one block of our front door.
I had such a great time on our road trip. We hit the Trinity Alps, Crater Lake, the Rogue River, and Redwood National Park.
I especially loved Redwood. Big trees do for me what big mountains do for a lot of others. I'm mesmerized by them. Ancient and alive, thousands of years rooted in one spot. Enormous; you can only guess at the wholeness that's way too big.
But I was also wowed by the Roosevelt Elk, which are to Redwood what buffalo are to Yellowstone. Or cows to Marin county. They are everywhere, just off the roads. Four-legged photo ops.
On our camping and backpacking trips, Harper turns into sort of a living "No Moleste" sign. She actually has to say "no moleste" to me quite frequently. In this way the seashells, giant pinecones from the forest, redwood bark, snakeskins, volcanic pumice, petrified wood, lichens, and all manner of other interesting artifacts remain where they are in nature, rather than returning with me to San Francisco to perch atop my desk, where, in my view, they clearly belong. Or at least, would probably be more comfortable.
The cautions extend to animals as well. I am often kept from grabbing up frogs, salamanders, and other slow-moving forest creatures, both large and small. My instinct when I see a giant Roosevelt Elk, for example, is to attempt to approach as close as I possibly can in order to take a picture of it.
"Hello! Don't mind me! Smile?"
Yet Harper discourages this practice too. Touting silly things like "park rules" and "common sense when dealing with rutting Elk," she dissuades me from approaching as closely as I can, or saddling, and riding the Elk. Similarly, she has had to pry me unwillingly away from monkeys, snakes, birds, water buffalo, bobcats, and bison.
While I understand that, well, yes, I may be upsetting the natural order of things, and that if everyone took pumice home soon there would be no pumice left, on the other hand: Elk! Look at the Elk!
In any case, I kept my distance as best as I could (the last photo was taken from the car as we rolled slowly by some roadside Roosevelts) and recognized the wisdom (if not the fun) of keeping one's distance, taking only pictures, and living the no moleste lifestyle.