January 22, 2010

Nevada City: Spirithouse Import Gallery



Highway 49--Gold Rush Country

Spirithouse Import Gallery  315 Commercial St., (530) 265-0114. What a delightful surprise to find this atmospheric shop on one of the town’s tiny back streets. It is filled with an interesting, well-priced collection of Thai and other Asian imports, including a toy dragon made from swatches of antique Thai embroidery, and both small metal and large stone Buddhas.


More things to do in Gold Rush Country. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.   

January 20, 2010

Berkeley: Jayakarta



80 North

Jayakarta 2026 University Ave./Milvia St., (510) 841-0884 . L-D daily; $. In a simple one-room dining area, this spot serves up complex, exotic, and delicious Indonesian and Singaporean cuisine. Sure things include #12, roti prata (grilled flat bread with yellow curry dip); #62, ayam kalasan (Javanese barbecued chicken); #69, rendang (tender beef simmered with spices and coconut milk); #75 pepes ikan (richly flavored fish cooked in a banana leaf). More adventurous diners might want to try #66, sambal goring hati ampla (chicken gizzards with stink beans). Well-priced lunch specials include combo plates and rice plates (#31, the nasi rames rice plate includes a mound of jasmine rice surrounded by crispy curry chicken, spicy coconut beef, a hard boiled egg, tiny crispy-fried anchovies and peanuts, pickles, and shrimp crackers). A bountiful rijsttafel smorgasbord of dishes is also available.


More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

image courtesy of venue

January 14, 2010

San Francisco: SFMOMA



San Francisco 

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is celebrating year #75 (in 2010) with free admission this weekend for everyone (Saturday-Monday, January 16-18)! Five special exhibitions are opening, and special events, including gallery talks and "live art"--a light show, a musical saw performance--are scheduled throughout. Sunday is family day.


More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 
 
image: Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau (Woman with a Hat), 1905.

January 11, 2010

Berkeley: Hotel Shattuck Plaza



80 North

Hotel Shattuck Plaza  2086 Allston Way/Shattuck Ave., downtown, (866) 466-9199, (510) 845-7300. 199 rooms. Restaurant; room service. Fitness center. Parking nearby. Built in 1910, this historic hotel and Berkeley landmark was recently renovated. Guests are greeted by a large marble peace symbol when entering the front door into the dramatic and spiffy black-and-white lobby. Operating off the lobby, spacious Five--named for the five senses--is a modern American bistro with an innovative menu using sustainable ingredients.


More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 


image courtesy of venue


January 7, 2010

10 getaways for 2010


Here are 10 great ideas for fun in 2010. All but one are in Northern California.
NO LONGER AVAILABLE


More ideas for exploring Northern California.  


January 5, 2010

San Francisco: Gitane--CLOSING



San Francisco

Gitane  CLOSED  6 Claude Lane/Bush, Union Square, (415) 788-6686. D Tu-Sat (closed Sun-M); $$$. Named after a freewheeling gypsy, this dazzling venue is set in the back of a small alley closed to traffic. Outdoor seating is a comfortable option year round, but you don’t want to miss experiencing the spectacular interior. With the deft use of smoky mirrors, the actually small space appears to have soaring ceilings and manages to feel cozy yet trendy. Downstairs, a lively and colorful bar area is squeeze-in space only, while upstairs, a packed dining loft manages to provide diners a bit of privacy. Winners on the Mediterranean fusion menu include scrumptious bacon bonbons (goat cheese-stuffed prunes wrapped with smoked bacon), a delicious chicken or all-veggie tajine, wood-fired pizzas, and for dessert perfect little beignets served with a trio of dipping sauces. Cocktails and Sherries marry well with the food, and plenty of wines are available; in conclusion, both tea and coffee are served elegantly in a French press.


More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

image courtesy of venue

January 2, 2010

video of San Francisco in 1905


San Francisco

This film was taken from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, a few days before the earthquake/fire destroyed the area.


More ideas for exploring Northern California.