Hey, did you choose three things to cross off your life list this month? How’s that coming along? Did Jen get her learner’s permit? Did Lis frame the photos for her first show? Has Nicole had her baby? (I suspect so. It’s be a while since that last post.)
As for me, I’ve done three things, but one of them wasn’t part of my campaign with Verizon, which means I get to do one more thing with a benefactor on my side. Sweet. As I mentioned, Verizon has been great about supporting long-term, better-life projects, so the last goal I’m working on for the campaign is:
Get to know San Francisco like the back of my hand.
This could take a while. In fact, how will I know when I’m done? I’ve attended the Black and White Ball, but I’ve never done something untoward in the Transamerica pyramid. I’ve visited Alcatraz, but I’ve never mooned tourists on the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a tough one to check off decisively.
So I did what any good list maker does in this situation. I made a sublist. I decided I’ll “Know San Francisco like the back of my hand” when I:
1. Crown a favorite burrito.
2. Take five tours.
3. Finish 7×7′s Big Eats Top 100.
4. Make my own list of the hundred best things to eat.
5. Choose the fifty best cocktails.
6. Choose my fifty favorite shops.
7. Photograph all the public libraries.
8. See the view from Coit Tower.
9. Write up mini guides to the main neighborhoods.
10. Choose my top ten things to do when you visit.
That’s right. I’ve begun to make lists about making lists. (Take that, Escher!) It’s a lot to tackle, but I’m getting started in these last couple weeks of March.
And what about you? How are your projects coming along? Tell us in comments so we can cheer for you, because you are great.
A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List. They’re helping me cross off a few goals, and they also gave me a Palm Pre Plus. I’m using it to take photos and video of my escapades, and to make actual phone calls that don’t disconnect unexpectedly at awkward moments. Thanks, guys.
So, one of the items on my Mighty Life List is “Be conversational in seven languages.” I studied Spanish for years, and I think language really shapes how I think. Knowing another language besides my native tongue has given me an alternate way of looking at the world. Knowing Spanish specifically makes me sometimes want to cry when I hear a guitar playing at night, and makes me more willing to be the first one dancing at parties. That could also be the tequila of course, but I digress.
When I first made my list, some part of me thought the simple act of writing things down would magically make them happen. Like once I realized that I wanted to pick blackberries and make pies, I’d just find myself passing blackberry bramble on a walk one Sunday with a bucket in hand.
As I’ve started to cross things off, it has genuinely surprised me that I have to plan fun. I guess some part of me thinks that fun will just happen, even very specific types of fun, and that I shouldn’t have to actively put aside time for that stuff.
It took around three years of lessons before I could get the gist of most conversations in Spanish. So if I start now, it will be about fifteen years before I can cross off this goal.
On Wednesday night, I got started. Verizon is sponsoring French classes with Bryan, which we’ll be attending until we can speak French. I’ll keep you posted.
Merci beaucoup to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List and helping me achieve my dreams. They’re making my site more interesting by helping me cross off few more goals, and they also gave me a Palm Pre Plus. One that completes calls. Thanks, guys.
San Francisco is a scarf and gloves town year round, especially at night, but in December the wind off the water will make you whimper. Fortunately, it’s the kind of chill that can be cured with a cup of cocoa — as opposed to, say, Chicago chill which can only be cured with something much stronger, like emergency resuscitation.
If you’re planning a visit soon, these are some of my favorite ways to keep toasty while you’re sightseeing:
1. Sip a cup of soup from scratch at the Crissy Field Center Cafe.
This place offers the same affordable organic food as Alice Water’s Warming Hut up the way, but it’s half as busy — so take your pick of tables with showstopper views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Watching the steam rise from my soup while the fog burns off over the bay always makes me feel grateful to live here.
2. Take tea at the Samovar Tea Lounge.
Watch the leaves tumble in your glass pot and warm your nose over the steam. Samovar offers a restorative selection of beautiful leaves and herbs. There are three locations now, but I’m still partial to the original, which lives in the Castro.
3. Escape the rain in City Lights Bookstore.
If you’re the kind of person who learns to love a city through its bookstores, duck in to City Lights and leave your umbrella by the door. This San Francisco institution is the city in miniature — smart, charming, and eclectic.
4. Have an all-souffle dinner at Cafe Jaqueline.
All the portions are made to share at this tiny, all-souffle restaurant, which makes it one of my favorites for dates or celebrating with a close girlfriend. Call ahead to see if you can secure a spot at one of the five or six tables. The restrooms are through the kitchen, where you’ll find a bottomless bowl of eggs resting on the counter.
5. Settle in at Bluebottle Coffee.
Worst possible neighborhood, best possible coffee. Bluebottle roasters are obsessive, so enjoy a perfect cup in one of the cutest cafes in the city. You see the people working on their computers? Remember what I said about the neighborhood? Yeah. I wouldn’t do that.
6. Watch the steam curl over your noodles at Suzu.
This small noodle place in the Japantown mall isn’t much to look at, but the fresh noodles and broth have a dedicated following. There will be a line, so parties of two or singles have better luck.
7. Stir hot chocolate brandies at Tosca.
The bar at Tosca is lined with glasses and teaspoons in anticipation of the demand for this signature cocktail. It is small and deceptively potent. Rise from your barstool to stretch every so often to make sure your sense of balance is still in working order.
Cheers. Welcome to San Francisco.
Salt House is one of our favorite places to celebrate in the city. We like to sit upstairs, order cocktails and a shellfish platter to share, and watch everyone talking down below. Their design details are charming.
Hand-stamped coasters cut from corrugated cardboard.
Vintage playing cards used as coat-check numbers.
Seafood shipping tags as business cards.
I love it when businesses find clever ways to distinguish themselves without impacting the bottom line adversely. Smart.
Courtney saw this BCBG Max Azaria pantsuit at Crossroads long before rompers came back in style. She couldn’t immediately figure out how to put it on, which she felt was a good sign. After some time wrangling in the dressing room, she decided to bring it home and figure it out.
Smart move, because it’s become Courtney’s version of the little black dress. That little diamond of exposed tummy skin is spot on. Courtney is smart about finding sexy clothes that don’t make her look too willing, if you know what I mean. She now thinks the jumper was an early sample, because she saw one at Nordstrom recently. She appears to be correct, because here it is. Did you pay $380 for yours, Skott? Yeah, I didn’t think so. High five.
The leafy earrings are Eliza Page, an Austin-based jeweler owned by a friend of Courtney’s. Lots of great stuff there, by the way.
Metallic sandals are Kenneth Cole Reaction.
And so Courtney Skott’s Mighty Closet comes to a close. Does anyone else feel like they could use a cigarette?
This is Courtney just home from a long day of wit and wallpaper samples at Sugarbaker Designs. If you listen closely, you can just make out the opening strains of “Georgia on My Mind.” The red cuff is from Banana Republic.
The dress is Joanie Char Silk San Francisco, a score from the Goodwill. The details on this piece are lovely, including the line of shell buttons down the left hip.
Also? Epaulets with contrast piping. Thaaaat’s what I’m talking about.
The pumps are vintage Charles Jourdan. I’m pretty sure you can play basketball in those.
Tomorrow we conclude our presentation with a jumper that out-awesomes all the other jumpers. See you then.
When Courtney was in Spain, she visited this Desigual coat obsessively before finally splurging. Courtney has always been budget minded. We agreed during the shoot that spending $100 on something is a whole deal. If I’m spending more than $25 on an item, I tend to think it over. Thrift shopping makes you a crazy person that way. Lately I’ve begun to realize that it’s better to come home with one perfect investment piece rather than a garbage bag full of not-quite-there second hand stuff, so I’m trying to be better about looking for clothes that are bargains, but maybe not steals.
Courtney says the coat splurge was worth it, because people stop her on the street to compliment her whenever she wears it. I love that, because the whole point of going shopping while you travel is having the “Where’d you get that? conversation afterward. “This? Oh! I picked it up in Barcelona.”
These Cartonnier herringbone trousers from Anthropoligie are technically supposed to be “ankle length.” No hemming for the petite girl, hooray! This is a pretty typical work outfit for Courtney.
The Dolman-sleeved sweater is from Crossroads, a second-hand resale chain that has so far featured prominently in the Mighty Closet posts. I dig the proportions of this outfit. Easy, but not baggy, with a well-defined waist.
The necklace is from Crossroads too. Clearly we all need to spend more time at Crossroads.
Staid lace-up oxfords by Biviel from Gimme Shoes. So sexy librarian.
Tomorrow, Courtney channels Dixie Carter circa Designing Women. Stay tuned.