Archive for the 'San Francisco' Category

May the Fourth be with you

Happy Star Wars Day! This is the Yoda fountain outside of Building B at the Lucasfilm offices. I have meetings here pretty regularly and it always makes me happy to see the Jedi master.

EATing at the Ferry Building

When we’re adventuring in San Francisco, we try to make a trip over to the Ferry Building for great burgers and sweet potato fries at Gott’s Roadside (known to the Derringdos as the EAT cafe). It can get crowded during weekend lunch and dinner hours, so we try to arrive around 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The Ferry Building has a great selection of local food shops including Acme Bread, Peet’s Coffee, Pepples Donuts and Cowgirl Creamery. We say. “EAT!”


With a picnic basket of lemonade, sandwiches and Nettie’s homemade cupcakes we headed out on a Mothers’ Day excursion. We stopped at Muir Woods for a short hike along the hillside trail. The drizzle seemed to keep the crowds from going to deep into the park and we were able to hike in relative peace. Outside the park they have a long poster where visitors can measure their wingspan against those of various birds. Peabody is about the same as an Osprey and Nettie was just shy of a Pelican. After the woods, we drove into San Francisco and picnicked by one of the small lakes in Golden Gate Park. We were lucky enough to catch a couple men captaining their remote control sailboats across the water.

Out of this World

I almost missed a flight this morning because I stopped too long at an exhibit of space-themed toys from the 1930s to 1980s showing in SFO’s Terminal 3. There are dozens of robots, rockets, laser pistols and astronauts. It’s on view through March 14.

Who You Kudu?

The San Francisco Zoo is running a brilliant out of home advertising campaign at bus shelters around the city. White posters with human-sized animal features are purpose made for pedestrian interaction. People are encouraged to pose as the animal and upload a picture to the Zoo’s gallery. Peabody the Kudu is pictured above. See others and try to find Nettie here.

Blue Angels at Fleet Week

The Blue Angels performed over San Francisco during Fleet Week ’08. These guys (and yes, it’s an all male pilot revue at the moment) are always impressive. While we were a couple miles from the waterfront action, one jet broke from formation and came up from behind to buzz the hill we were watching from. Unfortunately it happened so fast, I only got a picture of the bush behind me.

Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

We’ve been looking for San Francisco’s city parrots, descended from escaped pets, for years but they’ve always eluded us. Now it seems every time we hike through the city, we run into a flock of the famous feral birds. A few days ago we got up close to them when we discovered their feeding ground. There must have been 50 or so hanging around the trees. Feral parrots aren’t rare after all. There’s even a group dedicated to the preservation of urban parrots around the world. Check out their blog here.

Previewing the California Academy of Sciences

The Derringdos visited the California Academy of Sciences for the Guild Families’ preview event on Sept. 13. While the four-story rainforest and new planetarium weren’t open yet, we had a chance to explore the aquarium, the living roof and other exhibits in the overhauled museum. We ate french fries while watching the penguins and had ice cream sundaes near the white aligator. At the Islands of Evolution, we talked with Terry Gosliner, one of the Academy’s curators. Check out some more behind the scenes pictures here and visit the CAS’ web site here.

Tired of Your Planet?

This is a really big week for The Derringdos. Nettie and Peabody are heading back to school. Annabel got an advance copy of the next book her knitting designs are included in. And at work, we’re launching Spore. As part of the launch we have billboards up in cities around the world. We visited downtown SF to take pictures with the signs. Last night we held our launch party at the California Academy of Sciences, currently closed to the public for extensive renovation. Walking to our reception area, I passed electricians wiring lights, a team putting some final touches on the Galapagos Island display and a man in scuba gear who I assume was working in the aquarium. While we couldn’t explore the whole building, from what I saw it will live up to the hype when it reopens on Sept. 27. The new planetarium is particularly phenomenal. The Derrindgos have a membership and will be taking part in an advance preview event in about a week.

Stairway Walks in San Francisco

Murals at Coit Tower.

Walking anywhere can be an adventure. But having a good walking tour will take you to neighborhoods, streets and alleys you never thought to explore. Our favorites are Andrew Duncan’s London guides.

This weekend we took our first hike from Stairway Walks in San Francisco by Adah Bakalinsky. Just like Duncan’s guidebooks, Stairway Walks provides insights into the sites and stories of the neighborhood in addition to step-by-step directions. The Telegraph Hill & North Beach walk follows the pre-1849 shoreline and then heads up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower. It was our first visit there in the 12 years we’ve lived in the Bay Area. The view from Telegraph Hill is nice, but what made the hike worth it were the amazing murals inside the tower. The detailed, colorful paintings of Depression era life in California reminded us of Richard Scarry’s Busytown.