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A Local Celebration

May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day, 2011. The family took me out for lunch to a place of my choice… Pacific Catch on 9th Avenue. It’s barely 10 minutes from Forest Knolls, and has an interesting range of food from sushi to fish-and-chips served in faux newspaper. (Until I started writing this, I didn’t know it had 4 locations: 9th Avenue, and Marina in San Francisco; and in Corte Madera and Campbell.) I’d eaten there a couple of times before, and really liked it —  great food, friendly servers, spacious, modern and bright decor. (Don’t miss the modern chandeliers made of bottomless cobalt glass bottles.)

We parked at the paid parking lot across from Ebisu restaurant… and we’re glad we did. The street was crowded, and parking difficult.  Only a little while later, we saw a car being towed out of the bus-stop box while parking enforcement stood by. Oops. Not a good way to celebrate.

Knots of people stood in front of all the restaurants on the block. “It’s so cute,” commented one of our party, “All these people standing in groups, like here’s our mother.”

We’d made no reservations, so while we waited for a place to open up, we walked across to Golden Gate Park. There, just above the baseball diamond, was a Blue Heron hunting in the grass, oblivious to the people out enjoying the sun and breeze. Only temporarily oblivious, though. After a few minutes, it had had enough and flew into a tree . They’re nesting at nearby Stow Lake. (Stow Lake’s an avian nursery right now: There’s a Great Horned Owl nest with fledgelings, the heronry, at least one batch of ducklings, and recently I saw a pair of Canada Geese with 8 goslings in tow.)

After a great meal that started with spicy ahi tuna and calamari and edamame and got even better from there on, we went to Tuttimelon, the newish gelato place in West Portal. They have superb sorbets in addition to gelato and frozen yoghurt. (I got passion-fruit and mango…) They also have Illy coffee (“best coffee in the world” commented one of our group), and soon plan to add Vietnamese sandwiches to their offerings. I’m looking forward to it, banh mi are great.

This beautiful pink hydrangea came from  Papenhausen (also inWest Portal), complete with a double pot with a wick to reduce the need for water. Even though it’s a hardware store, it often has an enticing display of potted plants out front. Especially in spring.

In fact, the only non-local element was this wonderful arrangement of ranunculus, tulips, roses and white hydrangea. That came from Menlo Park, a charming new flowershop called Twigs and Petals. Definitely worth it!

Then the guys stayed home to watch a film on TV, while the girls went off to the Legion of Honor’s Pulp Fashion exhibition. It was very impressive: Costumes from the medieval to the vintage, replicated in paper and paint. They were so elaborate and so beautifully made as to be jaw-dropping.

Unfortunately, neither the Legion of Honor nor the De Young permit photography of their exhibitions — even without a flash. I can’t think why.  People can’t post pictures on blogs or Facebooks and tell their friends. (This is why there’s no report here on the Olmec exhibition.)   In this era, it’s like turning down  free publicity of the best kind — word of mouth. With added pictures, worth a thousand words.

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