Archive for the 'Pop Culture' Category



Where to Eat in San Francisco


h1 Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

In this second part of the San Francisco series, I go over the most important thing to do in San Francisco….EAT!!!

1. Get real Mexican food in the Mission.
burrito

If you go to the wrong place, you get the Swine Flu. It’s as simple as that. You could play Russian Roulette or you could listen to eMarkLee. El Farolito on 24th and Mission (not 16th and Mission) is the tried and true Mission Mexican spot. Don’t be scared by the homeless and Mexicans outside and inside this gem of a taqueria. Order the Pollo Asado or Carnitas Super Quesadilla and you will experience a rapture of flavours. Quesadillas are better than the burritoes here and the super nachos rock the house. I’m gettin hungry just thinking about that guacamole salsa. Help yourself to two small containers of each salsa. You will use it…just get it before the homeless guy gets to it.

2. Eat prime rib…then ask for another slice at the House of Prime Rib. It’s pretty simple. Either you like prime rib or you don’t. If you do, this is the shiznit. If you don’t, don’t go here. I like to ask for the end cut for more seasoning and flava but you know…different folks, different strokes. They will give you a second cut if you ask for it…so ask for it, mate.

3. Eat Dungeoness crab
crab

Get crabs like a proper San Franciscan….wait..let me start over. Eat Dungeoness crab like the locals. And by locals, mean the Orientals (aka Ornamentals to the white folk). PPQ Dungeoness Island is Mecca for crab. Huge crab for two with garlic butter sauce with a side of garlic noodles. Yeah. That’s all I have to say about that….other than be prepared to get your hands dirty.

4. Eat freshly shucked oysters at the Ferry Building market at Pier 1. There’s a market there with some food stalls, food products and such around. It’s not huge but a nice area to walk around when the sun is out. Brings me back to good times working in this area.

5. Enjoy a pint overlooking the Pacific sunset at the the Beach Chalet. Go here after a long day of siteseeing and enjoy a locally brewed beer overlooking the Pacific ocean. One of my favourite spots for a sunset drink. Get the beer sampler for a taste of all their beers and to enjoy that sunset fade, yo.

6. Pound a pint in the sun in China Basin. It’s a industrial and non-touristed part of the city but home of The Ramp, where on a sunny day is a superb place to enjoy lunch and beer amongst the locals. Festive scene here with all kinds of hipsters chillin, illin, stealin, and rhymin.

7. Get that juicy double. Mixalot’s in trouble…get a piece of that bubble. It’s much better in person…believe me. In n Out is a must if you’re not from California. A burger joint with freshly cut fries and no freezer on premises allows this place to produce some of the best burgers in the world. Ask for a “Double Double, animal style with fresh onions also” like a pro. After that, ask her not to make that face at you…cuz it’s fugly.

8. Enjoy a good steak at Houston’s for a nice relaxed setting or at Acme Chop House for more pricey but fab cut of Rib Eye. You can’t lose here.

9. Eat Dim Sum in Chinatown. If you just show up in Chinatown and pick a place randomly…you will get a crazy SARS / Swine Flu strain that will destroy your kidneys. I don’t think you want that. Go to New Asia for a long-standing solid dim sum restaurant. They will even ignore your requests for a fork and knife like a proper Dim Sum restaurant.

There are lots of other places but these are some of my favourite places that should be able to fill up your trip to my adopted home city. Feel free to try or you always just ax somebody for more suggestions as there are plenty of new and old spots I haven’t been to. Let me know if you find a spot I should hit up next time I’m in town!

Where to go in San Francisco


h1 Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

san francisco

During my time in London I have had quite a few occasions where I have recommended where to go in the San Francisco area to others. From chatting to an older couple planning a trip to SF in Oxford, to our new Aussie/Dutch neighbours, who are going next month. It’s hard to recommend all of my favourite places in San Francisco because some aren’t necesarily where you would go on a 3 day trip to San Francisco, being more local places. All things considered, here are some of my top recommendations on where to go. Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard St I won’t mention but you should check those out ..maybe Coit Tower if you have time.

Where to Go
1. Presidio. There are some short walks as well as the all-day Coastal Trail that give you the essence of San Francisco…the bridge, the coast, the green (not talking about Chronic here).

2. Golden Gate Bridge. Yeah the GG bridge is a given…but it’s what you do before and after that matters. At the base of the bridge, drive through the Presidio and visit the piers as well as some photo points where you get a great shot of the bridge. When you cross the bridge, join the fatso family from Ohio and Japonaise by making the first turnout after crossing the bridge for the most popular lookout spot. Buy a I Heart San Francisco fleece if you forgot to wear something warm but then burn it. The more important thing is to take the next exit, turn around and go all the way to the top after taking the last exit prior to bridge. Park at the top and take a walk to the very top of the hill for the most spectacular view of San Fran and the bridge there is.

3. Consume garlic fries at a Giants game. The Giants stadium is located right on the bay with amazing views of the entire bay from the upper seats. If you couldn’t care less about baseball, go for the nose bleed seats for the best view. Penthouse seats for council building prices, yo. Wear something warm, though….oh, and sneak in some beers if you’re really from the ghetto.

4. Enjoy nature in North Bay. You could make a day out of this, so start by exploring Sausalito, then to Tiburon for margaritas at Guyamas at the very end of Tiburon overlooking San Francisco as you sip on that tequila. Laid Baaack.

Make your way further north to Stinson Beach for some beach time…with your jumper on, of course. Don’t plan on jumping in the water unless you have a wetsuit or get a bite taken out of your thigh in the Great White shark capital of the world. End your North Bay experience with a hike in John Muir woods or Mount Tamalpais where you will understand why naturalists like Muir have spent their lives as preservationists.

5. Be like Ansel Adams in Yosemite. There aren’t too many places in the world that match the kind of sheer magnitude of beauty Yosemite offers. If you can get a campsite, it’s even better but from experience, Yosemite camping trips need to be booked 5-6 months in advance so last minute trippers need not apply. You could also stay at a hotel just outside of Yosemite as it is a good 4 hour drive from San Fran. If you are fit, hike Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. If you’re not, just drive up to Glacier Point and enjoy the same kind of views without breaking a sweat. It’s not as fun as climbing the hair-raising and precarious rope up the last 15-30 minutes of Half Dome, though.

6. Act out Sideways in Wine Country.
wine

I personally think California wines are the best in the world but some don’t agree with me. Namely, the French. My theory on why is that the French have a skewed sense of smell and taste due to a lifetime of smelling their own B.O. This is based on scientific research from my time in London. I know this stuff, just trust me. Anyway…start in Sonoma. Take in some wineries there to warm you up. Sonoma is a more chill Napa Valley with free tastings and more personal smaller wineries. You could make your way up to Napa if Sonoma doesn’t offer enough big name wineries. In Napa, I pick up a bottle of wine from Franciscan and then stop off at V Sattui to pick up goodies for a picnic. You know, like Gummy Bears and Snickers bars. Go all the way down the main strip to Sterling winery for a cable ride up for a fantastic view of all of Napa. Eat at French Laundry, one of the best restaurants in the world, if you can get reservations ahead of time and got the loot to boot…shoot, I gotta toot.

There are lots of other places in the area like Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe, etc….but there are just too many places to list. You really should spend a good chunk of your time in the city itself in the different neighbourhoods…Castro, Haight, down Market, the Hills, North Beach, Marina, etc. Live it up, you’re in my favourite city in the world!

Next is where to eat in San Francisco.

Sometimes, you gotta make sure that s%$t is safe


h1 Saturday, May 30th, 2009

car

The Compaq box dates this a bit but this does remind me of when I made a run to the dump with workmonkey during our days in San Francisco. We filled his truck with so much crap, including shit in the front seat that the only place I could fit was in the front seat, straddled over the seat….for 20 minutes. Literally, if you were driving by, you would see Workmonkey driving with a smug smile on his unshaven face…next to him was my arse facing you. Look, people pay for that but admittedly I was not necesarily in the sexiest pose to warrant any payment on that occasion. IIWII.

Twatter


h1 Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Jon Stewart sums the Twitter phenomenon up quite nicely, since it has taken off like a rocket since Obama’s election where the big media guys are all tweeting now. I’m not fully on board with the 140 character streams yet but mostly because I do not have a phone/plan that can do it and if I’m on my computer I just update my Facebook status. Maybe when I get a new phone and plan….

Boats and Hoes


h1 Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I’m not sure what it was about Stepbrothers that appealed to me. It was a typical Will Farrell spoof gag movie but there were enough sketches in this movie where I actually enjoyed it. It doesn’t hurt that there are Will Farrell music videos with dope rhymes like these:

“Deadliest Catch without the crabs. Almost out of gas…CALL THE ARABS!!!!”

Eating Grub with Bear Grylls


h1 Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Everyone that visits my flat in London is introduced to a recorded viewing of Bear Grylls on Man vs Wild. It’s just too amusing a scene to not share with all of those that have not seen it. Something about it is just so lovely. Enjoy (probably after lunch)

Note: When Workmonkey visits, I prefer to show a clip of the worst injury in UFC history, when Corey Hill shatters his leg and it flops around like taffy. Nasty. (Video here for the brave and soulless).

Stop wining about alcohol


h1 Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The great thing with alcohol is that there are a lot of people out there that drink it…including Jesus, who is the most popular man-God ever. So every year or so we get our “alcohol is good for you” article or research published that makes the drinkers happy. So this last week, we were treated with such an article…how red wine is the fountain of youth. It’s an interesting video on 60 minutes that gives us the same old story about red wine being good for you.

The great thing about red wine, though, is that after a few glasses you can experience the following(my second favourite alcohol scene in film). This is pretty much the same scene Workmonkey experiences when he drinks.

A new era. Yes, PeCan!


h1 Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Obama photographer

Barack Obama has just been inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. Noone can hold back the excitement of having someone under the age of 98 in the White House and I am one of them. I was very intrigued as I watched Bush Sr in an eskimo hat, Dick Cheney in a wheel chair, and some senators start getting carried out on stretchers due to old age.

Inauguration Highlights:

1. There is a Ben & Jerry flavour called Yes, Pecan. Brilliant! I can just see the business meeting where a copywriter like Workmonkey says, “Something like Orange Obama, Banana Barack, oh….how about Yes, PeCan?”

2. Some old black dude said for the Yellow to “Stay Mellow”. Um, the Yellow have been mellow building railroads for way to long, its time for the Yellow to kick your arse, fellow, then drink some lemoncello.

3. This guy. I love this guy in the back, while the president of the United States is speaking, using a film camera from the 1980’s. Don’t you need to be a VIP to be back there within spitting distance of the President?

Obama photographer

Obama photographer 2

God bless the United States of America and that guy. Yes! PeCan!

Happy 2009


h1 Monday, January 5th, 2009

I did not fulfill all of my 2008 resolutions but I figure this year I will make more practical ones than finding the cure to cancer. I will not state the usual lose a stone, blog more, drink less, disgust less, kind of resolutions. I reckon I will always be disgusting…so be it. I’m a human being, I am not an animal.

2009 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Read 2 fiction books. Admittedly I don’t read much fiction because my logical mind tells me it is a waste of time. Sort of like watching the telly, except you can’t eat fish, chips, and mushy peas while reading. I have Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged staring straight at me but I’m not sure Ayn Rand is the way to achieve my resolution. Do audio books count?

2. If I do not achieve #1, at least read the Cliff’s Notes.

3. Enter 2 photography contests.
You can’t score unless you step up to the plate…was that something out of Swingers?

4. Get rid of clutter. Get rid of old t-shirts from San Francisco startups, get rid of old books, sell anything that can be sold on eBay. Don’t really need all of those 24 spindles of CD-Rs, especially since people don’t even burn CD-Rs anymore. People don’t wear Cross Colours anymore either, apparently. Guess I gotta get rid of those overalls finally. Bloody hell. Unless they’re back like Ray Bans.

5. Don’t accumulate any more crap. There’s always a sale and there’s always a fabulous new toy to buy. I generally don’t have a problem here but if I go shopping and find a good deal, it’s mine like a 3am kebab. This year will hopefully be different.

Let’s see how this year’s resolutions go down…hopefully more gracefully than a lead balloon.

Please, for the love of God, fight breast cancer!


h1 Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

banana

It has now been proven that regular practice of fellatio that includes swallowing is good for women. Yes, we knew it all along but it’s good to back it up with science. You cannot refute what Dr Helena Shifteer states:

“Only with regular occurrence will your chances be reduced, so I encourage all women out there to make fellatio an important part of their daily routine. Since the emergence of the research, I try to fellate at least once every other night to reduce my chances.”

God bless her and her research.