Posts

to thank a vet: feed a vet, hear a vet, pay a vet, house a vet

Let me just take you on a tour of how my mind works. Tomorrow is Veterans Day. So I decided to reprise a couple of earlier posts, find some new info and offer a chance to thank (and help) our veterans. First stop was Cup of Joe for a Joe. This is an organization that provides a cup of coffee, purchased by you and me, to veterans. But I hear that they don’t offer a discount to veterans in all of their shops so for an hour I got sidetracked into researching whether to recommend this group (I do). In the meantime I’m looking at pictures of veterans and remembering that The Civil Wars were talking about repairing their rift. So I searched out their website (I swear Google is the source of ADHD) and found out that no, they haven’t repaired their rift and the break up is for real. But they have offered us a song by way of gratitude (and maybe apology). So enjoy the song…it’s an awesome rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’. And now I’m getting back to where I started. Thanking our veterans by helping out.

Feed

This is my favorite….if you’re in line for coffee or at a restaurant having a meal and you see a vet in fatigues, pay their bill. Even if it means you have to order less. Cup of Joe for a Joe is another option…I’ve donated and gotten a couple of sweet notes back. And I’ll do it again.

Hear

Yesterday in New York City, Veteran Artist Program (VAP) presented their latest show ‘Telling’ featuring the stories of 7 returned veterans in their own words and by their own voices. In addition VAP offers opportunity for veterans to express themselves through the visual arts, performing arts, writing/literature, film/video, and new/interactive media. Go see a VAP show, donate to the organization, partner with them by becoming an ambassador.

Pay

The employees at EcoVet are veterans trained to build furniture. They create rugged and beautiful furnishings from the salvaged material pulled from decommissioned tractor trailers. LEED points people.

ecovet12

House

Build a house for an injured veteran. Homes For Our Troops builds accessible homes for returning injured veterans. You can help by donating money, offering supplies, giving your sweat equity, buying their merchandise. Check their website and find a veteran neighbor that could use your help.

To our vets, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for the service that you do and the sacrifice that you make.

Keep in touch,
Leslie

the presidio: parking, views and food

When I have a chance to give one of my out of town friends the famous Leslie Driving Tour of San Francisco, we hit all of the downtown highlights and the biggest hills (I love to drive up in my stick shift car just to see them sweat), densely packed Chinatown, the historic and always busy Embarcadero, then I drive them out to the beach and through the Richmond and Sunset districts to see all of the ticky-tacky houses. I always save the Presidio for last. As we drive through the beautiful winding, wooded roads of the Presidio and past the grassy fields I always have to remind them that we are still in San Francisco. These amazing contrasts in our little 49 square miles of the world are one of my very favorite things about San Francisco.

all photos courtesy presidio.gov

From 1886 to 1974 the Presidio was an active army post. In 1972 the area became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and in  1974 it was no longer needed for military purposes and was transferred to the National Park Service. In 1996 Congress created the Presidio Trust, an organization tasked with caring for and developing the park for the use and enjoyment of the public. There are about a million reasons to visit the Presidio. Regardless of your reasons, you’ve gotta eat..and the food options keep getting better (well except for that little Dixie problem). Plus the parking is awesome and the views are amazing.

presidio social club

photo courtesy presidiosocialclub.com/adi nevo photographs

Presidio Social Club

563 Ruger Street, 415-885-1888

Liver and onions (which I’ll never eat but am so happy to see on any menu as it takes me right home), macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs and amazing cocktails. Brunch on the weekends includes chilaquiles and you know how I feel about that particular dish. Lunch and dinner served.

photo courtesy sf.eater.com/Patricia Chang

photo courtesy sf.eater.com/Patricia Chang

Commissary

101 Montgomery, 415-561-3600

Opened this week, the newest addition in the Presidio is brought to us by Traci des Jardins and Bon Appetit Management Company and is located in an 1895 building that housed a mess hall. Much of the furniture and accessories are reclaimed from other locations at the Presidio. Food is Spanish influenced California with an emphasis (of course) on local, seasonal, sustainable and will be open breakfast, lunch and dinner, but call first as the hours are a little wonky until June.

Warming Hut & Beach Hut

Chrissy Field, beachside

The Warming Hut (west beach) and the Beach Hut (about a mile east) are open during the day and serve sandwiches, soups and salads, coffee and smoothies and both have gift and book shops. The Beach Hut is in a LEED platinum building that provides most of it’s own power via solar panels and wind turbines and solar thermal panels provide most of the hot water used. The Warming Hut occupies a 1909 warehouse and was refurbished to preserve its architectural history.

Off the Grid, Picnic on Sunday (11-4) and Twilight on Thursday (5-9)

Main Post Lawn, 415.339.5888

Check out these awesome weekly events on the lawn at the main post. Food trucks, games, cocktails, music….this Sunday there is even yoga at 1! Next to the lawn on (Saturday and) Sunday find the Tree Fall exhibit by Andy Goldsworthy.

photo courtesy presidio.gov

photo courtesy presidio.gov

There are also cafes in the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Film Centre houses Kitchen 39, both near to the Main Post Lawn. The Bowling Center offers burgers, sandwiches and beer and wine. The Thoreau Center houses Cafe RX serving Salvadorean inspired food using local, organic ingredients. And finally the Transit Cafe serves wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads, beer, wine and coffee until late afternoon. Last year I worked on a feasibility study for this cafe….once construction on the Doyle Drive tunnel is complete, the potential views from the patio will be spectacular. Awesome potential.

You lucky people can visit the Presidio without suffering my driving tour…get on it!

Keep in touch,
Leslie

 

image packer: awesome photo tool

Images courtesy wikimedia..org, drozfans.com, allbestwallpapers.com, 2.bp.blogspot.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com, blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com, dianasmusings.wordpress.com, gcbi.net, gastronomous.wordpress.com, listdose,com, library.manoa.hawaii.edu, images.smh.com.au

Images courtesy wikimedia.org, drozfans.com, allbestwallpapers.com, 2.bp.blogspot.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com, blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com, dianasmusings.wordpress.com, gcbi.net, gastronomous.wordpress.com, listdose,com, library.manoa.hawaii.edu, images.smh.com.au

The architecture and design worlds rely heavily on images to both inspire design and communicate design. When I began my design career we collected thousands of magazines that we would page through in search of images. At my last firm we spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours researching and testing software to allow us to collect and tag images for our in house image library. Since I began my own petite firm three years ago, Pinterest has been my image collection system of choice. It is an amazing resource for collecting and using images digitally, but is still a bit of work to create presentation materials from those images.

Reddit user thoriumoakenshield created a tool  called Image Packer that makes downloading multiple full size images a single click process (along with all source credits….copyright laws do apply). I created the compiled image above in about 3 minutes while drinking my not nearly as pretty cup of coffee. Awesome. Check it.

Enjoy your morning coffee and have a really productive week!
Leslie

8-3-16 edit: Image Packer seems to be gone.

just coffee, no plastic please

Coffee should be simple. I’m all about simple, especially first thing in the morning. But simple and lazy are two very different things.  I don’t want to mention any names, because there are quite a few of them, but lazy is taking over the coffee world. Simple is water poured over coffee. Slightly, and only slightly, less simple is heating the water first. Lazy is turning on an electric machine, putting in a very environmentally unfriendly plastic container with crummy coffee in it, setting a cup underneath, and superheating the water to drip through the plastic container into the cup.

Simple yields a delicious cup of coffee that harms the environment very little (depending of course on your beans). Lazy yields a marginal cup of coffee similar to the instant coffee you might find at a cheap motel.  And its been dripped through plastic so who knows what else is leaching into that cup. So why are Americans buying these machines in record quantities? And why are we willing to spend up to $50 per pound on bad coffee to use in them? Lazy is a powerful motivator.

I’m sure I don’t need to list all of the reasons why using these popular machines is a bad idea for the planet, human health and personal economy. We all know this already, don’t we? I’d rather be positive and offer a few alternatives that don’t include machines (other than the hot water kettle….and even that is dispensable if you cold brew). So I’ll briefly outline the alternatives here, and if you are a total coffee nut and want more info, I’d suggest you see when CoffeeCon is coming to a city near you. Or get Kevin Sinnott’s book The Art and Craft of Coffee.  He’s the ultimate expert.

Pour Over

If you're set on one cup at a time, try pour over. Buy yourself a plug in kettle (the most energy efficient way to heat water), give it 60 seconds to heat your cup of water, set your reusable filter on top of your favorite mug, and you'll have coffee in about 4 minutes.

If you’re set on one cup at a time, try pour over. Buy yourself a plug in kettle (the most energy efficient way to heat water), give it 60 seconds to heat your cup of water, set your reusable filter on top of your favorite mug, and you’ll have coffee in about 4 minutes.

French Press

Put the coffee in the press pot, heat your water in the aforementioned electric kettle, pour the water slowly over the grounds, let rest a few minutes, press the grounds to the bottom of the pot and pour off the coffee. If you want a single serving buy a small press pot.

Put the coffee in the press pot, heat your water in the aforementioned electric kettle, pour the water slowly over the grounds, let rest a few minutes, press the grounds to the bottom of the pot and pour off the coffee. If you want a single serving buy a small press pot.

Stovetop Espresso

Easiest way to make an espresso. Tiny pot, beans ground very fine, fill the reservoir with water and put it on the stovetop. You have one hot and happy cup of espresso.

Easiest way to make an espresso. Tiny pot, beans ground very fine, fill the reservoir with water and put it on the stovetop. You have one hot and happy cup of espresso.

Not Stovetop Espresso

Now this is fancy and you'll have to watch the video.

Now this is fancy and you’ll have to watch the video.

Coffee Straw

Really. You should try this if uber simple and uber earth friendly is uber important. Again, you'll have to watch the video.

Really. You should try this if uber simple and uber earth friendly is uber important. Again, you’ll have to watch the video.

Cold Brew

Apparently there is quite a cult following for cold brewed coffee. Who knew? I like my coffee hot, so you'll have to take someone else's word for the fabulousness of this method. Put your grounds in the pot. Fill the pot with cold water. Cover the pot and refrigerate for a day. Then pour the coffee through a filter. (You can even use your press pot for this)

Apparently there is quite a cult following for cold brewed coffee. Who knew? I like my coffee hot, so you’ll have to take someone else’s word for the fabulousness of this method. Put your grounds in the pot. Fill the pot with cold water. Cover the pot and refrigerate for a day. Then pour the coffee through a filter. (You can even use your press pot for this)

So there you have it.  Coffee that’s tasty and simple and doesn’t create its very own landfill.

Happy sipping!
Leslie