Entries by Leslie

real food, whole food, what’s food?

My dad was a dairy farmer. He raised cows that ate grass, provided cow patties to fertilize the garden and were milked by hand. My grandmother made cheese from the milk, butter from the cream and grew her veggies in the garden. So I grew up understanding the basics of where my food came from. Food seemed pretty simple. With […]

designing designers

There is a lot of information out there about how to do your design job. Whether you design space or tech or brand or something else. But what about how to be a designer?  How do we design ourselves to be the best designers we can be? Heather Phillips of Fast Company interviewed 3 designers to […]

designing politics

If you live here in the good ol’ US of A, your feed is full of he said she said. And sometimes he did she didn’t. Or he said she did but she didn’t really because he did. It’s gotten pretty raucous and very unpleasant. So let’s focus on the whimsical designerly aspect of this presidential race […]

workspaces are still growing up

office space of the last millenia When I began my first office job I was relegated to a gray cubicle surrounded by other gray cubicles that were just tall enough so that if I stood I couldn’t quite see over the top. Outside of the gray cubicles the office walls were painted beige, the ceiling was t-bar with […]

is it right?

Do we, each of us, have a right to shelter and food? A friend of mine uses a Martin Luther King quote as part of his email signature. It seems especially poignant right now as we weather a social climate that is exceedingly animus. Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the […]

dear design school grad, redux

  Congratulations graduate! You designed your way out of college with all of those sleepless nights and huge pots of coffee. I bet you know every show on television after midnight. Now that you’re ready to create the next greatest building interior, here are a few tips from the trenches (well at least the trench that I […]

dear realtor…

dear realtor…. You just got a dream listing. The house is gorgeous and you go about doing what you do to get it ready to market. Minor repairs, painting, staging. And yes, it’s in the city limits so you order the resale inspection. Dang, there is no record of a permit for that obvious bathroom […]

who wants tacos?

once upon a time taco bell and i were born… Have you noticed all the Taco Bell chatter lately? Makes me a bit nostalgic. There was a Taco Bell next to my dorm at San Diego State all those years ago. In the light of day you’d never catch me there, but after midnight all bets […]

exactly how do you tell your story?

There are an awful lot of choices out there for getting your message out. What works for one business won’t be right at all for another. So here are a few thoughts you might take to bed with you tonight. See what bubbles to the surface in the morning. website There are many ways to build […]

libraries are more than houses for books

the homeless problem In downtown San Rafael we have a couple of problems. Seemingly un-related problems. Depending on how you look at it, the first problem is homelessness (with a side of NIMBYism). You might not think that poverty and homelessness would be an issue in Marin County. You’d be wrong. Unfortunately for those that do […]

slide in to Portland

Partying it up with PhotoShop after a trip to Portland. Check out the nice things I found underfoot. And overfoot. One of these photos is the actual color of my boots…. Sometimes you really need to look down. This is what I found on a plaque on a Portland sidewalk: We, the citizens of Oregon, recognizing […]

james (and me)

all photos courtesy Alanna Taylor-Tobin/bojongourmet.com The James Beard Award nominees for 2016 were announced yesterday and once again San Francisco and the Bay Area have made a proud showing. Below are links to our local nominees, but before I get to that, here is my own personal nominee in the cookbook/baking and the photography category […]

what you do matters

Sometimes you get the shell of a popcorn kernel stuck in your tooth and it hurts a little but mostly just annoys you until you can take a moment to floss it away. I have one of those kernels stuck in my brain. Recently I had a conversation with someone in my life who tends to […]