Friday, August 26, 2011

thirty-three and a third

Week 33 coincided with our third wedding anniversary. Not cutting it close at all, I went looking for a suitable present for Steve that Saturday. Like I've done the last two years, I went to Valencia Street to begin my search. You see, we've been doing fun surprise gifts for our anniversaries, loosely based on the traditional gifts. The first year was paper: an origami book from me, a kids' book from Steve. Last year was cotton for our second anniversary. I gave Steve a quirky t-shirt, and he gave me a stuffed elephant to match our pig. This year, I went to Serendipity and found an iPhone cover that looked like an old school calculator, as well as a couple small Moleskine notebooks. I figured those were at least leather-esque enough for number three.

While I was out, I took a picture of the stuffed kitty in the window of Paxton Gate. They always have cool taxidermied animals, but they don't allow pictures inside. I figure their window is fair game from the sidewalk, however.

225/365 that kitty in the window

Sunday was the day that we finally got out and saw the final Harry Potter movie. We had been trying to avoid the crowds when it first came out, and then I only got busier with work for the summer show. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but it wasn't exactly the kind of activity that provides many opportunities for a picture of the day. What I ended up using was another shot of the wool animals in a shop window near the Metreon. You may remember a similar shot from day 3, but these are cows with birds on them! Completely different, obviously.

226/365 birds on cows

I was out of inspiration for Monday, as is often the case after a weekend. I experimented a little with the UV and polarizing filters that I had gotten for my birthday, taking pictures out the bedroom window. It had been a while since I had bothered with the filters for my other two lenses, but I know they'll be useful during the Europe trip. My test shots were not very exciting, though. I wrapped my anniversary presents for Steve and took a few pictures of the wrapping job, but I didn't love those either. Then, I took some pictures of the bud vase that Carmen and Dan gave me for my birthday. It was in need of buds, but hey, I was in need of inspiration. (See the tie-in?) I liked the colors and organic shapes by themselves anyway. Carmen texted me later, to see if I wanted to take a picture of Elsa in her sling. I was glad for the chance to take a (possibly) better picture, but I ended up using the vase shot as the official picture of the day. I felt like the colors in it complemented the previous day's shot a little better.

227/365 ceramic cityscape

Moving on to Tuesday, our anniversary... We did something a little different this year, because of our upcoming trip to Spain & Italy. Rather than spending a few days in Napa, doing wine tastings and eating at fancy wine country restaurants, we decided that it was a good opportunity to check a fancy restaurant in SF off the to-try list. Coi was at the very top of that list, but it's not open on Tuesdays—the day of our anniversary. So we decided to try out Quince for our actual anniversary and finally go to Coi the next night. It would be kind of like a mini stay-cation, except that Steve would still be going to work as usual.

I met Steve downtown on Tuesday evening, and we walked up to the Jackson Square/North Beach area to Quince. It was a pretty fancy Italian place, with one Michelin star. I really enjoyed the meal, from the tiny bites at the beginning, to the pasta course, to the bonus pasta with cheese and honey, to the desserts (served with candles for our anniversary). We went with the four course prix fixe menu rather than the chef's tasting menu, since we each got to pick what we wanted (and try more) that way. It was rather dark in the restaurant, but I managed to get halfway decent pictures of all the food. I was just pushing the ISO a little further than I would have liked, so I went with the exterior shot for my picture of the day.

228/365 anniversary dinner

As wonderful as I thought our dinner at Quince was—and it was wonderful—Coi was even better. Coi has two Michelin stars, yet the ambiance is slightly less stuffy. No pressed white tablecloths here, just lovely wood tables. I loved Quince for its pasta, but I loved Coi for its creativity. 11 courses of beautiful, light food in unexpected combinations. Really, it deserves its own blog post. As for the picture of the day, I selected Steve's favorite course, which was also a favorite of mine: abalone/duck tongue (warm salad, lettuce, sprouts). It seemed to exemplify the things I liked best about Coi, with its interesting ingredients and pretty presentation.

229/365 abalone/duck tongue

After two nights of taking lots of food pictures—and eating lots of good food, of course—I spent much of Thursday busy with photo editing. The obvious subject for an easy picture of the day was the anniversary present from Steve that I had yet to photograph. Above, I mentioned what I got for him, but here's is what he gave me: a Moleskine notebook and a little turtle puppet with a leather shell. Yup, we both got each other Moleskines—and from the same store too. I'm using mine to write down all our information for the trip, so it might make an appearance in the 365 one of these days.

But back to the turtle. That's what I shot for Thursday's picture. I'm not usually one for naming stuffed animals, but since someone on Flickr asked me about a name for it, I decided I liked "Eloise." (Looks kind of like the word "tortoise," no?)

230/365 turtle puppet

To end a busy week: a shot from the downtown Anthropologie store. I went shopping on Friday, armed with a fistful of discounts. I went to American Eagle for some cheap(er) clothes, Madewell for some more expensive clothes, and Anthropologie for... something. My main mission was new jeans, but since I had bought a pair each of cheap and expensive ones at the previous two places, I didn't look very hard for them at Anthro. (The line for the fitting room looked long there anyway.) Still, I had a birthday discount, so I looked around at the housewares and took a couple pictures. It turned into more of a scouting visit in the end. I felt like I had already spent enough money for one day, and I didn't want to use my Anthropologie discount if I wasn't going to really take advantage of it.

231/365 shopping day

Well, that was a long one. Congratulations for making it to the end!

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