Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sale in the City

Before moving to the city's sleepy Glen Park district, I used to live right in the middle of three vibrant neighborhoods - the Castro, Lower Haight and the Mission. The area is dotted not only with independent bookstores, lively restaurants and hip cafés but also with stores that buy and sell used items such as clothing, shoes, books, etc. Some of these second-hand stores pay a quarter of the resale price so you'll get around $5 upfront. is also a great outlet to post for-sale ads.

I remember feeling proud with my eclectic taste in clothes after most of my stuff were bought by the store. Not bad for a first timer, I thought. Rather than throw things that I've gotten tired of, garage sales and second hand stores have been my means of unearthing extra cash since then. Anything that is not sold is donated to the Salvation Army.

Well, it's that time of the year again! For those who are local, I am having a garage sale. That is, online garage sale. The items are all in great condition. You may view them in You may send all your questions to

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Turning New Leaf

Growing up in a country where the season is either dry or wet, I always find it amazing how nature transforms itself every three months in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves would grow back in the middle of the year, and then magically turning to orange, yellow or brown in the Fall and eventually falling to the damp ground by Thanksgiving.

Spring officially started a couple of weeks ago. The winter gray suddenly changed into an explosion of colors. Clear blue skies, deep green parks, and San Franciscans switching from an entirely black outfit to bright colors.

Leaves from deciduous trees are starting to emerge. The cherry trees are usually the first ones to bloom this time of the year. The birds are starting to come back from their winter migration. It is like nature is slowly waking up from its long slumber. It is like a fresh start.

Pretty soon, summer will be here. So is the fog.

(These photos were taken from Montgomery St. in the Financial district in two different seasons.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Spring Has Sprung

I haven't seen the hills this green around the Bay Area which is like a scene you would normally see around the Pacific Northwest and England's countryside. The last winter brought a lot of rain (on top of the hail and snow) into the area making San Francisco look very lush and green. Very Seattle-like.

The fog didn't waste any time because the weather turns from rainy to foggy - at least during early morning and late afternoon and it depends on where you are in the city.

(These pictures were taken from Upper Market St. on a clear Spring morning. )

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Towering over the city

- They should change the color of that antenna.
- Which antenna?
- I meant the Sutro Tower.
- I think they should change it completely. Make it as grand as the Eiffel.
- Yeah, in a city where everything is done in good taste the tower's design could have been better.
- Yeah, I second that. It is practically unknown to out-of-towners.
- If it is going to be built today, I don't think the residents would approve.
- As long as they would build it with enough urbanity applied to it, I would approve. On the second thought, I think this city does not need another landmark that Paris is already known for. I am happy enough with The Bridge.

(This picture was taken from our Glen Park apartment's dining room windows.)

Museum list

My Favorite Local Museums
1. SF Moma
2. De Young Museum
3. Asian Art Museum

Museums I would like to visit again:
1. D'Orsay in Paris
2. Metropolitan in New York
3. Reina Sofia in Madrid

Museums I would like to visit someday:
1. The British Museum
2. Hermitage in St. Petersburg
3. National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo

(This photo was taken inside the De Young Museum in San Francisco, CA)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Summer Fog

- What are we doing for Independence Day?
- Huh?
- We always go somewhere that time of the year. Last year we went to the Capital. The year before that to Vancouver. Two years ago we were in Chicago.
- That's insteresting.
- What's interesting?
- You mean the 'Fourth of July'?
- Yeah.
- I never really heard it reffered to as 'Independence Day'.
- That's true. Force of habit, you know. I was not born here.
- Maybe we should stay in town this year and watch the fireworks under the San Francisco fog.
- You mean watch the 'colored clouds'?

- Yeah, the 'red, white and blue cloud'.

(This picture was 2 months in the making. Taken from clockwise: the Potrero Hill district, the Golden Gate Bridge, Market Street and Dolores Park.)

Mandarin or Cantonese?

I went to the cleaners this morning to pick up the last set of sweaters I dropped off for dry cleaning. These will be stored away until the next Winter.

The neighborhood cleaners were tuned in to a Chinese radio station. While waiting I struck a conversation and asked if the DJ was speaking Mandarin or Cantonese. For some weird reasons, I knew it is Cantonese but I was just being polite that's why I asked. The older lady said, "It is Cantonese" and then we both smiled.

I handed her my debit card and then I mentioned that I only know one word in Cantonese which I learned during my trip to HK. I said 'um gay'. She laughed loudly and said the same word with the correct accent.

(This picture was taken during the Chinese Lunar Parade and Street Fair in San Francisco's Chinatown district)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Balitang SF

Balitang SF is an email I send to my loved ones and friends which narrates anything about me and this city. I saved all of the emails I sent which started when I left the Philippines in 1996. That's a long time I've coerced them to read my stories or to press the DELETE button as soon as they see my email in their Inbox. (I'm only kidding on the delete part!) So I've decided to BLOG it instead.

That means you will no longer receive Balitang SF from me. I won't be uploading 9 years worth of stories but I will be posting them here from now on.

Drop by and read the stories from time to time. I would love to hear the Balita from you too.


(The Beloved Bridge taken from the Presidio. )