Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in the City - Holiday scenes in the City

Christmas 2015 - Union Square bw
It is the Holidays once again and the city is all dressed up for the occasion.  For me, Christmastime is truly the most wonderful time of the year. 

I took photos of the Christmas trees, holiday lights, displays, decorations, and happy locals around town. Enjoy!


Monday, November 09, 2015

Musical in the City - Once

Once - SHN by roland luistro, on Flickr
Once The Musical traveled to San Francisco and was only here for two weeks. Thanks to my good friend Dinah's timely reminder, Mijo and I was able to see it.

The music and songs will make you fall in love all over again. Mijo and I totally enjoyed the musical.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Farmer's Market in the City - Mission Farmer's Market

Mission Farmer's Market - Sign by roland luistro, on Flickr
I love that San Francisco is a city that loves fresh food and ingredients. There is practically a farmer's market in almost every neighborhood. 

Mijo and I enjoy doing our produce shopping and eating at farmer's markets. This time, Mijo and I dropped by the Mission Farmer's market. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cafe in the City - La Boulangerie de San Francisco

La Boulangerie - Store Front bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
Finally, Mijo and I went to check out the newly opened La Boulangerie on Pine St. 

We loved the La Boulange and we were saddened by the closure of the cafes. But that sadness was replaced with jubilation when we heard the news of its ressurection under a new name but the same goodness we were fond of.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Everyday Wine in the City - Grand Detour 2013 Pinot Noir by Landmark Vineyards

Landmark Vineyard - Grand Detour 2013 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
A couple of months ago, Mijo and I went to Landmark Vineyards to wine taste. This week, we opened one of the bottles of Pinot Noir that we bought during our wine tasting there. 

This wine is delicious and it paired well with our meals. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Filipino Arts in the City - Filipino American Month at the Asian Art Museum

Filipino American Month - Asian Art Museum Ugnayan Lahi by roland luistro, on Flickr
Asian Art Museum showcased Filipino arts and culture on the first Sunday of October through their event called Ugnayan Lahi. 

As a transplanted Filipino, it was great to see the spotlight on my culture at the Asian Art Museum in my favorite city San Francisco.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Neighborhood Days in the City - Free admission at the California Academy of Science

Neighborhood Days - California Academy of Sciences bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
Every spring and fall, San Francisco residents enjoy free admission on designated weekends according to zip codes.  Our turn happened a few weeks ago. 

Mijo and I absolutely love the Academy so we try to go to these free events as much as we could.  Thank you, California Academy of Sciences for the free admission!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Everyday Coffee in the City - State Street Blend by Santa Barbara Roasting Company

Santa Barbara Roasting Company - Coffee bags bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
We started drinking a new coffee blend called State Street Blend by Santa Barbara Roasting Company. We bought a bag of regular and decaf State Street blends during our quick getaway to Santa Barbara recently.

The coffee is full bodied with very small hints of acidity. We love it!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Lunch in the City - Azalina's at The Market

Azalina's - Bar bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
We saw The Monstress at A.C.T.'s The Strand Theatre on Market St. After the play, we got hungry and decided to go get a late lunch slash early dinner at Azalina's at The Market.  

We loved the dishes we ordered. They reminded me of my travels to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Play in the City - The Monstress at A.C.T.'s The Strand Theatre

The Monstress - A.C.T.'s The Strand Theatre bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
Thanks again to my good friend Dinah, I was able to see yet another very good play at A.C.T. The play is called The Monstress and it is two short stories about Filipino-American life in San Francisco. It was beautifully written and well acted.

A bonus is seeing the newly restored The Strand Theatre on Market St. Good job A.C.T.!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Landmark in the City - Hidden Garden Steps

Hidden Garden Steps - Lovely steps bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
We met a couple of friendly locals while hiking and taking pictures of the artsy 16th Ave. Tiled Steps. I learned from our conversations with them about another tiled stairs in the same neighborhood.

It is on 16th Ave. and Lawton St. It is called Hidden Garden Steps and they are equally stunning as the 16th Ave. Tiled Steps.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Park in the City - Grandview Park

Grandview Park - View from the top bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
From the Mosaic stairs at Moraga and 16th Avenue, Mijo and I continued our playing local tourists. We hiked some more and walked all the way up to Grandview Park.

The hike was challenging for us but it was all worth it. The view from up there is nothing short of amazing. I love San Francisco!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Landmark in the City - 16th Ave. Tiled Steps

Hidden Garden Steps - Stairs bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
Mijo and I played tourists the other day. We went to see the mosaic tiled steps called the 16th Ave. Tiled Steps located in the city's Golden Gate Heights neighborhood.

Climbing the stairs was a workout but it was exhilirating afterward. It was truly a unique San Francisco experience!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Musical in the City - Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera - Orpheum Theatre outside by roland luistro, on Flickr
After so many years, I was able to see one of my favortie musicals the Phantom of the Opera. This one is a new production. Same classic songs.

 The Phantom of the Opera is playing at San Francisco's  Opheum Theatre through October 4, 2015.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Art in the City - Nuestros Silencios

Silencios - Facing backs bw by roland luistro, on Flickr
A traveling art installation of ten giant bronze busts with covered mouths and a big bronze cube is currently on display in front of the Ferry Building.

I've seen it more than once so I've included in this blog pictures of the sculptures I've collected so far. Enjoy!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lunch in Napa Valley - Rutherford Grill

Rutherford Grill - Sign by roland luistro, on Flickr
Bob, Bren, Mijo and I went to Rutherford Grill after our wonderful cave tour and barrel tasting at Del Dotto caves. 

Our first time at this restaurant was delightful and it was such a feast to our taste buds in addition to the great atmosphere and friendly service.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Hagafen Cellars

Hagafen Cellars - Glass by roland luistro, on FlickrOur second of four winery hopping was Hagafen Cellars. 

Hagafen Cellars does not only let you sample good wines, they are super friendly as well. One of the friendliest wine tasting experience I've ever had.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Blackbird Vineyards

Blackbird Vineyards - Wine house bw by roland luistro, on FlickrFor our last wine tasting of the day, Bob treated us to sample wines at Blackbird Vineyards. We tasted here really good high quality wines.

Jonathan, our wine educator that day, was very knowledgeable and fun to talk to. Sampling very good wines while talking to a passionate wine expert are good pairing. Thank you Bob for the treat and Blackbird and Jonathan for the wines!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Del Dotto Historic Winery and Caves

Del Dotto Vineyards Historic Winery and Caves - Facade by roland luistro, on FlickrDel Dotto Vineyards has two venues in Napa Valley to wine taste. One at their Estate Winery in St. Helena and another one at their Historic Caves near Oaknoll.

We went to their Historic Caves and took the cave tour while tasting their delicious reds and learning more about barrels. Their wines and the tours were both awesome!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Monticello Vineyards

Monticello Vineyards - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrIt is that time of the year again when the land is filled with sunshine and our annual trek to Napa Valley with our friends Bren and Bob. We look forward to this every year.

We set aside one day in August every year.  Our first winery? Monticello Vineyards and their wines are awesome!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Festival in the City - San Francisco Street Food Festival

SF Street Food Festival - Entrance bw by roland luistro, on FlickrSan Francisco was having a real summer weather this weekend. If you like this kind of weather, it is perfect for the outdoor events happening around the city.

Mijo and I went to the San Francisco Street Food Festival to grab something for lunch. The trek to the Dogpatch neighborhood of the city was all worth it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lunch in Sonoma - The Naked Pig

Naked Pig - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrThe past weekend, Mijo and I were in Sonoma for a day of unplanned wine tasting and a light lunch afterward.

Our lunch at The Naked Pig was also unplanned. We got lucky because the lunch was good.  We truly enjoyed our light and leisurely lunch while enjoying the glorious Sonoma summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wine Tasting in Sonoma - Merriam Vineyards

Merriam Vineyards - Gate by roland luistro, on FlickrThe past weekend, Mijo and I dropped by Merriam Vineyards. It was unplanned but we've been wanting to visit the winery ever since we tasted their wines at one of the SF Chefs event years ago.

We tasted lots of good reds at the winery. In fact, all of the wines we tasted were good. Thank you Merriam Vineyards for letting us taste delicious red and for a quick lecture on terroir.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Everyday Coffee in the City - Santa Cruz Dark by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting - Santa Cruz dark bag bw by roland luistro, on FlickrThis week, we opened one of the two bags of coffee we bought from Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting the last time we were in Santa Cruz

We are currently brewing Santa Cruz Dark. This classic blend is strong and at the same time flavorful. We paired it with treats from Arizmendi Bakery and a Filipino dessert called cassava cake.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Landmark in the City - Tour of AT&T Park

AT&T Park Tour - Pano ballpark bw by roland luistro, on FlickrLast week, the company I currently work for held a summer celebration at AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants.

The highlight of the day for me was the quick tour of the park. We were assigned a group tour guide and showed us around the park with out the ball game crowd. Thank you AT&T Park and my employer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Musical in the City - Matilda

Matilda - Orpheum Theatre bw by roland luistro, on FlickrMatilda the musical is in town through August 15, 2015.  We didn't have plans to see it at all but we saw it from the orchestra seats for less than half the price.

Matilda is a funny, touching, imaginative and...very funny. The songs and music are also appealing and memorable. For us, this musical is five stars. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day trip from the City - Beach time in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz - Boardwalk bw by roland luistro, on FlickrA week ago, the weather was beautiful. It was beach weather. That kind of weather makes it perfect to drive south of the City. The place we had in mind was none other than Santa Cruz. 

We relaxed by the beach with a cold beverage and then we went to Santa Cruz downtown in the afternoon for a nice stroll on Pacific Ave. It was a perfect Santa Cruz beach day.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Jazz in the City - The Music of Paco De Lucia at the San Francisco Jazz Center

SF Jazz - Programme by roland luistro, on FlickrA week ago, Mijo and I decided to get tickets to a jazz appreciation event held at the SF Jazz Center in the city's Hayes valley neighborhood. 

We learned at lot about Paco De Lucia and the art of flamenco through artists Jason McGuire trio and the members of Caminos Flamencos.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Everyday Wine in the City - Rodney Strong Reserve 2010 Pinot Noir

Everyday Wine - Rodney Strong Pinto Noir 2010 RRV by roland luistro, on FlickrThis week, we opened a bottle of Rodney Strong 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir. We got this bottle from our visit to their tasting cellars in Sonoma two years ago.

Mijo and I love this wine. The weather was warmer than usual for a San Francisco summer and this wine proved to be a tasty treat for us.


Monday, July 06, 2015

Filipino food in the City - Pampalasa, Rustic Filipino Cuisine

Pampalasa - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrFinally, a new Filipino restaurant in the city!  I first heard about it being mentioned by my friends Dinah and Jean Paul, though, I think they've not been there yet.

Mijo and I dropped by and had a late Sunday brunch at Pampalasa. We enjoyed what we ordered and we will definitely be back  for more.



Sunday, July 05, 2015

4th of July in North Bay - Fireworks in Vacaville

4th of July Vacavile - Fireworks bw by roland luistro, on FlickrWe were in town for 4th of July. Since the weather in the city looked like it was going to be fogged in, we went north of San Francisco to celebrate USA's independence day with Mijo's family.

The weather was clear, the crowd was well behaved and the fireworks impressive. Thank you, Vacaville for a great fireworks show!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Parade in Oakland - The Golden State Warriors Victory Parade

Golden State Warriors - Victory Parade Dubbed by roland luistro, on FlickrAfter 40 years of waiting, the San Francisco Bay Area basketball fans have finally been granted what they've been wishing, the Golden States Warriors are NBA champions once again!

After weeks and weeks of close games and pressure cooker moments, it is time to celebrate the local champions with a big parade in Oakland.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Festival in the City - Ethnic Dance Festival

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrIt is summer time in the City and like many people, this season tend to be something I look forward to. Not because of the weather but because of the fairs and festivals that get celebrated in the city.

One of these festivals is the Ethnic Dance Festival. Mijo went to the Weekend 1 event and we went around the world for the entire two hours of live dancing and music.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Nature in the City - 75th Anniversary and Community Day at the SF Botanical Garden

SF Botanical Garden - Poster by roland luistro, on FlickrThe San Francisco Botanical Garden recently had a Community Day to celebrate the garden's 75th anniversary.

There were informational booths, cultural music and performances, walking tours and other activities that day. Mijo and I had an enjoyable and relaxing day.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Museum in the City - Friday Nights at the De Young and the Boticelli to Braque exhibition

Friday Nights at the De Young Museum - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrArt and alcohol on a Friday night? Oh yeah. It happens at San Francisco's De Young Museum. 

Mijo and I went there on Friday and we were in for a treat. There was a special exhibition called Boticelli to Braque Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland and live music. The best way to spend Friday nights!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Lunch in the City - The Italian Homemade Company

North Beach - Italian Homemade Company by roland luistro, on FlickrMijo and I like to eat. For us, good food is not necessarily expensive but it should be delicious and well made. Bonus points if it happens to be easy on the  budget.

We just recently discovered this place in the city's North Beach neighborhood that serves both inexpensive and good food. The Italian Homemade Company was a hit for us!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Lunch in Napa Valley - Market, An American Eatery

Market - Front door by roland luistro, on FlickrMijo and I went to Napa for a lunch date with Mijo's relatives. We all went to a place in St. Helena called Market.  It was our second time to go there.

We like going to Market because of good food and friendly service. I did not have a chance to blog it the last time so I am blogging about this this time. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Everyday Wine in the City - 2012 Pinot Noir Deep End Blend by Navarro Vineyards

Navarro Vineyard Pinot Noir - Deep End Blend by roland luistro, on FlickrLast week Mijo and I opened a bottle of Deep End Blend 2012 Pinot Noir by Navarro Vineyards.

We've preview tasted this wine a year and half ago so we knew we will like this wine. We paired them with tasty appetizers and light Thai dishes. The wine was delicious!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Neigborhood in the City - A stroll through North Beach

North Beach - Washington Square by roland luistro, on FlickrAs part of our staycation, Mijo and I decided to have a light lunch in North Beach. We've been wanting to try the food at The Italian Homemade Company.

Since we were staycationing, we also played tourists by strolling through the neighborhood before we had lunch. That day was both a feast on the eyes and the taste buds!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Festival in the City - SF Carnaval

SF Carnaval 2015 - Parade by roland luistro, on FlickrWe stayed in town over the Memorial Day weekend. What to do during Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco? One word. Carnaval. 

Mijo and I saw Carnaval again and it was upbeat, lots of music, fiesta atmosphere, and lots of food. It was like a big dance party! This is one of the reasons I love living in San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bakery in the City - Pan Lido

Pan Lido - Box of breads by roland luistro, on FlickrI love bakeries and their freshly baked breads. I also enjoy going to bakeries and get a whiff of oven fresh aroma.

San Francisco has lots of supply of bakeries and one of my favorites is Pan Lido. We go there to get our Salvadorean bread fix.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wine tasting in Sonoma - Landmark Vineyards

Landmark Vineyards - Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrI am a fan of Landmark Vineyards wines. I absolutely enjoy especially their Pinot Noirs. I first tasted their wines at the SF Chefs events in San Francisco.

Mijo and I finally decided to pay Landmark Vineyards a visit since we were already in the Kenwood area of Sonoma that day. Finally, wine tasting Landmark Vineyards wines at the source!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wine Tasting in Sonoma - Chateau St. Jean Vineyards and Winery

Chateau St. Jean - Signage by roland luistro, on FlickrSpring is glorious in Northern California. The weather was extra beautiful last week so Mijo and I decided to drive to Sonoma for a day trip.

We decided to pay Chateau St. Jean a visit since we like their wines but we have never been to the winery. The winery is very pretty and the wines we tried were very tasty!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Art in the City - Fancy Animal Carnival

Fancy Animal Carnival - Eagle Dove of Peace and Buffalo bw by roland luistro, on FlickrI was dragging my feet to go to Civic Center the other day because I was summoned for a Jury Duty. Something caught my attention as I was walking from the Civic Center BART to the Cityhall.

A new outdoor sculpture exhibition was on display that week. I had time to snap photos because I got to Civic Center early. The sculptures were amazing!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Filipino breakfast in the City - Longsilog, Tocilog and Hotsilog

Pinoy Breakfast in the City - Kape Maria by roland luistro, on FlickrI prepared a semi homemade Filipino breakfast one beautiful Sunday morning for my friends Karen and Dinah. I made their all time favorite garlic rice with tocino, longaniza and hotdog.

It was a lot of work to host even a small brunch but it was all worth it! I got my Filipino fix to last me for a while.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Farmers Market in the City - Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market - Produce shopping by roland luistro, on FlickrAnother beautiful Saturday morning in the city, another visit to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Even though we've been to this farmers market many times, the experience is something new in each visit. The feeling is always refreshing. This is why I love San Francisco!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lunch in the City - The Garden Court at The Palace Hotel

The Garden Court - Dining room by roland luistro, on FlickrMy friend Rey got engaged recently (congrats Rey!) so Caloy, Rey and I got together for breakfast so we can get the scoop and the plans for the wedding.

Rey and Caloy have not been to The Garden Court so I thought this venue would be perfect to talk about the details of the wedding plan. The food was great, the service topnotch and friendly and the ambiance classy!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Festival in the City - Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival - Stage by roland luistro, on FlickrTwo weekends ago, San Francisco's Japantown hosted the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. I've always wanted to come and see it but it always coincides when I am on call at work.

This year, the on-call happened early on so I was able to see the opening day. I loved it!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chocolate in the City - Tcho PureNotes dark chocolates

Tcho - Big Sign by roland luistro, on FlickrI was walking around Union Square earlier this week and saw a Tcho store inside the San Francisco Mall. Lots of chocolates to choose from. To make my selection easier, I decided to pick their Tcho-A-Day jar.

This is why this week, Mijo and I are enjoying Tcho's PureNotes Tcho-A-Day dark chocolates.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Lunch in Sonoma - Back at The Girl and the Fig

The Girl and the Fig - Julie Higgins art by roland luistro, on FlickrMijo and I have been out of the country and we miss the Bay Area. We are fortunate to be able to see the other parts of our beautiful world but we are glad to be back home.

No better place to go to experience the Bay Area other than the wine country. Sonoma County to be exact and a delicious lunch at The Girl and The Fig.