I was truly inspired by the subjects of my latest portrait series for an SF magazine story that unabashedly details the experiences of those deeply affected by violence in Oakland. I am the first to praise the city in which i live in and love, but there is no hiding the fact that there is much left to do to make it a place that can be safe and enjoyed by all.
Marilyn Harris, who after loosing her son in a random shooting realized there was no one to help her through the process of such an unexpected tragedy. She has since started The Khadafy foundation, and tirelessly reaches out to help others in the community deal with their grief and get them on tack toward recovery.
Caheri Gutierrez, at the scene of her violent attack, a drive by shooting at 98th and San Leandro. Seriously one of the bravest chicks I have ever met. Somehow she has not only been able to recover from the horror of being shot, but she has the courage to repeatedly recount the details of her experiences to kids in the hopes that they avoid life of violence.
Kevin Grant, an ex con, who spent 17 years behind bars only to emerge as one of Oakland’s most effective and influential intervention specialists.
For the whole story, pick up the April issue of SF mag, or read it here.
I am currently completely obsessed with the idea of starting a small family farm. Our sights are set on a small piece of land just out side the reaches of the city, and I can’t seem to stop daydreaming about it. Where I’d put the chicken coop.. what would I plant first.. do I want a miniature donkey… (hell YES!) My pinterest board is filling up with picks of cute baby animals and DIY farm projects. I even started a batch of 74 seedlings in the hopes of someday soon having a place to plant them. I know, I know Im getting way ahead of myself, but I’m happy with my head in the clouds for now..
I recently took mini day tour of the wine country with my friend Amy and came across two very inspirational examples of beautiful and successful farms, the garden’s of French Laundry in Yountville and an Alpaca ranch called Brookfarm in Glen Ellen.
Mark at Brookfarm Alpacas was supper gracious and welcomed our unannounced visit with a great tour of the ranch! Such a killer surprise! He also took a ton of time and answered a slue of questions from a couple of city gals that know nothing about farm life. Thanks Mark!
Featured in the current issue of inked girls magazine are a series of images I shot of a local beauty and talented artist named Charmaine Olivia. It was a super fun day shooting at her apartment in SF and I just love these! Check out some of my favorite outtakes below!
These are some of my favorite portraits from a recent shoot I did of a very lovely and talented local SF artist, Charmaine Olivia at her studio. We shot these while she was deep into creating for her upcoming solo show ‘Ritual’ at the Shooting Gallery, which was a major success! I stopped by her opening toward the end of the night and all I saw was red dots all over the wall! she is the sweetest creature.. you must check out her work!
Gjelina is my Jam. When I am in LA I never leave without visiting if I can help it. This particular trip was all pleasure as my hubby and I were in town for my dear friend and rep, Annika’s wedding to her long time mate Jason. I ordered some poached egg thing.. I can’t remember now what it was exactly. Might have been a rabbit stew ? No matter, you can’t fuck up ordering here and the menu changes all the time, what ever it was isn’t available any longer.
Post brunch we popped over to their Gjelina to-go spot (GTA) for the perfect cortado.
If you ask me why I love oakland, this place might just be on the list of reasons. A spin off sister restaurant to Pizzaiolo, Boot and Shoe Service was always a favorite dinner spot for us, but now.. it’s even more! These guys know how to make coffee, the right way and with the right stuff. Sight glass beans are some of the best locally roasted beans I have ever had.. and now I can get it right in my hood. They also make all their pastries daily in their own kitchen.
Kay-Yut Chen, Principle scientist at HP Labs
Steve Blank, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University photographed at his Ranch in Pescadero.
Brian Wong founder and CEO of Kiip and Eileen Gittins founder and CEO of Blurb.com shot for Entrepreneur Magazine
Ken Peterson, founder and CEO of Apricot Lane clothing Boutiques
Shocking that I am a bay area native and had not (until very recently) been to Swan Oyster Depot. I was always put off but the line, the hype and .. the menu frankly. I just don’t consider myself a die hard seafood fan. Oysters are a no for me.. and crab, lobster and shrimp.. eh.. I could live without. So what the hell would I eat at Swan?!?… turns out.. one of each! Ha!
Don’t miss the bloody beer, it’s so so good! And if you are in line.. as soon as you get close to the door they will serve you one while you wait. As hectic as this place gets.. there is something really relaxed and easy.. and I might even go so far as to say.. magical about the experience. These guys work hard, but it looks like they are having fun, and are genuinely proud of the quality of seafood they are dishing out. Despite a line out the door, the focus doesn’t seem to be on turning the counter seats over as quick as possible. Instead it’s all about the food and making sure everyone is enjoying every fresh delicious local bite of it. Though the menu is really really simple, most items are really customizable.. and the combinations then become somewhat limitless. The only thing i’d say to skip is the clam chowder. Sounds good.. it is good.. but really you’ll want the smack space. The smoke salmon is insane.
Tapas at Barlata: Top Right, Pulpo (2 hour cooked octopus with fingerling potatoes and adobo oil. Bottom, Fideua (noodle paella with shrimp, monk fish, & Squid)
Beer at 21rst Amendment.
Prospect for Happy Hour. A $5 whiskey cocktail? $5 bacon and Jalepeno deviled eggs? Deal! Im there.
Brunch at Mission Beach Cafe. The mimosas are GIANT!
Wexler’s for lunch. Mmmmmm fried chicken sandwich.
Nothing like a piping hot bowl of beef noodle soup on a blustery winter SF day! This one totally cured my blues. Wo Hing General Store wasn’t on my radar at all.. but I was doing some prop shopping on Valencia St and the beautifully designed menu caught my eye. I’ve been re-branding and working on a new web site, so Im supper high focused right now and on the lookout for design inspiration where ever I can find it. It was enough to entice me and I pulled up a seat at the bar. At first I was tempted to try a bit of everything, but then I noticed they made the noodles for the beef soup from scratch in house, and that ended the debate. Yumminess that followed including wine that the bartender painstaking help me pick after multiple tastes are the reasons why I am looking forward to going back. Might even order the same exact meal.
Food has become somewhat of a passion of mine of the last couple years.. probably since I have little time for any other hobbies..but one still has to eat, right?! Mine as well do it up. Most of the time I blog and photograph all my adventures dining out but Im learning slowly..
(from top left)
Classic Beef Tartar, from Eric Ripert’s book Avec Eric, Caprese Salad with lemon and parsley, BBQ Swordfish and grilled asparagus, Beef Wellington from Sydney food photographer’s blog What Kate Ate, Roast Chicken from Ruth Reichl’s book “Garlic and Sapphires,” Baked eggs with smoked salmon and grilled asparagus.