Saturday, September 25, 2010

Decorate - Discover - Delish in San Francisco Blog #2

I think of my partner Dave as Geppetto – a skilled master craftsman with the ability to make the wood pieces he precisely cuts on the bandsaw come to life. This characteristic is enhanced when applying several 3 dimensional layers together to create our wall art plaques. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like these for sale. I love how unique they are.

Many years ago, Michael Vanderbyl, a San Francisco designer, created a logo for Hickory Business Furniture using a profile of Andrew Jackson (aka “old Hickory”). His idea for their North Carolina showroom was to have us make a 5 foot tall silhouette of the 7th president. He knew that Dave was “the person” for this amazing one-of-a-kind project.  Dave took on the challenge. Not only was this to be 5 foot tall but 30 inches thick. Having never done anything like this, it was hard to guess how long it would take to complete. I know we stopped counting labor time after 40 hours. Dave created a masterpiece.  Michael Vanderbyl was so pleased with the finished piece when presenting it to the company president of Hickory; he introduced us as “Andy’s Mom and Dad!”

Dimension 3's wall & table art -
To purchase - Dimension3 shop on

Discover Billy Goat Hill. Welcome to my ‘hood. Even if you live here you may not know this undeveloped natural area at the southern end of Noe Valley. You should check it out. My house sits 2 blocks from here. For years I used to hear “Amazing Grace” and other tunes coming from a bagpipe player who stood atop this 500’ hill. I could hear it so clearly while working in my office. It was so haunting.

Want to know the best rope swing in the city?  The one atop Billy Goat Hill has got to be the scariest thing to try and I suppose that’s why it gets cut down. A 30' rope swing is attached to a tree at the top of the hill.  Sometimes when standing out front of our house, you can see someone taking flight into the sky.

It is located at 30th and Castro. Laidley Street begins here. Hikers and dog walkers can take any of several winding dirt paths up to the peak, from which they have a commanding view of the homes of Noe Valley and downtown skyline in the distance. This area used to be a rock quarry. And the name comes from the goats that used to roam there.

Google Map of Billy Goat Hill

Last year when Julie & Julia came out, it seemed that a lot of food industry people were reluctant to see the movie. Maybe it was because so many knew the real Julia Child. Around that time, I was invited to a party to honor and celebrate Julia. Most everyone invited knew her. The menu, of course, was Julia’s recipes. It was a wonderful evening listening to warm, heartfelt stories by those lucky enough to have worked and dined with her. It was a real treat. Since I did not know her, I made a visual tribute. Using a big art board, I made a collage of great Julia photos and her best quotes.

Julia Child’s kitchen is now in the Smithsonian. How cool is that? I thought you might like to see some of her gadgets. By the way, Julia even had a junk drawer in her kitchen.

Julia's Kitchen at the Smithsonian - At top of page, click “view selected objects”. Double click on first image, then see slide show.

Here is a video of Julia vs. Meryl (as Julia).