trop loin de toi

i fell asleep today
and woke up very far away
so far, in fact, i’m not sure
if i can ever find my way back

i’d like to think you’re warm at home
looking out the window for me
cozy by the fireplace, with tea
won’t you leave a light in the window?

it’s dark out here and i can’t see
maybe you’ll come find me
before i surrender
to the dark and the cold
and the calming nothingness

so that even when the sun rises
even when i’m home again
i won’t be anyone that you know

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San Francisco’s Legion of Honor

It’s my favorite museum in San Francisco and entry is free on the first Tuesday of each month. These photos are from my most recent trip last month.

Under that same arch

I should’ve been more diligent about writing down artists and titles corresponding these pictures, but instead I’ll just call it a scavenger hunt. Here are my favorites.

This one I admire for the color of the sky.

This sculpture of Rodin should be called “The Hokey Pokey”

Note the three pink roses at different stages of life. I overheard a docent talking about this painting, and it is deeper than it seems. You can enjoy it as just pretty flowers, sure, but it’s actually rich in social commentary and criticism as well.

It’s unfortunate that modern portraiture doesn’t seem to turn out this well. I guess it’s gone out of style

The next two were sisters. Alice Gray, who looks like a docile people-pleaser

and Sophie Gray, who looks like a defiant trouble-maker.

Okay, not technically art, but I like this chandelier and its wire-sock

I like sitting by this horsey and his man to write

 

Tannenbaum special

The Christmas season is about the Christmas trees. Living in San Francisco means I can enjoy public trees and not have to engage in slaughter myself. Here they are, in the order I met them:

Tannenbaum of Pier 39

Tannenbaum of the Fairmont Hotel

Tannenbaum of Castro Street (unlit)

… and lit!

Tannenbaum of 555 California Street (Carly Rae Jepsen was at this tree lighting and she was super adorable, but my video of her performance was very low quality).

Tannenbaum of City Hall (outside)

Tannenbaum of City Hall (inside) – aka “The World Tree of Hope

There may be a giant sugar castle at the Westin St. Francis. Maybe I should go visit that too. Which one of these is your favorite?

New Orleans

On my second night, we went to a bar called Snake & Jake’s Christmas Bar Lounge. It appeared to be a shipping container strung with red lights. I felt as if I were in the opening credits of True Blood.

It was good! There, a bright eyed young girl who had met me only hours previously told me dark things about her past and her last relationship. It fit perfectly.

One of the mansions along St. Charles hired a movie production company to decorate their property for Halloween. Here are the results:

One lazy Sunday, we tried a new dessert place. Dessert counters fill my heart with delight.

My friend had a salted caramel cupcake, and I tried the Earl Grey truffle. Both were heaven.

My friends have become foodies of sorts and this is a breakfast-in-bed that one of them made for me.

I spent some time wandering the French Quarter because I was a tourist. You’ll be proud of me, though. The most egregious souvenir I purchased was a magnet with little crawfish for my mom. This is a hotel famous for its cornstalk fence

It was quite common for streets to be closed to cars. Instead, they would fill with people: musicians, homeless-looking artist kids, and yeah, other tourists.

I didn’t think it was much like old Orleans at all, but it did have alleys and outside dining, so it felt vaguely European.

The St. Louis Cathedral interior

The exterior

A few years ago at Cafe Beignet, I made the acquaintance of a friendly boy-cat. (Pictured on the right). He made his rounds in the garden seating area, collecting pets and ear-rubs from any willing patron. This time, he was well hidden with a new lover. Congratulations to him!

Here’s the famous beignet place. I can’t really tell the difference though. Fried dough is always good.

It is a wedding tradition here to march through the quarter with all your guests and a portable band known as a “second line” — I was lucky enough to see one

It was also fairly common for wrought-iron enclosed balconies in the quarter to be overrun with jungle plants

A few more from the quarter

Joan of Arc’s horse’s ass

Crest of (old) Orleans

Lazy river. I’m told it’s not fit for swimming though. Sadly.

They had these drains at the palace in Blois. But in New Orleans, vagabonds would paint them at night. The original was black like the rest of the pipe.

City Park has a creepy statue garden for children called Storyland, but I don’t know why they bothered. The rest of it already looks like something from a fairytale. “Meet me on the bridge. Don’t tell anyone.”

I have never known what these are for, so I call them wedding pavilions. Stand in the center, kiss the bride. Look into each other’s eyes and think about forever. In that moment, it shouldn’t seem like such a long time.

Maybe I’m right about them. After all, this one’s interior is Tiffany Blue

I went to see Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and found a surprising number of Germans entombed there

This may have been a garden shed (I saw no names). But if not, forgive me for being rude

Not sure what the tree trunk was for. I think the red was firemen.

Even in death, this person had a space bubble

She seems like the sort of statue that would cry blood sometimes.

On the wrong side of St. Charles avenue, many houses are abandoned to moulder. Sometimes, it was haunting, beautiful. This is my dream house.

And this is farewell.

Don’t think I didn’t do many debaucherous things with many old and new friends. I did, oh I did. It’s only just that those things are about the feelings and can’t possibly be well captured at my skill level of photography. One day.

Prague

I studied abroad in Hungary as an undergraduate, but never visited Prague. Until I remedied that earlier in the year, it was my biggest regret. Prague is located on the Vltava river, and I’ve decided that every decent city has either a river or an ocean coast. This is from the Charles Bridge

Don’t these buildings make you think of confectionery?

I’m reminded of a “your mama” joke. This church is so big it wouldn’t fit in my viewfinder.

From the church tower, these spires reminded me a bit of Oxford

And this fog made me think of home

I thought this boy was cute, but maybe I just liked his giant golden sword

I was lucky enough to have been there near Easter. Which meant there were special Easter markets, and I got to try seasonal specialties like “prosciutto di Praha” (spit-roasted ham) and “trdlo” (spit-roasted dough cylinders with cinnamon sugar and sesame seeds). I also got to watch a bunny race. What will I do now that I’ve remedied my life’s greatest regret? Promote my next biggest regret: I didn’t buy the pretzel-shaped magnet that said “Germany Deutschland” that I saw in Regensburg.

Firenze

First glimpse of the Duomo again after years. Exciting!

One of my favorite statues

It’s a griffin, a griffin. Griffin!

Oh Duomo, you are so tall. I accidentally marched in a Catholic midnight mass because it was right before Easter. I held a candle and we followed a priest with a stereo system on wheels, pretending to sing in Italian.

Loving mothering and a missing arm

Across the river, there was a little bar serving 5 euro homemade lasagne. At the counter, they had a basket of free sausage chunks. Also homemade. Afterwards, we found a gelateria with a long line of locals. Beautiful and quiet on that side.

These views were, after all, from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Wouldn’t be right not to have a picture of his statue.

Dante. I’m still meaning to read his Inferno…

Sunsets are better enjoyed with a nice lion

Genova

Pardon, I know these are late, but here are some pictures from my trip to Italy earlier this year. I found this merman when looking for a grocery store. When I finally found the grocery store, I bought a month’s supply of parmesan flavored Cheetos, I kid you not.

It was cold the whole time. Rainy and 4 degrees celsius. I took pictures of buildings while natives in dark colors skirted around me, looking at me like I had gone mad.

Our hotel was so posh, it even had velvet seats in the elevator. Around the corner, there was a bakery with hot chocolate croissants.

The view from the hotel window. If you were to look up, you’d see the time and temperature. Both were sad facts that first morning, waking up jet lagged at 5:17 am to the frigid darkness.

Someone tell me why the Europeans were so obsessed with lions. And how they even knew what lions looked like.

He looked so concerned I wanted to comfort him. “There there, Mr. Lion. The rain won’t ruin your pretty mane. Promise.”

Genova was built half on a mountain, making for dramatic elevation changes.

Now these people know how to live. Their rooftop isn’t large or glamorous, but notice the pool, swing and picnic table.

The city had two levels. I liked that I managed to find the bridge that was outside my hotel window.