Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy 75th to the Golden Gate Bridge

This Memorial Day weekend in celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Anniversary, Birthday what-have-you, San Francisco was alive (or should I say more alive?) with festivities, tourists, and activity every way you turned--if you could physically turn at all. 
In a pretty festive mood ourselves, two friends and I jumped onto the BART (which was the most crowded I'd ever seen) and headed to the Mission. Originally, we headed over to see the Brazilian Festival which was definitely underway when we got there. The air was filled with the delicious smells of elotes, grilled bacon-covered hot dogs, and barbeque, and almost everyone was carrying either watermelon or mango on a stick. People were dressed in elaborate, colorful costumes and everyone was dancing. It was so festive! 
We wandered through and learning that the parade was over decided to explore the Mission.
I'd never been to the Mission before, at least this particular part of it, and I must say, "It has character." Funny thing, this statement now possesses much more meaning. Sophie and I laughed at this accurate title. Previously, we have only used it to describe things that are just downright terrible, unpleasant, not to our know, I'm sure you've used this before. But the Mission really DOES have character, the kind that leaves you wanting to explore its odd mixture of rough patches and lovely oases. It was absolutely fascinating to see the quality of the neighborhood change from impoverished and down-trodden to chic and gentrified (one of my new favorite words, and one that was used several times during the day) all within the trek of one or two blocks.
An example of such a transition: we walked past several liquor stores and then hit a really chic boutique that was having a sample sale... 
 The sale was absolutely invigorating. Upon my first, casual glance at the sales tags, my initial reaction was to duck out of the store unnoticed. But then, looking up, I noticed the color-coded sales chart with prices between $15-$35, a much improved price range from the $150.00-a-shirt tags that had me hyperventilating. In the end, the three of us all walked out with lovely brown paper bags filled with out even lovelier dresses and other items. I found an amazing black maxi dress that I am struggling not to wear t this very second. 
After the sale, we continued our walk down the Mission through the more chic apothecaries, ice cream shops, and iconic San Francisco townhouses before we decided to head over to Ghirardelli Square to eat and set up camp to watch the fireworks. 
Even though it is more tourist-y and the restaurants are overpriced, we decided on Lou's Fish Shack. We passed it, but we were drawn to the live music and the chatter from inside. We stuffed ourselves with calamari, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls and crab salad sandwiches before heading over to the Buena Vista, a small tavern-like bar famous for their Irish Coffee.
 Apparently, the FIRST Irish Coffee to be made in America was made right here! (I really am becoming a sucker for history...) And it did not disappoint. It was incredibly creamy and smooth and had great flavor. BUT even better! We met three really awesome girls, two from UCSD (one of which is graduating in three weeks!) and one from France who is leaving the States in three days. It was really nice just to mingle with new people and hear their stories. 
Courtney, Sophie, and I with out new friend Nicole in tow, then headed to the grassy park next to Buena Vista (it had a perfect view of the bridge) and sat to enjoy the fireworks. It was a spectacular show, and I honestly don't know how they will compete with it in 25 years. In fact, the evening was so great, I don't know how the rest of summer will compete, but I guess I'll soon find out!
Here's to Summer and Exceeding Expectations!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Twinkle Toes

Oh my...I haven't posted in quite some time! Now that it is summer, I envision myself blogging several times a week with some fun DIY project that I do to keep myself from dying of boredom, especially now that I don't have studying and reading to preoccupy all my waking moments. 

First Project of Summer: Revamping What At First Glance Already Appears to be Vamped Flats 

On Wednesday, I took some old clothes to Buffalo Exchange, a really awesome vintage thrift/consignment store. While I love doing this, I first have to muster up the courage to march in, take a number and watch the staff rifle through my items to pick what is Buffalo-worthy merchandise. There is seriously nothing like this experience that makes me feel like a person with a bag lady sense of fashion. Of an entire luggage full of clothes, only two items were tagged. These particular flats were praised, but deemed too worn.

But in the end, it worked out. I have been searching for plain, unadorned black flats for months. Bringing these back home I realized that I could redesign the flats using a little creativity and hot glue. 

 My first step was to cut off the center adorned piece (including the little loop connecting the center to the ankle strap). I left the center strip alone but cut off the two smaller side strips, so as to make use of it for ankle strap support.
 I then cut the center strip so that the length corresponded with the length of the heel of the flat, and hot glued it to the center of the heel.
Taking my beloved crop-o-dile, I punched six holes along the arc of the toe to add a little flair.
 And VOILA! New Mary-Jane style flats that have just a subtle hint of pop on the heel!