Fort Bragg

I went to a beautiful foggy wedding in at the botanical gardens in Fort Bragg yesterday:


huddling because it was breezy and chilly

Eat Real Fest 2010 Part 1

Eat Real Festival 2010 was amazing.  Jack London Square was beautiful.  Oakland is beautiful.

Here are the photos:

Food Vendors and the Marketplace

Sometime Emeryville vendors Primo’s Parilla showed up with their meats and grill.  They’d recently run into some sort of permit issue with Emeryville regarding the grill but that wasn’t a problem at Eat Real.

Folks from Boccalone (“Tasty Salted Pig Parts”) had a small stand:

Toussant from Besto Pesto providing samples of his pesto with super-delicious organic rigatoni pasta from the pasta shop

Rachel and her crew from Blue Chair Fruit selling some wonderful jams (including black fig, strawberry-pink peppercorn, and spiced burbon-tomato)

This guy was getting ready to make a watermelon salad in the Marketplace area:

A sale at Marshall’s farm natural honey:

The Taco Guys had a sweet paint job on their truck.

Chinese Noodle Pulling

In short, the Chinese noodle pulling demonstration was amazing.  At first, being unfamiliar with the art, I was almost bored – this guy is just kneading dough.  But then, he started doing some twists and stretching..

Chef Gordon from ARK restaurant in Alameda, CA gets to work, starting with a lump of dough.


In a short amount of time he went from what appeared to be a few strands of dough to hundreds of noodles:

I was able to get an aerial view of part of Jack London Square.  Super-crowded.  It’s an interesting contrast compared to how empty it normally seems.

This is Dave the Butcher participating in the live pig butchery competition against Dan the butcher from Jim & Nick’s BBQ .  Apparently he liked the photo enough to tweet/facebook update about it:

Cool.  More photos of the butchery competition to come in the next post.

temescal street fair 2010

Today was the 7th annual Temescal street fair along Telegraph ave in Oakland between 45th and 51st avenues.

temescal street fair banner

Berta Olivia y su mariachi performed an impressive set near 51st ave:

berta olivia y su mariachi

there was a train (with a horn) for the kiddies:

train for the kiddies

oakland recycles and composts:

oakland recycles and composts

I couldn’t resist stopping by the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.  I’d sadly never been in there.  There is so much awesome junk just begging to reused (or “upcycled” if you will):

cassette tapes at the east bay depot for creative reuse

awesome drawers of markers and pencils with scribble marks everywhere (of course!)

markers at the east bay depot for creative reuse

Raciel and Tara  (and sorry, I don’t know your name) from Tara’s Organic Ice Cream at their tent:

tara's organic ice cream

Bartender at Barlata:

bartender at barlata

bike and coffee shops in new york (part 4)

This is part 4 of the bike and coffee tour.

(part 1 of the tour and part 2 and part 3)

Abraco (86 East 7th Street New York) is a small space with a strong smell of coffee and a distinctive neon sign that is featured prominently as their logo on their website.  The beans are from counter culture, and the guy apparently has Bay Area roots and had previous experience at blue bottle.   For more information, there’s a good writeup in New York magazine.

Abraco’s website pushes some delicious looking pastries, but I only ended up getting an espresso:

abraco: espresso

The espresso, a ristretto, had a very “traditional” taste to me.

As claimed, the place was tiny and crowded.  Nothing wrong with that.

abraco: crowded inside
abraco: baristas
abraco: from the sidewalk

Sam and I continued walking in the east village, headed towards brooklyn but in search of food.

no love for BNE

We stopped by Dumpling Man for a snack:

dumpling man: bathroom

I only ended up with a shot of the bathroom.  “Please be good”

We took a little stroll through Tompkins Square Park and then came across Busy Bee Bikes (437 East 6th Street, New York, NY)

busy bee bikes

Nothing too crazy here.  You can see a pretty big used part selection behind the glass on the right and a pretty bright paint job outside where some of the people from the shop were working on repairs.

busy bee bikes: sunny sidewalk shot

Our next stop was Bike Works (106 Ridge Street, New York), just on the manhattan side of the Williamsburg bridge.  they had a decent selection of cycling caps here, so I picked a couple up as souvenirs.

bike works: storefront

Also in front of Bike works:

bike works: that's a big chainring

big ring riding.

The city was painting new bike lanes on Rivington St as we approached the Williamsburg bridge.  Fresh green paint!

new bike lines on rivington st! (or at least I think it was rivington)

Williamsburg bridge photos:

williamsburg bridge

Heavily covered with graffiti good and bad:

williamsburg bridge: I don't think this needed to be covered up

aand plenty crowded with cyclists and pedestrians.  It was cool to see the variety of styles.  There were old beater bikes, fixies with chopped bars, cheapo mountain bikes and nice road bikes.

williamsburg bridge: a cyclist, eyeing me suspiciously

We took a break to sit down and rest our legs in Williamsburg.  There was some group ride going on that looked more instructional than anything else:

back in brooklyn

we started walking in the general direction of park slope, feet and legs starting to get tired.    I happened to spot Bicycle Station (171 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, NY).  I went in for a bit.  The shop seemed small, and relatively sparse possibly due to the fact that they had moved to this location not too long ago.  A family came in with a bunch of bikes needing attention and they were starting the repair as I left.

I believe this is bicycle station

I stopped into La Bagel Delight for some food and then took a quick peek into Bespoke Bicycles (64-B Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn) before meeting Sam for a beer at Mullanes across the street.  It was well-lit with some beautiful signage.

bespoke bicycles

replenished and rested, we continued towards park slope.

Saw this on Atlantic Ave:

prizes! (trash)

worst prizes ever.  but cool tape job.

This little amendment to the BNE sticker took some planning.  I got a kick out of it:

"big nut eater". seriously, no love for BNE.

we had some time to spare before meeting up with Sam’s friend for dinner, so naturally we walked up and down 5th and 7th avenues.

Stopped into R&A Cycles (105 5th Avenue Brooklyn) for a second:

R&A Cycles: storefront

R&A has a big shop with many fancy road/tri/whatever bikes.

passed by Dixon’s (792 Union Street Brooklyn), so I stepped in for a second too:

dixon's bike shop wall. But this wasn't actually dixon's

Dixon’s is also a pretty large shop but their focus seemed to be used bikes and repairs:

dixon's bike shop: interior

We walked on to Tea Lounge (837 Union Street Brooklyn) where I didn’t get more coffee because I was already 2 espressos in for the day.  Instead, we sat on a comfy couch and rested.

chalkboard outside of tea lounge

I tried making a google map of all of the places visited but am having a hard time embedding that onto this site.  So, here’s a list of places that I visited (thanks again to Brooklyn by Bike and the New York Times Interactive Coffee Map! and the people who helped me along the way)

Part 1:

  • recycleabicycle
  • cafe grumpy
  • b’s bike shop
  • king kog
  • blue bottle coffee

Part 2:

  • oslo coffee
  • nycbikes
  • gimme! coffee
  • affinity cycles
  • velo brooklyn (bushwick bike shop)
  • lit fuse cyclery

Part 3:

  • recycleabicycle
  • stumptown roasters
  • conrad’s bike shop

Part 4:

  • abraco
  • busy bee bikes
  • bike works
  • bicycle station
  • bespoke bicycles
  • dixon’s bike shop
  • tea lounge

bike and coffee shops in new york (part 3)

This is part 3 of the bike and coffee tour.

(part 1 of the tour and part 2)

the cruiser, parked across the street from lit fuse

my time for the rental was running out and I was meeting friends at pacifico for dinner.  I left lit fuse and rode through downtown brooklyn to get back to recycle a bicycle.

there were a lot of bike lanes going on here under the manhattan bridge (sands st and jay st)
happyface sadface

chris at recycleabicycle invited me in to take more pictures.

ridiculous amount of used bikes and parts.
left crank arms
lots and lots
crates of brakes
right crank arms

I took the subway back to my sister’s place in manhattan.  It was kind of sad to leave the cruiser behind.

I caught this before the end of the night:


your brake levers overlap!  but I suppose it’s good to at least have brakes.

I had to work the next day but continued the bike shop and coffee tour the day after that, on foot with my friend sam.

first stop: stumptown.

I was debating whether to post this. ok shepard fairey, you win.
stumptown barista

I was really impressed with stumptown (18 West 27th Street New York, NY).  It’s a really well done little spot attached to the swank ace hotel.

stumptown: menu

the line was about 8-10 deep, which was a bit long but manageable.

stumptown: grinding and brewing

there was lots of fun stuff, coffee and not coffee related on the walls.

stumptown: espresso

stumptown’s espresso was my favorite of the tour by far.

saw this guy parked outside stumptown:

is this comfortable? I kind of wanted to hop on and try it out.

has anyone ridden a no-nose saddle before?

next stop: conrad’s in tudor city.

conrad's store front

conrad’s bike shop (25 Tudor City Place New York, NY) looked like they got pretty serious with the bike fitting:

conrad's interior. bike fit setup is the 2nd bike in
conrad's interior

there was a decent selection of apparel and accessories as well as many fancy bikes on the floor.

sam and I walked down to the east village next, to hit abraco.

this guy had a good look:

riding a strida? on 10th st

and this note, hilarious:

nobikes, bike, note

“Don’t come crying when we cut your chain and remove your bicycle from the fence!  THAT’S A BIG SIGN!”

one more to go.  part 4 comes next.

ritual coffee at maker faire 2010

here’s the coffee counter from the  ritual trailer (‘sputnik’) at this year’s maker faire:

ritual trailer counter at maker faire, may 2010

here it was last year at the eat real festival in oakland:

ritual truck counter at eat real festival, august 2009

we got a flight of espresso.  $7 got you a shot of each of these costa rican coffees:

  • five candles seasonal blend
  • el alto, grace calderon jimenez
  • los chachones, arturo chacon

    the five candles was my favorite.  I’m not big on tasting notes, but it tasted buttery.

    I wasn’t very diligent with the pictures, so I present here 2/3 of a flight:

    ritual coffee espresso flight at maker faire: five candles seasonal blend
    ritual coffee espresso flight at maker faire: el alto, grace calderon jimenez single origin shot

    and of course the bike cart (photos here as well) was there:

    ritual coffee at maker faire: the ritual bike cart

    bike and coffee shops in new york (part 2)

    (part 1 of the tour is here)

    This is part 2 of my brooklyn bike and coffee tour.

    My next stop after Blue Bottle was Oslo coffee (133 Roebling St, Brooklyn).

    I took some shots  along the way:

    williamsburg pasteup
    GATS gets around

    I couldn’t handle much more caffeine by the time I got to Oslo, so I skipped another espresso and had a cookie instead.

    oslo coffee: storefront
    eddie at oslo coffee

    I told Eddie about the bike and coffee tour idea and he recommended a few places to check out in Manhattan.  I was surprised that it was empty there, but I think it was mid-afternoon at this point, which isn’t exactly a prime coffee hour.

    I visited NYCbikes (spokes and strings? 140 Havemeyer St. Brooklyn, NY) next.

    nycbikes (spokes & strings): storefront
    nycbikes (spokes & strings): interior

    I continued rolling around Williamsburg to Gimme! Coffee (495 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY)

    gimme! coffee: storefront

    It was pretty packed in here with quite a few people working on their laptops and it looked like some of the after-work crowd was coming in for a buzz.  Friendly baristas.

    gimme! coffee: transaction

    I didn’t remember to take a picture of the espresso shot until I was almost done:

    gimme! coffee: espresso, mostly finished.

    affinity cycles (616 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY) was right around the corner.

    affinity cycles: storefront

    The guys in the shop were pretty busy with repairs and they were doing some renovations to the interior:

    affinity cycles: interior

    onward.  Grand St. was being resurfaced but the fatty cruiser tires didn’t really care.

    probably on grand st @ bushwick ave

    I rode down to velo brooklyn (bushwick bike shop). (342 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) This shop wasn’t part of my originally-scheduled tour, but I happened to be riding by, so…

    velo brooklyn (bushwick bike shop)

    super-friendly and laid back people here.  One guy recommeded that I check out the biker cafe, boneshakers – but alas, I didn’t have time this trip.  maybe next time.  I browsed through their cycling cap selection and was surprised to see that they carried hats by local lady alloneword.  She had graciously donated caps to my girlfriend and friends who are doing AIDS lifecycle this year.

    velo brooklyn (bushwick bike shop): shop talk
    velo brooklyn (bushwick bike shop): pretty sweet walls

    I headed towards Lit fuse cyclery (409 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) next.

    dekalb ave
    dekalb ave: cruisin bed-stuy
    lit fuse cyclery: entrance
    lit fuse cyclery: interior, with klein

    I was taking interior shots at every shop, but I had to get one from this angle because I have a soft spot for kleins.  this Klein Rascal had the mission control integrated handlebars.   (Side note: I’m happy someone put together – the official klein page is just a product registration form.  boo trek.)

    lit fuse cyclery: interior, alternate view

    that’s a lot of photos.  next post is the ride back to recycle a bicycle to return the bike.

    bike and coffee shops in new york (part 1)

    I was in New York for work a couple of weeks ago and decided to take some time off to wander in the city.  I embarked on a self-guided tour of bike shops and coffee shops in brooklyn and manhattan (with the much-appreciated help of Anita from Brooklyn by Bike who led me to the New York Times Interactive Coffee Map) and took a bunch of pictures.  whenever possible, images were shot at ISO 50 and wide open, just because.

    front counter of recycle a bicycle

    I asked about bike rentals and bikesnobnyc was kind enough to suggest that I check out recycle a bicycle.  I went to their DUMBO location (Recycle A Bicycle, 35 Pearl St, Brooklyn)  They had only two bikes available and this is the one I got:

    cruiser from recycle a bicycle

    Chris from the shop hooked me up with the free official NYC cycling map.

    I took a few pictures outside:

    shredded paper, DUMBO

    and along the way.  It felt weird trying to balance on this bike – it had a coaster brake and I wasn’t used to the way-upright handlebars.   Riding the cruiser kind of made the ride more enjoyable, though, because it allowed me to just kick back at a slower pace and enjoy the ride.

    brooklyn BEEF
    dalai lama stencil - and of course, a BNE sticker

    and then pedaled towards Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint.

    williamsburg st bike lane
    kent ave bike lane. I've got to say, I'm really digging the bright green.
    this wall is at Kent and Metropolitan

    the weather was ridiculously beautiful.

    Cafe Grumpy front counter

    the espresso at Cafe Grumpy (193 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)  was good and the people very friendly.

    cafe grumpy (greenpoint) espresso. I couldn't resist and took a sip before taking the picture.
    roasting at cafe grumpy

    Cafe Grumpy was larger than I expected.  It was relatively crowded with people working on their laptops and they had a beautiful bathroom window:

    cafe grumpy bathroom window. it was pretty. I couldn't help it.

    I headed towards B’s bike shop (262 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) next in Williamsburg.

    took a picture along the way:

    but hey, what's up with that frame?
    B's Bikes: counter

    B’s Bikes was a crowded little shop that seemed to be getting a lot of business.  I told the people inside about my plans for the day and they happily mentioned a few neat bike shops in Manhattan to check out.

    B's Bikes: repair stand

    I rode the cruiser down to King Kog (455 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) next:

    King Kog bike shop
    Inside King Kog

    There was definitely a different vibe here with more bike-lifestyle items on the shelves including a hilarious “One Less Messenger” t-shirt.

    Next stop: Blue Bottle (160 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY).  I live in Oakland, CA, and wanted to see what Blue Bottle was doing on the East Coast:

    Blue Bottle Coffee, Williamsburg

    I was really impressed by the size of their space.  The natural light was great.  They roast in the back.  I’ve been to their kiosk in Hayes Valley in SF, the Cafe at Mint Plaza, their Ferry Building location, their old roastery in Emeryville and their farmers market in Temescal.  This space was absolutely huge in comparison.

    Blue Bottle Coffee: La Marzocco
    Blue Bottle Coffee: oji cold brew array

    There were quite a few people hanging outside too, enjoying the coffee and the weather:

    Blue Bottle Coffee: hangin outside on Berry st

    Part 2 to come.