09.02.14

VENICE – LOS ANGELES

venice-los-angeles-guide

Friends, I hope you all had some great weekend! Here in San Francisco  we finally said “bye,bye” to Fogust and “hello” to September hopefully full of sunshine and hot temperatures. The start was good yesterday, I had to change my clothes twice because it was soooo hot. Cheers to summer in SF!

venice-los-angeles-guide-93 venice-los-angeles-guide-55

Before I share with you some new San Francisco guides in the next few weeks, I’m taking you today for a stroll in Venice Los Angeles. It was my first time that I got to discover the more local Los Angeles, which was a nice change to my previous more touristy visits. Lovely Leslie of Spotted SF and I went to the Create & Cultivate conference hosted by Darling Magazine  and Jaclyn Of No Subject Agency. It was a day full of amazing speakers, fun diys, helpful tips, great conversations and easy networking. The conference started on Saturday but we flew in already Friday morning and went straight to explore Venice. In 2011 we drove through Abbot Kinney, without stopping and I new I want to come back here and explore all the shops and just walk down the street and feel the SoCal vibe. And that’s exactly what we did. Leslie and I hit the street, walked by pretty cottages, peeked into fancy shops and treated ourselves with some delicious meals and sweets.

venice-los-angeles-guide-41 venice-los-angeles-guide-42 venice-los-angeles-guide-53

Once a seaside resort town Venice is today a diverse and vibrant neighborhood of LA. Famous for its Ocean Walk Front that’s home to street performers, artist, roller-skating beach babes, fortune tellers, muscle pumping fans, hippy shops and some food spots Venice also has the more quieter side – the dreamy Venice Canals and the Abbot Kinney. While Abbot Kenney is where the life happens, where people are shopping, meeting, lounging and eating; Venice Canals is where I would like to live. I just cannot get enough of the pretty homes and the small town feel along the canals. It feels for me like a fairytale place. Especially when the sun  is going down and people come out on their porches to grill, have a meal or glass of wine and others a taking an evening walk, sitting on the bridges and just enjoying. Venice Canals are something I personally think you shouldn’t miss when in LA.

venice-los-angeles-guide

But let’s go back and see what Abbot Kinney has to offer. On this main Venice drag you will find a lot of shops, restaurants & cafes.  It’s a fun, eclectic drive going on. People are waiting for a table, carring shopping bags, taking pictures, meeting with friends, reading a book in a cafe and soaking in the sun. Our Venice tour started with some shop hopping, followed by an amazing lunch at Gjelina - the restaurant to eat at when in Venice –  and a walk along the canals.

venice-los-angeles-guide-54 venice-los-angeles-guide-43

venice-los-angeles-guide

You can definitely spend a whole day in Venice when you take it slowly, walk a little bit, rest a little bit. This time I haven’t been to the Ocean Front, but I scouted for you some really nice places to visit if you find yourself in Venice.

venice-los-angeles-guide-86 venice-los-angeles-guide-87

 - – - – - – - – - – - - SHOP - – - – - – - – - – - -

venice-los-angeles-guide

Piece Collectiveyou don’t want to miss this place. Just saying. 

venice-los-angeles-guide-47 venice-los-angeles-guide-48

Alternative Apparel –  simple lines and colors for your everyday outfit. They have a nice porch where you can rest for a few second if you are exhausted from shopping. 

venice-los-angeles-guide-30

Urbanic – If you love paper and stationery you will love this store. 

venice-los-angeles-pair-2

Marine Layer – my favorite San Francisco based company opened doors also in Venice. Believe me, they have some really soft shirts. 

Firefly – A little bit of everything. Candles, clothes, home ware…

venice-los-angeles-guide-23 venice-los-angeles-guide-24

Ilan Dei Venice – This was definitely my favorite shops, it’s outdoors and curates different local artist and makers. Gifts to treat yourself, your friend, your home, your pet and your garden. 

venice-los-angeles-guide-71 venice-los-angeles-guide-72

Tortoise – Beautiful products from japanese artists and makers. Carefully curated by the husband & wife duo, Tortoise displays different japanese craftsmanship.

venice-los-angeles-guide

- – - – - – - – - – - – EAT - – - – - – - – - – - -

venice-los-angeles-guide

Gjelina - Leslie suggested this spot for lunch and it didn’t disappoint. I think it’s a kind of rule, when there is no sign outside than the place has to be good. We shared a pizza and kale salad and both were mouthwatering. Definitely suggesting to check out this one.

Lemonade – Great for fast, healthy food if you are running short on time or you don’t want to wait endlessly in line. It’s the canteen style restaurant with a great selection on veggies, meat, sea food to create your perfect meal.

venice-los-angeles-pair-1

Intelligentsia – the name doesn’t flow from the tongue, but this coffee bar with its industrial open space feel is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee, work or meet.

venice-los-angeles-guide-84 venice-los-angeles-guide-85

Toms – Buy Tom’s, do good and drink coffee. I kind of like this concept of coffee bar and store. The very laid-back atmosphere invites you for some relaxing and book reading in the backyard. 

venice-los-angeles-guide-44 venice-los-angeles-guide-46 venice-los-angeles-guide-53 venice-los-angeles-guide-56 venice-los-angeles-guide-57

venice-los-angeles-guide-23 venice-los-angeles-guide-26 venice-los-angeles-guide-27 venice-los-angeles-guide-28 venice-los-angeles-guide-59 venice-los-angeles-guide-60 venice-los-angeles-guide-91 venice-los-angeles-guide-63 venice-los-angeles-pair-3 venice-los-angeles-guide-88 venice-los-angeles-pair-5

Venice was a real gem and I cannot wait to be back and maybe spend some more days there.
Have you been to Venice before? What are your favorite spots?




Leave a comment




FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
08.15.14

PESTO PASTA WITH GOOD EGGS

good-eggs-pasta-9

Pasta with Pesto will always be my go to dish when it has to be filling, quick, a lot and delicious. I’m not sure what it is about this combination that everyone I know likes and that never gets boring. Al dente pasta and smooth pesto is perfect together for lazy summer evenings at home, when you don’t feel like staying in the kitchen longer than 20 minutes and when friends come to visit you spontaneously. Last Tuesday it was my neighbour, a girl who lives in the apartment below us and who happens to be from Hamburg, too. Since we met we became quite good friends and she would come up for dinner every now and then. It’s rare, but I love having friends who live in a pyjama distance from my home. You can have an early coffee together, you don’t need to transfer three times just to have a walk and you can always borrow milk and eggs. Small town feel in a big city.

good-eggs-pasta good-eggs-pasta-4 good-eggs-pasta-10

We where three people to feed; I planed salmon with vegetables but we wouldn’t have enough for all of us so pesto pasta with salmon seamed to be a good choice. Luckily I also had some special pasta and pesto to finally try out, namely from Good Eggs.

Good Eggs is an amazing company that delivers farm fresh, quality products directly to your door and cares about the producers and customers alike. Offering great products from local farmers and foodmakers Good Eggs aims to grow and establish better local food systems. Currently they are available in the SF Bay Area, Brooklyn, New Orleans & LA. You can let Good Eggs deliver to your door or to a pick-up location near you, which is super convenient  for me as my pick-up location is just next to my gym. Right, I’m exercising and thinking about the bag full of delicious stuff that’s waiting for me.  They have some seriously great stuff from makers who know their products, who have a story to tell, who put a lots of effort and quality into every single package to provide us with something special, something locally grown or made. Other Brother Olive Oil, Salty Sweet cookies, Worthy Granola, Pasta Shop, Josey Baker – just to name few of my favorites. Good Eggs offers an easy platform and connection for them to share and for us to experience how food should really be. Plus you don’t have to go shopping if your day was stressful or relaxing time on the weekend is more important to you that running some groceries. Patrick was never a huge fan of grocery shopping and since his friends told him that they are regulars at GoodEggs.Com he found a way to avoid endless aisle strolling with me. For my first delivery I ordered some ham from Panther Ranch Company, eggs from Red Hills Farms, jam from Emmy’s, and gluten-free pasta and arugula pesto from The Pasta Shop. The last two were on our plates that evening. And I can tell you, the pasta was sooooo fresh and tasty, not dry as some gluten-free pasta tend to be. It needed only 1 minute to get warmed up.Honestly, it was by far some of the best pasta & pesto we have ever had. Topped with some salmon, parmesan and marinated tomatoes we couldn’t stopped eating until everything was gone.

I suggest, surprise your friends, invite them for a spontaneous after work dinner and have some fun conversation over a bowl full of pasta.

good-eggs-pasta-11 good-eggs-pasta-10

PESTO PASTA WITH SALMON

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of salmon with skin down and season with salt & paper. Cook for about 15 minutes. Let salmon cool down a bit and cut it into small pieces. In a pot bring salted water to boil. Add 2 packages of gluten-free pasta and cook according to the package. About 1 minute. Drain pasta, add it to a big bowl and toss with plenty of pesto. Add salmon, some parmesan cheese and marinated tomatoes and enjoy!  

good-eggs-pasta-pair-1 good-eggs-pasta-12




4 Comments - Leave a comment




08.14.14

HAIGHT ASHBURY GUIDE – SAN FRANCISCO

haight-ashbury-guide-9

After two years living here in San Francisco it’s time friends to show you around my neigborhood – Haight Ashbury. I don’t even know where to start to describe this quirky, fun, colorful, but also sometimes kind of strange and touristy piece of San Francisco. Haight Ashbury has the most remnants from the past Flower Power days, where tie-diy was the collective uniform and weed dietary staple. Today lots has changed, yet you can still feel  - and smell – the spirit of the hippie-culture floating trough the Haight Street.

haight-ashbury-guide-7 haight-ashbury-guide-18 haight-ashbury-guide-23 haight-ashbury-guide-22 haight-ashbury-guide-25

There are people everywhere; tourist, old and new hippies, locals – all mixed together. Some are taking pictures of the many murals and coloful homes or even coloful people, the others are playing a guitar or running errands. It’s a fun drive to see. Head shops, vintage & thrifts stores, fancy new boutiques, restaurants and bars are all lined up on the Haight Street. Especially for vintage lovers Haight Street is a mecca. For me, it also can get a little bit stressful, when I just want to go get some groceries at Haight Street Market – I’m navigating like a hell through the masses. But when you move into the side streets, it immediately gets quite and charming. Beautiful Victorian and gardens invite you to have a stroll and get lost.

haight-ashbury-guide-70 haight-ashbury-guide-36 haight-ashbury-guide-38 haight-ashbury-guide-28 haight-ashbury-guide-66

If you feel like you need some more exercise  go up to the top of the Buena Vista Park {which is the oldest park in SF} and you will have an amazing view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge. People might tell you that this park is a bit uncomfortable and true, you might run into some “hippies”, but I think when you go during the day, you are totally fine. Most people who just hang around on the street will most likely ask you for a dollar or remind you to smile more often. I go every other morning and I meet locals walking their dogs and tourists. And as for the night – parks and dark is never a good idea. You can also skip the hills of Buena Vista Park and walk the flat Panhandle – a front lawn of the Golden Gate Park.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset haight-ashbury-guide-68

Music is a big part of Haight Ashbury. Think of all musicians from the 60′s who lived here – Janis Joplin {112 Layon Street}, The Grateful Dead { 710 Ashbury Street}, etc. There is always someone playing an instrument on the street and when the sun goes down a band will set up their stage in front of Mendel’s Craft Store and play some tunes.  Animating people to stop, listen to the music and escape the everyday life for a second. Just the other day, on my way to the hardware store, a young pal asked me if he should play a song for me, just like that. Why not.

haight-ashbury-guide-49 haight-ashbury-guide-48

Shopping wise you won’t find any big chain stores on the Haight Street; more the smaller ones – locally owned. There is something for everyone’s taste and budget. Few of my favorites are:

- – - SHOP – - -

Goorin Brothers – I need to start wearing hats, just because of this shop! 

Shoe Biz – they have a great selection on fancy brands, styles for reasonable prices. 

Ambiance – they have a few location here in SF and you need time if you want to shop this store. So much stuff to go through. 

Mystery Mister – a very well curated vintage shop.  

Piper’s Shoes – cool interior and nice shoes. 

Booksmith
– this is how book stores should be. 

Wasteland – a nice mix of vintage and new clothes. 

American Apparel – it’s always good to have one around the cornet 

haight-ashbury-guide-5 haight-ashbury-guide-12 haight-ashbury-guide-50 haight-ashbury-guide-61 haight-ashbury-guide-pair-1 haight-ashbury-guide-pair-4

- – - EAT – - -

It might not be the Mission, but Haight Ashbury is not short on food spots, too.  Some locations have been around since years, but you can see that more and more fancier ones are moving in.

If I want something fast and good, with no waiting time, I would go to 1428 Haight Street {formerly it was one of the many Squat & Gobble restaurants around the city} ; they won’t win the price for best interior, but their food actually never disappoint, a big plus is that they have a nice, heated patio.

Since few months Sparrow is the new kid on the block, with hipster vibe and beautiful patio for wine drinking and cheese nibbling. I have only had dinner one here when they just opened, I definitely have to go back taste my way through the inventive menu.

Magnolia brewery and pub is an Haight Ashbury institution. Mostly crowded, but definitely worth the wait, they have some great dishes on their menu and one of the best burgers I ever had.

Let’s do some Cha Cha Cha  – this tapas place is just mouthwatering. Bring time and bring appetite.

Second Act opened only two months back, but it’s already a gathering spot for the neighborhood. It a cool concept of a market place with independent vendors and event space. I’m excited to see how this place develops while drinking some super healthy juices from RAW.

Oh and yeah, not to forget Ben & Jerry’s and Crepe Express. This two are tourist magnets but they are inescapable if you have a sweet tooth. Go with the flow, don’t care about being outed as a tourist.

This one is my insider tip for you that will taste amazing and save you some bucks. If you find yourself in Haight Ashbury during lunch time, go grab something delicious from the Haight Street Market, take a seat at the parklett and enjoy the unique vibe going on the streets.

haight-ashbury-guide-35 haight-ashbury-guide-34 haight-ashbury-guide-1 haight-ashbury-guide-2 haight-ashbury-guide-55 haight-ashbury-guide-56 haight-ashbury-guide-57 haight-ashbury-guide-pair-2

 - – - TO-DO – - -

If you come across the guy with his vintage typewriter, spend 5 bucks and let him pen a poem – only for you.

If you see a street musician preforming and you like the music, stop and tap your feet to the rhythm – feels really good, believe me. But don’t forget a small donation.

Have a little bit fun in one of the vintage stores and play dress up with the old clothes. Sure, you can also buy them.

Stroll the music shop Amoeba for old records and unique tunes.

Climb all the way! up the Buena Vista Park and rest on the lawn. It’s super quite as no one really makes the effort to come here.

See the other “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco at Central and Haight. Look for the same house in 5 different colors.

Smile & wear flowers in your hair.

haight-ashbury-guide-19 haight-ashbury-guide-44 haight-ashbury-guide-16 haight-ashbury-guide-11 haight-ashbury-guide-24 haight-ashbury-guide-17 haight-ashbury-guide-39

And as a premier I have made my first ever video for Fluxi On Tour with the help of John Burke who did the filming and edit. I can tell you guys, making video is lots of fun, but it needs some overcoming to step in front of the camera, at least for me. But I like it, so I will aim to improve my video skills and hopefully bring you some video guides. I would love to hear what you think in general of videos? Thanks and I hope you enjoy my Haight Ashbury Guide!




10 Comments - Leave a comment