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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Avedon: emasculating your DSLR since 1946

  The recent opening party for Richard Avedon: Photographs 1946-2004 at SFMoMA ( had lines that spiraled down the central stair, but was still thoroughly enjoyable. Not just because some of my peers were wearing such improbable shoes. Not just because I went with a good friend, and we bumped into my favorite cousin and his wonderful boyfriend. Not because the cocktails in the lobby were strong. And not just because of the wall o' portraits, where we were able to marvel at the subjects of the photo - young Kissinger?!? Young Jerry Brown!?! WOW! - even more than the photos themselves.

Though the photos themselves were glorious. Glorious large format images, with deep rich blacks, brilliant, harsh whites, and spectacular tones in between.

And the resolution! Oh, the resolution! Seeing the photos live, not just in the magazines they were reproduced in, is really marvelous. Because you see them as true photographic prints, not at lithos or digital offsets or however you have seen them in their lossy near-glory in the recent past. No, the prints are ultra, ultra-fine.

Those of you who aren't familiar with large format film cameras may have wondered why the actual prints look... hyper real. Better than real. It is because Mr. Avedon and his troupe of minions were using cameras that took images on improbably large sheets of very fine-grained, high resolution films. Your digital camera, if you have a current model, meets or exceeds the equivalent of a 35mm piece of film: an fine image the size of a large stamp, perhaps 10 megapixels or so. A "medium format" film camera like the ones I use might be around 50 MP, with its 2.25 inch square film area. Now, imagine that the piece of film were instead 8" x 10". Imagine how many MP your camera would need to be to maintain the same sort of pixel density at that size. And then double or triple it, because the lenses are so sharp, and the film is so fine...

Large format images blow me away, partly because the cameras used to make them see both better and differently than my eyes do.

There is a mural of several frames of Warhol's factory crowd. It is made from several, generally overlapping large format frames. I made my digital-camera-loving friend walk up to the larger-than-life-size images of Andy's crowd, just to look at a little radio at their feet. A perfect little retro radio, sharp, clear, with every little mark on it showing radiantly. The image isn't completely grainless... But the detail was incredible.

Avedon was one of those artists working in the popular media of the day, and he had a huge influence on what people thought photos SHOULD look like. We've grown up steeped in the aftermath of his influence, so it's hard to see, but he was hugely influential, and very talented. I'm not even fond of portraits, but his are such a wonder to behold, so consistent as a body of work, so technically good, so pleasing, that I am gushing.

It's definitely worth seeing. And it's worth sitting in the restaurant downstairs (or at Blue Bottle on the roof), listening to people complain that they saw the show already in New York, and now have to get dragged to it again. Poor babies. :-)

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:58 PM


  People speak freely about all sorts of things on public transit. There are many reasons for this. There is the misleading feeling of anonymity in the big city; obliviousness; and a desperate need for transit riders to keep ME entertained while I run my errands.

I admit that I periodically enjoy having intensely silly, joke-filled conversations with friends on transit, just to watch the people around me desperately suppressing their laughter.

Two favorite recent conversations:

-a girl was speaking in the vaguest possible terms about what she was eating for dinner, mystifying her friend with statements that ended in questions: 'That little brown stuff? It's like pasta? But maybe it's not pasta? You know, that crap that vegans eat!'

-two young guys, one of whom was quiet, had his friend outlining what he wants for his quiet friend in a girl. There was a lively discussion about hair color (conclusion: brunette), and then all sorts of colorful requirements, including that the lucky brunette must be "sexual, but she keeps that [expletive] private!" and "talkative, but not someone who talks because she is afraid of silence." Part of the reason this was great was because the boy who was in need of a girl was so quiet, while his friend got more and more detailed about her characteristics, none of which were physical beyond her hair color... I was reluctant to get off the streetcar when we reached my stop, because I wanted the complete profile of this engaging, ideal, virtual girl.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:52 PM

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stanislaus: my latest book project

  You've seen a lot of my infrared landscape images at, but I have many, many more images that I haven't widely shared. I've put some of my favorites from the river that runs near my parents' homes into a photo books, and have made it available through Blurb to enter into their Photography.Book.Now competition.

It's my first book with them, and I kept this edition short and simple. Blurb did a lovely job of printing it. You can see the entire book/photo essay by following the link below:

By A.E. Graves
Book Preview
Photo book

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pretty produce

  isis tomatoesYes, I went to the farmer's market on Saturday. I spent a lot of time agonizing over WHICH farmer's market to go to, actually, before deciding on Parkmerced.

Instead of telling you what I bought, I'll just show you close up photos of Saturday's farmer's market selections (, no login required).

Yes, it's very easy to post photos to Facebook. Yes, I have very little control over the page layout and appearance, and someday, when I leave FB, I'll lose these pages. But for now, I am enjoying the laziness it allows me.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Street art comes indoors

  Short and sweet: this is a fun slide show of BBC - Bristol - In pictures: Banksy's Bristol show (, 6/12/09).


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


  Data mining, in all of its forms, is a topic of some concern to privacy advocates, including me. But as an urban woman familiar with routine personal security precautions, I'm rather aware of what I post on-line, and how others could use it to locate me or observe more of my habits than I would like to generally have known.

I will sound old fashioned if I go on a rant about how easy potential stalkers have it nowadays: once, they'd have to spend hours following a person around to establish details of their habits, friends, and schedules. Now, their intended targets likely post so much information about what they are doing that they could bore a stalker to tears - and keep them from ever leaving their couch to buy binoculars.

People who would historically be outraged at the idea of anyone snooping are quite happy to post exactly where they are at nearly any hour of the day. Interview: the men who made Twitter tweet - Times Online (, 5/10/09) is a lively article explaining what Twitter is (cute summary: "e-mail without responsibility"), how popular it is... and how institutions are interested in the data. Very interested.
What was once private information is now very public and searchable. Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has asked Twitter, Facebook et al to record all internet contacts between people in the UK as she modernises Britain’s increasingly disturbing surveillance policies. Workers who tweet are being monitored by their bosses, and potential employees are having their tweets analysed. Right now, nobody seems to mind.
Perhaps because no one is thinking clearly about it.

I am not the sort of person who worries unduly: my mother's advice not to ever have my name listed in the phone book, because just having a female name could attract stalkers, went unheeded; her advice not to list my home address beside my name in the phone book was taken. I'm not afraid, but am practical. I know that potential colleagues, employers, and friends can scope me out with technology, for better or for worse, and so I am aware of what I post.

Just think: even now someone is figuring out that (a) I like spicy food, (b) I write a lot, (c) I was a bit sensitive about those wrinkle ads, and (d) that the closing line of this entry should be read in a dry, mildly sarcastic tone. Technology has taken us so far.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:10 PM

Advertising machine logic

  The weirdest things pop up in the ad sidebars when you use various 'free' on-line services. Those services pay attention to your text and data mine it, though they generally miss the context. This is likely for the best, because you might be uncomfortable if the ads were too specific to the private conversation you are having in the main part of the screen.

Not that you should think that your text is private. I made a comment/complaint on my Facebook status about the alarming number of anti-wrinkle ads I was getting in my sidebar. I haven't received a single age or skin related ad since posting my comment. Not one. This is not a coincidence, though I don't think I was supposed to notice the change.

Anyway, I have no idea what inspired this combination of ads in the sidebar of an email service I use, but to summarize, the ads were for:

-a Weird Al spoof of The Doors

-some sort of Russian propaganda paper about US guards sleeping on the job at a military facility

-martial arts training

-a romantic French restaurant

-expert relationship advice, post-breakup.

I'm not saying these ads came up over the course of my checking e-mail over a day, or over several messages. These came up together. As a set. Once.

If they target market with the data they gather on me at all, this means they believe I am a Weird Al fan interested in the Russian perspective of world affairs who enjoys hand-to-hand combat, romantic French dinners, and relationship counseling. Perhaps all in one day.

Does anything go better together than combat, French food, and relationship counseling? I bet not. Thank you, Internet!


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

"It's very exciting to be in government."

  What could the excitement be? A new administration, leading the country (and, perhaps, the world) in a new direction? Yes! Well, yes, in the context of social media. Obama and Twitter: White House Social-Networking - TIME (, 5/6/09) talks about how we finally have leadership that is willing to bring government into the current age, technology-wise. Though there are still some sticking points.
The White House communications team, for instance, is not able to access the government's Facebook postings and Twitter feeds, let alone those of reporters from the press corps, because of filters installed at the White House. (The White House New Media team, which posts on the networks from four old speech-writing rooms in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, has been able to win an exemption from this policy.)
I laughed when I read this. Many of my law firm colleagues have found their access to such sites blocked at work, even though they are asked to use them as part of their jobs to research potential witnesses and experts. (I did mention that the new media don't offer much privacy, didn't I?) Meanwhile, my own employer, eager to drum up support for its free accounts on services like Twitter and Facebook as a way of saving on "marketing spend" (what we used to call "money" in the old economy) actually sent instructions to employees through the company e-mail system, providing instructions on how to sign up. At work!

Thankfully, the article notes that the White House (now the subject of all kinds of reverent references from other organizations, who can start out their requests within their organizations with, 'but the White House is already doing it') is actually trying to utilize these services in ways that serve some public interests.

Someday, the whole idea of a Presidential Tweet will be normal. Perhaps that day is next week, because in just a few years, the idea of a Tweet could be 'so ten minutes ago' that future administrations will have technologically incompatible data archives, and we'll come up with generic terms for each of the broadcast/network fads of their respective moments, which seems more likely. Someone at the Library of Congress (and/or the future Obama Presidential Digital Archive) is losing sleep over this even now.


posted by Arlene (Beth)12:10 AM

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fruit friends

  The economy has inspired a lot of neighbor-to-neighbor activity, and (more visibly) media awareness of community activities that already exist, and the way those communities are innovating solutions for their needs themselves.

Foraging for Fruit Gains Popularity (, 6/10/09, shared by a Facebook friend) is an article about looking around you, seeing what you have to offer, and giving or trading it with others. As one participant remarks, “A fruit tree is really made for sharing with your neighborhood.”

It's a sweet article about all sorts of little personal projects that have blossomed into larger organizations of people picking fruit for food banks, harvesting and pruning orchards for elderly neighbors, and working out elaborate social networks of ripe fruit reporting so people can trade when the fruit on their trees is at its best. The idea expands beyond the community/victory garden in which apartment dwellers may garden for their own table, to discuss how neighbors with private gardens can better share their surplus.

These sorts of exchanges have always occurred: I think very fondly of the coworkers who have brought in baskets of ripe lemons, apricots, plums, and avocados to the office. There are also jokes about how, in certain neighborhoods, you have to lock your car doors and roll up the windows, or in the morning you'll find your car filled with baskets of zucchini and string beans dumped by rogue urban farmers.

The novelty, I suppose, is that technology is playing a slightly increased organizing role in these exchanges, allowing more people to participate than the ordinary do-gooder neighbor could otherwise handle. Another novelty angle may be that the major media, ever seeking stories about impending doom, remained stunned that people are capable of self-organizing for positive reasons. (I half-expected to read articles about 'unregulated and dangerous fruit anarchy.')

If you have more bounty from your yard than you can handle, this article is a reminder to share it, regardless of whether you do that through a Facebook group or by ringing your neighbor's doorbell and offering a sack of lemons.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:50 PM

I heart Fake Steve

  I have always adored the REAL Steve Jobs. As a young geek back in... the day, let's just say, he was a vaguely religious figure to me: someone who connected the geek world to the rest of the universe by sheer force of will. The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs ( is not written by the Steve Jobs I have admired: it is written by a witty, brutal impersonator. An impersonator with a micro-engineered sharp wit.

Fake Steve has posts with titles like, Ballmer: In future, when you scream at your miserable frozen piece of shit Windows PC, it will be smart enough to understand why you're angry. After reporters from Forbes started loitering at Apple hangouts, looking for dirt on Steve, he provided instructions on how to stalk people at Forbes, complete with tips on overwhelming the unarmed, sleepy guard. And oh, the post-liver-transplant commentary! Especially the comments mocking Palm, like these:
Palm, which has reinvented itself with a business model that basically involves doing whatever Apple does, only two years later, announced today that its CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is planning to receive a liver transplant.... Palm says Rubinstein's liver will have features that my liver lacks, though they won't say what those features are. Meanwhile Roger McNamee has been posting Facebook updates saying he has seen a working prototype of Ruby's liver and it totally blows my liver away. Just like the Pre blows away the iPhone, right?
The action hero photo of Fake Steve that serves as a profile image goes well with NY Times mocking commentary such as this:
I will tell you this about iLiver 2.0: It's nanoengineered, and it kicks ass. I wake up every morning feeling like Shaft, Superfly, James Bond and Kung Fu all put together. I'm bench-pressing twice my body weight, and I am so friggin ready to kick some low-rent tabloid hack wannabe ass that's it not even funny. So bring it, Brad Stone and you other jealous, sanctimonious gits at the New York Times. Seriously. Bring your A game, you clueless, classless...
well, I can stop there.

Real Steve Jobs doesn't have the time to share harsh commentary, notes about hanging out with Bono, his plans for putting LSD into the Palo Alto water supply, or any of the other valuable insights that Fake Steve does. So it is great that Fake Steve is providing this fabulous service.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:58 PM

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'll never think of the phrase "Head Of State" the same way again.

  There was a lot of commemorative inaugural merchandise all of this spring in celebration of our new president. I made the mistake of looking at some of it recently, and... well... The title says it all: Barack Obama Dildo Could Ruin Sex, Obama For You - The Sexist - Washington City Paper (

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The perils and profits of scale

  San Francisco bike route detour signFor novelty, I will write about something other than food. Don't worry: it won't last.


I have already written about how I am a fan of The Impossible Project (, the main plan of a business (adorably named Impossible BV) to re-engineer Polaroid instant film and bring it back to market. Der Spiegel has a lovely update about the business model: Die Mission Impossible der Polaroid-Jünger (, 7/1/2009). (This is in German, which I struggled through before utilizing a quirky Google translation. Ah, the glories of German word order make this entertaining. Ever read a German novel? All the verbs are in the last chapter! Ha ha ha!)

Summary of the points I like: there is a worldwide niche market for Polaroid films, which the massive Polaroid corporation wasn't able to support. The reason instant film is off the market now isn't that it isn't a viable commercial product: it just isn't viable on a mega-scale. (And also, according to this article, Polaroid had been back-stocking supplies with the intention of keeping it available longer, but ran out faster than expected without finding replacement suppliers - unanticipated demand wiped out their stock, killing the product with its own sales success.) But as a specialty item, it is a GREAT product, and with existing demand from millions of existing Polaroid camera owners, the business has great potential when scaled appropriately.

The very idea of a small, specialty market product is beyond the concept of those of us who are taught that bigger is always better. If your cupcake stand can't support a CEO's salary and a bevy of vice presidents with country club memberships, we are told there is no point in bothering to bake at all. (Who do you think tells us this?)

As someone in an obscure photographic specialty area, I am thrilled at the very idea of small, custom production of much loved photographic materials. With specialty sales channels, this could be completely workable.

It is fascinating that so many doubts come from those who believe that there is no point in selling a product that is unique (or perceived as unique) and that people are willing to pay extra to use. These doubters do not own Apple stock.

"Ubiquity or death" is not a sensible business model, no matter what the business papers say.


The Long Goodbye? The Book Business and its Woes, by Elisabeth Sifton (, 6/8/09 print edition) also touches on the idea of a different niche business being profitable enough: the book publishing industry. In addition to teaching me that Caslon is the font Ben Franklin used to set the Declaration of Independence, it talks about the commodification of books, and the way that the consolidated publishing industry wants to make its money on a few big stars rather than on a broad, diversified sales base.

It is a long article with a long list of publishing industry woes, but also covers niche-market concerns dear to my heart. Ubiquity - having your book published cheaply and priced cheaply in a chain store with tons of other cheap, undifferentiated books that the chain store staff are not paid enough to learn about - to the shock of the 'bigger is better' crowd, is not necessarily a recipe for success. Who knew? Books are more than just "content" on pulp that should be bought and sold by the word or the pound. Industry consolidation is weakening the system that has promoted books to buyers historically: book publishers who stake their reputations on the books they choose to publish, and the craft by which they have them manufactured; passionate reviewers in other forms of print media who review and endorse books; book shops that promote books that their own specific customers will enjoy; book clubs and social networks that endorse and share books...

There is a reason that I often walk out of Borders empty handed, but nearly wear my debit card out at Green Apple ( - the people behind Green Apple are fussy about what they stock, and their selections match my (local) interests.

Sifton's description:
That [media conglomerate-types] had no confidence in books per se and knew nothing about writers or readers seemed a neutral factor, not the harshly negative one it actually is. As any sensible businessperson knows, you can't make money in a low-profit operation unless you stay close to your sources of supply and demand--writers and readers in this case. And it helps your profit margin to love or at least respect them.
It must be nice to be a media mogul and think that celebrity books are going to be a universal hit. They haven't spoken to my friend at work, who knows the names of all the celebrities, thinks it is odd that I (who know only names of some musicians) read books, and recently accused me of being the sort of person who reads magazines without pictures in them. The mogul just missed the mark for both of us; but since I buy books regularly, especially missed me.

The music 'industry' is in a similar boat: the industry fantasy is a small set of universal stars who appeal to all 'markets' who can support their massive infrastructure without putting that infrastructure through the tedium of actually providing services to promote music, or to determine what customers actually want to hear. This may have some connection to all of the weeping I've heard from the industry about how they aren't as successful as they'd hoped or planned.

Business, it appears, is more than just selling widgets by volume.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)12:02 PM

Decadent zucchini

  zucchini slices frying in olive oilYes, I said decadent: zucchini, sliced into quarter inch thick diagonals, fried until golden on both sides in olive oil, and dressed in a mixture of your favorite vinegar, crushed raw garlic, and minced fresh parsley. (Yes, this is another recipe from Cooking from an Italian Garden.)

And you think vegan food is all about grazing in meadows.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:17 AM

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fresh, sweet-tart, firm local plums


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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Pasta love

  Cookbooks often tempt me with a few mouth-watering descriptions, but when I have been separated from my money and have time to really review every recipe, I sometimes realize that the ONLY things I'd really want to cook are the few items that got my attention initially. (This sounds like some sort of analogy about relationships, but it's not, I assure you. Well, not intentionally.) Libraries provide a great workaround for this: you get to spend enough time with a cookbook (2 weeks plus) to decide if it is something you should own.

sliced fennel bulb frying in olive oil [Image: sliced fennel bulbs frying in olive oil.]

Six or seven years ago, I checked out Cooking from an Italian Garden by Paola Scaravelli and Jon Cohen from the San Bruno Public Library. And every single thing I made from the cookbook was hailed as one of the best homemade Italian dishes ever. But the book, dating from 1984, is out of print, and at the time, on-line booksellers wanted seven times the cover price. I mourned my separation from the cookbook, but vowed that someday, I would own it.

There are a lot more on-line booksellers now, and I have acquired a copy for a mere doubling of the cover price. And it is worth it. This book is a collection of over 300 recipes, each and every one of which is vegetarian. It is an encyclopedia of cooking: how to make homemade pasta, and how to use different shapes to make fancy items like tortellini or ravioli; how to make gnocchi; lasagna techniques; how to make pickled veggies; how to make risotto; and an absolutely stunning selection of vegetable side dishes that goes on and on...

There is a catch: I am much more vegan-leaning than I was six or seven years ago. Back then, I was regularly buying cheese, and could occasionally be imposed upon to cook with eggs. This cookbook has many, many recipes involving eggs and cheese, which is a surprise: I mainly remember the vegan dishes. Nevertheless, there are many dishes I am trying with great success, with minimal modifications.

Star dishes so far include:

-fusilli ai capperi: pasta spirals in a sauce of basil, garlic, prepared mustard (!!), capers, and olive oil

-rigatoni puttanesca: firm tubes in a raw sauce of tomatoes, garlic, black olives, capers, and basil

-melanzane al forno: eggplant baked with olive oil, fresh oregano, and garlic, topped with fresh tomato sauce

-finocchio fritto: sliced fresh fennel bulbs, blanched, dusted with flour, and fried in olive oil.

This is the sort of cookbook that inspires you to rush out and buy a tomato crushing machine, so you can make a full year's supply of tomato sauce to can while tomatoes are still at their peak; or a pasta machine, so you can dedicate your every evening to the production of delicate, homemade fettuccine...

Warning: you will spend more time cooking and will buy alarming volumes of capers, but you will be very happy. Just so you know.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Frequently flying fruit

  Parkmerced Farmer's Market
[Image: Parkmerced Farmer's Market, San Francisco, open on Saturdays from 10-2 in summer.]

One of the many wonderful things about living in California is the availability of fresh produce. Within a few hours in any direction, nearly every wonderful fruit, nut, or vegetable can be had: tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, and kiwi fruit out near Modesto; olives from up near Redding; apples and grapes from the Anderson valley (and grapes from just about every valley, now); artichokes and cool weather greens from Half Moon Bay; berries from the foothills... Going further 'afield' brings even more choices.

We are so lucky.

Yet, there are times when international commerce complicates the delivery of fresh local goodness to my neighborhood. Kiwi fruit vines are abundant out near Oakdale, where my father used to live, about two hours east of here. Yet, the little green grocer four blocks from my house sold me some from Italy.

Gilroy, down past San Jose, is famous locally for its garlic. Yet the garlic in the other corner grocery store in my neighborhood is from China.

[Image: local gold and red tomatoes from the Parkmerced Farmers' Market, photographed with an iPhone and a Fresnel lens (for special effects).] iPhone-fresnel lens image of fresh tomatoes

Nectarines? Chile. Grapes? Chile. Tomatoes? At this very moment, my closest grocer has an entire display of tomatoes... from Canada.

Canada?!? I love Canada more than most Americans [insert rousing chorus of O Canada! here] , but that doesn't mean my tomatoes should be grown there. This means that there are such extreme subsidies on agricultural exports from most places that it is marginally cost-competitive to drive fresh fruit from a field to an airport, fly it halfway around the world, and then drive it to a distributor and still compete against a farmer an hour or two away by land.

Which is creepy, when you think about the vast amount of pollution this causes, plus the investment of agricultural funds in fuel rather than local services, improved irrigation, soil improvements, and people. Of course, we do the same thing with our subsidies: I just can't tell from here.

This is part of why I love farmers' markets so very much: they skip the international shipping intrigue and bring me fruit picked within the day. And I can TASTE the difference. (There are a few fakers: there is one stand at the Alemany market that often has out of season produce, which usually looks like it's been roughed up a bit. That vendor is filling out his booth with distribution-bought produce. The same goes for some of the charming little "fruit stands" along the highways: when you see pineapples next to the local cabbage, you know they are cheating.)

Farmers' markets are a great deal: farmer's get more money directly at market than they do through distributors, and I get fresh food that hasn't spend its time on planes, trains, refrigerated shipping containers, and in distributor warehouses.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:10 PM

Another sibling vegan restaurant

  eggplant dish at Golden Buddha
Golden Buddha Vegetarian Restaurant, at 832 Clement St (between 9th and 10th Avenues), is another sister to Golden Era and Oakland's Golden Lotus. All three are vegan pan-Asian restaurants (with an emphasis on Chinese and Vietnamese dishes), and are associated with Supreme Master Ching Hai's ( organizations. The restaurants share a menu, and the folder for the check at GB has the Golden Era logo on it.

Pan-Asian vegan food ROCKS.

I had an eggplant clay pot dish with gluten, onions, and herbs in a peppery, garlicky sauce. I had brown rice (cooked to perfection, very tasty) and a vegan Thai iced tea. It was very satisfying. I couldn't stop eating, even when I knew I was getting full. Can't... put... chopsticks... downnnn.....


The decor at this location is likely the plainest of the three: it is a simple room with aquamarine walls, aquamarine lace tablecloths under glass, and minimal art. The tables have ads for various books and media from the Master. (She loves dogs! She loves birds!) There are Love us, not eat us! stickers up over the tables, which I would have worded as 'love us, don't eat us,' but hey. This means that my brain parsed the web address as love-us-note-at-us. Which brings us to the fact that you have not been sending love notes at us, and you really need to get caught up on that.

Instead of music, there is a video screen over the cashier's station in the back of the room, showing an image of a lovely tropical island in a bright, aquamarine sea, which has a repeating, looped soundtrack of waves crashing on a shore. The loop is short, however, so eventually, the ambient sound suggests a large robot breathing. For those of us who think about how large robots sound if they respire.

The restaurant is lightly staffed, which worked fine for the small number of families who were there for late lunch during my visit. The food is tasty, and I'll eat there again.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

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