Thursday, January 26, 2012

lou lou and gypsy jivers at red poppy art house on 1/27

before i head off to sleep...those of you that have been with me for a while....may or may not have seen the post i did in may 2011 that describes my experiencing listening to louis and his band play at the red poppy art house in the mission district. well....they are playing tomorrow (friday) night at the red poppy art house (see top screen shot image). the address is 2698 folsom begins at 7:30....and admission is $12-20.

unfortunately, i'm going to be missing out on this show since i'll be kid sitting. yet, if you are into lively jazz, then this is something that i have a feeling you'll enjoy quite a bit.

in case you haven't seen the posting i did in may 2011 about a performance they did at the red poppy, here is a link:

my pics in 7x7

when foodspotting was in the alpha stage, i contributed 15 pics to their site...including pics of bi-rite creamery's salted caramel ice cream and humphry slocombe's secret breakfast ice cream. before i uploaded the pics, i reviewed their terms and conditions which indicated that they have a royalty free license and could share content with their partners. this is pretty much the major reason why i've only uploaded 17 pics to their site since its inception as i usually prefer to retain rights to all of my pics. i like to know where they end up. just because i take pics of doesn't necessarily mean that i endorse it personally.

it just means that i've taken a picture of it.

there have been many pics that i've donated to vendors, especially vendors just starting out....or organizations that provide assistance including la cocina. yet, most of the time....i retain rights to all of my pics.

yet, i liked the idea of foodspotting when they were in alpha and also liked the idea that i could post a few pics of dishes that i liked.....and if it meant that folks would visit those places to check out these dishes or foods....then that was worth giving up control to where the pics may eventually end up to a few pics.

fast forward year or so later, and i was looking online at the 7x7 big eat 2012....and guess what? two of my pics that i posted on foodspotting showed up. this makes sense since it is pretty obvious from the site that there is some kind of strategic alliance or partnership between 7x7 and foodspotting.

i was surprised and not surprised when i saw the pics show up. overall, i was glad that bi-rite and humphry slocombe were getting shout outs (i do love them both quite a bit. yeah, i know....complete understatement.)

this is also an example of what i mean by using "foodie hunter" as a this a pretty good example of how user generated content can be re-purposed....and done legally. in "old world" publishing terms....this is something that has the potential to be interpreted as derivitive or an alternate channel of distribution (third party partnerships).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

foodie hunter goes to the ball

a few weeks ago, i was investigating some events happening in sf and came across references to the edwardian ball for the first time.

a friend and i were quite curious about it and both decided to do a bit of research first including a visit to dark garden in hayes valley. dark garden put on a "prepare for the ball" event where they had pieces for potential costumes as well as ready made corsets for folks to try. we were both game for the dark garden visit and would then decide on whether we wanted to go to the ball.

i've been wanting to visit dark garden for years and this seemed like a perfect excuse. admittedly, each time i dog sat hector in hayes valley or paid a visit to the blue bottle kiosk on linden....i would peek quite longingly at their window displays. dark garden is located right next door to blue bottle. their clothing and corsets have opulent and lovely fabrics....that seem to whisper..."wouldn't you like to touch me?". i do love textiles quite a bit which is why it is rather dangerous for me (or my credit card) to be in places like britex and dark garden.

in doing research for a potential costume for the edwardian ball, i really got into digging into uber clearance sales at various places....trying to piece together an appropriate outfit for the ball. it came together unexpectedly quickly and then by the time we went to dark garden, i knew i could go to the ball with or without a corset.

i ended up buying a corselette. (see top pic).

c' we all knew that was going to happen. from my perspective, a corselette is akin to a large obi belt. it also enabled me to make a relatively inexpensive purchase, test out how i felt wearing it....and then decide if i want to have a custom corset made ($$$).

when the evening arrived, we were pretty excited. we had our outfits ready and my friend also had her hair and makeup done in the time period. when my friend walked into her house after getting her hair and makeup done (i was being introduced to 3D video games and skyrim by her husband while this was going on), i remember thinking "holy shit! that looks so cool". so then we put on our costumes and really did look like figures from the past.

i think this is hella lot more fun than dressing up for halloween (which is something i don't really do).

folks really go all out with their costumes at the edwardian ball.

not just edwardian styles btw....but also victorian, a mix of edwardian/victorian, and steampunk. i was gawking at people all night....the fabrics, the craftmanship of some of the clothes, the accessories, etc. etc. i also found the event quite friendly and very refreshing. people go to see and be is a costume ball.....but it wasn't a "scene" in a negative sense.

it wasn't a meat market or a mean market. i found people to be very friendly and enjoyed myself quite a bit. the bar endeared itself to me as well when i found out that they were using templeton as the house rye for their cocktails. there were various objects on display as well as

performances....from music, to dance, to acrobatics, as well as performance pieces.

there were some folks that were quite puzzled that i would even go to something like this. my response was "why not?". one of the amazing things about living in san francisco include the amount of subcultures here. i love how one weekend, i can go to venue to listen to moombahton and the next weekend go an edwardian ball....and how that really isn't weird.

i've tried to pepper photos and videos throughout the posting ....but i don't think i'm really doing it justice.

perhaps next year, i'll do a better job.

Friday, January 20, 2012

feel like it

the other night when i was hanging out with a friend at the boxing room and smuggler's cove.....

the friend mentioned during the evening that when they don't see a posting from me in a while they get a bit worried that something has happened.

no worries.

i'm still here.

i'm still writing.

i just haven't been writing here.

writing is too much a part of me to stop writing. i will always write, even if my audience is an audience of one. i was hanging out with some other friends and the subject of writing came up over drinks and nibbles at absinthe....and one of the things that came up was how writing makes itself known...and how not writing....well, it feels like something is missing. i've accepted that i can't not write. i've accepted that a long time ago. i just haven't been writing for the foodie hunter blog.

hanging out with the friend at boxing room and smuggler's cove reminded me that there are some folks that i don't see as often so they probably don't realize the background of why i had been writing less here. a while ago, i joined google plus and then within a period of a few days.....i had several hundred people (like over 700) that decided to follow foodie hunter that i'm pretty certain that had never heard of foodie hunter before. it happened because of a couple of shout outs and inclusion various "sharing circles" presented by some writers and artists.

yet, as a result, there were all of these people not based in the sf bay area, new york, chicago, hong kong or london...which is where the majority of ongoing folks that keep tabs on foodie hunter via this blog, twitter, flickr, etc. they were also not aware that this blog is where i write whatever i feel like. if folks are usually interested in food porn, i usually try to point them in the direction of the flickr page. yet, it is much easier to deal with a few folks here or there .....rather than hundreds at once....wanting to have a say...or wanting to try to work you in some way or another.

admittedly, one of the reasons why i have a social media presence is because the "foodie hunter" personae is also my lab. i observe how connections, networks, information travels via the various networks. not only is this an outlet for my passions for cooking, food, photography, and is also an way for me to delve more into understanding how people connect and communicate. so from a metrics and analytics perspective, it was interesting to see how recommendations translate into increased connections.

this is the type of first hand experience in a controlled "lab" is very useful for work.

i'm pretty practical in many ways and starting this blog and delving into social media has enabled me to learn and grow in many ways....both personally and professionally.

it was a bit jarring to receive attention from a group of people that had no historical knowledge of what "foodie hunter" is and as a result, brought their own expectations...and in some cases....tried to foist their own expectations upon me, my writing, and what i do here.

so, i pretty much implemented a tactic that is the antithesis of what folks expect to "growing your brand"....if foodie hunter can be considered a brand. i wrote a series of pissy postings and told people to fuck off. you don't do that sort of behavior when you are trying to drive up traffic or expand one's brand. this is basic B-school stuff....i suppose....if i was inclined to attend B-school....and if i was also inclined to "grow the foodie hunter brand". i have inclinations toward neither avenue.

i know that i can be such a stubborn shit. it is why i haven't been posting here. in a way, i've been waiting them out. waiting for them to go away....or just stick to the pics i post on google plus or stick to the pics i post on flickr. i do think it is possible to have different avenues of communication and expression that may appeal to different audiences.

in terms of the blog or what i do with "foodie hunter", i want to do it my way or not at all.

at work, i have to do so much for other people. i have to think for other people. i have to make their lives doesn't matter if i believe in them, trust them, or even like them. my job is my job. i pimp out my brain. i have a responsibility to my team and my work ethic is such that i will always do a good job.

foodie hunter is suppose to be my space. my teeny tiny room of my own. a place where i could share what i love and believe when i suddenly and unexpectedly received comments, emails, etc. etc. from people who seemed to believe that they were entitled to what i write, post, take pictures of....or in a sense...feel entitled to me....i got upset.

hence the pissy postings with me stomping my foot and going grrrrr at various faceless nameless people whose sense of entitlement was rather mind boggling.

also, for better or worse, when i think something isn't going in a good direction for me....i cut what i need to and then i walk away. in an overly dramatic way, it is a bit like the wolf that decides to gnaw off their paw that is caught in the trap. at the end of the day, it is a survival tactic. so yeah, while the "foodie hunter" has been good learning experience for me, become a creative outlet, and have enjoyed it....i did seriously consider walking away from it.

i'm usually pretty good at thinking about the bigger picture.

i wanted to see if i could wait them many cases ignore them.....and then come back to it.

if i felt like it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

jake part deux

when richie texted me asking me if i'd be up for helping out with hapa at the stand at the ferry building today, i said ok. but i also immediately followed up with wanting a confirmation that the stand would be "camera free". i know that i like to take pictures but i'm not fond of being in front of any sort of camera.

for many reasons.

there was a definite groove and hum to service today. it was a beautiful....just absolutely beautiful day....and there was much going on within the stand as we were running a new chashu
as well as soy braised pork jowl (toroniku) as an add on. it never ceases to amaze me how folks are in tune with each other in the stand. i didn't really understand until my random helping out with hapa why a kitchen team is called a brigade. in the case of the hapa, it is really the front of house and the kitchen together. if something happens where one person has to step away from FOH or on the line, someone else on the team immediately steps in to keep things moving. in my "real" job, i set clear expectations for this on my team by assigning a "primary" and "secondary" on every project. this way, if anything happens, the project always makes its deadline. at hapa, it is similar...the team accommodates and changes depending on interactions with clients, the flow of tickets, impromptu meetings with industry, and the ensure that orders are taken, food gets made, and then sent out to the clients.

richie had to step away for a moment and while most of us were garnishing and plating the food....behind me, i heard mrs. hapa ramen ask for confirmation on whether a certain someone was jake gyllenhaal. i took a quick peek over my shoulder to where he was sitting with someone on the wooden plank across from the hapa stand......and then i said "yes, that is jake gyllenhaal." the reason why i was so confident was because in nov 2010, when i was in new york, i had ample amount of time to pretend that i wasn't aware of him in a tiny room before a variety event that GC was moderating. it was a semi traumatic experience. for more details, please feel free to visit my older posting about it.

much conversation went on while we were plating the food that i really won't get into here.

yet, i will go into how at that moment....i didn't think he actually ordered anything from hapa ramen. in hindsight, it makes sense that he ordered from hapa ramen since mrs. hapa ramen asked for confirmation regarding who he was. yet, i didn't realize he actually ordered from hapa ramen until i called out a number and then he got up to walk over the very short distance.

when i saw him get up, i thought "oh shit.

this wasn't a time for my social awkwardness to be front and center....heck...when a famous chef comes to the stand (i.e., such as CC, DP, and the like)....that is typically when i find a reason to scamper into the find more produce to refill bins or something.

also, unlike the time in new york, i couldn't try to hide behind a projector or GC's coat i was holding. i also couldn't pretend that he wasn't there...since he was a client.

when he came up, i treated him just like any other average client. friendly but no extra special treatment. extra special treatment is reserved for hapa extended family and hard-core committed regulars.

i thought that was the safest route to take....because really....if someone is at the farmers market they are likely there to enjoy the day and do their own thing. he wasn't traveling with an entourage. someone asked me later why i didn't take a picture....and when i heard that...i felt like taking a picture in that context would have been inappropriate. he's a anyone else....would likely value a certain level of privacy....and it wasn't like he was performing or "on the job" at an event where pictures would be expected and appropriate. he was picking up food. he also isn't a friend so taking random pictures also seemed inappropriate as well.

i did find it rather hilarious that after he left the stand....a few minutes later....that someone from 4505 meats (to be wasn't ryan....but someone female) came by to say that they wanted to talk to us about something....and we all thought it was something serious....and then they said that what they wanted to know was whether or not that was jake
gyllenhaal that came to hapa.

the reason why i thought that was hilarious is because it is a prime example of how lightening fast the behind the scenes gossip network is in the food industry.

it didn't come from me btw. i didn't tweet/text/communicate on my phone at all during service.

also, after service, i stopped into wing wings to grab a couple of things and the FOH folks introduced me to my first panuchos (top pic). it really didn't surprise me that i ended up here after service. sometimes, i want to go to a place where i know the food is good, where i'm comfortable, and where i can just let my hair down (oftentimes....literally). by the time i arrived home and checked online, i saw that social media had already been all lit up regarding
jake gyllenhaal's visit to the ferry building farmers market.

i just shook my head at some of the comments.

like anyone else that comes to hapa....famous, not famous, or something in-between....i hope he enjoyed the ramen and had a positive experience.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


after working a few hours this morning, my day was disrupted by the sound of a jack hammer right outside my window. this is an issue when one works from home. so i packed up and decided to be a nomad today and spend at least part of the day working from sfmoma. it has been quite productive actually, with my sipping on blue bottle mocha and listening to tunes on my ipod as i respond to folks' emails as they are returning from their holidays and conducting some research for my own projects.

i thought i'd take a break from work and write a bit for the blog.

i welcomed the new year huddled in my place, trying to recover from being sick, and ignoring the world. often times when this happens, i use this time to get up close and personal with a book. instead of reading something new though....i decided to reread betsy lerner's the forest for the trees. my copy is the first edition....published over a decade ago.

it has been a very very long time since i read or referenced this book. i started to think about it recently because i bought the updated edition at green apple for a friend for xmas. she is interested in pursuing writing....and much like when i used to be an editor....i thought about lerner's book and how useful it is for a new author. from my perspective, lerner provides some candid advice about the pros and cons of what it means to be a writer in the publishing industry. i have a feeling that my friend and i will be having many conversations about writing and publishing over the next year or so.

admittedly, when i was also an editor, i also referred to the book to remind myself....during some rather challenging moments....why i was an editor....and why i enjoyed it.

it was a wee bit bittersweet that i reread the book....having made the decision to walk away from publishing and being an editor so many years ago. yet, like any heartbreak that has enough time and distance....i'm at a point where i can remember certain moments fondly and remember why i did it and why it was good for the time.

my re-reading of this book was also it also made me realize that despite not being an editor anymore....there are certain aspects that i still carry with me.

specifically the aspect of representing what you love.

i remember as i was reading through through the book....with a different set of eyes....and having just written my represent made me think about how these days....instead of books....i'm seeking out food, dishes, restaurants, and people....who are doing things that i respect and sincerely want to tell people about....whether in this blog, flickr, twitter, etc. etc. that i put in personal effort to support them because i want them to be successful....because i believe in them, their food, or their vision.

yet, this didn't fully crystallize for me until last night when i was writing a bio for a homie.

as i was writing the bio, i had a sense of deja vu. because, in a previous an editor....i had done the exact same thing....dozens and dozens of times. i didn't remember this until i was in the middle of doing it. writing one's own bio is a total suck-o-rama experience. back in the day, i had some extraordinary brilliant authors with some extremely healthy egos....but when faced with their own bios....they would call me and ask me to write it for them....because they honestly didn't know what to say. also, it is challenging to have someone else that doesn't know you write it....because there is a lack of trust in someone you don't know. so when i saw that the homie was having some challenges writing his bio, i guess it really isn't a surprise that i ended up offering to write it for him.

yet, it made me realize that despite how much i may have changed over the years....there are still certain aspects that i seem to have carried with me....without being fully conscious of it. it made me realize that it is possible to walk away from a passion or identity such as being an editor....and transforming it into something else....but still keeping that seed of what drew you to that passion in the first place.

for someone that is supposedly so smart, it took me a while to realize what was right there in front of me.