Hello, friends! I'm glad to be back. After spending about 10 days in California, I've returned with new inspiration, and a slew of new ideas, places and products I want to share with you.
During my four days in the Bay Area, I spent most of my time concentrating on product design and theory at a conference in Nob Hill held by the the Industrial Design Society of America, but I managed to take a couple of hours on Saturday to scope out some smaller neighborhoods -- my favorite way to investigate a new city.
I ended up in the Mission district by recommendation of my undeniably hip friend Pamela. She spoke of two spots -- one a bakery and another a cheap-but-worthwhile vintage shop -- Tartine and The Painted Bird.
Of course, Pam's choices were right on the mark. Tartine's macaroon, scented with orange, was moist and just enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. (OK, I had a hot chocolate too, and I promise it was better than City Bakery!) Up the street at The Painted Bird, I was dumbfounded by the truly good deals. The pieces weren't just inexpensive -- there were spot-on trend wise. I scored a pair of black booties, something I've been seeking out for the past few years, for $18 bucks. There was no compromise with these boots -- they were exactly what I've been looking for.
What I loved most about the Mission was that, unlike some parts of New York or London, nothing was forced about the local style. I'm looking forward to my next visit.