Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mrs. Dalloway's

[Photo is from the store's website]

This bookstore's name is inspired by the first line in Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway.
I walked over there all the way from the Rockridge BART station last night. The rain had ended and I took the chance to get some exercise and pick up a few gifts.
I'm never disappointed there. The store has an interesting combination of gardening titles and general interest/literature.
They also have fine art prints, as well as wonderful potted succulents that make perfect splurge gifts. And, the space is beautiful. One of those stores that make the small neighborhood shopping areas in the East Bay so much fun.
I bought a handmade wooden ornament. A little squirrel. It will be a reminder of Christmas 2007.

Mr's Dalloway's
Literary and Garden Arts
2904 College Ave (Elmwood)
Berkeley, CA
http://www.mrsdalloways.com/

Friday, December 14, 2007

Joseph Cornell at MOMA

San Francisco's MOMA has a nice show up called Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination.

He is best known as a reclusive artist who created "boxes" containing collages. These boxes are essentially display cases that provide frames/borders for the work. Although related to the surrealists and Dadaists and maybe other sub-isms of modernism, his work doesn't seem to have anything to do with instruction or programs.

This is not to say he did not have something of a theoretical basis for what he was doing: the work is very much intentional. There are wonderful series where an idea or motif is explored repeatedly, such as the wonderful palace boxes that evoke both the 18th century and fairy tales.

One of the boxes in the show has an image of an owl in a tree. Originally it was lit constantly by a small internal bulb. To save the material of the piece the conservators have set it up so that you push a button below the piece to light it. Dave had fun sitting nearby on a bench and hooting softly whenever someone pushed the button. (We were surprised how many viewers did not push the button.)

The show is up through 1/6/08, at SFMOMA: http://www.sfmoma.org/.

Here is a website from the museum where the show originated:http://pem.org/cornell/.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What is Christmas?

"It is a time for opening your heart and your home to others."
This perfect jewel came from Esme as we were ringing off the phone last night.
Christmas is simply an end of the year festival, a time to spend some of the surfeit (even if there isn't any, alas) and to be glad you have made it through to the end of another year. Even if it truly were a religious observance, do you think Jesus would deign to care about the material aspects? Christmas is for us, not for him.
Today is the holiday party for work. Then we will play hooky and go to MOMA to see the Joseph Cornell show. More on that later.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Greece Photos




K. sent our shared photos from our recent vacation. They are so beautiful I had to post a few. These are shop windows in Oia, Santorini. Suddenly, I am missing Greece and it's only been 2 months since we got back.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pizzaiola

We went to Pizzaiola Restaurant in Oakland's Temescal district this past Monday for Dave's **th Birthday.
As I waited in front a car pulled up to the light and a woman called out: "Teach me a move!" So I jumped out onto the sidewalk and did a kind of hip hop meets Norma Desmond thing. She loved it.
The restaurant is very popular; if you go call ahead for reservations. We had a sausage and rapini pizza and a Caesar salad made with chicory. The pizza is Neapolitan style and quite good-- fresh ingredients done simply and deliciously. You can tell the restaurant is in the Chez Panisse lineage at first bite.
The ambiance is on the rock and roll side, which I liked. A pizza place, no matter how upscale, should not be a Food Church. For more, go to: http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com/