Browsing Tag

san francisco


FoodtoEat is a Platform for Street Food Vendors and their Customers

foodtoeat online platform for street food vendors and restaurants

This is not another post on food trucks. Instead it is a look at how a 25 year old woman founder has launched an online ordering platform for restaurants with delivery services and street food vendors. Currently serving New York city, is one more online service that wishes to make it easier for their consumers to find and buy take-out food. Two things from their offering grabbed my attention. What I like about their business approach is what I will discuss here. Continue Reading


Boxbee: Simple Urban Storage Delivered at Your Door


Many urban apartments and condos lack closets and storage space. Nobody wants overcrowded closets or filling their small spaces with large storage units. And for many people, renting a locker would be a waste since it will be almost empty. Boxbee is a startup from San Francisco that offers a storage alternative for those city residents. It provides a hassle-free solution for storing out-of-season things and other things that you rarely use. Continue Reading


The Curiosity Shoppe at Target Collection

the curiosity shoppe at target

the curiosity shoppe at target
photo by Nikki Ritcher  for Anthology magazine at the launch party

The Shops at Target is an innovative collaboration project with small boutiques that Target launched in May 2012. The program enables small business owners to sell a collection of products created for Target but at the image of their brand stand. That provides great exposure for the selected shop owners. For the fall 2012 edition, the four small businesses are Kirna Zabete, The Curiosity Shoppe, Odin New York and Patch NYC.

frank's motel collection :: the curiosity shoppe at target
sourcing: Ceramic nesting measuring cups $15 for 4, Silicone baking utensils $9, Milk bottle $15 at Target

I adore The Curiosity Shoppe at Target collection. The dinnerware collection from this shop located in San Francisco’s Mission District is designed around an Americana road-trip. I imagine using them as a basis of an end of summer fun party or a kids birthday theme.

the curiosity shoppe at target
sourcing: America cutting board $25 (photo: Anthology) | Dinner Plate $3, Salad Plate $2.50, Canvas Placemat $4, Acrylic Glasses $2-$3, Novelty Swizzle Sticks $5 for 8

the curiosity shoppe at target serving bowl and platter

sourcing: The Curiosity Shoppe at Target ceramic platter $25  | Serving bowl $20 at Target

Write down that September 9th, 2012 is the date that their 60 products will become available in stores and online.  I did!


What to Do in Montreal: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

animated mannequin

animated mannequin

Tomorrow will be the last day that you can see Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I went a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the visit.

The animated mannequins add a wonderful touch to the exhibit. Dressed by Gaultier, the figures soliloquize, observe in silence and sometimes even break into song. The technique involves the projection of a video onto a mannequin head. It engages us further into the universe by providing details about why and how Gaultier created those outfits or styles.

men suit dress by jean paul gaultier

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit explores the signature styles of Jean Paul Gaultier through five galleries: Boudoir, Skin Deep, Punk Cancan, Urban Jungle and Metropolis.

extra long jeans by jean paul gaultier

There are plenty of wonderful creations to see. I selected a few details to show you the extent of his artistic genius. I like this men suit dress. And I wish I could buy extra long jeans for my baby, just to replicate this style. Sadly, they would not fit him at the waist, if I do.

elaborate hairdo :: urban jungle gallery

Have a look at the intricacy of the hairdo. The Urban Jungle gallery was filled with amazing detailed works.

metropolis gallery jean paul gaultier

If you live in the States, you weill be happy to know that The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will travel to Dallas and San Francisco before going to Europe.

Dallas Museum of Art
November 13, 2011 – February 12, 2012

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young
March 24 – August 19, 2012

See More Photos on my Facebook page.

+ The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
+ photos: Kim Vallee – excuse the picture quality, I only had my iPhone with me


Japanese Teapots for Green Tea Lovers

japanese teapots for green tea

japanese teapots for green tea

Kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot mainly used for brewing green tea. We used these teapots all the time when we were in Japan. They pour very well. Typical features include a side handle and a built-in strainer.

If you want to get yours, you can find them at Lucipia, a Japanese tea shop which operates a few stores in the USA plus an online store. Typically, a kyusu is small. I like the black Komarukyusu.

Sencha tea lovers can opt for the elegant Sawa teapot. This modern version of a Japanese sencha tea pot with an ergonomic handle and thumbprint lid allowing for easy one-handed pouring. Add 4 to 6 Sawa cups and saucers to create a wedding gift that the couple will be happy to use for many years.

Oct. 2nd, 2010 Update: My husband brought me back from San Francisco the stylishly modern SAWA teapot. I love it! It comes with two strainers: a built-in porcelain strainer on the inner edge of spout and a removable strainer for tea leaves. The one-handed pouring system works like a charm.

+ Komarukyusu black $22 USD
+ SAWA Teapot with Strainer $49
+ SAWA Sencha Cup $11
+ SAWA Saucer $13


Heath Ceramics at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

heath ceramics at the san francisco ferry building

heath ceramics at the san francisco ferry building

Heath Ceramics opened a small 500 square feet store at the historic San Francisco Ferry Building, which is a great place for shopping. The best thing is that Heath Ceramics is located next door to the delicious Miette, and across from the awesome Blue Bottle Coffee. So even if you do not find what you are looking for at Heath, it will not be a wasted trip.

+ Heath Ceramics at the Ferry Building – photography by Mariko Reed


Crown & Crumpet Adds Fun to the Tearoom

crown and crumpet tearoom in san francisco

Having tea at Crown & Crumpet is on my agenda for my next trip to San Francisco.  This place inspires me from the whimsical decor to the menu. They served 4 menus: breakfast, lunch, an afternoon tea and the evening menu. They all look delicious. Plus, you can select from 38 types of tea.

Two tea lovers, the couple Amy and Christopher Dean started Crown & Crumpet in September 2008. The tearoom is located in the Ghirardelli Square in old San Francisco. The English architect and designer Roland Courtenay Bishop imagined a decor that is fun, modern and refined. They reinvented the English tea service.

If you live in the San Francisco, they can host a party with up to 20 guests. It would an ideal spot for a baby shower. Otherwise, you could borrow the spirit of their design concept for your own tea party.

Holiday Decorations

They carried their modern Victorian style even in their holiday decorations. I agree with Darling Darleen when she said that they have an Alice in Wonderland vibe.

+ Crown & Crumpet
+ holiday decoration photos: Darling Darleen


The Get-set Placemats Bring Fun to the Table

get-set placemats hello jungle by hello hanna

Anne Schultz of Hello Hanna sent me an email to introduce her awesome playful placements for kids. These placemats will keep your kids occupied while you are preparing the meal. I think it is a great idea since you probably notice that kids enjoy very much playing with stickers. My nephew and niece are doing it all the time.

get-set placemats for kids parties and play dates

For a party or a day-long play date, you are ready to go with a fun activity. Plus, on the back of placemats, there is an activity area. You can vary the activity every time or let you kid draw what they like.

Four pop-up characters with their own sheet of stickers are packaged in set of 8 placemats. Kids can choose their character and dress it the way they like. I like this product for the peace of mind and its creative value.

get-set placemats hello robot by hello hanna

Get-set placemats is available in three themes: robot, animal jungle and girlie dolls. You could buy a set to make every Sunday breakfasts feel special. The placemats are printed on heavyweight uncoated paper stock. Therefore, they are not reusable.

The gals behind Hello Hanna, Anne Schultz and Jina Choi, are moms living in San Francisco, California. They used their knowledge of early-child development to to spark kids creativity.

+ Get-set placemats $14.95 USD


PARK(ing) Day is September 18th, 2009

photos of previous PARK(ing) day events

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day global event where artists, activists and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into public parks or installations.

The idea started in 2005 when REBAR, a San Francisco art and design studio, challenges people to rethink the way streets are used. They wish to reinforce the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.

As someone who walks everywhere I can instead of taking my car, I share their feeling. Urban planners and developers should put priority on pedestrians and imagine cities where we can walk more instead of driving. Walking is good for your mind and your body. You feel more relaxed when you walk than when you drive in traffic.

Popularity of PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) day :: installations done in previous editions

PARK(ing) Day happened in several cities across the globe. In 2008, 500 PARK installations were done in 100 cities spread in 4 continents. People created picnic places, meeting places, gardening exhibits, kid pool areas, temporary library up to a free health clinic.

All installations must be a non-commercial plus the organizers of every local event must respect a set of rules. If you see the above poster Friday, you will know what it stands for.

park(ing) day poster

Transforming a PARK(ing) spot for a day is not risk-free

Organizing an event like that can be tricky due to parking laws. It is best to obtain a permit from the city first if you wish to participate. Read what happened last year when a Forest Hill gallery put Muskoka chairs on a grassy floor and serve free lemonade on a parking spot on Spadina Street, Toronto.

+ Photos via the PARK(ing) Day community


Chez Papa in San Francisco | Restaurant Review

lunch at chez papa on mint plaza in san francisco

This is a delicious French restaurant in San Francisco with a beautiful quiet terrace, set on a plaza not far from Blue Bottle Coffee. I am showing you the lunch we ate on the terrace of Chez Papa on Mint Plaza last Monday.

My Grilled Arctic Char with Fingerling Potatoes, Capers, Lemon and Brown Butter was excellent. Jerome, my husband took the Niçoise Salad. I almost regretted not taking it since it was one of the best Niçoise I tasted this side of the Atlantic. On the menu, it is described as a Seared Ahi Tuna Niçoise with Roasted Peppers, Haricots Vert, Artichokes, Arugula and Meyer Lemon served with quail eggs in a pesto sauce.

chez papa dessert of the day

The dessert of the day was equally delicious. We paired it with a French white wine.  After all, I needed to get the full experience of the restaurant to give you a proper review. I will definitely go back to Chez Papa.

+ Chez Papa
+ Follow Chez Papa on Twitter


The Latest Trend in Bar: Speakeasy Can Inspire Your Next Party

pdt - please don\'t tell bar in East Village, New York

The latest trends in bar seems is inspired by the era of Prohibition. It is not surprising since it was a period where cocktails flourished. The bartenders of the time have to be resourceful and use all their talent to concoct something delicious with the spirit quality of the time.

With mixologists returning to the basics and experimenting again with fresh ingredients, it seems like a natural fit that some bars play on the nostalgia of the Prohibition era. Several bars have emerged across the United States. And you have to look where they are because they do not exhibit big neon signs to attract you inside.

Several concepts are used to make these bars feel underground. Each bar developed its own trick. When you make a reservation at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco, you will be given a password to whisper at the door. I am going to SF at the end of the month, I will plan a visit to see what Bourbon & Branch is all about. Let’s hope my experience will be worthy of a post.

At PDT (Please don’t Tell) in East Village, you have to pass through a secret door at the back of Crif Dogs. You must enter a phone booth to identify yourself so they can buzz you inside the bar. It is the cocktail-lounge annex to Crif Dogs, a hip hot dog restaurant in New York.

I thought these are easy think to reproduce at a party. It would add something special.

Spreading the word locally

The Lab, here in Montreal, plays a low key version. The touch is visible through the bartender outfits and the theme of their special event. The Lab is owned by friends of mine; they are excellent at what they do.

+ Review on New York Magazine
+ Via New York Times