The Macaron District could easily be an informal name for Hayes Valley in San Francisco. Assuming that the revived La Boulangerie continues to carry them as before and during their Starbucks period, as of my last count Hayes Valley has at least six places to buy macarons in fewer square blocks. Chantal Guillon’s store is entirely devoted to them. This doesn’t even count the restaurants which offer them on dessert menus.
Too bad I don’t like macarons.
[This was a comment on the article “Great Big City, Tiny Little Districts” by Karl Sluis on Medium.]
"(This essay by Dinah first appeared in the Hayes Valley Voice.)
If you haven’t gone before 5pm on a workday, you haven’t really been to our little neighborhood bar on the green. At opening time—2pm—on a recent sunny Tuesday I stopped in at Brass Tacks to talk with co-owner Matty Conway. My plan was to spend a quiet hour discussing a topic of mutual interest: low-alcohol cocktails…"
Oh Facebook, why do you show me the text preview when I write the post and then hide it when you post? Sigh.
A lovely stop on the way north this evening!
Photo by Mum Jinx.
In the shower I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if I could pause the shower and have it stay the same temperature?* And if while I had it paused—to shampoo my hair or shave or whatever—I could see a holding tank which showed the gallons I was NOT sending down the drain?"
I was picturing a tank in the shower wall with a clear side and an increasing scale of little green leaf icons, something like in the Prius or Nest consumption interfaces. I bet it would actually motivate me to use less water.
Then I realized, actually, I wouldn't need to see a real tank to be motivated. I'd just need a display which represented the water I wasn't using while the shower was paused. These silly little games are truly silly, but they also truly work.
I won't be surprised to find increasing amounts of conservation gamification built into appliances, house fixtures, and tools as the years go by. If it can make mundane things a bit more fun and save resources in the process why on Earth wouldn't we?
*I know this functionality exists, sometimes in quite inexpensive showerheads, but alas, ours does not have it.
"The lesson here is simple. At a deep ideological level, Republicans
believe that federal bureaucracies are inherently inept, so when
Republicans occupy the White House they have no interest in making the
federal bureaucracy work. And it doesn't. Democrats, by contrast, take
government services seriously and appoint people whose job is to make
sure the federal bureaucracy does work. And it does."
– Kevin Drum in Mother Jones
I decided over a decade ago to walk every street in San Francisco, every block. I'm perhaps 20% done with the project—there is a whole lot of this city outside the downtown/Mission/Hayes Valley area—but that's fine; watching the city change over the years is also part of the pleasure.
This project has, of course, made me interested in other people doing similar adventures.
Tom Graham finished his complete walk of San Francisco in 2010.
Larry Burgheimer says he did all of San Francisco between 1967 and 1972 (see the second letter on this page).
Mike at Satan's Laundromat rode the entire New York subway system.
Matt Green is still working on his project of walking every street in every borough of New York City.
My latest favorites are Jo Hunt, Mary Rees, and Linda Smither who are riding every London bus route.
Hooray for wild projects!