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yelapa vacation

2 Jan

I posted some pictures of my trip to Yelapa on flickr. What a paradise of tropical jungle and beaches! Accessible only by boat, this town is 15 miles down the coast from Puerto Vallarta. I can’t wait for the next time I can go back.

keeping track of all the restaurants

4 Jul

One option to be able to keep track of all the wonderful restaurants I’ve been eating at would be to make a little list of those places I recommend, and post it to my blog. But a much more insane, hopped-up socially-networked and nifty option would be to post reviews on yelp.com. Since I was feeling zany this morning, I decided to do the latter. This way I can remember all the wonderful food experiences I’ve had here in SF, and share them with all you all. Feel free to check out my hastily-composed and ever-growing list of restaurant recommendations on yelp.

a whole 30 minutes of being a celebrity

20 Jun

Andy Warhol once said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” I feel lucky since this last weekend, I got to be famous for a whole 30 minutes.

SFShenanigans, the Improv Everywhere-inspired group, had their second antic, called Create Your Own Celebrity, and I got to be the celebrity. So I was the French-speaking Norwegian Pia Haraldsen, who was supposedly rumored to have something going with U2’s Bono, and who was followed around by a group of very-exuberant fans.

walking.jpgAs Pia, I walked down the street, accompanied by my bodyguard who walked behind me and who wouldn’t let any of the plebian masses get too close while I did a little shopping. And this wasn’t any normal shopping. I walked into the most fancy stores around Union Square, such as BCBG, Prada, Emporio Armani and Bulgari. Usually I would hesitate to go into these because I’d be afraid that the people who worked there would turn up their noses at me, but being dressed nicely and being accompanied by my suit-and-sunglass-wearing burly bodyguard made me fearless. I felt like I was right at home casually looking at jewelry that probably cost more than my yearly salary, and saying nonchalantly to those who asked if they could help me that I was “just looking.”

My favorite part was when I went into Bulgari to look around, and a few of the fans rushed in to try to follow me and take pictures. A couple of the Bulgari security guards jumped forward to usher them out, telling them that “they couldn’t do that in here” and that they had to leave.

It was hilarious and awesome to see them move into action to protect me. They locked the stores doors behind me so that the fans were stuck outside, and told me that I could stay there as long as I needed. They could see that I was worried about the fans that were following me, and wanted to make me feel comfortable that I was safe in that elitist place where the special classes could be separated from the lower ones. I couldn’t believe I was being guarded by f’in Bulgari security, as well as my own bodyguard who was stationed at the door, ready for my command.

I told them in my French accent that I would look around a bit more, and then when finally I was ready to leave and the fans had moved on, a guard unlocked the door and said “Au Revoir” politely to me.

When I was out of the stores on the street, I was almost constantly followed by a group that kept asking for my picture, an autograph, or just screamed, “We love you, Pia!” One of the fans even asked me for a date, saying, “What does Bono have that I don’t?” I occasionally turned around and gave a quick autograph, or a demure smile for the camera, but then there were a few times that I blocked the camera from seeing my face or asked my bodyguard in French why these crazy Americans wouldn’t leave me alone.

It sounds like the group of fans got a lot of people curious about who I was. Everyone wants to be able to tell a story to their friends about having got to see a celebrity up close. Some tourists around Union Square who weren’t part of SFShenanigans even took pictures of me, and some even pretended that they’d heard of me when the group explained who I was. It was great fun to be part of an antic that caused such curiosity and excitement. I can definitely see both the attraction to being loved and followed everywhere, and how it would get to be a bit of an annoyance if it couldn’t be escaped.

More pictures of the antics on this Shenanigans flickr set and a debrief of the event on the Shenanigans site.

photos uploaded around the world

16 May

flickrvision.jpg
Well, since I’m off on a major flickr kick today, I might as well let it keep rolling. I just saw that there is a site called flickrvision.com which shows all the recent flickr photos that also have geographical information. It places them on a map, and flips through them as they’re added all over the world. What an addictive way to get a visual snapshot of what’s going on all over, right now. It makes the world feel smaller and yet still very diverse.

mapping memories to places

16 May

San Francisco map
I love the feature in flickr where you can map all your photos to different places on a map. Here’s my personal flickr map of San Francisco memories. It’s really handy to be able to situate different images to associate memories with locations when you look back at them later.

parrots

20 Apr

Just when I had finally gotten refocused back on work and torn myself away from the distractions of the incredible views of the city, the bridges, the ocean and Coit tower (which are all visible from various rooms in the flat where we’re staying in this week on Telegraph Hill), a big group of squawking wild green parrots passed by my window. Thanks a lot, guys!

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