Category Archives: Autobiography and Memoir

Japanese New Year with Peko-Peko

My father has a fascination with Japan that is ongoing.  When I was around the age of six it was at a peak.  He would take me to Little Tokyo in L.A. to buy obscene amounts of origami paper and instruction books.  Then we would eat a Japanese lunch and drive back to Hollywood.  I was a very accomplished origamist and quickly became a little Japanophile myself.  I read Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes, mourned Hiroshima, and eagerly awaited my father’s return from trips to Japan with his arms full of Japanese silks and Geisha dolls.


During those years my father would take me and my family to his Japanese friends’ homes in Los Angeles for Japanese New Year, celebrated on January 1.  The Japanese New Year feast is composed of foods referred to as osechi.  My father would tell me that if I ate everything and was very polite and respectful that he would take me with him on one of his trips to Japan.  I was not a fearful eater and ate many different types of foods from a young age, but swallowing some of the more foreign elements of osechi (bitter orange or bitter melon, roes of various sorts) was a feat even for me.  

Years went by, and my father continued to travel to Japan from time to time, but tickets were expensive, my prep school schedule was demanding, and despite all my good eating of osechi, the trip to Japan never materialized.  

Two years ago I went to Belize and got engaged.  The engagement was long coming, and we weren’t going to wait.  The marriage would take place within six months.

When I got back to the Bay Area my parents were there waiting to greet my new fiance and me.  My father greeted me with two business class tickets to Tokyo for him and me.  It was August, so no Japanese New Year in Japan, but it would do.  

This year my husband and I are celebrating Japanese New Year with Peko-Peko, the fledging catering company from Chez Panisse alum Sylvan Mishima Brackett.  Our bento will include Crab Namasu: Vinegared daikon and carrot with steamed Dungeness crab, Misozuke Beef Tataki: Miso-cured grassfed tenderloin, Datemaki: Sweet rolled omelet with Riverdog Farm eggs and local rockcod for wisdom in the New Year, Yuzu Pickled Turnips, Kuromame: Sweetened black soybeans for health in the New Year, Chikuzen-Ni: Local taro, carrot, potato, and shitake with lotus root and Mary’s organic chicken, Kombu-Maki: Sardines rolled Hokkaido kombu for happiness in the New Year, and Black Cod Teriyaki: Marinated and grilled Bolinas black cod.  


We are lucky to have relished Brackett’s creations before (click here for that menu).  The fried eggplant was sweet and tender and the summer tomatoes offered the perfect clean refreshment.  My mouth is watering just imagining the flavors our oseshi bento will offer.

I’m hoping this beautiful gastronomic experience will set the tone for my eating for all of 2009.  And as if that weren’t enough, A Rockridge Life is desperate to see Peko-Peko expand: how about a storefront on College Avenue?  Pretty please?  

kotoshi mo yoroshiku o-negai-shimasu (今年もよろしくお願いします) 

I hope for your favour again in the coming year

Click here for more information on Brackett and Peko-Peko.


Filed under Autobiography and Memoir, Gastronomia, Lifestyle

Interesting Weather Part II

Rockridge, 3PM


Enough hail to turn the ground white underneath the pine tree. The hail is also visible in the foreground on the bench of my deck. In the upper left corner is a glimpse of my Japanese Maple on fire.

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Filed under Autobiography and Memoir, Lifestyle

Interesting Weather Part I

The sky over Alameda at 9AM:




If you look closely at the last picture you can see a complete arc.

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These Really Soothe Me

I’ve almost completely sworn off high heels, unless the evening involves valet parking and no dancing (a rare combination of circumstances). But a low heel is just right. I’m IN LOVE with these Anna Sui’s:


Equal parts Betsey Johnson and Isadora Duncan. Perfect for my collection of frocks from the 20s and 30s. Color me in love. Available here at Shopbop.


If people ask me when I began to dance I reply, “In my mother’s womb, probably as a result of the oysters and champagne–the food of Aphrodite.”

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Filed under Autobiography and Memoir, The Arts

Last Night’s Party

UPDATE: To all of you who were impressed by this, please make sure you note the nozzle under each label, which sprays the perfume directly onto your person.

All I will disclose is that the bathroom of the bar where I was had this amazing old perfume dispensing machine:

perfume11White Shoulders, Shalimar, and My Sin

perfume21Chanel #5, Tabu, and White Shoulders (again)


Filed under Autobiography and Memoir

Hangover Pictures, Saturday December 6, 2008


For some reason a lot of vintage furniture was being set up in front of the warehouse under my window

navyThe view towards the Navy Yard

bqeThe view towards the BQE

All pictures taken from the 4th floor of 10 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn

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Ride the Rimpletide

I am loathe to offer description here.  If you would like to read some good writing, please allow me to draw your attention to the following links.

“The Moire Effect”


“Personal ontology of rimple?!?!?


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Hot Hosts


Approximate time: 11PM

My Hot Hosts in NYC enjoy some libation at the Forever Young party at China Chalet.

Earlier that evening I was greeted by B and B at their Navy Yard loft by my own room (denoted with a name placard on my door), fresh linens, Cora the English bulldog, and a beautiful spread of tapas.  We had a fabulous dinner: tortilla, lasagna, scallops, ay!  We drank the Txacoli, it was amazing.  We rolled up her hair, threw on some pearls and sequins and we were off!


Filed under Autobiography and Memoir, Gastronomia, Travel