Specialty’s Café & Bakery Closes After 33 Years

I’ve been going to Specialty’s Café & Bakery for work lunches for over 15 years. So when I learned that the San Francisco Bay Area-based chain would be permanently closing their doors after today, May 19, 2020, I was shocked! The reason for the closure? The pandemic. Their website explains that “Current market conditions attributed to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place policies have decimated company revenues.” Founded in 1987, the company operated over 55 cafes in California, Illinois, and Washington state. Before the pandemic, Specialty’s was popular among busy office workers who wanted a quick, but nutritious lunch, like salads, sandwiches, and … Continue reading Specialty’s Café & Bakery Closes After 33 Years

Like I’ve Been There Before: ‘Friends’ 25th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience in San Francisco

Fans of the hit show, “Friends” will have a blast at the pop-up experience that recently opened in downtown San Francisco! Visitors can enjoy two floors of interactive digital displays, view actual props and costumes used on the show, and step into recreated show sets, like Central Perk and Monica and Rachel’s West Village apartment Continue reading Like I’ve Been There Before: ‘Friends’ 25th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience in San Francisco

I’m Going to My First WordCamp #wcsac

Bonjour! I can’t wait to attend my first-ever WordCamp this weekend (September 21-22, 2019) in Sacramento, California. I’ll be live-tweeting as an attendee. Find me on Twitter (@bonjourdarlene) and follow along using #wcsac! (Or scroll down to see my Tweets below!) What is WordCamp? According to the WordCamp Central website, “WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.” There are WordCamps taking place around the world! Have you been … Continue reading I’m Going to My First WordCamp #wcsac

Meaningful Photos: a Mindfulness Practice

Meaningful Photos is one of many science-based practices for a meaningful life curated by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. For this mindfulness exercise, the how-to states: “[Take] 15 minutes per day for one week to take the photos.” Instead I did the following: From my phone’s camera roll, I selected nine favorite photos that were taken over the past year or so. I figure I hadn’t deleted them for a reason – they are meaningful photos for me! So here are my nine photos and my nine answers to the question: “What does this photo represent, and … Continue reading Meaningful Photos: a Mindfulness Practice

Picnic By the Pond at Marin French Cheese in Petaluma

The Marin French Cheese Company is located on a dairy farm in Hicks Valley, near the city of Petaluma, California, about 40 miles/ 64 km north of San Francisco. Since they have been at this location since 1865, Marin French Cheese has earned the distinction of being the “longest continually operating cheese company in America.” If the circular red and black logo looks familiar, it’s because Marin French Cheese was the producer of a variety of premium, hand-crafted French cheeses sold under the brand, “Rouge et Noir” which means “red and black.” They started using the name, “Marin French Cheese” … Continue reading Picnic By the Pond at Marin French Cheese in Petaluma

Two French Bakeries and the Blue House in San Francisco

In my blog post, “If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Watch These Videos Filmed There,” I described how a blue house in San Francisco inspired Maxime Le Forestier to write a French song entitled, “San Francisco.” I recently got the chance to see the house on 18th Street made famous by the song: I happened to walk past la maison bleue en route from one French bakery to another French bakery! Quelle coïncidence! Tartine (600 Guerrero Street) Ever since my colleague told me about Tartine, a French bakery in the Castro District that he and his wife … Continue reading Two French Bakeries and the Blue House in San Francisco