Blogs from Union Square, San Francisco, California, United States, North America


From JohnnyJet: I also can’t comprehend how some people think it’s okay to take care of their personal hygiene on an airplane like clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or giving themselves a manicure. In the past, I would tell the passenger it’s not allowed to apply nail polish on a plane because both nail polish and nail polish remover are highly flammable. But after getting chewed out, now I would just ring the call button so the flight attendant can do the dirty work. They always shut it down immediately. Unfortunately, it’s happened at least twice in the past week as two incidents made the news. First, last week, the url= Mail reported: “An American Airlines flight from Miami to Barbados had to return to the airport after flyers became sick due to an 'aceton ... read more
Don't tweeze!!
Stop the hair toss now!!!!

Having traveled a bit during the pandemic, the highly touted United Polaris Lounge has not been available in Chicago, Europe, or SFO. But now, post pandemic, the Polaris Lounges are open for business. I plan to use the one at SFO, though I am flying on Turkish Airlines. From James Dozer at Travel Codex: THE UNITED POLARIS LOUNGE IS THE BEST BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE IN THE ENTIRE STAR ALLIANCE NETWORK. My favorite lounge used to be the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX but this Polaris Lounge blows everything else out of the water. The lounge is spacious, beautifully decorated and offers passengers a host of wonderful pre-flight amenities. The United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is located in the G concourse of the international terminal (closest to gate G92) and is only open to Star Alliance premium ... read more
Lots of choices
The noodle bar

How could I forget? May marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. This year's theme, selected by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council, is "Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration," which builds on a leadership advancement theme series that began last year. The legislation to annually designate May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month referenced two key dates: May 7 and May 10. May 7, 1843, marks the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States. And May 10, 1869, or Golden Spike Day, recognizes the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S., which had significant contributions fr... read more
My Grandfather's family

I read an interesting article this morning about tourist trap restaurants. I think we have all had some experience with such a place. Anytime the chef is more famous than his food, I begin to worry and will not eat there. Places like Wolfgang Puck, Moritmoto, Bobby Flay, Paul Prudhomme, Alain Ducasse. I prefer the Mom-and-Pop places, the authentic recipes. old fashioned style cooking. So, what should the wary diner look for to avoid the rip offs, and disappointment? If the menu is written in more than two languages, I would run to the nearest exit. The hours of operation are important. In many countries, locals do not eat at the same hour as Americans. The menu looks like it is from a different region or agricultural area. For example, sushi in Omaha! A hawker or ... read more
Space Needle, a tall trap!
Firestone Walker brew pub, you decide!

CNN reported: It was already world-famous thanks to its striking red-hued bridge, drool-worthy restaurant scene and booming tech industry -- and now San Francisco has been crowned the "world's best" city, according to Time Out.The international media brand deployed its network of editors from across the world -- as well as surveying some 27,000 global city dwellers -- to narrow down itsurl= read more
Ravinia Fest, Chicago
Lone Cypress, 17 Mile Drive

From Slate: If you want to be in business for a long time, you should choose an industry that’s going to last. Since Kongo Gumi is in the business of building Buddhist temples, it has managed to sustain operations in Japan since 578 CE. Headquartered in Osaka, the company was founded by a Korean immigrant commissioned to build a temple in Japan by Prince Shotoku. That engineer went on to found his own company, Kongo Gumi, which spent the next several centuries constructing countless temples.In 2006, Kongo Gumi was acquired by construction conglomerate Takamatsu following a downturn in the overall Japanese economy, so there are some doubts about whether it can still truly be considered the oldest continuous business. However, it can still boast a pretty incredible corporate resume — the Takamatsu website ... read more
Buddhist temple in Nagoya

As you know, when I travel around this great world of ours, I always am asked, "Where are you from?" I say California, or San Francisco, and they go crazy, almost bonkers!!! Why? It is a state, and city EVERYone wants to visit. They know the City is a special place. I started visiting on a regular basis back in 1961, as a lowly freshman on an honor society trip. My how things have changed!!! Numero Uno of course, the food is fabulous, whether seafood, farm to table, "California" cuisine, and nouveau food truck. Second, is the wine, whether Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Central Coast, or Temecula. Third, is the geographic diversity, the Pacific Ocean and the Sierras. What else can I possibly tell them? First, the fog, since the City has its own microclimate. We have ... read more
The Painted Ladies

One of the few remaining icons of old San Francisco, is John's Grill. I first became familiar with it, when my waiter , John Konstin, at Jack's on Sacramento Street bought John's in the 70s. Here is some interesting background. Nestled in a building two blocks from Union Square and not far from San Francisco’s big convention center and major hotels, John’s Grill has been hosting celebrities from all over the world for more than 100 years. It was created in 1908, only two years after San Francisco’s devastating earthquake. Indeed, John’s Grill was the first downtown restaurant to open after the quake. It quickly became a bustling anchor in the city’s multi-faceted life – hosting a beguiling and lively mixture of politicians, cops, journalists, entertainers, lawyers, business leaders and the just plain curious who wanted ... read more
Inside John's Grill
And some history

The technical term for jet lag: Whether you call it desynchronosis, time zone change syndrome, or simply jet lag, one thing that everyone can agree on is that it's a challenge when you travel. People can experience jet lag when sleep patterns are interrupted, as when they're traveling through time zones, but also as a result of shift-based work and sleeping disorders. Human bodies are naturally attuned to a 24-hour cycle and depend on consistency in order to regulate hormone levels, body temperature, and REM sleep. When that doesn't happen, people may experience physical fatigue, headaches, poor appetite, stomach pains, and even depression. To minimize the effects, try slowly adjusting to your new sleep schedule before your trip, staying hydrated, and avoiding stimulants and alcohol.A few things I have experienced. I find ... read more

Just to fill your holiday during the stay at home, or rather Ground Hog Day existence we are now living. Some totally useless information that may bring a smile or a snicker. So, let's check into Twinkies, fried chicken, catsup, and apple pie and ice cream. From the NYT: Twinkies as we know them now are simple: yellow cake filled with vanilla cream frosting. But when the sweet snacks first appeared in 1930, the tasty filling was banana-flavored, not vanilla. Twinkie inventor James Alexander Dewar, then a baker for the Continental Baking Company, came up with the treat when he was looking for a way to utilize the bakery's strawberry shortcake machine when strawberries were out of season. He substituted banana cream, and the Twinkie was born. Unfortunately, with the advent of World War II, bananas ... read more
Grandma's fried chicken
Ketchup or catsup?
Homemade apple pie

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