Saturday, February 23, 2008

NBA All-Star Weekend

I had the good fortune of going to New Orleans last weekend for NBA All-Star weekend, because of the advertising work we've done for our clients at the NBA.

It was an amazing weekend all the way around. We got to do, see and and eat a lot, and we had the chance to do some work in the New Orleans community with Habitat for Humanity and NBA Cares.

Here are a just a few of the pictures from the weekend. And there's a video at the end that some of my co-workers edited together that sums up how unique a trip it was. (Sorry for the language on the soundtrack...)

Entrance to the French Quarter during an NBA private event.

We put insulation in a house in the lower 9th ward. You can see by the other house next door that there remains plenty of work to be done.

View from my hotel room on Canal St.

Private entrance to the New Orleans Arena.

Dirk in the 3-Point Shootout and Dwight Howard as he's about to do the Superman dunk.

We had all-access passes, so we went down on the court. And I'm pretty sure I could have grabbed the Slam Dunk trophy...

Our campaign ran all throughout the arena, all weekend.

We went to the ESPN private party, where Stuart Scott made an appearance, introducing Common who played an hour-long show.

By far the coolest thing we got to do was attend the team photoshoot an hour before the All-Star game. There's video of all of it below. But the surreal thing about it was that while I stood there in the background taking it all in, Bill Russell sat 3 feet away doing the exact same thing.

On the court after the game...the Governator...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cupcakes, Barleywine and the Take Home Chef

This pretty much sums up my activities while Mike was in New Orleans. For some reason, I've really been obsessed by the idea of making cupcakes...not so much eating them (although I have no problem doing that!) but making them. Anyway, I tried a couple of recipes from a cookbook I've had for a while but never tried--Cupcakes by Elinor Klivans. Such a delicious little book! I made two kinds--White Mountain cupcakes (chocolate cake with seven-minute frosting) and Lemon Coconut Snowballs (white cake--sort of like angel food but a bit more substantial--with lemon curd, seven-minute frosting and coconut on top). A quick word on seven-minute frosting, in case you're not familiar (I wasn't really) is amazing! Light and tasty, somewhere between marshmallow fluff and a meringue...a bit labor-intensive but totally worth it.

Recipes for both cupcakes and the frosting can be found here.

On Saturday afternoon I met some new friends from our bowling league at a barley wine festival in the Haight. This was my first experience with barley wine, which is primarily a west coast thing (in the U.S.), I think. It was really interesting and so much fun--we got to sample over 50 different ones.

Check out the get this numbered mat so you can keep track of what you're tasting...which becomes harder to do, of course, after enough drinking. I should clarify, barley wine has a high alcohol content so you just get one glass of each for the whole group to sample--I didn't drink over 50 glasses by myself!

Another highlight of my weekend alone--I watched so many episodes of Take Home Chef, my new favorite show. Have you seen it? I'm seriously addicted. Here's the premise, Chef Curtis goes to a grocery store or farmers market, approaches a woman (always a woman) and offers to go home with her and prepare a dinner for the the lucky lady and her significant other, family or friends. My favorite part is when the husbands walk in the door and are surprised by their wives and this gorgeous Australian chef. So awkward--I can't get enough of it. Anyway, he is almost always somewhere in California, so lately I've been making sure that I look nice when I leave for the never know!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fort Point

Recently we went exploring the area around the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and we stumbled upon Fort Point.

It was a millitary fort built back in the 1850's to protect against a potential naval attack on the San Francisco Bay -- something that obviously never happened.

The three story fort has been preserved for tourists and there are people dressed as Union soliders roaming all around. And as you'll see below, they are more than willing to part with their weapons...

And because no San Francisco experience is completely normal, check out this guy. He was doing some sort of photoshoot and may or may not have been Paul Wall...

Friday, February 1, 2008

edge of the country

We recently ventured out to Point Reyes National Seashore , about 2 hours up the coast from the city. We set out to do a little hiking and sight-seeing on nice 60 degree January day. While we were out there, we went into an old lighthouse built in 1870 and saw all kinds of animals roaming around.

Look closely in the pictures below and you'll see seals laying on the beach, black-tail deer on a hillside and a few elk that didn't seem to thrilled that I had pulled off the road to take their picture...