Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’


coffee sf

There’s an audible gasp when the price of my morning coffee is announced ($5.00) and the bill arrives for two martinis ($35, nuts included). Doing the grocery shopping causes small aneurysms – a 12oz container of strawberries and blueberries comes in at $7.99. I’m experiencing sticker shock on steroids.

Downtown office buildings have hi-tech elevators that run based on algorithms. Tap a computerized keypad and it scientifically figures out which car you should take to get to your floor most efficiently.


At commuter train platforms people form queues behind black squares that indicate where doors will line up. Folks wait for others to get off before boarding. I guess these people have never met a Signora at the Saturday morning market.

I’ve been seen standing dumbfounded in front of new-fangled ATMs, bus ticket machines and parking meters. I ask way too many questions and require loads of explanation. Suddenly I’m a stranger in my native country.

After nearly four years living in Italy, I’ve adapted to its culture and grown accustomed to its ketchup (less sugar), pastries (less sugar) and mayonnaise (less salt).

The other day a barista asked me if I wanted my cappuccino “wet or dry?”

Ten days and counting…Orvieto or bust.


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Leaving San Francisco isn’t going to be easy.  I love this city and will miss everything about it.  I remember the first day I moved here.  I stepped out onto the stoop of my apartment building, looked around and decided there was nowhere in the world I would rather be…then I found Orvieto. Italy.  In the next three months I am going to enjoy every single minute of my life here, appreciate all the things San Francisco and Marin County have to offer, and say good-bye with no regrets…

….Goodbye deYoung Museum.

August 4, 2012: Jean Paul Gaultier at the deYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park

I exited the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition at the DeYoung Museum today flabbergasted.   I am shattered by Gaultier’s genius.  I’ve never seen clothes so beautiful, expressions so unfiltered, gowns so outrageously sublime, outfits so over-the-top delightful.   Each one was lovely and funny and smart and more incredible than the next.  His masterpieces are astonishing.  I wonder if Jean Paul Gaultier knows how brilliant he is?  I think so.

Tartan Man


Madonna and his iconic bustier

by Toni DeBella

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“My arms are flung across the deep,

Into the clouds my towers soar,

And where the waters never sleep,

I guard the California shore.”

– Written by Joseph P. Strauss, Chief Engineer, Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District, 1937

May 27, 2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the most famous and recognizable span in the world: The Golden Gate Bridge!  Like The Eiffel Tower, The Coliseum, The Great Wall of China and Big Ben, no caption is required on this postcard – the image speaks for itself, it says San Francisco, California, U.S.A.”

The Golden Gate Bridge is named for the strait it traverses and not, as many people believe, for its color.  The bridge isn’t gold but painted International Orange – a color that sets it apart from its magnificent surroundings while also enhancing the visibility for ships passing through the gate in and out of San Francisco’s harbor.  Just three miles long, the bridge conveniently connects urban with nature, leading the way to the wonders of the Marin Headlands. It’s estimated that nine million visitors come to walk across this bridge every year.   Really? Is that all?

Living just a few miles down the road from the bridge, I have the pleasure of traveling across it weekly.  I have to say that I never ever get tired of it – after so many years of driving over this glittering, harp-like structure, it still gives me a thrill! I dig Joseph B. Straussart deco architecture, the dramatic view of the Pacific Ocean, the panorama of the City’s skyline, and all those tiny little sailboats dotting the waters of the windy bay.

You may be asking yourself, “What does the Golden Gate Bridge have to do with Italy”?  Absolutely nothing, but I felt I had to take a moment to post a tribute to my “other” hometown’s “Il Pointe” and say Auguri!

Happy 75th Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge! I have to say, you don’t look a day over 50!

by Toni DeBella

l’Estate a San Francsico, Al Saltapicchio, Orvieto

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