Archive > August 2007

Ferry Plaza Food Extravaganza

13 August 2007 » In Bay Area, Food » No Comments

Mushroom Shop

So I was going to write a long post, nay, multiple long posts about my new job, moving to San Francisco, how cool my new place is, how much I love living here, etc, etc, etc. You know, the usual stuff from someone who moves from suburbia of South Bay to the coolest city in the country. But I’ll save you the grief of reading through that and summarize:

  1. My new job (at Outspark) is cool. I get to build platforms to support games that we publish and all these games include some type of social interaction. So, Web 2.0 + games = profit!
  2. Our first game — Fiesta — is blazing through our target demographic like Homer Simpson through week-old donut bucket behind Kwik-E-Mart.
  3. San Francisco rocks. You should try living here at least once.
  4. On second thought, no, don’t try living here, it’s crowded and expensive enough as-is. You can visit, but if you do, please, never, ever call it San Fran. Or SF. Or, heaven forbid, Frisco. The locals call it “the city”, but for you it’s San Francisco. St. Francis of Assisi, mkay? Welcome.
  5. You should vote for my submission to the Passport theme photo contest at JPG Mag. Really. All the cool kids are doing it.
Cowgirl Creamery

Let’s move on to the real topic. Even before I moved to the city, I kept hearing that the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is something to be experienced. So this past weekend, I got up early enough (yes, 10 am, I blame my co-workers for the previous night) and went to “experience” it. My place is just over a mile from the Ferry Building and it’s a very nice walk along Embarcadero and all the piers. Just beautiful, especially on a cool, breezy morning.
The market itself is outside, along the front of the building, but most of it is on the rear plaza overlooking the Bay. Walking through it is enough to make you salivate: fresh vegetables piled high on the tables, golden honey glistening under the sun, heirloom tomatoes showing their multi-hued juiciness to the public. I saw a stall that sold not fewer than 6 different types of pluot. I tasted (and bought) Snow Giant white peaches that were so sweet and tender that you don’t even have to chew them. I lost count of the word “organic” written on the product signs. And if you tire or get hungry, like I did, just walk to one of the food stalls on the south side, get yourself a nice California-style omelet, salad, or sandwich, and enjoy it while sitting by the water and thinking how awesome this place is.

Caviar Cafe

Still with me? Good, it’s not over yet. There’s also the Ferry Building itself, which I can unabashedly and without slightest exaggeration call “foodie heaven”. From Cowgirl Creamery, making dozens of varieties of cheeses and creams, to I Preferiti di Boriana, giving you a taste of Tuscany, to Recchiuti Confections, that looks nothing more like Apple Store, but for chocolates. And then there is Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Cafe, which surprised even me with their selection. Plus, there are restaurants, cafes, wine shop, gelateria, and even a bookshop, to complete the picture. Quite awesome, to sum it up, and a great place to spend a few hours. Or a day. And a bunch of your money. The only other place I’ve seen anything like it is Paris.
Granted, Mountain View Farmers Market is quite good and is cheaper. But then, it is in Mountain View.
So if you do visit San Francisco — or if you live here, but haven’t bothered to visit the market — do yourself a favor and get over to Ferry Building on a nice Saturday morning. You won’t regret it.

Conference Update

13 August 2007 » In Talks » 4 Comments

It looks like the rest of the year will be pretty busy with conferences. First up is php|works in Atlanta, coming up in September, where I will be giving the opening keynote as well as the popular VIM for (PHP) Programmers talk. The week after that, I was invited to present at the TYPO3 conference in Karlsruhe Germany. In October, I will give the Internationalization with PHP 6 talk at ZendCon, which, thankfully, is only about 15 miles away, and finally, at the end of November, I’ll present the same talk to the audience at the AFUP Forum in Paris. Somehow, I think I’ll be ready for a vacation in December..

Vu layout problem fixed

12 August 2007 » In Photography » No Comments

I tested Vu photoblog under IE 5+ on Windows today and noticed that it had a layout problem with the content area being really wide. Somehow it didn’t like absolutely positioned full-width and height element. My CSS-mojo wasn’t up to dealing with it today, so I cheated. Hey, don’t tell me you never cheated on CSS layout. Anyway, photoblog is back to normal.

Vu Launch

09 August 2007 » In Photography » 5 Comments

I’ve been kicking around the idea for a daily photoblog site, in the spirit of Sam Javarouh’s [daily dose of imagery] and Shahin Edalati’s foto, since.. well, since I started following those photoblogs. I figured that I had enough photos accumulated to post one each day in addition to shooting new ones.
Back in November of last year, I started doing Project 365, where each day I take a few photos and then post one to my Flickr set. It’s an interesting exercise, but can be demoralizing when you realize that it’s almost night time and you haven’t taken a single shot yet. The goals of this photoblog, however, are different: I simply want to post a daily quality photo, independent of when it was taken, and make the presentation somewhat better than what Flickr allows.
Getting the actual site built has taken a while, but it’s finally here: Vu. I called it that for a couple of reasons: it sounds like view and vu in French means seen. All the photos are hosted on Flickr, so you can always click through to the image page via the “on flickr” link. The design might evolve slightly, and I’ll add a couple of cool extra features, but I’m very happy that it’s up and running and that I can share some of my favorite photos.
I hope you enjoy it.

This is not the pr0n you're looking for

08 August 2007 » In Other » No Comments

Sometime in the past couple of weeks, there apparently has been an attack on my domain, most likely via DNS cache poisoning. The end result was that a large number of visitors to the site saw some infelicitous pr0n content, instead of the usual blog. Rest assured, it was not an attempt on my part to make some extra cash by displaying someone else’s fleshy bits to drooling eager masses. No, there are easier ways of getting beer money. I am not sure whether this was a deliberate attack or whether my domain was simply unfortunate enough to get on someone’s list, but I sincerely apologize to those of you who were exposed — pun intended — to that content.
I have taken steps to fix the DNS issues and make sure that this kind of thing would be very hard to repeat. Unfortunately, during this time the search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, have indexed the pr0n content under as though belonging to my domain and it might take a few days for it to clear out. Meanwhile, I hope you will return and check out some cool new things that should be coming shortly.