President’s Day at Pier 39, San Francisco

Day after we touched down on San Francisco was the United States’ President’s Day on February 17th. We took a tram from Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel to Pier 39 aka Fishermen’s Wharf, which was mad crowded. That island on the other side in the picture below, by the way, is Alcatraz!

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We were just in time to catch Tulipmania! PIER 39 is in full bloom with thousands of tulips in all possible shades, and seasonal garden favorites decking the walkways on both levels of the pier.

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Taking a shot with the pier! Although it’s my second time at Fishermen’s Wharf, previously it was late evening when I arrived. Sunny afternoons really bring out the vibrance of the wharf.

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Some of my travel buddies this trip: Sam and Brown! Thanks for the great company, the heart-to-heart talks and the spontaneity.20140223-022825.jpg

The pier is double-decked, so from the upper deck this is basically what the lower deck looks like. It’s pretty much the same everywhere around the pier, except with different shops or diners. And if you’re a shopaholic there’s soooo many shopping to do: a crazy variety of gift shops, Candy Baron, Zip It, Sunglass Hut, Shirtique, SF Underground and so much more.

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Fulfilling our fascination with carousels. The pier’s central carousel is one of their main photographic attractions and kids line up for it everyday.

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Giving the teddy a HIGH FIVE ^^ he’s like a club bouncer outside the souvenir shop. Sad teddy needed some lovin’.

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A cupcake patisserie along the second deck. Cannot resist pretty cupcakes! They smelt so good too.20140223-022940.jpg

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A senior colleague who brought us here was telling us something about this building…not with the sharp pointed head but that one on the left. I cannot remember now!! Something about its resemblance to something…can somebody refresh my memory?
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Will be posting up more snapshots in a while. There are too many food pictures!! This place is known for crabs, clam chowders, and seafood in general. I’m not entirely a fan of seafood but I had some crabs and fish & chips anyway. You have to, it’s Fishermen’s Wharf!

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Coming to San Francisco for work purposes isn’t the same as travelling on holiday, but I’m glad for friends who brave through jet lags and fatigue with me!! Despite the worsening eyebags, I had a helluva great time. Can’t imagine lazing around in my hotel room all day!! I’ll be like these fat ass sea lions on the wharf. They stink, so bad.

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Beach Street & The Embarcadero,
San Francisco, CA 94133, United States

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

For the Love of Music

Inspired by LP Cover Lover, an amazing site containing the world’s greatest collection of record album covers from the golden age of LPs, I checked out Amoeba Music on my recent trip to San Francisco.
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Occupying a 24,000 square foot former bowling alley on the eccentric Haight-Ashbury district, Amoeba Music is the world’s largest independent record and vinyl music store. The sheer size is insane. I literally had a jaw-drop moment when I saw floor to ceiling shelves chocked full of CDs, cassettes and records.
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If my parents had still kept their vinyl from the ’70s I would have considered getting the players
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Despite the impossible size, the store is impressively well-organized.
Just look at their cassettes collection.
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And from these books you can check if your desired CDs are available.
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I went with a bunch of people who weren’t planning on returning empty-handed, so we spent an entire afternoon flipping through records and grooving to the tracks on free-listening stations.

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Now, onto the amazing LP Covers I’ve found!
Here you go, LP cover lovers.
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Despite getting lost in the store for hours, I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg. There are too much awesome stuff in here.
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Amoeba Music even stocks up on AudioBooks
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Amoeba Music’s selection of vintage gig posters and ’70s pinup printables was just as impressive as their music collection.
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Madonna’s 1987 gig at Madison Square Garden.
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THE ROLLING STONES
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THE BEATLES
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Even Elvis Presley
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We barely grazed the punk, rock and roll section and already the sun was setting.
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If you’re here on a collector’s mission, do plan a list of records you’re looking for!
For non-LP-collectors like me, you’ll never know what you’ll unearth amongst the mountains of vintage and contemporary music. Art, loads of hidden jems, crazy album covers (and apparently loads of dust, true to a vintage store). This place is truly holy ground for music fanatics.

1855 Haight St
(between Shrader St & Stanyan St)
San Francisco, CA 94117

Travel-diary: Milano (1)

Hell yeah we conquered Duomo di Milano
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With the incredible backdrop, touristy shots are absolutely pardonable
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Sad Mickey Mouse is sad… along the crowded street in the summer heat, busking in his thick costume
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My continued Gelato-Frenzy in Italy…how could anyone resist names like Nutella and Pistachio-Banana or Hazelnut Praline Cookies?
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Most incredible thing we encountered!!
but even this seemingly impossible feat can be simply explained through the hidden mechanisms under their distracting orange robes…the dude on top is probably sleeping with his eyes open
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Lunch, the Italian way
overlooking the sidewalk where everybody eats and people-watch
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Cafe Marocchino, a well-kept Milanese secret
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Ladies and gentlemen, my hugeass Mozzarella Pizza
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Keith’s Creme Pasta
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After lunch, we stumbled upon Piazza Castello by chance.
This is me being dwarfed by giant gnomes
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Awesome ride, baby
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Betcha can’t spot the Monkeys in the castle ditch
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Blossoming flowers!! The reason why summer is so beautiful.
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♛ Scarlet Carousel | Prologue

{Prologue} Reina Yamaguchi’s

1999
Nagoya

To most children, the boogeyman and clowns were stuff of nightmares. But she had long associated fear with the sickly sweet scent of candy floss, and vibrant colours.

In the nebula of her subconscious, colours haunted her dreams and taunted her waking hours. When she allowed herself to close her eyes, her memories were a ricochet of psychedelic bullets. She felt each one pierce her skull, as inextricably painfully as a real bullet would. 

She was 6. The arms that had caught her then were strong, muscular, enveloping as they wrapped round her waist like fiercely protective vines. Smiling in expectation of her mother or brother’s comforting features, she turned, only to come face to face with a stranger’s menacing smile.

She hadn’t known fear, thus she couldn’t cry. She hadn’t known danger. Her beam lingered, as did her trace of innocence. Her lithe little body knew nothing of fight nor flight; she was physically, emotionally unguarded.

Naivety was only to be carried away like an object of trade while those who were supposed to be there for her watched from a safe distance, bidding their guiltless goodbyes.

carousel

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

Scarlet Carousel
Searching for the centre of the universe, the centrifugal force that holds everything together.
Each spinning out of control, yet inevitably riveted.
Is this a journey with an end, or does the weight of the world settle in places where the spinning never stops.
Where then will the spiral lead them?

To be continued…

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

xoxo
Viktoria Jean