Bay Area Adventures | September, 2019


The months just keep flying by. It’s time for a recap of September! We start with a business meeting / friends’ outing!

First I met with Dan and Jeri for brunch at Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond District in Oakland… we’ve officially booked their wedding for 2020! And then we headed to Alameda for a visit to the Alameda Point Antiques Fair.

So many cute bottles.

A weekday gathering for beef noodle soup!

And our monthly Office of Accountability meeting.

Always with many snacks. Then lunch at Parker Potrero with Joyce of La Chinoiserie / the new pastry partner of Boba Guys!

Paint date with Pam! With flowers from her bountiful garden.

Soba Ichi.

Then my six-week plein air painting class began! Oil painting outside in Walnut Creek and the surrounding area. We have a different location each time and paint for about 2-3 hours.

First Fridays Oakland with Paul and Alex! Where we discovered this adorable kokedama shop that specifically sells plants in moss balls.

Food trucks, art galleries.

And afterwards, Korean food for dinner.

Harvest time! We got all four of our baby yuzus! And we turned them into ponzu sauce, yuzu simple syrup, and yuzu face toner.

Night at McCovey Cove.

Next, we paid a visit to Joyce’s new venture with Boba Guys: Huli Huli (soon to be Sunday Gather) in Bayview. They serve Hawaiian BBQ and various pastries, as well as a limited Boba Guys drink menu.

It was a ridiculous 96+ degrees for several days, even in the city of San Francisco. So Pamela and I decided to have a work day at Ikea to escape our air conditionless homes. Really, I can’t recommend it highly enough as a coworking space. Free parking, air conditioning, bright lighting, plenty of seating, a few outlets, free wifi, delicious cheap food, bathrooms… what more could you ask for?

Second plein air painting class! Out in the sunflower fields.

Spontaneous barbecue gathering at Alex’s!

So delightful.

Brunch with my Lean In ladies!

A little visit to the reopened Salesforce Park. 

And a visit to the newly opened Chase Center! We just walked around the outside to get a look at it, but I’d be back on the inside soon!…

More harvests from the garden.

Homemade pizza. And pasta.

A tour of the original Heath factory in Sausalito. This was at least my third time on this tour, but I still learned new things! And I still love all things Heath. Even went home with a new chubby vase.

Here are some of the moulds for the pieces that are poured. The clay comes in as a watery mix and the plaster pulls out the water, forming a clay shell. When you wait the right amount of time and pour out the remaining liquid, you end up with a piece that’s exactly the right thickness in the desired shape.

Other pieces are thrown on a wheel, with those shapes you see hanging on the wall forming the exact right shape on the pieces.

Clay scraps are always recycled and reused. Here’s a recognizable piece of a bud vase that got scrapped.

Afterwards, a delicious meal at Fish in Sausalito. We got the steamer basket which was so yummy and so fun.

As promised, back at the Chase Center! I didn’t expect to go to a concert right away, but Alex snagged some last minute tickets to see John Mayer.


Lunch with Whitney in Oakland… she was back in town visiting from New York!

A really special lunch at Cafe Ohlone with Steph and Eileen. Cafe Ohlone operates as a pop-up in the back garden of University Press Books and is owned by and celebrates the food of indigenous peoples of the area.

We learned so much about every single ingredient in the delicious meal as well as some of the history and the current struggles of the indigenous people of this area. I highly recommend trying one of their food experiences if you get the chance!

The next day, I went on a solo paint date out in Coyote Hills Regional Park, where I spotted this sign… good thing I had just learned about Chochenyo at Ohlone Cafe! It’s the oldest spoken language of these lands.

More beef noodle soup! This time down in Cupertino with Alex’s friends.

And drinks afterwards with Dan. Cupertino, by the way, is so cool now. It’s looking more and more like San Gabriel Valley with all the delicious modern Taiwanese food staples like Meet Fresh, 85C, Jin Tea, and apparently Yifang is coming soon too.

Continuing the Taiwanese food… visiting Good to Eat Dumplings at the Oakland Eat Real Fest in Jack London Square with Ho Chie.

Also, fish tacos and barbecue.

Next, Japanese breakfast (choshoku) from a super charming little spot in the Mission, bon, nene.

And afterwards, a visit to the Steamroller Printing Festival held by the SF Center for the Book… because my sketchbook from the Sketchbook Project was visiting SF on its tour from Brooklyn! First, some really clever notebooks rebound from old books. And antique labels.

An actual steamroller, brought in all the way from Ohio just for this festival. They literally use the steamroller as a printing press to roll over prints they put on the ground.

Spotted: A Field Guide to Color by Lisa Solomon, guest speaker at our last Amber Collective event. And there’s a rainbow dots page from my sketchbook! It’s actually here! I got a little makers pin for having my sketchbook in the project. If you’re ever in Brooklyn you can visit my sketchbook just by looking it up by my name. Or it lives online here.

a beautiful print coming fresh off the steamroller press!

A really cool pop-up sketchbook! And a better look at that gorgeous large format print by Hannah Cousins.

Launch day! La Chinoiserie is officially in the Hayes Valley Boba Guys! I came right away and bought a box full.

Fall supper gathering for our Paint Club.

Some of us paint as our full-time jobs, others part time or just for fun. But I love that we all get to set aside this time to indulge our creative pursuits! 

Drinks and dinner tour with Cassie and Michael. Drinks and delicious fried mushrooms at True Laurel, and then dinner at Farmhouse Kitchen Thai.

Lunch at Cafe Okawari.

A free “Today at Apple” event, or basically a Paint Club field trip with Fernanda and Pam. They taught us how to draw in the procreate app, and of course now I kind of want an iPad for this specific purpose.

Oakland Civic Orchestra! Gearing up for our first concert of the season by assembling postcards to be mailed.

More Plein Air Painting class.

And our monthly visit to Cerf Club… the best kept secret in San Francisco. I hesitate to even tell you all where it is.

A chamber music concert in a Berkeley home! Featuring violinists from our orchestra.

Amy’s birthday lunch at Off The Grid in the Presidio.

Alamo Square, wandering the neighborhood, grabbing some Boba Guys, and hitting up the Bar Crudo happy hour.

Sunset Piano at the Starr King open space reserve.

Beautiful sunset!

And last but not least, we closed out the month with a gathering of photographers in our new Pinterest pod, hosted by Alison and Adm in their beautiful Oakland home! In other news, I’m trying to become a Pinfluencer. Feel free to give me a follow there @annawuphoto. :)


It’s been another incredibly full month, and my heart and belly are incredibly full too. Thank you to everyone who was a part of my September!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at