The Orange Day | September, 2020


September. Wherein the state was on fire, and we had that incredibly eerie orange day in which the sun never rose. So, so strange. Every month continues to come with its new surprises, and I will just continue to go along with them, documenting it along the way. Here’s a look back at September, 2020.

We got back from Tahoe, and it was 105 degrees in San Francisco, and up to 120 degrees inland. The air was also terribly smoky from the fires. We decided to go to the farmer’s market anyway! Support your farmers!

We don’t actually have curtains or blinds… so we taped a sheet to the window to help with the heat. We also finally put up our hooks in the front entryway, after much ado with drilling holes into the wall that didn’t actually work, so we just used 3M velcro strips instead.

Socially distanced beach gathering with the Office of Accountability! We were supposed to be camping together in Butano State Park, but that got cancelled due to fires, so this was our consolation prize, and it was lovely. 

One day, we woke up and this is what it looked like at 10am. This was the brightest it ever got. The sky was orange all day, and it looked like dusk on Mars.

We walked over to the library and got our free summer stride tote bag.

Watering our garden.

Ash on our lettuce babies.

I had a videochat with Whitney in New York, and she got to witness my weird situation. It was as if we had accidentally shifted a bunch more time zones.

And just like that, the next day was no longer orange. I mean, it was completely white, but that’s still better than orange.

Weekly meetup, even while Do-Hee was in Korea.

We have been shopping for a wood round to make a side table with. But these didn’t quite suit our purposes. The search continues. Also, returning the camp stove to Josh! 

Another visit to the Clement St. farmer’s market. And popping into small shops for the first time in months! Indoor retail! We bought the cute bison sweatshirt. If you didn’t already know, there are actual bison that live in a nice bison paddock in Golden Gate Park.

Afterwards, takeout from HoDaLa, one of the very few Taiwanese restaurants in SF. Then, we decided to buy a whole duck (hand delivered from Sonoma), and we roasted it, along with some duck fat potatoes. So tasty.


Fiddle leaf fig is making new leaves! Before and after.

So many weeds in our garden plot. And a big oregano harvest!

Got some wooden trays for tea time! This one came with a bunch of cracks, but it still works…


Our pool reopened! It’s by reservation, so I only choose times that no one else is there. But I went swimming almost every day that first week!

Post-swim chat with Whitney.

Check-in with Lauren and brand new baby Rosemary!

I pulled out my apple pencil and the end was all smashed. Luckily it’s a pretty cheap fix to buy new pencil tips. Another new development: a desk! This was supposed to be Alex’s desk, but I’ve taken it over. Very cute and useful!

Chat with Talya.

More swimming.

Trying quesabirria from the El Fuego truck at Jackson Park with Michael, Cassie, and Rusty.

Afterwards, Head West in Alameda.

Hello Fernanda! And Miss Modi, which makes cute little enamel jewelry.

New takeout from Oakland: Lion Dance Cafe. This is one of those shops where you have to order ahead on a certain day, and it sells out immediately. I’m a big fan of their tofu nuggets!

Formosa Chocolates from the Head West market. And a variety of fruit for tea time.

We visited the discount sporting goods store Decathalon for the first time! Apparently this Potrero location is where the old baseball stadium used to be? Also, the windows at Kaiser, where I went to get my flu shot!

For Alex’s teambuilding day, they sent along a salsa making kit, and they all did a cookalong virtually. Yum.

We grew collard greens! Also, ‘bike to work day’ became ‘bike to wherever day’ thanks to 2020. We biked to the Caltrain station to get our free tote bags.

Monthly paint club. I drew my fiddle leaf fig.

Cerf Club closeout sale. They were really selling everything, including the furniture. So sad. But we got some nice trinkets that can serve as our memorabilia. My favorite thing was the stag’s head wine pourer, so wine comes out of the deer’s head. 

Takeout from Liholiho. Including an extremely decadent breakfast sandwich.

Socially distanced gathering with family!

Purchased a beautiful hand-painted pot from Fernanda (La Tinta Art) and picked it up from her studio! Also, Thai takeout from Pintoh, one of our favorite Oakland spots.

I finally repotted my fiddle leaf cuttings I made from my big plant almost a year ago. Oops. This one is still doing well though! Also, writing letters with Vote Forward to encourage people to vote. Thank you to Stephanie for organizing the letter writing party and for everyone else who had joined in letter writing!

Takeout from Besharam.

Our library is running curbside pickup, which is great! It just took quite a while to get the requested books since they’re running with a small staff and they also close the library and become a relief center every time it’s too hot or too smoky outside. But all good things, I think public libraries are basically the best thing about America.

Farewell, smoky September. On to the next wild adventure.

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