Bay Area | February, 2024


February included a big cookbook club dinner for Lunar New Year; a whole trip to New Mexico; and of course plenty of adventures right here at home.

I made lots of progress on my custom San Francisco-themed mahjong set, finishing up the painting phase.

Cassie and I visited the White Elephant Sale benefiting the Oakland Museum of California. This was our second year visiting together. We love a good treasure hunt! Loved the bone and bamboo mahjong set they had, but at $200 we both passed.

All that I got this time was this $3 Oakland A’s poker set and more Giants shirts for our quilt. 

Cassie found a dishware set that she loved! And then had to just carry that whole crate back to the car and call it a day.

Afterwards, I paid a visit to the JR Station Ramen spot on the Oakland waterfront. It’s set up to be semi automated, with an ordering kiosk, pickup window, and little dining booths. It was ok, I’m not sure I would go back.

Then I met up with my friend Pamela, who had brought me back her cousin’s mahjong set from LA. Her dog Pinto looked on as we sorted all the tiles to see if it was a complete set.

Turns out the set was complete, although they seem to have painted over a bunch of the flower tiles to make them into extra joker tiles. I was able to undo most of it with some nail polish remover and scraping though.

Visited the Lunar New Year pop-up at Propagation SF with Vince and Alex. Loved it!

Followed by Domino’s back at Benchmark Climbing.

Then we made a rainy-day trek over to Chinatown for some LNY decorations.

Super cute new shop On Waverly! Of course I bought this mahjong headband.

Bustling street festival for LNY preparations!

We tried the new Z&Y Peking duck restaurant. We didn’t order ahead for the actual Peking duck, but everything we ordered was wonderful.

Picking up my Formosa Chocolates from their pop-up in Abacus Row.

Love all the flowering branches! But the ones left seemed like they were quite storm-washed. We ended up buying some from the Saratoga Farmers Market later on.

Enormous selection of decor to choose from.

Brand new in February, the Apple Vision Pro! I got to demo it on the first weekend, while we arrived too late for Alex’s appointment, so he resignedly ate his Shake Shack consolation prize…

But not to worry, he booked a demo for the next day and got to try it too. Spoiler alert: we ended up buying one, haha.

Still working on the mahjong set! My first paintbrush got smushed, so I bought a new one. It makes a big difference having the right tools!

Office of Accountability “retreat!” Well, it was originally going to be a retreat but only Cassie stayed overnight, while everyone else just came for the day. Cassie organized a nice vision board activity with magazines.

Then we saw it was sunny outside and decided to go for a walk to the park… until we got caught in a rain/hailstorm!! Oops.

Capping off the night with mahjong, of course.

The next morning, Cassie and I went for a run! Alex made us Taiwanese quesadillas for breakfast.

A stop by the craft store for more mahjong supplies. Moving on to the varnish phase!

Insert Made In Taiwan Cookbook Club here! These two are being potatoes the next day. I’m rocking my Bao Bao sweatshirt for the super bowl.

Super Bowl at my brother’s place included a sampling of the very odd Doritos vodka that he bought. Alex’s face accurately reflects the strangeness of Doritos-flavored liquor. I would not say it was my favorite.

Nikki using one of Albert’s many crazy contraptions that he owns. 

One whole dungeness crab per person. And hello cute bebe!

Very exciting shipment of brand new Taiwanese tea brand, Tsay Tea. Went great with a leftover pineapple cake that Candace made for cookbook club.

A quick jaunt up to Sonoma. We got to see Eileen’s beautiful home and get a glass of bubbly with her.

The last day of Valley’s special Lunar New Year menu.

Photographers’ get-together at New England Lobster.

This time for mahjong night with Amy and Mike, we decided to try American mahjong. I know lots of people love this version of mahjong. But I thoroughly disliked it. I truly do not understand the appeal. 

Everyone’s faces, revealing how we all feel about American mahjong.

Back to hosting Taiwanese-style mahjong! With a smile! haha.

Ming was visiting with his family! A brief hello with a boba delivery.

Date night. Starting at the newly revamped Starlite Lounge atop the Beacon Grand Hotel in Union Square.

Beautiful floral installations by Amanda Vidmar Designs! Standout cocktails too. I loved my Cable Car Redux, which came complete with Karl the fog.

Next spot: Chotto Matte, the Peruvian-Japanese bar and restaurant atop the old mens’ Macy’s.

Then we were off to New Mexico!

And back again, picked up by Vince in my own car, and with Sunright Tea and a sunset, so nice.

Alex still had to run his 10k from the Kaiser race that got cancelled due to weather, so Vince and I just ran a quarter of it and walked back while Alex ran the whole thing. Here’s a little stopover from the Ferry Building on the way.

Dinner at Azalina’s!

A really wonderful and generous meal.

Happy February!

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