Bay Area Adventures | June, 2018


Wow, June feels like so long ago, and I crammed so many Bay Area Gems into that month! If you missed it, there have already been three posts on my June adventures: Lavender Festival at Araceli FarmsHistory Adventures in the Bay, and A Boat Tour & A Train Tour. Now for the rest of the fun!

First, one of my 100 Bay Area Gems: The Buddhist temple on a street in Oakland.

Next, the very intriguing and charming Aftel Archive of Curious Scents.

A mini copper still for getting the essential oils from botanicals. We saw a big one of these at the lavender festival too!

Doing elections homework at Stephanie’s place. With snacks and sample ballots in hand.

My friend Cindy of Sugared & Spiced came to visit from Shanghai, and we went on a little hike at Land’s End.

A quick visit to Balmy Alley.

And then dinner with Cindy, Chieh, and Gabe at Piccino.

June Office of Accountability meeting! With lots of snacks courtesy of Do-Hee.

Accountability squad.

Gems scouting with Cassie! The Seward Street Slides and Mount Davidson, which got lumped in with this SF Hills post.

The rather eery giant cross atop Mt. Davidson. It commemorates the Armenian genocide.

Sunnyside Conservatory.

Cindy and I got a little tour of Gabe’s art studio. He makes awesomely elaborate laser cut pieces.

This one is the most beautiful tangram puzzle I’ve ever seen.

A coworking date in SF.

The Ribbonerie.

And Mt. Sutro with Brianne.

Debo flies in for another visit! We walked to the Alameda shoreline, where it was rather breezy.

Then it was time for celebrations! Jeri’s birthday dinner, hot pot in Milpitas.

And karaoke afterwards!

And then my ten year Bay-versary tea party. Ten years of living here in beautiful California. I’m very thankful to be able to live here.

Next, a couple old house gems scouted with Kait. First, the Octagon House.

And second, the Haas-Lilienthal. Here’s our awesome tour guide demonstrating an old-school flame-powered curling iron!

West Coast Craft.

Marshall’s Beach.

In honor of my actual ten-year bayversary, Oakland was nice enough to throw a huge parade! Ok, it was for the Warriors and not for me. But still a very festive way to celebrate.

Cocktail Collective with Stephanie and friends at Prizefighter in Emeryville.

Ryan’s birthday dinner! At 5A5 Steakhouse.

I almost didn’t make it to this tour since it was impossible to find parking in FiDi. But I got to check out Diego Rivera’s first American mural here in the former Pacific Stock Exchange.

You have to sign up in advance for the free walking tour, as the club (and the mural) is otherwise not open to the public.

It spans the wall and ceiling and features Calafia, representing California and its industry & agriculture.

Rivera’s trip to the US also served as his honeymoon with Freida Kahlo. Her works can also be seen here in SF at the SFMOMA.

Another gem: the standing-room section of AT&T Park, where you can spy on baseball games for free!

Not bad! A cool ground-level vantage point as long as you don’t mind having to look through the fence.

The Pulgas Water Temple.

A private pre-screening of Crazy Rich Asians! Thank you Ho Chie & Boba Guys for inviting me! I’m so excited to have gotten a preview of the movie. I’m sure many fellow Asian Americans can relate to the feeling of anxiety that comes with a movie like this… hoping it won’t be a poor representation of Asian Americans… that it’ll be a commercial success… that it won’t be terrible. But I actually enjoyed the film and can’t wait to see it again when it comes out in August.

Janet Yang, producer of Joy Luck Club, intro’d the film and talked about how 25 years have elapsed since that movie.

A gem that didn’t make the cut: The African American Museum/library in Oakland.

Paint date with Pam! She brought me back a tiny sketchbook from Paris and I’m loving it! See some of my sketches at makelearndo.

I also took a travel journaling workshop at Golden Gate Park.

An exercise: the windmill I painted on the left was sketched in five minutes with our backs turned to the windmill. The one on the right was a ten minute sketch while looking.

Some of our instructor Richard Sheppard’s work.

Some practice with two-point perspective and a bunch of columns.

SF Symphony with Pauline.

And a very tasty lunch at Belotti.

How did I do so many things in June? I have no idea. But I’m thankful for such full months and so many years of living in a place I truly love.

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