Monthly Slice: June

A slice of June..

Life in SF

June was my first full month in San Francisco and it was glorious! I explored new neighborhoods, wandering all over the city in the sunshine. I tried the Mint Mojito iced coffee from Philz for the first time – it sounds like it should be weird, but it’s delicious and refreshing!

Hugo and I drove down to Monterey for a weekend to see people we love, and on the way back to San Francisco we spontaneously pulled off the road to watch the most beautiful sunset. I’ve always preferred traveling by train, but I liked the freedom of being able to stop and go where we pleased – it made me want to take a classic California road trip down the coast. (At least, until we got stuck in three hours of traffic the rest of the way home!)

On lazy weekends I like to go to Dolores Park with Hugo and nap in the sun (and try not to drool in public). Last weekend we had a breakfast picnic and tried Tartine, the hyped-up bakery in the Mission, for the first time. The prices gave me a heart attack ($4 for a croissant?!) but it was damn good. They make a ham and gruyère croissant that was so delicious I wasn’t even mad that I paid $5 for it (don’t judge me).

(Here’s what I always wonder: Croissants are so good with stuff baked into them, so why isn’t this a thing in France, home of the croissant?)

Reuniting with old friends

I started off the month reuniting with some lovely friends from high school that I haven’t seen in years. High school is a distant memory, but these girls are so cool and interesting that I would have been happy to spend the day with them even if we didn’t go way back.

We met up at Golden Gate Fields, of all places – the races! I had never been to the horse races before and I don’t know that I’ll go again but it was certainly an experience. Half the people were dressed up in summer suits and hats, and half of us were elegantly attired in what I like to call “Silicon Valley casual” (aka jeans and a t-shirt). Afterwards we had dinner at Nopalito where I tried to be polite and not gorge myself on the succulent carnitas we were supposed to be sharing. #gourmande

Oh my Gad…

Guess what we did last weekend? We went to see Gad Elmaleh! (For those who don’t know, Gad Elmaleh is a wildly famous French-Moroccan comedian who moved to New York to do stand-up in English in front of audiences who had no idea who he was. He’s often compared to Jerry Seinfeld, but I would argue that he’s more iconic and beloved in France than Jerry Seinfeld is in the United States. You can read more about him in English here and here.)

Most of the crowd was French. I think all the French expats in the Bay Area were there. Gad was greeted with enthusiastic cheers, to which he scrunched up his face in amusement and winked. He deftly poked fun at France, Morocco, and the U.S., imitating a broad American accent with surprising accuracy. If you saw Gad Gone Wild on Netflix, you would have recognized a lot of the jokes. I still thought they were funny the second time around. I almost didn’t go because I was feeling quite sick, but I’m glad that I powered through – it was fantastic to see him perform live!

Unfortunately, right after Gad I came down with the flu and missed Pride, which was the same weekend. Late Sunday afternoon, I ventured out to Dolores Park with Hugo and caught a little bit of the festivities.

What I’m watching

You know I watched all of Orange is the New Black right after it came out! Hugo missed the fourth season, but I convinced him to watch the new one with me, so that was our thing this month. I won’t spoil it for anyone who is planning to watch it, but oh boy it was intense! It broke completely from the seasons that came before. I know some people who have gotten tired of the show in the last few seasons, but I am still on board. I love that it has so many interesting, diverse roles for complex female characters, and that it doesn’t draw everything in black and white, good and bad, with neat resolutions. It’s messy, and that’s what makes it interesting.

What I’m reading

I’m fairly certain I’m supposed to write about the books I’m reading here but I didn’t read any books this month. (What? The San Francisco library won’t give me a card until someone sends me mail at my new address.) I did, however, read an article entitled “Hysteria over hyphens” and thoroughly enjoyed it, which should tell you how much of a punctuation nerd I am. My favorite bit about misplaced hyphens involved a company advertising a “Metal-Watering Can” that was “presumably not trying to tempt rust aficionados.”

I also read this post on the growing anti-smoking movement in France, and it led me to a site called Ma Terrasse Sans Tabac, where you can look for an outdoor terrace that doesn’t allow smoking. I was so excited (second-hand smoke is my worst enemy) and I immediately searched Lyon to see how many terraces were smoke free.

Zero. (The closest one appears to be 167 kilometers away, in Clermont-Ferrand.)

Turns out, there are 75 on the list in all of France. Most of them are in Paris. But at least it’s something.

Has anyone checked this out? Are non-smoking terraces really happening in France?


If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that things have slowed down a little. There are a lot of things I would like to write about, but as usual, I don’t have as much time as I wish I did. A lot of the musings in my head and the photos on my phone never make it here. I do like writing these monthly posts, but I would like to produce a few others about Lyon and other topics in between. Sometimes I think about renaming the blog and redoing it entirely but that’s quite a can of worms to open up.

Favorite thing at Trader Joe’s

The rosé section! #RoséAllDay

Pinterest board of the month

I’ve been missing Paris lately. This board is where I save lots of great articles and guides I find. (Not stupid ones that announce, “There is more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower!” like it’s some sort of groundbreaking news.)

I hope you had a marvelous month of June! What was the highlight of your month?

17 thoughts on “Monthly Slice: June

  1. So cool you saw Gad in person!!! I hope to someday. 😉 About the croissants, last week I found ham and cheese and chicken and cheese croissants sold in packs of 2 in the traiteur section of my grocery store. They had a few other things with puff pastry like a veggie tart. I think French people are catching on even in smaller cities. The guy in front of me at checkout had a pack too! They were good!! 5.35 for two.
    Bon dimanche & HAPPY 4TH!!!

    1. Ooh cool, good to know!! All of those things sound delicious (although I’m trying to imagine chicken baked into a croissant) Maybe that’ll become a thing at boulangeries too 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

      And happy 4th to you too! (Or as they call it in France, Tuesday 🙂 )

      1. It was sliced chicken slices, like the ham, just chicken. I think that stuff is more popular here than in the US (we just go to the deli). Not actual chicken breasts. But it could be good. I’ll have to make my own!!

  2. I love the flamingos on that wall, they look so summery! On the subject of croissants, I remember seeing tons of ham and cheese, veggie or other filled croissants in Germany, but don’t recall having seen any in Lyon. (Though maybe that’s just because my attention rarely wavered from the fruit tarts!) That article on hyphens was a good ‘un – you might be interested in an article called “The language rules we know – but don’t know we know” that was published on the BBC a few months back 🙂

    1. Thanks for recommending that article, I did find it interesting! (How could I not love an article with the sentence “Mish-mash, chit-chat, dilly-dally, shilly-shally, tip top, hip-hop, flip-flop, tic tac, sing song, ding dong, King Kong, ping pong”?) Once I had to teach a lesson on the order of adjectives, and I actually had to write down the rule and refer to it all through class or I never would have been able to explain the correct answers.

      1. I find it absolutely fascinating – all these language rules that we subconsciously know, but have never “learnt” (as such). There’s definitely potential for an amusing lesson on the order of adjectives! Like you, I would have needed a point of reference to be able to explain it all correctly.

      2. I agree! There are endless things to ponder when it comes to how we instinctively use language. I love learning about how it varies between people and regions and countries. (Of course this all makes it difficult to teach!)

  3. I was JUST thinking that I hadn’t seen any updates from you in awhile and voila! A monthly slice post! So great to see what you’ve been up to 🙂 I also looked up Lille in Ma Terrasse sans tabac… there are none in Lille either 😦

    1. Haha, thanks Dana! I realized that I haven’t been posting anything but these little monthly posts lately, but I like having something that I put up consistently and I haven’t had time to write anything in between (I also hate everything I write these days, but that’s another problem). Next time I’m in Paris I will make it my mission to check out one of these terrasses sans tabac to see if they are really smoke-free (of course, it will be January, which throws a wrench in things…)

      1. Going to see the belle famille for the holidays! It is almost a year since I left which is crazy to me. I’m hoping to stick around and travel in January since normally I don’t have class. I miss being able to get on a bus or train or a plane and go to a new country in a few hours!

      2. I would love that! I will let you know when I’ll be in the area when I make concrete plans. I definitely plan to spend a chunk of time in Paris and I will OuiBus it up to Lille if I can!

    1. Thank you!!! I have been missing France a lot lately but it’s true that San Francisco is a beautiful (if very expensive) city 🙂 I see that you’re heading to Grenoble next year, right? I hope you have a great time there!

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