San Francisco

Bicycle shop anniversary party in Yoyogi Park

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 Blue Lug という幡ヶ谷の自転車の店は、4周年記念を代々木公園で祝いました。今、お店は私が7年前にサンフランシスコで買った自転車をオーバーホールしてくれています。楽しみにしています。

Congratulations on four years, Blue Lug. The Hatagaya shop is overhauling my 7 year old Sully bike that I brought from San Francisco. Amazingly, the bike repair guys know Freewheel, the store on Valencia Street where I bought it. They confirmed that Freewheel, and not me personally, had originally assembled the bike.

Her wedding dress is bigger than a shrub

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If swans were a unit of measurement, I would estimate this dress as 2 swans. At San Francisco’s most famous wedding backdrop, the Palace of Fine Arts.

ゴージャスな結婚式の写真です。

This San Francisco sidewalk garden reminds me of Tokyo

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サンフランシスコの歩道の庭は東京を思い出します。皆、植木鉢に植えられていて、スタンドもあります。
The simplicity of a garden made of pots, the tiered stand for packing more plants in a small space, and the generosity of the gardener remind me of Tokyo.

San Francisco winter full of sun and palm trees

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サンフランシスコの冬はマイルドです。ヤシの木はカリフォルニアをもっと魅力的にします。

The mild San Francisco winter has been delightful. Palm trees add to California’s allure. This is the top of the palm tree trunk in the previous photo.

With the fence down, the view out back looks like a deep jungle

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塀がないと、庭がとても深く見えます。左側のヤシの木はハワイから来ました。

The palm on the left side comes from high altitude Hawaii, and is uniquely suited to San Francisco’s cool ocean-side climate.

Reusing old wood to build a new fence

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古い木材を使って新しい塀を作りました。古い木造の感じがいいでしょう?

I’ve been wanting to rebuild my small back fence, and wondered about using recycled wood. Then I realized that I could reuse some of the old fence. Thanks to Kap, my amazing gardener, for rebuilding the fence using old materials turned from vertical planks to horizontal orientation.

Fall and spring trees coexist on San Francisco streets

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サンフランシスコの道路では、梅の花びらも紅葉も一緒に見えます。可笑しいでしょう?

After living in Japan, seeing autumn foliage in background, and plum blossoms in foreground is a confusing mix of seasons. In California, there’s a wet and a dry season, with little temperature difference from month to month. It’s odd to see both plants from 2 season regions like the Mediterranean, South Africa, and Australia, and also from 4 season regions.

Is this just across the water from Chiba?

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ここは千葉の反対側? サンフランシスコの冬はだいたい夏より暖かいです。不思議でしょう。家から海まで自転車で行けます。

San Francisco is often warmer in winter than summer. The ocean is just a bike ride away.

Do you know the expression “snowbird”?

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「雪鳥」という英語の表現を聞いたことがありますか。カリフォルニア人も使いません。雪が好きな意味ではありません。ニューヨークの高齢者は冬、フロリダ州に行くという意味です。私はまだ高齢者ではないですが、冬が苦手です。

今年の冬、サンフランシスコで仕事をしていました。太平洋の「雪鳥」になりました。東京に引っ越すの前は、大学院生のときから、ずっとサンフランシスコに住んでいました。太平洋の二つの都市に住むことは刺激になります。、

Even my California friends misunderstand this term. They think it might be a bird that loves the snow. No, it’s an expression in the US’s Northeast to describe often elderly people who spend the winters in Florida.

This year, I’ve prematurely become a Pacific snowbird, spending the winter working in San Francisco, where I lived almost my entire adult life before moving to Tokyo. Living in two Pacific Coast cities is very stimulating.

From Canary Islands to Tokyo apartment

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サンフランシスコでよく見かけるアエオニウムを東京のマンションで育てています。冬は、部屋の中の方がいいと思います。形や色が大好きです。カナリー諸島から来た植物です。

I see this aeonium succulent often in San Francisco, and decided to grow it in my Tokyo apartment. I love its shape and the its origins in the Canary Islands. I’ve kept mine indoors in the winter.

Double planting for winter and spring Tokyo balcony

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一つのプランターに冬と春用の植物を植えました。今は、ファーマーズマーケットからの赤色のレタス、水菜、そして春菊があって、その下でチューリップの球根が眠っています。冬でも、ベランダで野菜ができれば素晴らしいと思います。

This double planting features winter leaf vegetables and spring tulips. There’s red leaf lettuce, mizuna, and shungiku, an edible chrysanthemum. My mother-in-law reports that the balcony shungiku tastes “better than Rainbow Grocery vegetables in San Francisco.” I found the leaf vegetables at the Aoyama UN Farmers market stall that sells heirloom starter plants for 100 yen.

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Another view of back yard palms, with new luxury development in the distance

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よく見てみると、5種類のヤシの木が見えます。サンフランシスコのような肌寒い気候でも、いろいろなヤシを育てられます。背景には、高級マンションが完成しました。

If you look carefully, you can see there are five different palm trees in this photograph.

San Francisco is often windy and cool. Despite the fact that palms thrive in many cool climates, somehow seeing them gives us the illusion of being somewhere warmer and exotic.

Beyond my garden, the old car dealership and repair shop have been torn down and replaced with luxury housing and a Whole Foods. The top floor apartments will rent for over $8,000 per month.

From every room in San Francisco apartment are views of outdoor palm trees from New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, and elsewhere

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サンフランシスコの家では、すべての部屋からヤシの木が見えます。東京に引っ越す前に、サンフランシスコのヤシの庭のサイトを作りました。

My San Francisco apartment is much more shady than the mid-rise Tokyo apartment that faces south with big views. With the expert advice of Flora Grubb‘s Jason Dewees, I planted cold-hardy palm trees that can be seen from every room. Almost everything came in small “5 gallon pots” (about 19 liters). There are palms in the sidewalk garden, in the light wells, and in the compact back yard. Before moving to Tokyo, I created a website showing off the plan and information about each palm species.

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