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A Sunday on Fourth Street

March 17, 2008
Mother’s Day is still quite a ways away, but the grand success of this afternoon leads me to suggest a similar outing for anyone stumped for ideas. This past Christmas I got my mom a gift certificate to The Gardener on Fourth Street because a) she loves to garden and b) she loves bourgie shopping experiences. (and c) she loves any excuse to get away from Alamo for a day). So, natch, this Apartment-Therapy adored store was an obvious choice.

After an unfortunately rainy weekend getaway to Santa Cruz, the heavens literally shined upon us for our little excursion and we were able to join the Waspy elite for some expensive fun in the sun. Never mind the out-of-work migrant workers posting on the corner and the severe lack of parking- Fourth Street is a cute little pocket of otherwise industrial waterfront property that will make your Walnut-Creek-loving mother sing the praises of Berkeley.

After spending an ungodly amount on Swahili-carved salad tongs imported from Kenya and other such things, we did minor damage at such landmark treasure troves as Anthropologie and the Crate & Barrel Outlet (emphasis on Outlet, frugal people!).

Other highlights include a sidewalk puppy / kitten adoption outside of ‘George‘ – selling items for pets that cost more than things I normally buy for myself- and wandering into the award-winning interior of Teance, specializing in fine Asian teas and featuring free tastings. Mom bought a nifty strainer/coaster set meant for making single cups of tea, and then we decided that we were -decidedly- hungry.

I offered to drive elsewhere for cheaper eats, but after much contemplation we agreed that what we were really in the mood for was to sit in the sun and sip wine, or other alcoholic beverages of a similar nature- so thus concluded that Fourth Street was the only logical place to do so.

Next door to Teance is La Maison Rouge, a modern French-fusion kind of place, where we got what we wanted and sat in the sun sipping gorgeously decadent mimosas made with fresh squeezed blood oranges (Thanks Mom!).As a nod to new Patchwork member Nicole, I’ll include this recipe from the always-suave Anthony Bourdain: 1 bottle Krug champagne, 2 cups blood-orange juice- freshly squeezed, and 8 blood-orange slices. (His suggested menu: scrambled eggs with smoked nova scotia salmon, chives, and crème fraîche, topped with a healthy heap of osetra caviar, on a buckwheat blini; blood-orange mimosa; strawberries tossed with balsamic vinegar and a chiffonnade of mint. Scrumptious- just like Monsieur Bourdain!)

After lunch we made a quick stop into Sur La Table- because for some reason Mom wanted to get an electric egg poacher for my brother (wtf?)- and I found one of those cork stoppers with the metal pour spout for $2.75 ( a good deal for a place like this, non?). With this little bad boy and the help of a genius idea, I turned a blight on my kitchen -the big plastic Wesson cooking oil bottle that can’t seem to fit anywhere- into something rather rad looking. I usually prefer alcohol of the clear variety, but couldn’t help but be in favor of Matt’s purchase of Buillet Bourbon- just because I loved the bottle so much. So, like every single other glass jar that comes my way, I lovingly cleaned it and hoarded it away (Matt can attest to this habit) with little to no thought as to how I would someday repurpose it. A-Ha, Eureka, and all that jazz! Who knew that plain old cooking gunk could so easily upstage some primo olive oil?


So get out there and treat those special ladies, they deserve more than one day of appreciation a year. Plus, due to the generous nature of mothers, there is a likely chance that you’ll come out handsomely rewarded in the end. If there is one thing I have learned over time- it is that spending time with your mama pays off!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 21, 2008 6:38 am

    i totally worked on fourth street at hear music for a brief stint of time

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