Casey Toussaint and her son Paul are visiting from France and I had the pleasure of spending Sunday with them. After a quick visit to my house and studio, we headed down to the Berkeley Marina to cool off on an unseasonably hot day.
We walked to the end of Berkeley’s long pier on San Francisco Bay with views of the Golden Gate Bridge (which Paul wanted to see) and there was a wonderful cool breeze coming in off the ocean. Then we had a delicious lunch at Skates on the Bay, where we had a window seat and watched birds nesting under the eaves and sailboats tacking back and forth on the choppy bay.
On the way to our next stop (Dick Blick Art Supplies to pick up a large sketchbook to bring to the afternoon session of the figure drawing marathon sponsored by the Bay Area Models Guild at Merritt College in Oakland) we passed Berkeley’s Fourth Street boutique/foodie shopping area. We saw that the street was blocked off with a sign, “Fourth Street Jazz Festival” and decided to nix the figure drawing and sketch at the festival instead.
We strolled the street and then settled at Peets Coffee for coffee and sketching where we did the two sketches at the top of the post. Casey works quickly, with wonderfully expressive lines, and got in a few more sketches from Peets:
After an hour or two we connected with Paul again, walked over to Blick’s for Casey’s art supply shopping and then headed to Telegraph Avenue and the University of California campus. Casey and I found a spot we wanted to sketch on campus so Paul headed back down Telegraph to Amoeba Records, a huge used CD/record store.
When we met Paul back at Amoeba a couple hours later, I was hungry and we decided to head out for dinner. We all felt like Mexican food so I took them to Solano Avenue’s Cactus Taqueria. Paul was quite impressed by the size of the burrito he was served, and took photos of it. I learned that servings are much smaller in French restaurants and that it takes 5 or 6 years of serious study before someone can become a baker. He was surprised that here all one need do to beome a baker is to open a bakery and start baking.
As the sun was setting I drove them back to San Francisco. The fog had rolled in, ending the heat wave, and as we traveled across the Bay Bridge we had amazing views of San Francisco rising up out of the fog bank, sillouhetted by the setting sun. I drove really slowly across the bridge so Paul could take pictures and he got some great ones.