Pink’s Hot Dogs

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I have fulfilled another entry on my foodie bucket list. Okay, I’m lying. I am way too lazy to have made a foodie bucket list, but if I had, Pink’s Hot Dogs would assuredly be on it. Since 1939, the Pink family has been perfecting the hot dog, and as all good Californians know, perfecting = adding lots of toppings. Though I soon discovered that these dogs are more than what meets the eye. They’re also just darn good hot dogs!

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Sidle up to that window to place your order. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s going to be a line. No mere sidling up is possible. When I went on a weekday afternoon, the line consisted of roughly 30 people, and the ones in front of me had driven out from Reseda, thinking the day after Thanksgiving a good one to finally give Pink’s a try. I’m pretty sure we did have a light traffic day—it took me about 20 minutes to place my order.

And frankly, I needed every one of those minutes because the options are many! From a plain dog to the Three Dog Night with yes, 3 hot dogs wrapped in a tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili, and onions, Pink’s serves up the spectrum of any conceivable combination. Did you not see me type “wrapped in a tortilla”?! ANY CONCEIVABLE COMBINATION.

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Sutro Baths and Land’s End

Click twice for the panorama.

Click twice for the panorama.

On the western tip of San Francisco lies the abandoned Sutro Baths. It’s a popular—but not always populous—tourist destination that draws photographers from far and wide for its breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast. Along with nearby Land’s End, the Sutro Baths are part of the larger National Golden Gate Recreation Area.

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The Land’s End Lookout visitors’ center and parking lot is located right above the ruins at 680 Point Lobos Avenue. When I went in early summer, I found a spot right away, but it was close to full.  The visitors’ center is worth a look for its exhibits on the area’s history and its gift shop. Access to the whole area is free.

This cutie's right out front of the visitors' center.

This cutie’s right out front of the visitors’ center.

Once you’ve had your fill of information, it’s time to pick a path to climb down toward the ruins.

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Chances are you already took a moment to gape at the view by the retaining wall.

 

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My Last Day Without You

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Last month, in advance of its December release on DVD and VOD, I screened a little indie flick from 2011 starring Nicole Beharie of Sleepy Hollow fame. Beharie’s smiles are magical on Sleepy Hollow, so I welcomed the opportunity to see more of them in this Brooklyn tale of musician Leticia (Beharie) striking out on her own and German businessman Niklas Hank (Ken Duken) vowing to seduce her on his one day in town.

That sounds like the set-up for a bigscreen whirlwind romance that I rarely buy into, but My Last Day Without You resists taking the predictable paths toward superficial love connections. Leticia is no manic pixie girl, and Niklas is not a floundering manchild. Rather, he’s a corporate hatchet man in the vein of George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, and he shows little compunction when confronted by the people whose jobs he’s just ended.

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During one of many shots beautifully framed through windows, Niklas meets Leticia, who offers him one of those smiles and a sample of her CD.

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Niklas is entranced by this charismatic woman. With the encouragement of his chauffer, an avowed romantic played with relish by Robert Clohessy, Nik vows to seek Leticia out as a distraction until his flight back home that evening.

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