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The Perfect Gift

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Photo Credit: David July — Tommy's Joynt neon sign, 1101 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, 22 May 2009 I wanted to visit with Mom last Saturday to talk about my recent vacation to San Francisco, show her my photographs and most importantly give her a gift I bought. She suggested meeting in Ocala, partly to save each of us some mileage and to give me the opportunity to dine at Ipanema Brazilian Steak House. It was really nice (more about the restaurant below), but the part I had been looking forward to was giving Mom her present. While in San Francisco, I was keeping my eyes open to anything that could make a nice, personal gift. Close to the end of my time there, I was walking through Noe Valley and finally saw a shop with potential. Chocolate Covered, 4069 24th Street, has a vast assortment of chocolates, retro lunch boxes and the focus of my interest, metal tins covered with Japanese Washi paper and a street sign photograph applied to the lid using Cyanotype photo processing (see Cyanotypes and Chocolate: a Match Made in San Francisco). There is a tin for nearly every local street so I could not find Twin Peaks, a tin to match my sign, without assistance.
Photo Credit: David July — Twin Peaks street sign tin from Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts, San Francisco
I did notice a small selection of local business signs, so after he found Twin Peaks for me, I asked shop owner Jack Epstein if he had a tin with the Tommy's Joynt restaurant sign on it. Open since 1947, Tommy's Joynt is a San Francisco institution I have enjoyed eating at on each of my now four visits to the city, twice on this trip. You can see the building and sign in my photographs here. Jack said he had been meaning to go there to photograph the sign but had not yet done so. After I took out my camera and showed him the picture I had taken days earlier, Jack told me it was perfect and to go around the corner to Walgreens and make a print. With a print, he could make a tin like the others by the next afternoon. In exchange for paying for the print and waving the typical customization fee, I would give him the print to use to make more tins. The tin turned out beautifully as you can see. I bought two (one for myself) and the gift went over as expected, quite well. I am proud to invite you to visit Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts to see or buy the Jack Epstein Japanese paper tin featuring my photograph of the Tommy's Joynt neon sign, not to mention sample the sweets and browse the other gifts. Photo Credit: David July — My Tommy's Joynt photograph on a tin from Chocolate Covered Sweets and Gifts, San Francisco UPDATE 2013-03-23: During my recent visit I stopped by Chocolate Covered and the tin with my photo is still available. Jack told me it will be there "forever" and that when one is purchased, another is produced. When you enter the shop, immediately look right; it is high on the wall in front. Let me know if you see or buy one!
Located at 2023 South Pine Avenue, Ipanema Brazilian Steak House, a Churrascaria, serves food in the contemporary Rodizio style. Servers circle the dining room each with a long skewer of a particular food, offering their selection if you have your two-sided coaster turned to the "please, sir, can I have some more" side. They had pork, sirloin, prime rib, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, flank steak, chicken, lamb, sausage and pineapple all cooked over an open-flame of Brazilian mineral coals. Since some of the food could be messy to serve in this format, the silverware selection includes tongs so you can assist while the meat server carves. There is also a salad bar with various side dishes like mashed potatoes and vegetables, but because of the quantity and quality of the food brought to the table, I did not try anything else. All the beef products were delicious though I did not try the flank steak, or "shoe leather steak" as Mom calls it. The sausage was good, I did not like the lamb and the pineapple was incredibly wonderful. Mom said the garlic-mashed potatoes are great as well. It was surprisingly good overall and I would go there again even at $36.95 per person. Since it was too hot (the high was 96, heat index 100+) to hang out at a park as planned, we decided to grab a booth in the bar area of a local Chili's restaurant instead. We had a few beverages and looked at my vacation pictures while talking and catching-up. It was a great visit.
Photo Credit: David July Photo Credit: David July Photo Credit: David July

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