The beard on the bridge

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A while back, Max and I took a trip to Santa Cruz. Though it’s only a couple hours from San Francisco, it felt like a real vacation. We stayed at The Dream Inn, which most definitely deserves its name. It’s right on the beach with easy access to the boardwalk, and poolside drink service. I think I got a tan while we were there. It was a terrific weekend.

At the time, I had a surfer coworker friend who lived in Santa Cruz and shared a bunch of recommendations to delicious-sounding cafes, seafood joints, and restaurants. One of the most enticing ones was a bit of a hike, but with the lovely weather, we decided to walk it rather than car. Our trek to dinner was a bit meandering and at one point took us over an old train track bridge. For every wooden beam, there was an equal amount of open space down to the water. Probably not enough to fit a whole body through, but certainly a leg. It was the type of bridge me and my friends would have stupidly (drunkenly) jumped off of in high school. Due to this mild danger, plus the fact that we were buzzed, both Max and I were nervous as hell going over it.

BUT THEN in the middle of the bridge, there was a most friendly redbeard. I captured him at magic hour, so the light was ideal. I don’t really remember our exchange. But I got this photo. And then proceeded to have a delicious seafood dinner, play carnival games on the boardwalk, and get a close-up with some sea lions. I need to go back to Santa Cruz.

My sweet mom, capturer of redbeards

Whenever my mother spots a redbeard, she makes the approach, takes the shot, and sends it to me. I know how it can be awkward at times asking a dude for a picture of his face to put on the internet (it still feels weird not capitalizing "internet" even though AP Style finally let us lowercase that shit), so I very much appreciate her contributions. 

Here's a sampling of the beards she's snapped. My favorite is probably the curmudgeonly bartender. It feels like he's putting on a fake grump. 


The mystery beard

I'm not sure where this jackpot of a fire beard came from. I was scouring the Photos app on my phone rounding up all the redbeards I've been capturing but never posting, and there he was. Wearing goofy steampunk goggles on what seems to be a lovely day. I don't remember him happening in my own life, so perhaps he was sent to me? But from who? Typically I have a great memory for this type of thing. This scene does feel very San Francisco-esque. Did I find him while cruising the internet? Just in case, I dropped him into Google Image Search but no similar shots came up. How curious. Well here he is. Claim him if he's yours. 

The gift of holiday redbeards

This fall I freelanced for a few months at a magical branding/everything shop called Teak. After spending the summer at a much larger company, it was refreshing to be at a place that moved faster than my brain can think, and let you own your work all the way through. Also, the people there are gems, all of them. And they serve waffles every Wednesday. 

When it came time for the holiday party, Teak put on a boozy cooking course where we all made Indian food, and then headed to a bar for billiards and karaoke. Because of the close-knit nature of the company, after the initial dinner thing, tons of past employees and friends of Teak all came out to celebrate as well. Songs were sung, beers were clinked against each other, and as you may have guessed, I found redbeards. 

The first one was Farid. He was a former Teak employee who others spoke about fondly. He tilted back to show the full extent of his facial fieriness and that was that. In the background, I believe Jonathan was feeling sadness or perhaps regret that his beard is purely brunette. 

Then I came upon Josh. He was there as a date. A coworker of mine, Angela, clearly also recognized the value of a strong redbeard, and made one her man. Thank you to both Josh and Farid for letting me photograph your faces. It made my night. Though the night was kind of already made, because the party was wonderful. Thanks to Teak for that. 

A redbeard I’d like to know

This particular redbearded sir is just so cute to me. Whatever it is, from his welcoming smile to his offbeat bolo tie, I want to shake his hand and give him a hug. Originally I thought about titling this post something like “The adorable, merry redbeard." Then I tried to make a portmanteau of “adorable” and “beard.” Adorableard? Doesn’t work. 

Must admit, I am not the discoverer of this ginger. He was spotted by the mother of a childhood friend (A childhood friend who is in fact a redhead) and submitted to me via Facebook. And though he might not fully qualify, because the hair atop his head looks suspiciously rouge, I'm still going to include him, because he looks so darn friendly and sweet. Thanks Mrs. Momont, I appreciate the submission!

The beard en route to Bourbon Street


I recently returned from a long weekend in New Orleans. It was a great time, although I ate far too many fried things. I love the Big Easy. The jazz music, the cajun/creole spices, loose booze laws, creepy witch doctor voodoo vibes, the warm weather, French influence, front-of-house balconies, I could go on for a while. I was there with some old friends, and we experienced much.

On our last night, we were hanging along Frenchman Street. It has live jazz happening in every establishment you pass, and isn’t quite as nasty as Bourbon Street. The band was playing Smooth Operator and we were all enjoying ourselves immensely when a redbeard caught my peripherals through the window.

Due in part to an intense summer gig, I’ve neglected this here blog for some time. So I was feeling a tad guilty and on the prowl to capture a Louisiana redbeard. And that I did – a feisty one too. He was with some friends, they were on their way to Bourbon Street for the debauchery that occurs there. We chatted for a moment, then he struck a pose. It sort of looks like he’s got a strange sweat situation going on, but I believe that’s just my shadow. I forget his name, but he was cool. 

The smiling stoner beard

I don't think I even need to tell you whether this photo took place in Paris or San Francisco, because it's very, obviously, 100% SF. And if you’re familiar with the city vibes, you can probably guess which neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury. 

When Max and I moved back to San Francisco last fall, our beloved city’s average rent prices had increased by about a million percent. We got our old apartment back, but at nearly double what we’d been paying before. It was madness. So Max poked on Excel for a while and determined that buying would be financially advantageous to our renting sitch. We aggressively house-hunted for months, and finally landed a cute little condo in the Upper Haight. Now we’re poor forever, but so be it, we’re home-owners. 

Our new hood has a colorful history, and some insanely vibrant characters. It’s beyond magnificent having bars and restos right out the door, and Golden Gate Park/The Panhandle just blocks away. Loving it. One such character, was today’s beard of rouge whom I found sauntering down Haight Street. It was a bright, lovely day and I was en route to an early dinner with an old friend from college and his bf. This particular gentleman was with a crew, and they were passing around a joint as they made their way down the block.  

As you can see his crimson beard is fluffy and exceptional, so of course I stopped him for a photo. Since he’s technically bald, one might question whether he also has red hair. It’s possible, but I suspect not. That head stubble looks brown to me. Regardless, I asked to take a picture, he graciously accepted, and almost seemed honored by my request. Then he continued on his way. 

The beard at the bar

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my younger brother Liam is a good, loyal bro. For many years he was basically my minion. I could convince him to do pretty much anything, and it was wonderful. But then he grew older, got taller and stronger than me, and realized he didn’t have to carry out my orders. That said, he still supports my ventures, in this case by texting along the occasional redbeard photo. 

This (somewhat blurry) ruby-scruffled gentleman was discovered in Cincinnati, Ohio out at a bar. I believe they were both watching a sports event of some sort, and imbibing on cheap beer. I’m not sure if Liam knows this guy, or if he was just a random. Regardless, he’s an excellent instance of redbearded-ness. Thanks for sharing Li. 

A thrifty redbeard

I need to clear my backlog of redbeards before I move deeper into the current/future times, so for this post, we’re back in Paris. This beard was spotted on the metro, en route home from Saint-Ouen, which is essentially a giant flea market commune, in the 18th arrondissement. 

That day, I perused stall after stall of amazing old stuff: Louis the XIV-style mirrors, musty old sofas, amazing industrial pieces from this place called Colonial Concept, and much more. Then I spotted this ginger fellow hunting for ancient treasures as well. He was walking with his friends, and I wasn’t in the mood for an awkward approach, so I let him drift away. Low and behold, after I finished thrifting, who was sitting across from me on the metro? This guy.

The bearded barista

The last few months, I've spent most of my working hours in the Presidio of San Francisco. It's very lovely there. Lots of trees, Karl the fog floating in all mystical-like. Cannons at the entrance, old barracks throughout, it just makes you feel peaceful and think about history. You kind of miss the hustle and grit of the city, but the Presidio has its own magic. 

The Presidio also has its own Starbucks. And within this Starbucks, there works a redbeard. Lately, I've been sort of snobbish about my redbeard photo captures. Breezing past unless they have huge, flaming face foliage that can't be ignored. This guy's beard wasn't the most overgrown, but there's something about it I found compelling. So I ordered a flat white, then asked for a portrait. Good man. 

The world takes notice

It seems I'm not the only one intrigued by the abundance of redbeards out there, making their way through life. As of late, a handful of people posted this article to my FB page. It goes into the science behind redbeardedness. Very important knowledge. Educate yourself my friends.

So perhaps I just don't know how to code well enough (slash at all), but it wouldn't let me embed this article onto my post. So you can read the entire thing here

The possibly unwilling redbeard

Sometimes I wonder how redbeards feel about their beards. I ask because my best friend Jenny is a redhead and she loves it. It fits her fun personality and she enjoys how it's kind of rare. But there are all sorts of negative myths about gingers - like that they have bad tempers, are sexual deviants, no soul, etc. So are most redbearded dudes proud of their fiery face hair or do they resent it?

Maybe I'll start asking each sir I photograph how he feels about his partial-ginger status. But for now, I present to you a man that doesn't seem happy about it. Or at least wasn't pleased to have his picture taken. Dídima, a feisty Spanish girlfriend of mine, sent me this shot. The subject is her coworker who she appears to have cornered. He gave a scowl, but let it happen. Thanks Didi!

The British brother beard

My husband Max has a good buddy named Nick. Nick lives in London and is a lovely fellow. Am I only using the word 'fellow' because he's English? Quite possibly, but regardless, he's a good dude. Before I started this blog (when it was simply a creepy fixation), I told Nick of the redbeard phenomenon. He understood immediately and said, "Yep, my brother has a big one."

A few days later he texted us a photo of his bro, but whether it was lighting or what, the pic didn't really support the claim. The beard looked blondish and not worthy of being posted. But then a few weeks/months/I forget later, Nick saw his brother again at a wedding and THIS TIME the glorious redbeard was captured on film. So there we have it. Please enjoy.

Beard of the bedroom

My backlog of redbeards is growing, so I need to serve them up faster. Today we have a dashing (and quite hairy) ginger-bearded sir that was submitted by a friend. She was very proud of herself as she sent along this photo, telling me, "I found a redbeard for your blog! In my bed... ;)" For privacy reasons, my friend shall remain anonymous, but well done, you. His head hair brunette and his face hair a deep scarlet. He's even posing to emphasize the beard. A tremendous find. 

Return of zee redbeard

I dropped off for a while. A long while. Sorry about that. We were moving our good selves back to San Francisco, and before that, trying to squash in as much traveling as possible, right up until the move. It was really sad to leave Paris, and especially now with the recent terrorism, I miss it horribly. Being away from Paris during this time feels like not being there for a friend who’s going through hard shit. Not sure what I would be doing even if I was there, but it still feels strange.

We’d planned to stay in France much longer than a year, but things don’t always go as expected. And no complaints on San Francisco life, this is my favorite city in the world. But it does feel like an adventure cut short. That said, it won’t be so scary to ask dudes for pictures of their beards any more. Also, since we’re no longer in France, I’ve decided the post titles of this here wee blog shall revert back to my mother tongue. Regardless, I still have many barbes français to post, so let’s get after it.

The guy I’ve got for today is a friendly Frenchman, discovered at one of my most reliable drinking holes in Paris. Bar du Marché. Lots of seating, good foot traffic (hence people-watching), and all the servers wear overalls. I was there with my friend Kristen and my husby, Max. Kristen was teaching us how to use the app Periscope. We were sipping wine, making live broadcasts, and enjoying ourselves immensely when I swiveled around to look for the waiter. Instead I found a smiling redbeard sitting directly behind me with his friends. I turned, I asked, affirmative. So we snapped the shot and all was right in the world.

The day continued along merrily, and we discovered what can only be described as a Paris townie dive bar. My pug made friends with a distinguished older gentleman, I made friends with a drunk wearing a feather boa as hair. And then we had a tasty dinner at L'Avant Comptoir. So capturing the joyful redbeard was just one small part of a sensational day.

La ville de bonnes redbeards

Since moving abroad, I've traveled as much as my wallet, schedule, and dog babysitter will allow. But mostly to other countries, not really within France. And France is good shit, it has mountains, beaches, fast trains, and I can speak the language (ish). So last weekend, I decided to take a little trip down to Marseille with Max. I had no idea how easy it would be. Climb aboard the train, three hours later we're there. And we brought our pug-son Bosley, he was beyond thrilled.

Marseille was a lot of things Paris is not: chill, beachy, hilly, smiley, cheap. It even has a prison-island, much like Alcatraz. I love me a good prison-island. Just getting to breathe fresh, ocean air was well, like a breath of fresh air (apologies for the terrible word play). But anyway, in Marseille I ran into a redbeard brotherhood. Maybe brotherhood is a strong word, but there were two handsome young Frenchies, both bearded in red. They were chill dudes and happily posed together for a photo. At the last second, one was like, "Hey! Jean-Marc has a red mustache," and they pulled the fellow on the far left into the shot. I would tend to disagree. Perhaps there are some rouge strands in that stache, but it looks brunette to me. That said, I wasn't going to shoo him away or anything. 

The next day, I happened upon a redbeard-themed bar. Barberousse. How very perfect. It was breakfast hour and the bar seemed closed, so I didn't stop in. But another point to Marseille for being cool as fuck. Oh, and "l'escale des pirates" basically translates as "the pirate stopover." Are beards of rouge a pirate thing? I'll have to look into this further. 

Mon amie, le chasseur de redbeards

My friend Kristen abandoned me in Paris and moved her pretty self back to San Francisco. But before she left, she helped me capture several fabulous redbeards. This guy was found in a tucked away little cocktail bar near Odeon. It's called The Castor Club, and in French, castor means beaver. They have a large taxidermied beaver (that I want to steal) just chilling on a shelf, tunes that remind me of deep Kentucky, and really tasty (mais, trop cher) cocktails. As we sipped our adult bevs, we spotted him, but I was too scared to ask for a photo. Kristen on the other hand, was not. She grabbed his arm as he sauntered by and confidently asked (in French I may add) if he would join my collection and pose for a pic. He happily complied, so there we have it. And he was wearing a cool shirt too. Merci beaucoup mon amie. 

Le rouge sur la rue

Some of my best and most cherished redbeards were sent by family or friends. And occasionally they go to great lengths to obtain their photos. This is the case of today's post. My loyal brother Liam hunted down a man with an exceptional ruby beard. 

The highway chase took place somewhere near Cincinnati, Ohio, and the redbeard was also driving a red car. While the shot isn't straight on, you still get a sense of this beard's magnificence. My brother said the beard itself was over a foot long, and the picture seems to support his claim, although the window ledge cuts off our view. I imagine that growing and maintaining such bountiful facial hair is hard work. A real commitment.

So if any of you Ohioans happen upon this remarkable man again, please send him my way. He's a rare specimen. And merci encore to Liam for detecting and then chasing him down I-75.

La course des barbes / The running of the beards

I've tried to keep this blog pretty chronological for the most part, but I'm going to have to break tradition here for a minute. Reason being, because I just went to Pamplona for the San Fermin festival (also known as the Running of the Bulls), and boom shaboom, there were almost as many redbeards as there were red scarves. 

We arrived in the city around 10am, and the narrow streets were already packed. Everyone was merry as hell, walking around drinking kalimotxo, which is coca cola mixed with red wine. It sounds foul, but with enough ice it's actually quite wonderful. Especially because the first day of San Fermin was a brutal 100 degrees fahrenheit (38 celsius). The folks on balconies were pouring buckets of water on the people below, and it was a true shitshow. 

We roamed and drank all day long, the kind of partying that I was much better at 10 years ago. We'd go from walking through the streets to dancing in sticky, windowless bar caves. And everywhere we went, there were redbeards aplenty. Based on the situation I've described, you can imagine how I didn't want my iPhone out all the time, at risk of being destroyed. So not all the beards I encountered were photographed, but I have a select few for you to enjoy. The guy with the red tuft is one of my favorites, very unique.

Monsieur Fixit et la barbe de feu

One of the hardest things about adjusting to life in France was learning the spots. I mean, it’s quite obvious where to go if you want a crepe, wine, any type of fromage or some cigs. But for example, what’s the French equivalent of Target? Does such a place exist? What about Franco-Bed, Bath & Beyond? Is that out there somewhere? Sometimes I’d consult Google, sometimes ask neighbors, and other times just give up in frustration and scour

But when I moved into my Paris apartment, the tiles on the wall of our bathroom were a hideous leaf and flower motif that was shameful to the eyes. Driven by their fugliness, I searched far and wide, and successfully discovered French Home Depot. Its name: Castorama. It was located right near the Eiffel tower, so Max and I metro-ed over and scurried inside. We found some pleasant gray tile paint, a new bathroom rug, and all sorts of other goodies that one might impulse buy at a French Home Depot.

And when we got up to the front, behold! A handsome, hardworking redbeard running the checkout line. It was truly a great day. He scanned all the items we needed to make our bathroom better, and furrowed his brow in concentration. He seemed like a catch, this one. So if any of you reading this find yourself in Paris, make your way to the Castorama near metro Bir Hakeim, and snag this bearded gem. Oh and here’s a bonus shot of my bathroom, post tile paint. So much betta.