Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Day In San Francisco

(The following was written throughout the day in San Francisco. I couldn’t find any free wi-fi and I’m not all sidekicked/blackberried/iPhoned out. I mean c’mon, I just bought my first computer this summer -unless you count the used heap I bought last year. I’m very low tech. But I did still have time to write while I was there.)

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Emily The Strange, Berkeley

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Amoeba Records, Berkeley, CA

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I asked in the store if Band of Horses had played on Tuesday, and the guy told me no, that was just the album release date. Still, I thought it was photo worthy.

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Inside the bar at Blake's, Berkeley, CA

(SF, 1pm) So here we are in San Francisco. Actually, I’m writing from the BART on our way from Berkeley to SF. We arrived around 9:30 in the morning. The last time I was up at 6:30 for anything…well, was Monday, but that’s when I was going to sleep after the Gram Rabbit show and afterparty. We hopped on AIRBART to the BART station and took it in to Berkeley. We learned pretty quickly that the scale on the maps we had was a bit more than expected, so we hiked in the rain for a while before we hit our destination.

We wandered down Telegraph, but it was still pretty early so a lot of shops and restaurants were closed, but we settled on Blake’s around 11:30, where I had a “beer burger” with goat cheese and grilled onions with a grass fed patty and my sister had an Architect’s Club that looked just as good. And to wash it all down, a pitcher of Fat Tire Amber. We are on a mini vacation, right?

So now we’re heading to her choice destination…Powell Street in SF, where we’ll shop at Union Square and all that great stuff before we head to the Mission District for some boutique perusing and a dinner before we have to head back on BART to get back on our flight home. The rain has cleared now and it’s actually a little warmer than I expected, though maybe that’s just how it feels after the first two miles we walked.

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Not only does the Bay Area have ideal public transportation, but many of the BART stops have free secure bike parking.

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Apparently iPod owns the Powell station. Every pillar has an iPod ad, the walls are lined with iPod posters. Seems a little overkill since I would estimate that 60% of commuters on the BART already have one.

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Inside the mall. San Francicso, CA.

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Outside the Apple Store, after Christy bought the iTouch.

(SF, 5 pm) God, you would think that SF is a more connected city, but I’m having as hard a time finding wi-fi here as I did in Point Loma last week. I should clarify…I cannot find FREE wi-fi here. I am also the suckiest (yes, I’m allowed to say ‘suckiest’) navigator ever. After getting some serious shopping done in the financial district (oh my god, the sales!), I thought, hey- let’s head to the Mission. So we took BART and ended up in a neighborhood that was something like a cross between that street behind the Tower Bar at 2 am and Revolucion in Tijuana, though this was my first time actually walking right through a crack deal. So we killed an hour that way, I guess absorbing the local color that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Lacking time and the cojones to find our way on the Muni, we hopped back on BART and are now trying to decide on dinner. Boo on me for being the suckiest navigator. We should’ve come with a plan.

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Ferry Landing, San Francisco, CA

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A segue tour of San Francisco. There were another 30 guys on segues behind these 3.

(SF 9pm) So I know this sounds like an awful trip, but really it was fun. We went back to the Hyatt we stayed at last year so my sister could tend to her motherly duties (some thing you have to do whether the baby is present or not) so I tried again for wi-fi and nada. So we hopped on the F-trolleys to Fisherman’s Wharf where we settled on an inauthentic and overpriced Irish Pub, but it was compensated by the eye candy who was sitting at the bar. I know everyone says “San Francisco has the best restaurants in the world” but really…unless you tell me the name and how to get there from a BART station, your advice does nothing for me. I spent a lot of time in SF in my college days, but never got a sense of direction. My best friend lived between the Mission and Castro and we’d walk to either hood and hop from bar to bar until they kicked us out. And during her undergrad at Cal, we pretty much went from house party to house party. Even the times I came more as a tourist, I was with my tennis or soccer teams and had no control over how we spent our time so I never paid attention to directions. Maybe that’s a little funny considering how much I pay attention to that kind of stuff in San Diego, but whatever.

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F-train back to the BART.

Anyway, it was trolley back to the Hyatt, hop on the BART, only now we were pressed for time. Eeek. I don’t travel much, but if I could count all the times that I’ve been late for or missed a flight, or been responsible for someone else missing a flight…well, let’s just say you don’t want to travel with me. Anyway, it was all good, we still made it to the airport 35 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave and found out it’s delayed about 20 minutes. I’d be posting this from the airport if they didn’t have some exclusivity thing with Sprint…

It was a really cool day, definitely an adventure. I love the diversity up here, and the sights and sounds (though NOT the smells), and I wish SD had such an amazing transportation system. It’s clear that a significantly larger cross section of the residents use public transport and because of it they interact with each other much more (though aren't any more rude or polite than other Californians). I would also guess that Bay Area peeps are more literate in general than San Diegans from all that waiting and reading. My sister and I didn’t even fight once (even after I led her astray and she picked a shoddy restaurant). But all that said, I still wouldn’t trade San Diego for any city in the world, or at least any of the ones I’ve experienced in my life thus far. Now I just look forward to a nice shower, my pajamas, and all the love I’m gonna get from my pets the second I walk in the door. Here comes my plane.


Unknown said...

Hey! Cool blog and sick pics of SF. I threw a link up to you as I am a SD blogger as well. Want to link back?



Lazy John said...

San Francisco is electrifying. It feels good just to be there. I was in Berkeley for a business trip in June, and I spent my extra hours hoofing it around The City. I still have occasional regrets about choosing not to move there two years ago when I had the chance.