Friday, July 16, 2010

Goodbye San Fran. Next, Portland

After a good month of being in SF, I composed a plan of my final days in the city. First I wanted to eat one last burrito from Papalote. These super burritos are honkin' good and they even make vegetarian and vegan ones. Fortunately I eat meat, so I tore it up chile verde style with jalapenos. The best part of this place
is their spicy, roasted salsa which is pretty easy to drink (no, I held back). Definitely recommend anything with their salsa. It's sooooo yum.

One of the other things I wanted to do was sit in
Dolores Park one last time and enjoy the sun and
ambience. It was perfect weather with the sun blazin'
and the air a bit cool, I sat watching the people
watch their dogs and the dogs rule their humans.
Then I hear the ringing of the Mexican ice cream cart and all is right. The Sundays serenade me this time and I get up to take a stroll through the Castro. Good old Castro...I enjoy a chuckle at the endless store innuendo and charm of gorgeous gay men prancing about. I pass Harvey Milk's camera store and the Sausage Factory, which kind of makes me hungry, but who knows how vagina friendly they are there. Make my way up and down the block and feel I've satisfied my gay pride for awhile.

There wasn't much more on my to-do list other than bottomless mimosas, which I completed over brunch with D the morning before I left. Food was decent, couldn't complain about the goblet-sized glasses of mimosa. The "Castro" roll was so beautiful I almost didn't want to eat it.

The last thing I was able to do before I left was watch the World Cup with D, Asher, and some of his friends. Spain's victory was a great send off. Unfortunately the 16 hour bus ride wasn't as spectacular...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Coastal Drive, California

I took a trip to Monterey Bay in Asher's Mini Cooper. He had been teasing me with the thought before I even landed in San Fran, but never had time to take me while I was here. Being the Asher that he is, he offered his car. How could I say no? Driving the mini in general was awesome, but taking the coast doing 90 mph was sweeter. In two hours it was worth the drive (and the 30 bucks) to see my archnemesis the Cnidaria subphylum Medusozoa (fucking jelly fish pieces of shit,but oh so beautimous and awesome). I could've spent hours just staring at them behind the glass, unable to leave me breathless with their thousands of nematocysts. Ahh, I could breathe (although they kind of do take my breath away with their alien beauty). If anyone has ever lived with me or known me they know I love the water. And they also know that if these little jelly bitches are in the water, I will find them (or they will find me). Not such a pretty site to see me with ballooned appendages and asthma. Jill can definitely vouch for the vinegar, meat tenderizer, and the Safe Sea (jelly sunblock) in my car at all times. Although none of these things really worked for me, I felt some reassurance, even if it were false.

Anywho, obviously I have an obsession with jellyfish, so seeing oodles of them kinda made my day, or year. The other animals in the aquarium were pretty snazzy as well. To be honest, it was easy to get lost in that mammoth of a place. Some of the creatures seemed unhappy. Well, the ones that actually had brains and could, quite possibly, show some emotion. The shark tank was a little overrated, as there were only two hammerheads and a reef shark. Boring! I could find more sharks if I hopped in the Bay. I do recommend it other than that. They even have touch tanks with dozens of snotty children's hands to join. Definitely a must if you're looking to catch the flu.

After my aquarium fix I floated on to
Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Kinda nifty little carnival on the beach, which happened to have all of the wonderful and greasy food we love to eat at the fair. I indulged myself with a overpriced corndog and walked the plank, played some games, took
some pictures. Since the meter parking was a quarter every ten minutes, I got the hell out of
there quickly. That and I'm way too frugal to spend money on a $5 ride or $20 tank top. Damn the man!

Made my way back up to city, but not after stopping for a few photo ops along the way. The coast was way too nice to pass up.

Museums and artsy things

I was finally able to get myself to a couple of the museums in San Francisco. I also managed to go on a day that they are free. The museums I went to were SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and de Young (Museum of Fine Arts). I took a lot of pictures, but only posted a few that really caught my eye. I do, however, suggest if you go on these "free days" to make sure you have plenty of coffee, possibly a valium (or some other gateway drug) and a thirst for school children. Because that's what you're going to run into. Shit tons of children and freeloaders like me (although I do like going on the "regular days" to look at the zoo of pretentious asses more than the art itself). I definitely had to regulate my patience, something fierce, and only stink-eyed a handful of foreigners and elbowed (softly nudged) a few children. I mean, come on, you can't touch the art! Why do you think it's in those lovely frames or behind those rope detectors with cameras and security guards. For funsies? I think not.

So while I was in college I became fond of modern art
after some in-depth study, realizing it wasn't just crap and shit some art student threw together with various
household objects (although one could pass something off as a Pollock). Everyone always seems to enjoy works by Warhol, however I'm partial to Chuck Close.
I think he has more talent with super-realism paintings that resemble photographs. Andy Warhol just came up with a good idea of using everyday images repeatedly.

It's fair to say I enjoyed the modern art museum better, however I do appreciate the fine art (I've just seen it before in classier, European museums).

For anyone looking for free museums in SF:

Friday, July 9, 2010

San Francisco, 37 days later

I've been here for over a month. The time went by pretty fast as did some of my money. I guess I'll have to plan better for Portland and starve myself. That or I could work on my magic tricks and ask for handouts. Not really my style....BUT in desperate times I have sang in parks (badly, might I add) for alcohol money. And no, I'm not an alcoholic. That right was taken away from me and given to the rest of my family. I, on the other hand, practice safe drinking. In social situations and in front of televisions. The latter being completely normal. Most of America does it, anyhow.

Onwards and upwards...Today I went to Livermore with D for some wine tasting and vineyard roaming. Since I am now a Gatekeeper at Concannon Vineyards I felt I should take advantage of their free and bottomless tasting. If you're wondering what the hell a Gatekeeper actually is, well, it's the demon dog from Ghostbusters, and apparently the secret word for members. They give some shpeel about it being more like a wine "society," however, my ears come up with "cult" and thus, I joined. Who wouldn't want to be asked, "Are you a Gatekeeper?" every time you walk in? Needless to say after countless tastings, D joined the cult. From there we made our way to two more tasting rooms, leaving Livermore drunk. Mission accomplished.

Ah, and where did I go next? To Naan 'N Curry of course! The cheap Indian eatery with bottomless chai! I don't even need a dish, just give me six cups of chai...make that seven. This place is a must for any person on a budget, and they're everywhere. Now I sit here drunk off of chai and exhausted from the day. 10 o'clock and ready for bed. Exploring and drinking makes me tired! Tomorrow is a new day.

Clouds, Clouds, and ooo something shiny

Its another typical San Francisco day. Turned on Ben Lee (no relation) and started writing. it's cloudy and about 60 degrees. Yesterday I did absolutely nothing except my online course for Korea and walk to a very expensive Bi Rite for Chicken Marsala goods. I haven't made it in a couple of years, but I still gots the skizzles. I made a fair amount of Chicken Marsala for Asher and I (with leftovers for his cousin), alongside my Gatekeeper's edition of reserve Chardonnay, of course. A very edible and drinkable pair (the food, that is).

It's been great staying with Asher and Micah. I've enjoyed my couchplanting and conversing with the techies, who aren't as antisocial as society may dub them. At least not these guys. They lead relatively interesting lives underneath all of those nerdy games and wireless devices. And so much deeper and fucked up. Their personal could be turned into a sitcom. What a good idea...

The parties they've thrown here have brought quite the rainbow of flavors. Hipsters, small-towners, hackers, bread makers, four-kidneyed Russians...There's no discrimination here. And I'm glad to have been there, sometimes even looking out and joining the emo karaoke. Although I choose to pass on the coke lines off the toilet and passing out on the corner while it's still daylight. I'm just sayin' that's not my thing.

It's been pretty awesome staying in the Mission. La Missione with your filthy, savory, flashy streets. Such distinct smells waft from your shops. And, Oh! how I love your shit-stained sidewalks and continuous cat calls. This Latin district really is the most vibrant area to live in. There are endless options to eat, drink, and meander. The best part is how everything is within walking distance, including Castro and Noe Valley. What I find the most interesting is how Valencia Street, one block away from the chaotic Mission Street, is very mellow and sophisticated (kind of). Definitely very hipster and self-contained.

In a couple of days I embark on another journey via Greyhound bus. It's been a couple of years since I've hopped on one of these malodorous bucket of bolts. As I recall, the last time I rode one I swore it'd be years since I would get on one, and Ha! here I am, fulfilling my transportation destiny. Look at me now mom! A stranger is giving me a foot massage with his tongue!

Ahh, good times. Next stop, Portland. And more past adventures to come!