San Francisco Days

I’ve been doing a lot of twittering of details of this trip but no blogging. It’s hard to tell when this ephemera rises to the level of deserving a post so I’ll just lay down some groundfire of details.

After our miserable travel day on Monday, the first order of the day was to get Darlene and her poster to the Moscone center and me registered with a guest pass for the AGU. I basically toted stuff and then left her to her devices. I went to the Apple store right at opening to meet my Genius appointment for a replacement keyboard on this iBook. Not only where the letters rubbed off but the dog had physically popped off two keys and eaten them! Welcome back, “g” and “=”! I met back up with my wife for Thai at the joint across from the Moscone. After that, we napped our tired asses. She went back to the conference and I wandered up Market, browsed at Jeffrey’s Toys and Comics, and then just headed towards Chinatown. I walked and walked and eventually came back to Union Square. We had eaten at this great Indian restaurant five years ago and we wanted to go there again. I remember it was a little west of Union Square but not exactly where it was or what it was called. I went into grid search pattern and found it! Mela on O’Farrell was the joint.

Here’s where I screwed up, I kept going past it and before I realized it I was fairly well into the Tenderloin. Sunset in the Tenderloin was a jumping time with packed streets. I was wearing slacks and a sports coat and probably had a neon “tourist” sign blinking over me, so I kept my head up and walked my ass out of there. Mistake #2, instead of turning around and going directly back I made a left thinking I’d pop out at Market any minute. Block after block I kept walking and still wasn’t there. I was beginning to get a little worried so I tried to do a little dead reckoning by the sun and took another left and voila, I was at Market within 2 blocks. That was not exactly the adventure I was shooting for. After meeting back up, we grabbed a friend and dined at Mela. The service was kind of slow and crappy but I had the best plate of chicken tikka masala I’ve ever had. I’m still daydreaming about it.

This morning, we slept kind of late from jetlag and fatigue. We walked together up Powell Street looking for the See’s Candies and seemed to never find it. From there, we split up and I went on my Mission District adventure. I took the BART to 24th and Mission, and then walked up Valencia. My original plan had been to shop at Borderlands Books and eat at the Ethiopian place next door. That plan was skunked when the Ethiopian place wasn’t open for lunch. Curses! I asked the public works lady sweeping the street for her recommendation on lunch places. I figured if anyone around would know, it would be her. She sent me to Valencia Pizza and Pasta on 19th and Valencia. Sure enough, it was fantastic. This review page covers it up to and including the distress at having to walk through the kitchen to pee. I opted to hold it.

From there I did browse at Borderlands and picked up a few things. I bought $1 books and CDs at several little shops along the way, including a Ben Hecht memoir on a cheapo table that just seemed like a thing to buy. I kept walking all the way up Valencia until it hit Market and then swung over to Al’s Comics. I picked up most of the last 2 years of Love and Rockets as well as the new Nexus comic. From there I jumped on the Muni and rode the train back to Market and 1st, finally finding a See’s Candies where I got some goodies for gifts (but most of it for us). Hello, lemon truffles! Get in my belly.

After that excitement, I’m back in the hotel resting my feet and regrouping before the next outing. Mostly what I have done for the last 36 hours is eat and shop, mostly eat. I suppose there are worse ways to recreate in San Francisco. Being the old man that I am, my itinerary is heavily influenced on my ability to take the next whiz. For now, I’m staying close to the hotel for just that reason.

One Reply to “San Francisco Days”

  1. Hi, Dave.

    Random reader/listener here.

    My wife and I checked out that restaurant. We lived in SF for many years, and now live a bit south but still go there many weekends. Never heard of it, mainly because we avoid the Tenderloin. In fact, the place is across the street from somewhere you don’t want to be seen if you’re a family man.

    While my wife and I prefer spicier food, it was okay. It was a big hit with our friends; thanks for mentioning it! I liked that it was below street level. Descending from the seedy Tenderloin into what turned out to be a nice place (pleasant incense, nice music, great fountain in the entrance room) was fun.

    Anyway, just wanted to drop you a note as an example of how your blogging and podcasting reaches all sorts of people. If you hadn’t posted this entry, seven people would have ate lunch somewhere else yesterday. Not as inspiring as averting a plane crash, I suppose, but still kinda neat, eh?

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