unrepeatable's san francisco review



Tomorrow, on my way into the office, I'm stopping off at my polling place and casting my vote. It makes me feel extraordinarily official. Like I live here and stuff. Also I'm a total nerd for voting, so I'm all a-twitter on the inside.

Today there was an incident with the 24. Apparently a garbage truck was double parked and when the giant electric bus tried to go around it, the bus came off the overhead cables. Long story short, the bus couldn't get reconnected, so there was no power so the driver put the block under the wheel- off-boarded everyone and sat back to wait for help. Well, while waiting for help the bus lost it's block and slid down the very steep hill. I've ridden the bus up and down those hills- they scare me when the power is on. 8 cars and an apartment building where hit. MUNI service was only "slightly" delayed. And I have to say it all just makes me love the SF even more.


Dahling, I've missed you

It has been a while, I know. I've been neglecting my documentation of explorations. It isn't that I haven't been going to new places and trying new things, it is just that I haven't been writing about them. Sometimes that happens.

But here I am now. It is almost fall. I've lived in The City for more than 7 months now. I know where things are. I can make recommendations. I can look things up. Home feels a bit more like home and even though I miss my old friends and my old life in LA, I'm really not regretting this move. SF is just more me. Now, if I could only convince everyone else to move here.

Seriously. Move here.


the wrong shoes

i put on shoes fully expecting that at some point during the day i would be relaxing in a spa chair having a pedicure. this did not happen. instead i ended up hiking around land's end in platform sandals. no, not my brightest move, but i was expecting a spa chair.

it was unusually clear out, the fog was but a fine misting and instead of obstructing the view, gave everything a sort of pre-sunset glow. i started at the golden gate bridge, then moved on to land's end park.

i'd heard that sutro baths were really cool to explore- of course i forgot that i was wearing the wrong shoes until i started down the hill. why am i moving so slowly? oh, yeah, i don't want to fall and die. so i didn't get much exploring in, but i did get an amazing sunset.

i can't wait to go back and really explore- with the right shoes, of course. who knows, maybe i'll even go fishing.


happy birthday america

i fully expected to spend the entirety of today recovering from a hangover. unfortunately, my liver ate it's wheaties and i woke up feeling pretty ok. so time for plan b- check the internet. luckily yelp had a thread about free museums- the de young and the legion of honor to be specific. i'd been to the legion, so i packed my bags and headed to golden gate park and the copper twisted monolith that is the de young.

i really liked the de young. it is a beautiful building, with little gardens and courtyards in odd places. the art ranged from early american to african to more contemporary collections- which i liked. it lacks the stuffiness of the legion.

for instance, here is some sort of mayan thing from guatemala. if i had bothered to read the sign, i could tell you what it is, but i couldn't be bothered (had to save my reading for the next trip)

here is a more modern piece from mexico. thought it was purty.

this was purty too. i think it was a boat.

this, though, was one of my favorite pieces. it is called "anti-mass" and it is made from the charred remains of a church.

the outer skin of the de young is made from copper, so with time it will turn green and "blend" into the scenery. i'm looking forward to watching the evolution.


in search of... Lunch

I tried so hard to have a nice lunch today. I wanted to try this bbq place out in NOPA that I'd heard good things about. so after I left the office, I hopped on the 38 where I was crammed next to a woman wearing her own urine like it was channel no 5 and lurched down geary to divisadero. I then walked several blocks in the 58 degree gloom only to find that the light at the end of my tunnel, the bbq mecca I sought, was closed. as in not open. as in I just spent twenty minutes actively not throwing up to get to a bbq place that was closed.

ok. regroup.

the 24 was trugging down the hill, so I jumped on- worst case, I'd just take it home. best case, I'd get off at market and try los flamingos- a mexi/cuban place I'd also heard great things about it. so I got off and started looking for los flamingos. I found an amazingly quaint little 'hood right in the middle of all sorts of less than quaint 'hoods. treelined streets and adorable homes and storefronts. I was in the duboce triangle. I had died and gone to gay heaven and it was fabulous. unfortunately, los flamingos was also closed. what the fuck? I guess it was later than I thought.

well fine. I was out of options. I was also out of blood sugar which meant I was no longer capable of making decisions. so I just kept walking until I hit the tracks of the N. I got on. I got off at 9th and irving, thinking that here would be a myriad of lunch places and I'd just pick one and eat and go about my day. but with the draining of my blood sugar, my resolve was also gone. eating alone is not something I am good at, so trying to find a place that was both interesting and not intimidating was difficult. eventually I settled on a peasant pie at peasant pies. it wasn't bbq, but it was warm. and after wandering all over the city and freezing my ass off, I needed something warm.

next time, i'll check the hours...


july 1

growing up in florida, a july night meant sweltering heat and mosquito bites. you were going to get hot and sticky- and not in the good way. you were going to be uncomfortable. the best thing you could do is stay very, very still and hope for a breeze.

tonight, july 1, i saw a woman in a coat and a scarf.

and i wished i had her scarf.

pot melted

walking through the mission i spied, with my little eye, a mariachi in full regalia, guitar slung over his shoulder, enjoying a waffle cone filled with delicious indian ice cream.


destination MUNI

i decided to head out to the embarcadero this evening. i decided a movie would be a good idea. a movie and a MUNI. the more i take MUNI, the more it seems like a destination in and of itself. i could have easily hopped on the BART and been there in 20 minutes, but the MUNI was so much more fun. the extra stopping allows an influx of more colorful characters and the fact that most of my ride on the J-Church is above ground lends itself to excellent people watching both inside and outside the train.

there was a father and the two children he barely had control over. he was trying diligently to make them sit still enough to snap their picture. they must have been about 3 and 5 or so. little, but old enough to get into things with the deliberateness of a more developed mind. i don't know if he got the picture, but if he did it would be the sort you treasure.

as we passed dolores park, there was a young goth couple clinging to each other as if letting go meant losing their whole world. they were sitting intertwined on the grassy hillside next to a stately older couple. though the older couple were not physically touching, you could still feel the intimacy of all their years together as they sat and watched the sun play against the downtown skyline.

i got off the train at the embarcadero station and walked through the empty streets of the FIDI, looking for an open coffee shop. standing on a corner, waiting for the light, a blind man approached me and asked for the location of a building i'd never heard of. i told him i didn't know where that was and he thanked me. the stop-hand turned to the go-man and i stepped of the curb. the blind man followed and walked across the street and up onto the sidewalk on the other side with more confidence than i have ever had do anything in my life.

i eventually found a latte and settled into the theatre and waited for the movie to start. a few rows down two couples were talking to each other. the female in the hetero couple kept a hand on her date's back the whole time. nonchalantly possessive.

after the movie i walked back through the empty embarcadero center. the city at night is so beautiful.


review reviews

i love yelp. mostly because of the cool maps. i like looking things up and seeing where they are and then dragging the map around and finding new places. it is becoming an obsession.


patios and ddr

After my 700th outfit change, I finally made it out of the house and into the waiting car of some friends. We were on our way to the El Rio for an afternoon of bands and cocktails. I was especially looking forward to the cocktails.

Turns out the bands weren't half bad either-- mellow and not too intense, perfect for a sunny patio garden in the middle of the afternoon. The crowd seemed to be mostly friends and family of the bands, which was nice. Especially, I'm sure, for the bands. The drinks were a bit weak, and the wooden stools were unsitable, but all in all, I dug the El Rio.

There was one thing the patio was missing- a grill. Well, there was a grill, but no one was cooking anything on it, so we decided to head out for hamburgers and a movie. Where could we get both? Why the Century 20 in Daly City. Which is next to the Fuddruckers, home of the world's greatest hamburgers (I had the chicken sandwich). We had a lot of time to kill before the movie started, so we went over to the video games where my arm was o-so twisted into getting up on the Dance Dance Revolution.

I am not good at this game. I think the little guy is doing what I am doing, but he isn't. He is doing his own thing. He is doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing, I am falling over and using the wrong foot and going backwards. But that doesn't stop it from being fun.

(not my feet, btw)

It was a good day. A bizarre mix of genres, sure, but a good day.


blinded by science

A friend and I decided to attend the California Academy of Science's Third Thursday event this past third Thursday.

It was pretty good times. There was a steel drum band and a cash bar and penguins. What's not to love?
We looked at ants through magnifying glasses (though none were set on fire).
We checked out the dark and sparkley piranhas. I was hoping they'd drop in a cow so we could watch the piranhas eviscerate it, but no such luck. My favorite part was the penguin pen. They basically stood there and mocked us. Don't think I don't know what you are thinking, penguin.
We even got to view a turtle orgy. Turtles are like rabbits, but reptilian.

The piranhas were nothing compared to the interactive displays. That arrow totally had it out for me. Stupid arrow.


are we not men?

While having coffee in the Macy's Union Square store, we happened to notice Devo go by in a firetruck.


SF thru the bottom of a bottle

I am normally a very sober person.

Meaning that I am usually sober.

Friday, however, I was not.

It all started innocently enough at Zeitgeist, a biker bar on Valencia. It was a half day at work, and a beautiful half day at that-- perfect for celebrating a coworker's goodbye. We sat under the shady trees in the backyard patio, with a pink lemonade in one hand and a delicious freshly grilled cheeseburger in the other. We talked about work, we talked about rabbits, we talked about how fantastic these pink lemonades were. Who knew a vat of vodka could taste so good?

As we enjoyed our drinks, the weaker members of the group weeded themselves out. Back to the suburbs, or on to places that were more "their scene." The backyard began filling up with others and though our drinks had numbed our bums, the wood benches were getting kinda old. Those of us remaining decided that a change in venue would be a good idea... in fact, karaoke would be an excellent idea... So we hiked up our skirts and headed down Duboce to Market and a bar called
The Mint.

It was early enough that we weren't going to hit the happy hour crowd, we didn't really want to deal with anything too terribly serious, and The Mint has a bit of a rep about it's seriousness. The Mint also has a rep for weak drinks, so upon tasting the vodka cran, heavy on the cran, we ordered our vodka straight. This may or may not have been the best idea in the history of ideas as this is when my memory starts to get a little sketchy. There was singing, as required by the karaoke aspect of the karaoke bar, there was much laughter, there was merriment. Things were fabulous. Everyone was having a good time. Everyone was all smiles. At one point we went outside and suddenly, as if by magic, the streets filled with cyclists. The world was a wonderful and crazy place filled with vodka and bicycles.

At some point we decided to move our party. I'm not sure why. It may or may not have been due to embarrassing antics on the karaoke stage. It may or may not have been due to someone falling on the ground. It may or may not have been due to the slow but steady fill up of other much less silly and fun patrons. It may have been due to the stories of a very attractive bartender down the street. I do not believe we were kicked out, I am fairly certain this was choice we made.

We floated in on giggles-- we materialized at Lucky 13. I do not remember the walk down Market St, I only remember stopping for laughter breaks. I am pretty sure that had there been a police presence, we would have been arrested. This is not my MO. This is not how I roll. But I was intoxicated, a.k.a. d-r-u-n-k-drunk drunk. Lucky 13 is a blur in my memory. I'm not sure if I can show my face there again. As far as I know I can. It seemed like a cool place, except that I had to hold the bathroom stall shut. There might have been a lock, but I couldn't find it.

We were there for a while before we realized we are hungry again. We headed out for pizza around the corner. Pizza is a magical food. It comforts you. It fills you up when you are empty. And this pizza was The Best Pizza I Have Ever Had. I am probably just saying that because I was drunk and anything would have been the Best Anything I Ever Had, but this pizza was seriously the best pizza ever.

Things were still kicking though, so we decided that we needed to do yet more karaoke. On to Encore in Nob Hill. We had to flag down a cab- which was not difficult. But a bevy of whores did steal our first one. I'm fairly certain they rigged the MUNI elevator to magically appear behind us, which was quite distracting as we were not expecting an elevator to suddenly appear behind us. They then hopped in our cab and drove off into the sunset.

But I'm not holding a grudge. Saying goodbye to someone you enjoy spending your days with is hard. Luckily we had alcohol to soothe our pain. And we were in The City, where you can just let go because you don't have to drive home, you can walk around the corner for pizza and more karaoke, and you can hail a cab on the street (as can whores).

I just wish I knew what happened to my watch.


nothing but flowers

Spring is shaping up to be a wonderful season in San Francisco. Leave work a little on the late side, climb up the hill in the cool sunshine to an empty vietnamese restaurant overlooking Portsmouth Square. Watch the kids play and eat tasty bun with lemon grass chicken. Talk about plans or lack thereof. Walk home in the gloaming with the Talking Heads easing the climb up up up to the tippy top of the hill. Breathe in the air and relax on the way down down down into the comfort of my comfy chair in the big picture window and a good book. Today, I love the Spring.



I grew up in the suburbs. Strip malls and shopping centers. Parking lots. Planned developments. Your basic nightmare. After I left the suburbs I moved to LA. Which, if you think about it, is really just the suburbs. Overgrown and sprawling. I wanted to get away from this, away from needing a car, away from driving from store to store. Away from strip malls and shopping centers and parking lots.

So I moved to San Francisco. Gave up the car and got a bus pass. Started wandering the streets and avoiding anything that called itself a megaplex. But sometimes, sometimes, I miss the suburbs. I miss the strip malls and shopping centers and parking lots. So I reserve a zipcar and head out of the city, to the asphalt wonderland of chainstores. I need a fix. A hit. Just a little one, to take the edge off. Maybe a new kitchen utensil- something in a moka. Is it over priced and unnecessary? Sold! And I need baskets. No, I don't know why. And I don't think I need to justify myself to you. I just need baskets. And this book. Just the moka, the baskets, and this book. That's all. I think.

And now that I've had my fix I can go back to avoiding megaplexes and chainstores and trying to seem hipper than I am. I should probably start by not using the word "hipper."


chasing the sunshine

After spending my day chained to a desk, I was eager to get outside and into the sunshine. I took the long way to the BART, soaking in every possible ray of sunshine before disappearing underground for my short trip home. I was looking forward to my walk on the otherside-- fresh air and sunshine. But I live in San Francisco, and on the other side of my BART ride was a gray sky and swirling fog. Had I missed the sun? Blown my chance? I started up the hill and out of the fog's languid grip. The sun was shining just at the top, a glorious reward, so I pushed forward out of the fog and into the sunshine. I reached the top and looked down into my little valley drenched in sunlight. The fog swirled and danced at the edges, creeping over the hills and sneaking into the corners of the sunlit lowland. And like a giddy girl in the first sweet stages of romance, I fell in love all over again with my beautiful city.


lincoln park

Why would they go an spoil a such a lovely park by putting a giant golf course smack dab in the middle of it?

(and yes, that is the ocean behind the trees)

the legion of honor

Today I went to The Legion of Honor. It is a lovely, if slightly boring, museum. It houses The Thinker and one of Monet's Waterlillies and the greatest picture of all time:

I soooo want that for my bathroom.


Gai Lan or Kai-lan, as the case may be

I love chinese broccoli.

It is delicious and nutritious.

More people should eat it.

To encourage this, I would like to let several of the local thai restaurants to know that chinese broccoli

and broccoli,

while similar, are not the same thing.

At all.

Damn it.


rush hour

You know those horror movies where the hero, feeling safe, peaks out of his window into the night only to see the ghostly silhouettes of thousands of undead licking the glass? Yeah, that was my BART ride this morning.

Stuck. Delays. 10 minutes.

Ok, 15 minutes.

Ok, they can't move the train. They are going to push it. 15 more minutes.

Ok, we are going to the platform. We are going to hold at the platform. 15 minutes.

So we slowly pull in, push past the hordes, the throngs of featureless faces. We stop, and they gather to the doors. We pull forward and they shuffle alongside, a horrible lifeless mass twitching toward the doors.

Maybe the doors won't open. There is a pause, a long, hopefilled pause broken by the hiss of air as the door opens and suddenly every available cubic centimeter is filled with flesh.

The announcer comes on: We are not moving. We are delayed. We will move later. And no one gets off the train. Everyone just squeezes in tighter and tighter.

I couldn't take it-- I had to fight my way off the train and up to the surface were a drunk man tried to hand me a flyer and then yelled at me for not taking it. Then walk up a big hill in my work clothes. Then get on the J-Church, which was also packed with terrestrial zombies, but at least it moved.