I woke up at 6am because it was too bright to sleep. I got up and stretched and was cranky. I worked on Jay’s computer for a long time, and had to reboot about 50 times. I emailed Heather and went for coffee. When I got back, Jay was home, so I complained for a while, and then decided to walk around SF and shop. He gave me directions, and I set out.
I walked through Japantown, but didn’t shop, since it was near his house and I could go back later. On the way to the Haight, I passed my car and verified that it was still there and intact. Haight Street had all the hippie stuff I expected: souvenir shops with tie-die, sarongs, glass pipes, and trippy artwork. Also, it had a ton of little galleries, clothing stores, and restaurants. I bought myself a few things, and got souvenirs for the folks back home. I almost freaked at Kid Robot, which had pretty much every goofy toy I’ve ever wanted to buy, including those I didn’t know existed. (Seriously, check out the robot I bought.) I congratulated myself on not spending too much money; I count this among one of my most important achievements. I walked down Haight to Hippie Hill (!), then turned around and walked back. There was good shopping in Upper Haight, then a nice residential area with lots of Victorians, then more shopping and restaurants. I stopped at a cafe where they made my iced latte with coffee ice cubes, probably the best idea I’d ever heard. I ate half of a monstrous Mediterranean sampler, then stopped at the natural foods market for water. The guy behind the counter pretended to be scared of my obviously fight-induced injuries. I decided that from then on, I was telling people it was from a fistfight.
I headed down to the Castro, and enjoyed the shopping and many friendly dykes. I walked past the Mission Dolorosa, thus beginning my California mission adventure. After that, I found my way to Valencia, looking for Dave Egger’s shop, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s pirates. Ahoy!
Visiting 826 Valencia was a pilgrimage of sorts. I snickered my way around the pirate store, and bought a tshirt and a signed copy of You Shall Know Our Velocity, which Amazon had still failed to make magically appear in my mailbox.
I walked up to the Mission and was unimpressed. It was dirty and there were prostitutes everywhere; maybe I was in the wrong place? I headed up Mission, looking for a street I recognized. I found Gough and followed that. I crossed Market, then noticed Flax Art and Design on the corner behind me, so I went back. On the way out, I took Gough Street again, then all of a sudden it was Olivia, then Haight, and I was lost. I knew I was tired because I couldn’t read the map anymore. I finally stopped into a coffeeshop and asked the guy behind the counter how to get back to Gough. He pointed me in one direction, then thought for a minute and pointed me in another. I felt a little relieved knowing that even someone who lived there was sometimes confused about directions.
I found Gough again, and was less than thrilled to encounter a giant hill a few blocks up the street. By the time I had dragged my ass back to Jay’s, I knew I was done walking for a while. I laid down and took a nap.
That night, we went to Millennium for dinner. I had bbq tempeh and polenta. The food was incredible. Afterwards, I went to bed exhausted again. I intended to go to SFMOMA the next morning; since it didn’t open until 10am, it was a good excuse to sleep in.
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random notes from my travel journal:
apparently, i look like less of a tourist than i suspect, because people keep asking me directions.
i have the stupidest sunglasses tan/burn ever.
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