Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

So What Am I Doing, Touristwise?

One of the cool things about my visits to San Francisco is that I stay in a house I've stayed in many times over the years, I know my way around to a large extent, and I know many people from various places in my life. In other words, it isn't quite like being a tourist.

Except it is. Doing everyday things still has an air of the exotic about it. The scenery and weather do not say "home".

For example, Friday night I drove to Oakland for a dinner party and a contra dance, and simply driving across the Bay Bridge in each direction felt like a touristy thing to do rather than a burdensome commuter task. Well, it is a touristy thing to do.

Similarly, walking up 24th Street in the morning and picking up the New York Times at Good News and then getting a bite to eat from the Noe Valley Bakery or from Holy Bagel, with coffee from one of the small shops, is like -- well, like dashing out for a croissant in Paris. It's just a piece of pastry, but it's Paris!

Here are some of the other things I've done:

- I took the 24 bus to Castro, then the F Market vintage streetcar to the Ferry Building on Monday morning. This was the trip that re-inspired me with the beauty of being in San Francisco, and made me determined to be a tourist all over again.

- I met kimuchi and yesthattom at the ferry building and we spent a tourist day. We looked out over the Bay from behind the ferry building, we took a cable car(!) to Polk Street for lunch, we went to the Cable Car Museum, and then City Lights Bookstore. We ended our day with some beverages at Cafe Vesuvio, next to the bookstore. That's a pretty standard tourist day, and a delightful one.

- I had dinner with Ned at Fisherman's Grotto (!), for which I have postcards and menus going back for scores of years. It's hugely enormous and we were among the very few patrons but it still felt exactly right in that completely archaic way. I had a giant giant mount of sauteed crab legs.

- I took the Fillmore bus to Geary for my once-a-trip visit to Japantown, where I purchased charming odd candies (toasted sesame pocky is yum) and feasted on sushi at Isobune, the sushi boat restaurant. I also browsed the bookstore and paper store.

- I walked along Market from Church Street to Castro Street, checking out the shops and the pedestrians and A Different Light bookstore.

That was just squeezed in between the various outings with my local friends that make my trip fun for me. It's definitely a good time for me here, pretty much always.
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