(Japantown, San Francisco)A couple of weeks ago, I got the wild hair to make another trip to San Francisco. The weather had been terrible in the valley and I was just itching to get away. I called my brother and as luck would have it, he had a rare Sunday off. The Mr. and I got an early start and made our way into my favorite city.
I love being a tourist in this town. I love it because every trip you can be a different type of tourist. I have loitered around the Marina with the Pup and the Mr. pretending to be one of the hoity toity. I have taken shots with a drag queen in the Castro with G by my side. I have cruised around the dilapidated buildings and taken in the reverse view of the city on Treasure Island. I have been the only female on a deep sea fishing boat and caught the biggest salmon of the day on rough waters right outside the San Francisco Bay (My proudest moment that day? Making sure that I didn't lose my breakfast burrito in front of all the guys...that and my fish of course!). The list really does go on and on and on....
This trip we trekked over to Japantown.
I had forever been wanting to make my way to Soko Hardware. I had heard fantastic stories of teapots, chopsticks, rice cookers and all things Japanese. This was the main purpose of my wanting to go to Japantown. We arrived and the very first place we stopped at was Soko Hardware...only to be completely and utterly disappointed to find out that the place is closed on Sundays. Arg! I was almost set to turn around, get in the car, and drive all the way home. I stuck it out and we made our way to the Japan Center. It was early and many of the indoor shops were still closed. I couldn't control myself when we passed by Andersen's Bakery. I was starving! The Mr. wanted to keep exploring and wasn't quite ready for breakfast yet, but lucky for me my brother is cut from the same cloth and will always stop for something sweet with me. We decided to be thrifty and agreed to split a pastry and we each had a cup of coffee. We split the cream cheese and walnut brioche and it really hit the spot. We leisurely ate our snack and did some serious people watching. Everyone was in costume, everyone was a walking anime character. No, there wasn't a parade. No, there wasn't a festival. This was just their normal Sunday garb. More power to them. Only in San Francisco will you be able to find a place where, if you want to stroll around in costume and do some casual Sunday shopping...you can. As my brother and I sat, the Mr. continued to explore the shops around us. After we ate we joined him and headed to the second level. We passed a crepe counter and I wished I hadn't already had my breakfast. The Mr. decided that he wanted a crepe and ordered a savory one of ham and cheese. It looked great and the art of making the crepe was even more impressive to watch.
After we had exhausted Japantown, we decided to make our way to Chinatown.
The Mr. and I had been here on one of our last trips but as we walked through the gates I quickly realized that this trip was going to be different. We had walked right into the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The streets were packed with people, vendors and a wash of bright colors. The brightest being of course red. It is the year of the rabbit and everywhere you look you can see it. It was amazing. I tried to call my dad to have him meet us there because I knew he was in town. I knew this because; number one, he told me he was going to be there with my stepmom, the nieces, and his pup Sam... and number two, he was driving right in front of us when we were making our way down Lombard to pick up my brother. What are the odds of that?? I was driving and the Mr. says 'Why is this old man driving so slow?' I took a closer look and replied 'That old man is my dad!' Small world.
I wasn't able to reach him, and after hitting up a couple of the shops (where I scored a teapot on clearance for only $1.99!), we decided that it was getting close to lunch. The Mr. had done some research and found what he thought would be the perfect place to get some oysters on the half shell. We started for the Waterbar on Embarcadero, right beneath the expanse of the Bay Bridge. Everything on the menu looked appealing and interesting. It was hard for me to settle on what I wanted. I ultimately decided on the grilled cheese with a black truffle spread and cauliflower soup. I knew I would be sampling some of the oysters that the Mr. would be ordering so I paired it with the drink special, a Moscow Mule. My brother ended up with a somewhat deconstructed cerviche and the Mr. had a spicy tuna sandwich with sweet potato crisps. Looking around the Waterbar, I had a sense of deja vu even though I had never been there before. Then it dawned on me why the place seemed so familiar...it was featured on the Real Housewives of Orange County when the housewives took a 'girl's trip' to San Francisco. It is the one where they had one of their many explosive arguments. Luckily the joint was way classier than it appeared on TV. Our last stop was the Ferry Building where I was able to make sure to get my obligatory macaron from Miette (ok, ok, my obligatory handful of macarons).
At this point we were all tired and getting a little cranky. We hopped on Muni to make it easier on us to get to the car. We dropped my brother off at his apartment in the woods and the Mr. and I were on our way home.
Another fantastic trip to my favorite city by the bay.
...this was the last of the picture that day because, of cousre, this is the point where the battery died.