|View from rooftop of a startup--see the Golden Gate Bridge?|
Fragrant Husband and I went to awesome San Francisco last week to take a little time off from Massholes and psychotic spring weather. We went there for the express purpose of celebrating a dear friend's 30th birthday ("I'm turning into an adult!" she declared. Millenials can be so cute.).
Despite having only one thing on the agenda, our days and nights quickly filled up, mostly because we have friends who are wise and live there. Here are some fun, non-touristy things to do in the City of Fog and Weed, or whatever San Francisco calls itself:
1. Go to a drag show
Specifically, go to AsiaSF, where the drag queens are my people (Pinays) and are built like Greek goddesses, the bastards. You get a delicious three-course meal and several ladies lip-syncing and dancing on the bar in between your appetizer, entree, and dessert. The emcee encouraged everyone to drink up: "Remember, the drunker you are, the prettier we'll look!" ...But seriously, one of them (Amber, I think) was legit gorgeous. They call themselves "the miracles of science" and are damn entertaining. For those who've read Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, this is what Pol does for a living.
2. Walk through the Tenderloin
This is especially recommended when you are towing a waddling woman wearing bling and freely swinging her little purse while chattering nonstop at you. For the uninitiated, the Tenderloin is the city's highest-crime area. We saw drug deals taking place in the open, we were followed for a block, and some chick wandered off from her druggy boyfriend before turning tail and running right back to him when an even shadier dude started catcalling her from the corner. So exciting!
3. Go Shopping
Shoes are always a great investment, since you should be energetically walking around and getting a contact high just from breathing the outside air. Alas, I did not get to buy a fanny pack at the Tibetan gift shop in the Haight-Ashbury area, but the waiting shall make my eventual ownership that much sweeter.
4. Put Food in Your Face
For a hearty breakfast, look no further than Dottie's, which had a line at 8 in the morning on a weekday, it's that good. I polished off an entire omelette (the daily special, with blue cheese and bacon) and a half order of French toast. Thus did I finally earn my husband's awe.
For lunch, Dojima Ann is full of Japanese customers so you know it's solid fare. Good donburi! Also, I ordered in Japanese and our very cheerful waitress complimented my fluency ("Jozu desu ne! Sara sara sara sara..." and I was all, "Fu fu fu fu, iie, iie."). Thus did Dojima Ann win my heart.
5. Use the Bart and MUNI
Small as it is, San Francisco is still bigger than Boston, and walking from Union Square to Sunset will wear a hole in your shoe. Why are you only wearing one shoe?
6. Do Something Fancy
For us, this meant graciously accepting an invitation to the Wingtip Club, which is like the Harvard Club but with competent management, great facilities, and cool furniture. Bonus: their wine pours are ridiculously generous. I ended up donating half of mine to Fragrant Husband, who heroically put it away despite all the other alcohol in his system. Hey, our friends were footing the bill, live it up! We'll pay it forward the next time they come over.
7. Party Like a
Rockstar Cat Lady
Like I said, we flew across the country for a birthday celebration. The theme was "Crazy Cat Lady" and everyone showed up prepared. Fragrant Husband wore a dark kitty hat in memory of Sheba and I was his owner. We all got stickers with "Hello My Name is _____" and he called himself Chairman Meow. I was "Cat-atonic Cat-aracts" but in hindsight I should have been "Cat-herine the Great" or something cheesy like that, darnit.
The party committee went all the way. There was an art contest (color the kitties!--my husband won!), a costume walk-off, games like Truth or Dare Cat Jenga and Pin the Tail on the Cat, a kitty litter cake (not actual kitty litter), kitten videos, and pictures of cats everywhere.
It was such a gathering of oddballs and I loved every dorky moment of it.
And then it was time to go. But before I finish this post, may I recommend one tourist-y activity: ride the Big Bus Tour, or whichever one offers you a discount. Get up top and just sit there for the whole trip. Then you'll get to see and hear the highlights of this great city!
In conclusion, here is a little table with pros and cons of living in San Francisco:
Smells like weed and pee
This post brought to you by Seafood City Supermarket, where standing in line will make you feel tall.