Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lump Sum

I'm going to be upfront, I've been avoiding this post. I returned yesterday, I have a lot of catching up to do, faces to see, two hours adjustment and nine days of 'going' to digest. It's a lot to take in and even more to spit out.
I'm going to attempt to break it down by days. A 'short' run down and a single photo per day. I'll try to be brief. This could get brutal. I don't want to cheapen my love, San Francisco, it deserves an entire blog (all to it's lonesome) but for now, I'm condensing. Just know, it is my home.
Day 1- January 4, 2010
I was up at 3:30 am to catch my 6am flight. I spent hours deciding on necessities and managed to carry one piece of luggage and shoulder bag/carry-on. When I arrived they were surprised by my lack of baggage. This made me feel good. I realized I can just run away with bare essentials and survive. I was happy to gain two hours by shifting time zones but I was exhausted and hungry! I had lunch with my cousin, Paige and her daughter, Reid. We ate at a local Thai restaurant on Mission. Afterward, I strolled the neighborhood and took a few photos. It was quite an eye opener, an entirely different world.

Day 2-January 5, 2010
Up and at 'em! The first day was slow, I was tired and trying to adjust to the time difference. I took it easy but the second day I was up and on the bus! I was a little weary of the transit system but it turned out to be a breeze. A little birdie informed me of some decent coffee shops in the city so I headed over to try one. After some espresso, I was full fledged. I hit the Asian Museum and SFMoMa. The modern was free and while I enjoy a break, I would have rather paid admission and not had to deal with the crowd. I love seeing so many people supporting modern art but I really intended on spending some time soul searching, it's tough with such traffic. I did a quick run through (by my standards) and then I hit the YRBCA, which was also free. YRBCA was more my speed; very contemporary and less stuffy than it's big sister (MoMa). After touring some museums I scoped Union Square and tried not to get sucked into the massive amounts of corporate marketing. It was tough but I'm resistant. For dinner, we dined in. My cousin's could give any gourmet chef a run for their money. It's rather impressive. We all pitched in and made pizza. Add some wine and some good conversation, nothing like it!

Day 3-January 6, 2010
Throughout most of my stay, the weather was great. Mid fifties with rays of sun poking through the fog. Apparently, I was lucky to get such a gift in January. On day 3, I took a break from museum and gallery hopping. I hit the streets. It felt so nice out that I couldn't bare to be inside. I walked down Valencia between 24th and 16th. It's quite a walk. I also traveled to Bryant and saw some beautiful work around Cellspace. I did tons of window shopping but purchased nothing. I also took a short lived trip to Haight and Ashbury. I did some postcard sketches and "hit the highway," too many tourist. All-in-all, It was an inspiring day. Back home the oil was burning and dinner was on its way. We had another exceptional dinner in and then went out for double desserts. They spoiled me!

Day 4-January 7, 2010
I started out in the Castro, perusing odds and ends, and seeing things that are most likely 'banned' or 'strictly prohibited' in OK. It was nice jump into social acceptance. Not just the Castro, but SF in general, have an extremely high tolerance for differences. It may be one of the cities best features. We're all adults, we should be able to deal. After dining on Castro Street I proceeded to the lower Haight. Same ol' stuff: murals, street art combined with some public 'sculpture.' I'm a creature of habit, I flock to these elements.

Day 5-January 8, 2010
Started off in my favorite SF neighborhood, Valencia(between 16th and 18th). I will admit, it's quite the 'hipster hang out,' but I dig it. After a bit of coffee and loungin', more museums. I spent several hours at The DeYoung. It was by far, my favorite museum in San Francisco. The building is magnificent. They also have a large viewing tower that is breathtaking. I spent nearly an hour atop gawking over the city, my mind was racing. It was peaceful and quiet, I'd live there if they'd allow. Their permanent collection is extensive and well displayed. If you only have time for one SF museum, make it the DeYoung.

Day 6-January 9, 2010
Saturday morning we woke up early to check out the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. We had breakfast from the Frog Hollow Farms Bakery. It was delicious. The market is incredible. There's such a vast array vendors and goods. I purchased some consumables for my friends and family and felt less guilty because I wasn't giving my money to corporations. We also gathered sustenance for our intended nature walk that afternoon. We drove up to Muir Woods and walked through one of the last, west coast, redwood forest. It was beautiful. Trees that must have stood over 100' tall. They were massive, made me aware of my meagerness in the grand scheme. It was an eye opener, I better get movin' if I want to make an impact. We topped off the night with a classic French dinner at Le P'tit Laurent. I was quite a treat. I enjoyed spending time with my distant cousins and getting to see both sides of SF, made it even harder to depart.

Day 7-January 10, 2010
Since my cousins both work, last weekend was open for spending time with them. I spent a lot of time roaming the city alone so both, Saturday and Sunday consisted of seeing the 'natural' side of San Francisco. Bonus, their daughter Reid loves to get out, especially outdoors. Sunday, we hit the beach, Fort Funston. Along with diversity and tolerance San Francisco is perfect, geographically. Drive 20 minutes and you can see salt water. Drive 20 minutes in another direction and your standing in a redwood forest. Have a weekend to spare? Take a 3 or 4 hour jaunt over to Tahoe. It's amazing. Plus, large city chalk full of events, and materials. Dinner was my treat this night. We ate at Esperpento and sipped Sangria. It was my first Tapas experience.

Day 8-January 11, 2010
Monday was a full day. We were out the door and over to the California Academy of Science as the doors opened. CAS is a very interactive museum. They have a rain forest, and hands-on aquariums. Their aquariums are amazing. The whole shebang was like crack for little ones. I enjoyed the butterflies in the rain forest. They were fluttering everywhere lighting on people. It was beautiful. They also have an observation deck on the roof which you can view the DeYoung (across a courtyard) and see their innovative 'Living Roof.' I watched a show in the Planetarium which was interesting. Afterward, we drove over to Electronic Arts, where my cousin, Tyler works. I had a brief tour and met with a concept artist named John. We chatted for about an hour,he provided quite a bit of insight. I'd like to thank him for taking time to discuss the demands of a 'concept artist.' I left with a lot to think about. For dinner, we ate in. I learned how to cook butternut squash risotto. It was tasty which is surprising given I'm no cook. I can't take all the credit,I did have the help of my cousins and their roommate, Dana.

Day 9-January 12, 2010
Last day of my SF tour. I tried to cram in as much as possible. I hit Noe Valley, sadly before anything was open. Ran over to Ferry Plaza for one last kiss with the ocean and bay bridge. I hit Market Street and one last museum, The Museum of Craft and Folk Art. I did some window/inspiration shopping around Union Square before taking one last stab down on the Haight and then, to round off the trip, I had dinner at Suppenkuche. German. I had some wild boar brats paired with sauerkraut and spatzel. I must admit, this was, by far, the best meal I had. The atmosphere at the bar was hoppin' and the beer was refreshing. Nothing like it here in Oklahoma. Against my better judgment, I grabbed some ice cream from Bi-Rite (honey lavender and banana kiwi) and bussed home.

On January 13, 2010, I departed SFO, again, 6am. It has been a little more than a day since my return and I'm still 'homesick.' I feel like I left a piece of me back on that bay (something heavier than my iPod that disappeared). There is a lot more to discuss, I'm up for coffee if you're interested in getting the uber-lengthy version. I can't guarantee it won't be a sales pitch for SF but I do have lots more to blab about.

I would like to give a proper 'shout out' to my gracious cousins! I love them dearly. They were to kind to let me crash at their house for almost two weeks. They didn't make it easy for me to leave, but they did reassure me that I'm welcome back anytime! Maybe this summer. I hear the creative juices are flowing, music in the parks, and festivals galore! It was a much needed retreat. Now, if I could find a way to stop wrestling with myself and give into routine.

Ps. If you'd like the full photostream, see here.

No comments:

Post a Comment