Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back from San Francisco

(editing on 10/12 to add pics and links- wrote this at Wegman's originally and their wi-fi gave me probs!)

I am in love with San Francisco. I returned to Northeast PA late Friday night from the three-day trip to the Bay City. The Online Market World expo was great- we met lots of great people! After the day's work at the expo, we were able to check out some of the city. My favorite neighborhood, as you could probably guess, was Haight-Ashbury. We checked that out on Tuesday, our first day in town.

I have a fascination with the 60s and in fact, sometimes feel I was born in the wrong decade. The area is still making money of the Summer of Love, for sure. (I know I spent quite a bit of dough in the various shops!) After Haight-Ashbury, we took a cab to North Beach, or the Little Italy area. A friend had told us that was a good place to find good eats. We asked our cabbie for a suggestion, and he dropped us off at a place called Rose Pistola. Mmmm. I had the sole and my co-worker had the lamb. We shared some awesome risotto balls for an appetizer. The kitchen was all open, and it included a big woodfire oven for their pizza. The chef came out to my table and fileted my sole for me right there. That was neat! Great service too from our waiter, Reuben. I loved their big, open kitchen!

After Rose Pistola, we walked around a bit. We stumbled upon the Beat Museum. We paid the $4 student rate and went through the exhibit. We met the owner, who was a really neat guy. He's been collecting beat stuff for years and four years ago opened the museum and gift shop. He had rare first editions of many books of the generation and lots of photos. It was a really neat place. After that, we were looking for a bar to have a few drinks at. We heard some blues music pouring into the street from this one bar (the name is escaping me), so we ventured in. We took a seat at the bar, which looked like it was converted from a greasy-spoon diner. As we waited for our Anchor Steam (me) and the red wine (co-worker), we gazed around and realized we were in a Steelers bar called Giordorna's. Top to bottom, left to right, it was all Steelers memoriabilia. We came all the way to California to visit a PA sports bar! I asked the bartender and he was from PA, as was the owner. This started a stream of PA people who were now living in Cali. Throughout the whole week, I'd say we met about 20 people who lived locally, but had roots in PA. After the first drink there, jet lag set in. We had plans to hang out all night, but the fluffy hotel bed won over.

Day 2 and 3 we worked at the convention all day. The second night, we hit up a really hip Sushi place called Blowfish: Sushi to Die For. The tagline comes from the blowfish legend-- anyone who eats one, dies. The place was super cool-- house music pumping through, anime playing on flat screen TVs everywhere and lots of cool Japanese action figures-- but most of the place was decorated in beautiful Japanese decor. The staff was awesome-- a really fun place to work it seems. The food was AMAZING- as were the drinks we had at the bar while we waited for our table. Blowfish Sushi was probably the best I've ever had. We had to wait a while for a cab- it was in the Mission District, but a little off the beaten path, so we had to have the matrie'd call for one. We went back to the hotel to get coats- it was pretty chilly- and then walked around downtown to find a bar. We realized that most of the cool stuff was in the neighborhoods, not downtown when we could not find a bar. We stumbled into a neat looking place called Farmer Brown. The place had a copper-top bar and lanterns made out of old burlap sacks. The bar menu had southern style stuff, and the house drink was Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot of Jack (or something, I forget what the liquor was). Just as we sat down, the bartender said it was last call. At 11:00?? So we had one and then followed some guys from Switzerland to this club called Ruby Skye that that bartender recommended. That was pretty awesome- in this old theater which looked more like a gothic church. I was never in a club with velvet ropes before, so that was cool. Expensive, but cool.

Our last night in town, we attended a VIP Dinner Cruise around the bay with about 50 other attendees and exhibitors from the show. Our table was really great-- met some really great people. It was too foggy out to go to the Golden Gate Bridge, but we were able to see Alcatraz. That was really neat. When we got back to the hotel, I passed right out. We worked hard all week, were jet-lagged and I guess it caught up to me. The next morning, we had a great breakfast and my co-worker had an earlier flight than me, so she left. Then, me. Spent the day in the air. Overall, totally awesome trip! Hope I get to do it again soon!

1 comment:

nikki who runs into donna at casinos :) said...

san fran is my favorite city in the whole of the world!
in fact, as i type this, i am wearing my "haight ashbury - land of the free home of the dead" shirt i got there!
for real! :)