Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

Frisco Annum

So after a few days of being here, moving around the city and being amongst its citizens, I can honestly say that if I was ever to get fed up with New York (a possibility gaining probability the older I get), I would love to live here. San Francisco certainly has its problems, no question, but the general attitude here is very different, and it's not as rushed.

    More Things:

  • We took a trip up to Napa Valley on Saturday. We did more than one winery, but the one that had the best ambience, service and — most importantly — wine was the Saddleback Cellars. If you're ever doing the Valley thing, make sure you check them out, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It was the only place we went to where I walked out with a bottle, I'm even thinking about ordering a few bottles to ship to my apartment.

  • When Dan and I first went to the Haight district, it was on a weekday, which is what inspired my "exactly what you'd expect it to be" comment. It is totally different on the weekends, as the area is mobbed by tourists and the more local color recedes into the park. The weekday experience was better, although one thing is constant, you're only going to hear good music when you're over there.

  • Shit happens when you party in the Mission District. That's all I'm going to say about that.

  • I love these Victorian houses that are all over the place, particularly with their bay windows. Everywhere you look, you see them, and most of them are quite unique in coloration. The landscape of the city is phenomenal, there is usually so much to see at the most mundane street corner.

  • You can get wine anywhere here. And it's usually good.

  • Fisherman's Wharf was probably the most touristy thing that we did while we were here. The dungeness crab was worth it, however.

  • Yesterday we took an extremely scenic walk through the Coastal Trail. Absolutely breathtaking views of Marin County and the iconic sight of the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance serving as an eventual goal (we got uo to Land's End and decided to hang out on the beach).

The centerpiece of this trip, however, was going to the drum circle at the base of Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on Sunday. Every week, a group of random people congregate to jam. It's a very eclectic group from all over; there were some hippies, some Rastafarians, a few homeless, even yuppies. If you can play and keep up, you're welcome, and the circle goes on pretty much all day.

It's an interesting process to watch the circle form, as anybody attempting to join has to sort of prove themselves to do so. We watched a flautist cautiously edge over to the circle, tentatively joining in and eventually becoming one of the main players in the circle. We also saw a few people who were (politely, it seemed) informed that they couldn't play within the circle; most of those people just ended up sitting on the hill anyway.

We were there for something around four hours. There was a lot of time for some deep self-reflection in that atmosphere, and that is a topic for another entry.

I got tan lines on my face from my sunglasses.


The Guide to the Swashbuckler's San Francisco Dining:
  • Mel's Drive-In - This was a standby as one of the locations was quite conveniently located and the food (diner fare) was quite good. The decor is promo material from American Graffiti.

  • Magnolia Pub and Brewery - Dan and I stopped in for lunch during the less commercial period for the Haight; all of the food was outstanding. It is a bit expensive, but the quality of the food makes up for the size of the portions. Make sure you check out their "Devils On Horseback," goat-cheese stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon. Their desserts were outstanding as well.

  • Buckshot Restaurant, Bar and Gameroom - The dude who prepares your food here is a genuine Slayer fan, so you really don not want to fuck with him. If you get him when he is so inclined, however, he will make you a plate of chicken-fried bacon and some amazing macaroni and cheese (perhaps the best I've ever had).

  • Asqew Grill - We didn't eat here directly, but if you order food with your punch at Hobson's Choice, they order it from Asqew Grill. The wings are outstanding, free range chicken and very tasty (but spicy) sauce.

  • Angeline's Kitchen - This restaurant is in Berkley, which we hit on the way back from Napa. We managed to get in there with a minimal wait, but it is worthwhile if you're visiting to make a reservation. The appetizers and entrees were all outstanding, but the Chocolate Fudge Pot de Crème provides an experience that is the closest to religious rapture a radical atheist such as myself can possibly have.

  • Pork Store Café - Whoa. They ain't kidding, the pork chops are amazing. So are the crunchy homefries and everything else. Just keep your eye on things, as the service can be a little lacksadaisical.

  • Escape From New York Pizza - This was my only disappointment. Aubree's roommate warned us it was "Thrown Out of New York" pizza; I'm not sure it was that bad, but it certainly wasn't a good slice of Brooklyn pizza.

  • The Cliff House - Breakfast with a view, and with a menu that requires you to just give up and settle on something (I had the French toast). They give out popovers with fresh strawberry jam and (heavenly) orange marmalade; do not miss them.

  • Nopa - This was the place at which we dined our last night. The food is exquisite, but be forewarned that the pricetag is pretty steep. You do get what you pay for though.
Tags: 420, food, new york, rock, san francisco, travels
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