Archive for September, 2009

Where I’ve Been: 4th Week in Cali Edition

September 27, 2009

Tuesday, 9.22.09 – I attended a work happy hour in the ‘burbs. How do people do happy hours when they don’t work in the city? Do people just drink and drive? Or just not drink much? I’m gonna have to get used to this.

Thursday, 9.23.09 – An old friend from college happened to be in town. It was great seeing him after many years. It was a good excuse to check out South Food and Wine Bar. It was quite good and I think we’ll be back there.

Friday, 9.24.09 – Time to catch up on DVR’ed programming. We ordered in some pizza from Goat Hill Pizza. It’s tasty – not in an NYC copy sorta way – but stood on its own in terms of taste and quality. In keeping with SF roots, it has a sourdough crust. I think we’ll be ordering from them again.

Saturday, 9.25.09 – Back to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. We sat outside and enjoyed some food from Hayes Street Grill. My wife had the crabcake sandwich while I had a fried oyster Po Boy. Afterwards, we did some window shopping downtown and the usual grocery shopping in the evening.

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Where I’ve Been: 3rd Week in Cali Edition

September 27, 2009

Wednesday, 9.16.09 – We met up with old friends S&H at Aqua. It was great catching up with them and the meal was top-notch. I had the tuna tartare, bacon wrapped maine lobster and peach pavlova.

Friday, 9.18.09 – Pretty uneventful. Browsed around the bookstore, did some grocery shopping, walked the dog.

Saturday, 9.19.09 – We checked out the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. This could be our new Saturday morning tradition. We sat outside and had brunch at Market Bar. Afterwards, we went down Market St. and stopped by some shops – Crate & Barrel, Container Store, Whole Foods. At Whole Foods, we experienced good customer service – a pleasant surprise. We looked for our usual brand of bacon and when they didn’t have it, an employee signed off on a different pack of bacon for us to try free of charge. Nothing like free meat.

Sunday, 9.20.09 – We donated tons of stuff to Goodwill. In the evening, we made our way to Hayes Valley. I really liked this neighborhood and it reminded me more of our old hood, Park Slope. Lots of cool stores, restaurants, bars, etc. We stopped by a chocolate store called Christopher Elbow and an awesome macaron store called Paulette.

Where I’ve Been: 2nd Week in Cali

September 27, 2009

Monday, 9.07.09 – We picked up our car in the evening. During the day, however, we checked out the Giants/Padres game courtesy of some free tickets we got from our building. It’s a great stadium and very fan friendly and a short walk from our place.

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Friday, 9.11.09 – We were pleasantly surprised with our dinner at Bacar. We started off with the salad and I had the bacon wrapped quail as my entree. For dessert, we shared the coconut rice pudding. The food was good and service attentive. We’ll be back.

Saturday, 9.12.09 – It’s all about errands – haircut .dry cleaners, etc. We also checked out a cool dog store called Southpaw. In the evening, we met up with my cuz and her boyfriend in the Mission District. There are some great places to eat/drink but also some shady parts and suspect characters in this part of town. However, we enjoyed the evening’s destination: The Monk’s Kettle. It’s a hipsterish type place that reminds us of bars/gastropubs back in Brooklyn. We tried the giant pretzel and I had a lamb burger. We also tried a few of the many beers that are listed on their menu.

Sunday, 9.13.09 – Shot some hoops. Did some shopping. Continued working on cleaning up our place and unpacking.

Where I’ve Been: 1st Week in Cali Edition

September 27, 2009

Monday, 8.31.09 – We picked up the keys to our place. We took out some sushi from nearby Tsunami. In the evening, it’s back to our temp housing and we got some bar food at Armadillo Willy’s BBQ.

Tueday, 9.01.09 – Our stuff arrived. Unfortunately, a few things were damaged but that’s what insurance and claim forms are for. We get some Quizno’s for lunch and some Amici’s pizza for dinner. It’s billed as “a taste of New York right here in California” but I can assure you it does not hold a candle to the local stuff we had in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, 9.02.09 – It’s unpacking all the time. Can’t believe how much cardboard and paper are wasted to pack things up. In the evening, we had Burger Joint for dinner.

Thursday, 9.03.09 – We did some damage at Bed Bath & Beyond and Trader Joe’s. We got some street tacos at Publico Urban Taqueria beforehand. In the evening, we had our first home-cooked meal in the new apartment.

Friday, 9.04.09 – Car shopping. More on that in a separate blog post.

Saturday, 9.05.09 – More car shopping. In the evening we attempted to eat at Coco 500. We had some terrible service, however. In fact, there was no service. The host passed us off to another person to seat us. Once we were seated, not one person asked us for our order or if they could help us. We probably sat there for 10 minutes and many people walked by without saying anything. Coco 500’s service sucks! We just took off and went next door to Fringale. Thankfully, they were much more hospitable. We had a nice salad and I opted for the steak frites.

Road Trip – NYC to SF

September 27, 2009

Over 3,500 miles logged and the most stressful part of our road trip from NYC to SF was trying to get to the Holland Tunnel, driving down Broome Street at a snail’s pace.

Below is a recap of some of the people and sites we saw and a few observations along the way.

Saturday, 8.22.09 – The movers packed our stuff. We finished gathering a few items for our trip and made our way out of Brooklyn and into Manhattan, Jersey, and eventually, PA. Tired from the day, we stopped in fairly nearby Bethlehem, PA for a night’s rest. Oh yeah, our dog also threw up in the car during this 2-hour jaunt from the city.

Sunday, 8.23.09 – Our 1st real stop of the trip – Dublin, OH to visit our friends (and recent ex-New Yorkers) B&L.  It was great to see their new home and lives post-NYC and to have a delicious home-cooked meal with them. They have a great place and nice neighborhood.

Monday, 8.24.09 – Off to Arlington Heights, IL to see friends K&D. Good to see old friends from our Chicago days. They have a beautiful home and sweet cat who couldn’t be found for much of our visit (probably hiding under a bed somewhere). Our dog did eat their cat’s food while no one was looking.

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Tuesday, 8.25.09 – Next stop: North Mankato, MN to see my wife’s folks. Louie got a chance to meet his cousin Rusty.

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Wednesday, 8.26.09 – Wessington Springs, SD. Population 1,011. The kind of place where people ask “where you folks from?” if you don’t look familiar. Enough said.

Thursday, 8.27.09 – Headed to Ft. Collins, CO to see my old high school friend HD.  We saw some cool sunflowers along the way.

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Fort Collins was cool – clean, pleasant with seemingly lots to do (food, bars, culture, etc. and an outdoorsy/hippie vibe). It reminded me of a mini-Portland, OR. We had a nice time visiting my friend and grabbing some beer/food at microbrewery Coopersmith’s.

And our dog had a good time visiting with Maude.

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We hit the road, passing windmills along the way.

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Friday, 8.28.09 – SLC, Utah. We didn’t get a chance to see much of the city but Park City, Utah and Salt Lake City both looked pretty nice from the car. And it was nice to see more interesting topography – mountains, etc. and a welcome change from the cornfields of the midwest.

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Saturday, 8.29.09 – All the way to Reno, NV. We stayed at a “Staybridge Suites Hotels” and I gotta admit, it exceeded expectations.

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Sunday, 8.30.09 – We took a little detour on our way from NV to CA and stopped by scenic Mt. Rose and Lake Tahoe. We really liked what we saw and hope to make it back there one day for a proper vacation.

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Finally, we pushed on to Foster City, CA where we had some temporary housing before getting the keys to our apartment in SF.

Some general observations and stats about the trip:

  • At the risk of stating the obvious, the country is pretty different between New York City and San Francisco (culturally, etc.)
  • Driving cross-country is not as bad as it sounds – especially when limiting the time spent driving to 8 hours each day; and when you can see friends and family along the way
  • Seeing signs for a runaway truck ramp in Utah is kinda scary
  • Seeing hitchhikers in Nevada is also kinda scary
  • 16 states traversed, +3.5K miles and our dog only threw up once (between NYC and PA)

NY, NY

September 14, 2009

I was in a bookstore in the Mission District this past weekend and saw a framed poem by Jack Hirschman titled “NY, NY”.

Of course, couldn’t help but think of our old home city and it seemed to capture how I feel. Here it is:

NY, NY – by Jack Hirschman circa 1983

It’s big

It’s ugly

I hate it

I love it

I’m free

O

Talk to me

Can’t you hear me

I can’t leave it

I’ll do anything for it

It’s so big

It’s filthy

It’s so sweet

I adore it

I’m staying

I’ll never leave

It’s in me

It’s so cruel

I hate it

I love it

It’s mine

I own it

It’s mine

Again and again

I say I hate war

I love it

It’s disgusting

It’s awesome

I love it

I won’t go

I promise

It’s beautiful

Talk to me

Can’t you hear

Me loving

O it’s so brutal

It’s so shit

Talk to me

What I should do

Anything

It’s marvellous

I’ll never stop

Loving it

Never never

Never never

Never.