Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Saint Crisco

It's become somewhat of a tradition that when Hulk and I visit California, we spend a day or an afternoon with QIR in The City, aka San Francisco. We do some shopping, we get egg tarts in Chinatown, we have lunch somewhere, we have a drinky poo. It's so very lovely and comforting and enjoyable, spending time with two people I love so much in a city I know about as well as anyplace I've never actually lived.

The thing about hanging out with QIR in SF is that she knows that place like the back of her hand. She can navigate like a pro, get from one side of the city to the other on the best streets, dodging double parked delivery trucks and motorcycles and opening doors and small children that run out in the streets. She's good at the parking and is as aggressive as one needs to be to drive defensively in that city without ever making you feel uncomfortable or afraid or anything like that. This particular time, we met over near the panhandle, window shopped on upper Haight, had noodles at the Citrus Club, and then headed over to Chinatown, managing to get there with a minimum of fuss. We even found a parking spot right away, and wandered through the least touristy parts of Old Chinatown and never heard those stupid animatronic cricket chirps or had to sidestep throngs of tourists huddled in their San Francisco sweatshirts.

It took a while to find our egg tarts to which we have become addicted, and we popped in and out of several bakeries. We managed to get the other things we liked as well, and also found a place selling that green tea I really liked for only 95 cents - still probably five times what I paid in China, but this is San Francisco. We skirted around and down to North Beach and popped into Vesuvio, where the bartender was happy to surprise us with interesting and fruity yet unsweet cocktails. Hulk had an Anchor Steam - go local, right?

QIR is a fantastic host, though she no longer lives in the city. It's a city I love to show to people who have never been, and also a city I love to discover anew through QIR when she shows us David Eggers' pirate store or tells us about a church we pass or takes a particular street to give us a fantastic view of the bay. I know the city by foot; QIR knows it by car, and could give any cabbie a run for his money. I love hanging out with QIR.

After our lovely evening with Leah and Simon, and after our day in Berkeley, and after our unexpected sunshine in San Francisco, I find myself wistful and homesick, wishing that somehow we could magically afford to move to the Bay Area. I don't know if it will ever happen, though. :(


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Try Boston before you stop moving. It's expensive but still 1/2 the price of SF. Or less than. You guys would fit in really well there.

Seriously. Of all the places I've lived...Boston is still kind of in my heart.

Anonymous said...

If you lived here, I would be drunk all the time. :)

Anonymous said...

That was me...

MLE said...


But also, we would have fun without alcohol. All we need is headgear to have a good time.

-qir said...

I love San Francisco. I heart it and I want those closest to my shiny-basky glow of affection to love it too.