San Francisco: the other New York

I could start talking about West Coast people are like this, East Coast people are like this, or maybe Northern Californians are like this, Southern Californians are like this, or whatever (warning: loud) but I don’t really have any idea.

I do know that I went to SF with my family for 5 days last week, and then Yosemite National Park for 2, and it was pretty fun. Some highlights:

- The Ferry Building Farmers' Market. It’s the second coolest market. (Pike Place being #1, Seattle pride, etc.) It’s huge! And has all the food you’d ever want. Some of it is inside, some of it is outside, all of it is exciting. I got some chai and cookies ("alfajores") from a non-profit community kitchen/business incubator called La Cocina. How cool is that?

- An improv show. Two sets, one by some people I don’t remember much, one by the Un-scripted theatre company who asked the audience for a (non-musical) playwright, then improvised an hour-long musical in the style of that playwright. For our show, it was Oscar Wilde. It was really slick. And there were only three of them!

- Dim sum in Chinatown. First time I’ve ever had dim sum! I have a new favorite style of eating. Okay, maybe not, but I still love any system where you get a little bit of a lot of things.

- SFMOMA. This is a neat museum. They had like one painting by every modern painter I know (and a lot I don’t, of course) so it was fun to walk through. Plus, I went with my mom, who knows things about art, which is always fun.

- Millennium restaurant. It’s vegetarian (nay, vegan!) and so my dad wanted no part of it. My mom was intrigued, I don’t think my sister cared either way, and so one day when they were too tired to eat dinner, I went there myself. It was totally worth it, and not in an all food-orgasmey sense, but just because it was cool to see a nice restaurant that was also vegetarian/sustainable/organic/etc, not another vegetarian/etc restaurant that was also nice. It’s an example of eating less meat (even in high society) without being a patchouli-stinking Grass Person.

- walking around the Mission was cool. I stumbled into 826 Valencia, a nonprofit/pirate supply shop. Also ate a fantastic burrito at a place called, appropriately enough, “La Taqueria.”

- giant redwoods in Yosemite. These were neat. This whole bit of the trip was a little more difficult, because as a family we tend to not like camping and stuff, which means we do national parks like most people, which means that wherever we are, so are most people. Did a little bit of hiking, but a lot of driving.

Whoo! I am now back in Pittsburgh for like three weeks (minus a weekend). And I am super-happy to be back.

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