Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Summer in the City

Seven days of sun and I have enjoyed every one of them. Made my way through the city catching up with new and familiar friends, in new and familiar places...

The Vixens made it to Russian Hill, my first time in that part of town. A cozy restaurant the Tablespoon Bistro was easy on the eye, warm and inviting. The service was excellent and although my vegetarian options were limited- the people watching made up for it. Well actually I guess the wine, truffle oil on my salad, and yummy chocolate cake would be the other reasons to return. I can't blame French restaurants they just haven't come around to us herbivores quite yet.

After catching up on the girl talk, we headed further up Polk Street to Tonic. Umm, the gummy bears if your into shared bar food were cute: The old men trying to grab you by the waist- not so cute. The music was bad, the crowd was random, so we mosied our way out.

Back next door to where we had dinner, the Royal Oak reminded me of another Victorian favorite. Plush red velvet chairs and couches, gilded mirrors and Tiffany glass, the cocktail service was efficient and there was something just really comfortable about the place. We could actually hear our conversation. I liked the big round tables, bountiful green plants, and really strong vodka drinks.
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My friend asked me to run an errand with her to the Mission Fire-station. Next thing we were drinking tea in the firehouse. Taking a tour of the engines and gear, everything was way too tall. Trying to stay away from where they were hamming poor little live crab for dinner and shelling shrimp too. They were really nice, but the National Geographic on the big-screen just had to be airing the live birth of a buffalo. At that point I just laughed and waived away my queasiness as we said goodbye.

On our way to the Marina, we stopped in the Civic Center for a drink with my friend and his girlfriend. None of us knew the neighborhood very well and the bar I agreed to go to was not the one I thought. Club 93 in the daylight was the sort of place I would not like to find after dark. My friend eyed the popcorn machine and I said, 'no- I will buy you chips next door. Although you have had malaria a few times so you can probably handle it.' Completely unrelated I know, but I just have never met someone that has had malaria- twice! So far she has had an Asian and African strand while travelling.

When my other friend arrived he served up the popcorn and we laughed. I asked for a bag of chips next door and he brought those over too. Besides the umm seedy location, the service was good and the bathroom amazingly clean. To say I would go back is an overstatement.

I thought we were heading to meet our other friend, but we had already missed dinner with them. So we stopped in Hayes Valley for Chicago pizza at Patxis. It was really crowded which could be a good sign unless you are suddenly starving. We opted for take out and waited at Place Pigalle. Evidently I was on my tour of places I had never been in the city. The sake, beer and wine list was vast and we shared my favorite Nigori and switched to beer when the food was ready. From the amount of people eating pizza, I think I do prefer to get my pizza to go and eat in the worn in space of Place Pigalle, it is far more social.

We made friends, headed off into the evening with our new guides to a few house parties. Hands down our favorite was the refurbished flat with two beers on tap, good tequila, turntables and plenty of vintage vinyl.
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It took us a day but finally met our friend in the Marina for lunch. Parked at the end of the Fillmore Festival and took the 22 to Union. The new Osha Thai is as yummy as the Mission one. Only sleeker and bigger.

Back through the Filmore Jazz Festival, the streets were overflowing with people and music. We ducked into the Pride of the Mediterranean for Some Arabic tea and a hookah. The owner shared his special blend from his own hookah. We asked him what it was called and he said, "the playboy." We laughed, 'of course it is.' Sitting under the tented patio, as the music from the festival poured in was just the kind of Sunday I needed.

Our last stop at the end of the festival was at Rassales, and then, I saw it. The black and white dichotomy of the the upper Fillmore vs. the Historic Fillmore. I felt a bit of nostalgia, for the historic district that once existed as a whole. Heard about it from preservationist the first time I attended. Somewhere along the years, crack seeped in, homes were torn down and gentrification had divided the community.

I felt the open wound that remained still.

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