day 21: pop ups

Just your average 75 degree day in Dolores Park.

My day did not start off as planned. I unwound a bit too much last evening (the first time really since I’ve moved to SF) and unfortunately it caused me to miss a United Way event I was supposed to go to with Ritu at 8. Boo to me for being a flake. I managed to force myself out of bed at 8:30, thanking sweet baby Jesus for California style and threw on capris and my Milwaukee neighborhood’s t-shirt. I made a detour to the Starbucks next to work to load up on a venti iced latte to get me through the morning. And a really bad for me donut. And at 10:45 I ate a bag of Pop Chips. Really going to try and get in a run tomorrow.

Listened to WMSE to get me through the rough morning, and ended up buying three songs. I wish iTunes could have a referral button that would donate money back to non-profit radio stations where you hear random tracks.

At lunch I rode to the TJ Maxx about a mile from the office to get bedding for the big move tomorrow. I managed to rig the pillows onto my bike rack and slowly ride back looking like quite the spectacle. Did I mention it was 75? I truly was a hot mess.

When you can't have a bloody mary...

I had just enough time after dropping off my load to ride over to Off the Grid: UN Plaza. Southern Sandwich had the shortest line of the vendors I hadn’t tried. Although I really wanted the pulled pork, they were sold out, so I opted for BBQ Chicken salad with a side of hush puppies. This baby was my savior and gave me a much needed push to plow through a busy afternoon. I had a Skype call with a writer in Belgium and made sure a March-themed blog got up before March ended. Luckily all this distracted me from the increasing heat and I managed to stick around and not melt too badly. I have to admit I wasn’t feeling so well by the end of the day, but luckily that subsided once I started the ride back to the Mission.

I had my lunchtime purchases on my back and plans to go to my new pad at 7, so I decided to take advantage of the weather and head to Dolores Park, which was also the idea of 500,000 other people. I chilled and people-watched. With drum circles, a professional-looking woman sunbathing in a bra and skirt, a dreadlocked guy walking through the crowd hocking “Ganga! Grass! Weed!”, and a hipster chick yammering about Oregon Trail, I was definitely entertained. Alas, I did wish someone from my Milwaukee crew was around though. I know it’ll take time (more than the three weeks that I celebrate tonight) to find a “group” of random people to meet up with in the park, but today I got a little homesick. Not for the 36 degree weather, but for my spontaneous crew back home. I’m sure some of my SF friends would be up for this, I just need to make more so I’m not pestering the same five folks for random hangouts all the time. At any rate, I did use some of the chill time to call and catch up with my friend Ed in Chicago and hear when he and his lovely lady friend are coming to visit SF.

My first "Pop Up"

 

 

My tummy started grumbling and I had just enough time (I thought) to swing by a pop-up restaurant I’d heard about via the Twitterverse, which was on the way to new place from the park. Well, the 500,000 people that weren’t in the park were in line for Rice Paper Scissors. But I had in my head that I was eating there — and one night only — I had to wait. I did some Craigslist furniture hunting to maximize my time (I think I have a dresser lined up) and the 45 minutes went by fairly quickly.

Snail Pho

 

 

Decision making was hard and I got homesick for the #mkefoodies, wishing I had a group to order one of everything with for sampling. The Green Papaya Salad with Duck Confit sounded (and looked) so yummy, but I had to go exotic and get the Snail Pho in Tomato Broth and for dessert the Coconut Sorbet with Black Sesame Powder. It truly was worth the wait. The Pho was loaded with all sorts of goodies, including papaya chunks! The snails weren’t too salty, nor was the broth. The flavors all worked really well together and the fresh Thai basil they had at the garnish bar mixed in well. After the long wait I slurped this up pretty quickly.

Another divine food experience.

Then came the sorbet. Oh the sorbet. Oh my God, the sorbet. If there’s a heaven I will alternate between eating Farmer Brown biscuits and this dessert. The texture was perfect and the sesame powder gave it just the right amount of extra taste to rocket it beyond just coconut sorbet and into the realm of something Meghan would have bought three more of but for the hour-plus wait.

Best that I resisted, as I had to move along to pick up my key for moving day and drop off a backpack load of stuff and my bike. I think I will be just cozy for the next three months. It’s such a cute little house and I love that I have to walk down a dirt road to get there! The other good news is that even though it’s on a hill, I managed to ride just short of 1/2 a block from the door. Not too shabby.

And the great news is that because it’s on a hill, I have THIS view from my bedroom:

"When the liiights go down in the ci-tay..."

Called my folks on the way back and cleared that they can keep my boxes until I’m in a more permanent place this summer. I also stopped into Walgreen’s to get detergent and clothes hangers…all these things I tossed in Milwaukee! There’s something though about talking to my parents while I’m walking down Valencia that conjures up the opportunity for random escapades. So as I tweeted, if you’re walking down the street and you see a man with a sign promoting candy called “Bacon Crack” you stop, right?

Kai the Bacon Crack Man kindly poses his product for my photo.

And that’s how I stumbled upon Nosh This. I slowed down and pondered first, thinking of the food day I had. But the man who leaped past me in sidewalk shouting in glee “BACON CRACK! OH MY GOD! WE HAVE TO GET SOME!” while his date asked “Really? Before dinner?” “YES!” was the reply. So I asked “Is it really that good?” “Um, honey it’s called Bacon CRACK.”

Sold. Hung up on the parents and forked over my three bucks.

It was damn tasty. Not coconut sorbet/seeing God tasty. But worth trying. I heard mixed reviews about the chocolate covered bacon trend, but the toffee is what really made this. Definitely worth the foray into spontaneity and a good way to usher in the end of my third week in California.

And just think, tomorrow I move to the other side of the Mission. More new adventures!

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About Meghan A.

creative & professional creative professional | communications, content & community | nasty woman | adventurer & inspiration seeker | bicyclist & feminist | walk san francisco board | current: Adobe Typekit Product Marketing Manager, former: TYPO SF magic maker
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