The title of this post is a shoutout to Oakland. I did not mean to slight it in my reactionary post on Friday. I’m learning that Oakland is little like Milwaukee – full of hidden gems for those who open themselves up to it. Thank you to Kirstin for highlighting some of those for Mary Ann and I on Friday night.
But before I get to Friday, let me briefly share a little story from Thursday evening.
Heading home from a delicious dinner with my friend Paul at Mission Chinese (where I enjoyed a rice cake dish, whilst drooling over Paul’s Pork Belly and lamb dishes), I decided to stop into Toronado for a nightcap. I got sucked into watching the Giants game and hence chatting baseball with others at the bar (I’ve found sports knowledge is a appreciated trait in a city where not everyone is obsessed with them – thank you Milwaukee for providing me with a foundation). It turned out the guy sitting next to me was from Toronto, so we talked about my crazy trip there years ago, about finding housing in SF, and then about things to explore here. Somehow we got on the topic of Alcatraz. Long story short, we ended up booking two tickets for the night tour on September 8! Definitely something I usually do while traveling, but now I’ve decided to revise my approach to life to live each day like I’m traveling. Life’s just more fun that way.
This attitude definitely informed my Friday. I had plans to meet Kirstin over at Oakland Art Murmur after work. Mary Ann decided she’d come too, and just like traveling, since MAB forgot her phone that day, we coordinated to meet up at a specific time and place. It was a lovely evening and it was incredible to see that many people out and about for art. After strolling around for a bit, as the crowds grew, we headed to a new bar that Kirstin wanted to check out. Near Lake Merritt (which is so beautiful at dusk!), Room 389 was trendy, yet cozy, and definitely worth stopping into. I was in a summery mode, so enjoyed a delicious Tangerine Wheat from Lost Coast Brewing.
I had debated whether or not to head to a fundraiser later for Killing My Lobster. Mary Ann was enthused about the idea of a fake prom and offered to lend me a dress. So the two of us darted from BART to her apartment to Potrero. We found my old roommate, Sabina, right away, who’d invited me to the event. I’m so glad we went! It was really fun and they even had “Enchantment Under the Sea” cheesy prom photos. Mary Ann and I bought those and agreed this was a much better time than our actual prom 13 years ago. On the way home I decided to stop into Toronado again (it’s so conveniently located!) and ended up chatting with some of the regulars and beer savants, kind of forgetting that I was wearing a prom dress.
Despite my late Friday night, I was determined not to fritter away my Saturday. I’d signed up for a walking tour of the China Basin neighborhood through Walk SF, which started at 10 a.m. I barely made it, but glad that I did. Turned out to be all about urban planning and land use in neighborhoods. Nerdtastic! I was exposed to the beautiful Mission Creek Park and then joined other planning types for discussion at The Creamery afterward. I will definitely be going on their future walks.
I continued to mosey a bit Saturday afternoon. The Lower Haight Art Walk didn’t seem as hopping to me as Art Murmur, but maybe it was just the time that I went. I found lots of beauty in nature though, heading up to Buena Vista Park and then getting lost and finding the unique Corona Heights Park. All within a few blocks (very hilly blocks) of my house!
I was definitely glad to spend Saturday night curled up with some beer and a movie.
Unfortunately I did miss my run on Sunday (struggling finding energy with my vegetarian challenge and working on finding the motivation to exercise), but I did make it up and at ’em in time to go to the Marquette Northern California Alumni Giants Outing. I met my fellow alums at Pete’s Tavern and then watched the Giants pull off a much-needed win agains the Phillies. After hanging with the alums for some post-game beers, I sort of lolled about in the evening. My roommate Rob and his buddy showed up while I was watching a heavily edited version of Pulp Fiction on AMC and convinced me to change out of my sweats and join them at Club Deluxe. Well worth it for the handmade greyhounds, delicious pizza and Brazilian Jazz on Sunday nights!
Love finding these gems in my neighborhood and look forward to more of that as I received the most awesome news ever this weekend – Mary Ann is moving just around the corner from me! I can’t wait to be the Kimmy Gibler to her and her husband.