It has been said that those we hate for no real reason typically have a characteristic that we fear we have ourselves. This is commonly expressed about homophobes and 'locals.' Well, I'm in the second category, and that's why I'm such a crap tourist!
And now, on this trip, I was a tourist in my old home towns! The horror!
I arrived at SFO on a Wednesday afternoon. Since my gracious hosts were still at work/school, I killed time with a pint and a Caesar salad at my favorite downtown pub, Johnny Foleys, watching both a Giants game (live) and a Man Utd match (not so live). I lugged my massive suitcase onto Muni and headed off to the Richmond District where I used to live when I went to USF.
Behind a wire fence I noticed this awesome bike rack:
It turns out the building sporting it was the new Richmond branch of the SFPL, opening this month. If you're in the neighborhood, check it out:
When a tourist out of the touristic spots, the only place to use a bathroom, as I learned in England, is the pub! So I went off to Clement where I knew I could use the toilet at The Bitter End, where I was also served an Anchor Steam and entertained:
Drunkle copy editors, gotta love'em!
After a delightful jet-lagged dinner at King of Thai with my gracious hosts, I retired to their deadly comfortable futon in the living room and slept till million o'clock. I went out and hit the shops of Clement, which has an unofficial name of 'New Chinatown' and 'Little Russia,' well, at least by me! I checked out the local bookshops (Consortium was well represented on the shelves!) and spent a little too freely. I got a coffee and bagel at Toy Boat Cafe with their excellent toy collection (obviously) and to Fabrix which is indeed a fabric store but guaranteed to have the good crazy stuff for needle nerds. Here's a picture of one of the button bins if you want a cool wallpaper for your computer:
I then hit all the cheap Chinatown shops for stuff I haven't found in Minnesota. Where were these padded undies after I broke my butt?!?!
Later that night I went to The Red Devil Lounge to watch Heathrow perform their last gig under that name. They aren't splitting; never fear! They just have a little name rights issue with a certain airport.
And to dash everyone's hopes of making a funny joke, the backup name will not be Gatwick...