June 5, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Well, I went to San Fran yesterday with the boys of East Palo Alto to hit up the famous, perhaps overly hyped Haight Street - Cmon, how remnant of the sixties can a street that boasts the Gap and Ben & Jerry's really be. We parked on some neighborhood street and walked the steep hill down towards Haight where we were greeted with a mass of psychodelic colors, dread locks, and vintage thrift shops. We bumped into one poor lad who was bumbling something about having to get his broken space ship from Kentucky to San Francisco, and needing help in his expedition. Being as we all had to work in California for the entire summer, none of us really had much to offer in the name of assistance, but we all had high hopes that some stranger would come along to help the bloke with his mission. It took just under 2 weeks for me to meet my first legitimate San Franciso weirdo.

We had a quick lunch at the People's Cafe, and then went to the Anarchist's Book Store at the end of Haight. I bought The Time Machine by Wells for a cool $1.50 - hardly an anarchist purchase, but at a nontheless socialist price. We then went to Amoeba Music, a huge warehouse of CDs, DVDs, tapes, posters, and music savants. On the way back down Haight Street, we checked into Toy Robot and Giant Robot, two Japanese pop culture shops where artistic toy models/robots, tshirts with minimum screens, and art is sold. I still haven't leared to appreciate the Asian pop culture revolution that I suppose hit america when I wasn't looking. I'll have to remember to go back to Giant Robot when I do.

I ditched the guys a bit to check out Buffalo Exchange, a vintage shrift shop displaying some interesting apparel in its store-front window. I ended up buying a sweater (mostly because the city was freezing and I only had a tank top on), and a pink, mesh tank top. Haight had some quality vintage/thrift stores, and were I alone for the afternoon, I would have spent more time in them, but my company seemed less interested in shopping. We set off for Golden Gate park, where we passed a few bands of hippies, "masseuses", and people looking to sell the "spice". We popped squats at the top of some hill, and watched an especially accomplished skateboarder practice some tricks, and two shady men with their "ice cream trucks" make rounds about the campus to sell their product. We then set off to find the Golden Gate Arboretum, only to get there a bit too late to actually go inside and see the spoils - Ah well, another day.

Because we had about an hour before our reservations for dinner, we set off more seriously on a mission to find the Tanner house. After tracking down the street coordinates in a map of the city, we circled Alamo Park before we finally came upon the landmark house, the residence that alone conjoured memories of T.G.I.F., the Ranger Joe theme song, and Uncle Jessie and the Rippers - we had finally found Stephanie Tanner's home. After we all sat on the benchs in awe, snapped our photos, and relished in a well-deserved breather, we set off for the Kan Zaman Cafe back on Haight. We got an assortment of hot and cold appetizers and main meals to share amongst everyone. I think my favorites were the stuffed grape leaves, hummus, and fallafel, but everything was rather good (though not terribly authentic in terms of the depth of spice). A few people ordered the famous middle eastern spiced wine, and after a good reception to the drink, we decided we'd try a batch of our own at night in celebration of Yisong's birthday. We returned to the guy's apartments, and Keenan and I whipped up a batch of our own version of spiced wine (minus the Brandy we forgot to buy, and Cardomom we were just too cheap to look for), and made everyone try it in the hot tub. After a vote of success from the guinnea pigs, it was decided that it will be banana wine the next time we get into the bartending mood.

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