I Left My Fart In San Francisco

Not my best work in the title department but kind of accurate nonetheless.

Travel Companion and I went to San Francisco last week for pleasure. I don’t know, everyone we talked to after we got back was like, “Why did you go to San Francisco?” (I can only assume they meant “Why did you choose to go somewhere that is only barely more temperate and interesting than New York City during the first week of February?”) and because I assumed they meant “Did you go for business or pleasure?” my stock response, was “We went for pleasure.” Which definitely sounds creepy when you are not in fact asked the actual business/pleasure question.

So we ate our way through the city and every night we would go back to our hotel and rest and digest the days events. Literally. Here for you now, is our diner’s journal.

Friday night:
Virgin America flight 230 to SFO. Virgin America is a no-cash airline, all food must be ordered and paid for via the touch sensitive TV screen in your seat with a credit card. This is the same TV screen where you can watch 30 Rock on demand, or an assortment of movies, or an even weirder assortment of music videos, plus you can play video games from the pull-out handset/remote control. We ordered buffalo wing flavored potato chips and assorted fruit leather because they were cheap. Not because they would taste good together, clearly. [Ed. Note: If I owned a clothing store in Chelsea it would be called Fruit Leather.] Also, if you want to feel like you are hanging out with Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden, Virgin America is the airline of choice for genie-bottle fetishists. A look at the interior (it gets more purple as the night progresses)…

virgin

When we actually landed, we checked into Hotel Diva (lovely hotel, but when a homeless person asks you where you’re staying because you look lost and in need of directions, it’s best to just say “The Hyatt” and not embarrass yourself by telling him the truth. He will look at you with pity.) So, in need of real food, our concierge suggested a really hip bar where “They should still be serving food” (it was 9:30pm, shouldn’t, I dunno, everywhere still be serving food?) in Union Square that he knew we would enjoy because it featured “TVs for the gentleman and music for the lady.” Because just in case you were wondering, when it comes to breaking down entertainment by gender, the gents get Oprah. Go figure. Despite the terrible atmosphere (so much TV! So much music! Also, so many drunk 30-somethings! It would be like if all your besties went to hang out at a Times Square sports bar) the food was pretty great, I got a salad with blue cheese, pears and candied walnuts, Jet-Lagged Dining Companion got wings, and we shared some out-of-this-world spicy fries (that were like fries with chili sauce on them, but like, wing flavored and super spicy with real ground up peppers in there, trust me, almost worth the terrifying atmosphere inside.)

Saturday:
We slept off the memories of the be-tank-topped drunk ladies and decided to go to the Ferry Terminal Market which puts any farmers market anywhere else to shame. It was maybe 10 times the size of Union Square’s market, plus it is winter and you could buy organic kiwis, hello! plus pastries and lavender flavored salt there. So…yeah. My heaven involves all of the above. We got some kind of organic sustainable raspberry-filled doughnuts or some such nonsense, then a croissant, and then a free-range, organic bacon and egg sandwich. We went splitsies on all of it so as not to appear like total fatties. We will soon appear like total fatties, not to worry. After breakfast (which was eaten by the fog of the Bay Bridge near a street musician – ok wait, the street musician thing is too good to gloss over, we’re eating and this guy is strumming away, and the grass-fed, organic sausage sandwich makers yell out to him “Hey man! [Ed. Note: all use of the word “man” is added by me for effect] Anytime you wanna eat, there’s a sandwich with your name on it!” so we’re like aww, sweet hippies. So later it started to rain and the guitar guy started to pack it in and someone running the farmers market comes over and is like “Hey man [Ed. Note: Again…]…don’t go, here, let me unfurl this giant patio umbrella I had waiting for just such an occasion to shield you from the elements!” We could not get over that. Niceness! What? In New York, you do a little rain dance just to try and defeat the street musicians so they will go inside. Not so in San Francisco. It was raining more and more so we took a streetcar to Fisherman’s Wharf and were like, hey, we just ate 3 hours ago, but look! There’s one of those places where you can get chowder served INSIDE a bread bowl! You EAT the CONTAINER! So of course we did that. Then we went on a tour of a ship because at this point it was pouring pretty steadily (San Francisco! February! For Pleasure!), so we are swabbing decks and batting down the hatches or something, and it was really cool, it was the U.S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, a ship which stormed the beaches at Normandy but all I kept thinking was “Don’t quit your J.O.B.!” ‘Cause of, you know, Jeremiah O’Brien. Also, ’cause I’m mature. Then we bought some temporary tattoos that had the ship’s logo on them from a 95-year old man with real tattoos all over his face. Then, in an effort to get warm, we ate ice cream in Ghirardelli Square. There’s not much story to tell there, except that Jeff fed the last of his wafer cone to a pigeon with no right foot.

So then we go to ALCATRAZ! We bought tickets because we heard that the Traz sells out in advance and it did! On a monsooning Saturday IN FEBRUARY, the night time tour was sold out. It was creepy and we learned about all the attempts people made to try and bust out. Clink Lovin’ Companion took this creepy shot of the fake head that one of the actual Escape from Alcatraz guys made to trick the guards. Crazy!

alcatraz

For dinner we ate fish tacos and flautas at Pancho Villa back by the Ferry Terminal. Friends, when I say fish tacos, I don’t mean “Oooh, we had tacos and there was some flakes of fish and it was a light and healthy meal!” I mean “I ordered two fish tacos and I should have ordered one because there was literally an entire fish fillet splayed on top of the tortilla covering it entirely. And the spicy salsa was 90% jalapeno, 10% tomato. Counting the ice cream, we ate, what about 4.5 meals that day? Yeah. Fatties.

Sunday:
I read that Dottie’s True Blue something-something was the best brunch place within yards of our hotel, so we decided to head on over…until we saw a huge line spiraling out of control at Dottie’s door. So instead we went to another diner that claimed to have the best breakfast in San Francisco, and while my ginormous breakfast burrito was great, I will only go so far as to say that it wasn’t the best breakfast, only the one that caused the most remorse.

We spent Superbowl Sunday with family friend Mark and his man Ryan. Mark gave us a driving tour of the city, including Twin Peaks (no Sherilyn Fenn or dreams spoken in reverse here, just lovely views of the city). As I mentioned, it poured on Saturday, so the ground was a bit muddy and mercy mercy me, the ecology was just a mess. Scenic Vista Companion was about to point out a giant tree that had been uprooted in the storm when the mud got the better of him and splat he went. Oh, how Mark and I lauuuughed at those muddy knees that went boom. We went to Mark’s house shortly after and I proceeded to eat a brick of cheese while watching the Pats lose.

mud

In the best interests of everyone involved, Part II of the trip will be up tomorrow, I worry that there’s only so much you people can deal with from me in one day….Until then…

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  1. I hope you two hit up the delicious, seedy Tenderloin for some cheap Vietnamese. I ate there just about every day I was there.

    Also… do I want to know about Jeff’s knees?

  2. Ahhhhhh, I am sorry you guys did not enjoy your time here in SF. I used to live in Vancouver and the very first time I came to visit I truly ‘left my heart in San Francisco’. I LOVE NY and if I have to move any where in the US, NY will be it. BUT please let me know next time you are here and we’ll tell you what to do and please do come back this is a wonderful city 🙂 Have a falafel for me in SOHO, love it…

    • liz
    • February 12th, 2008

    I don’t mean for my post to imply that we had a bad time, SF is one of the very few cities that passes the “Could I live there?” test, although no city ever surpasses NYC (except for EVERY city when there is a NYC subway strike or steam pipe explosion). I can see where my cynicism and/or constant references to being fatties and it being rainy might make me seem like it was a bad time, but that just added to all the charm! Stay tuned for our SF Part II adventures tomorrow…it was sunny and we ate our weight in burritos!

    Also, Bill, you should have seen it. I might invent a drink called the San Francisco Mudslide in Jeff’s honor. It can’t quite maintain its footing and finally just spills out of the glass. Also, we only got Vietnamese once because we ate so much of everything else in the city.

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