This is San Francisco to me.

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DSC02843DSC02855For me, San Francisco has an air akin to that mesmerizing character cloaked with panache and glory you happen to chance about once every few years. Although I have only been to San Fran three times (once when I was only a toddler, so really two times would be more apt), I believe that it is one of those places you fall in love with even within a few minutes of arriving. Maybe it’s the vivid colors, the architecture, the eclectic makeup of people, the zaniness of its stores or the fact that being by the bay means constantly feasting on seafood and blue skies that makes it feel instantaneously wonderful. Or maybe it’s because although it is imperfect, startlingly scary and an altogether different creature when it gets dark, there is also a strong sense of wanting to get to know the place better for what it is.

During my post-graduation trip around America with my parents, San Francisco was the last stop before heading back on that dreaded 17-hour flight back home.  Regrettably, we didn’t have enough time to do all the exploring necessary. Did not manage to cross off Polk Street, Lombard Street or Alcatraz, three landmarks that I’d been wanting to visit especially after reading this post a few months earlier. We did manage to go to Embarcadero and the Fisherman’s Wharf area during the 3 days that we were there though.

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One thing I regret deeply is not purchasing more books or a new journal for 2013 whilst I was in the States. This picture was taken at Book Passage, a beautiful, tiny, independent bookstore located in The Ferry Building at the Embarcadero neighborhood. Walk outside several hours later with a bag heavy with books and cup of freshly brewed coffee. It is easy to imagine being happy from the lightness of words after killing many hours in this charming bookstore.

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Of course, what is the Ferry Building marketplace without looking at the wide assortment of fresh goods? Gorgeous mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, freshly baked pastries, and fresh honey was a delight that gratified all senses. It felt like a higher-scale market with affordable prices and approachable-looking vendors. Difficult to restrain from splurging at every store, especially because everything looked good enough to own or to try. It could be the novelty of the place or the buzz of being in a place that is unlike any market I’ve been to, but I loved the Ferry Building.

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Here are some succulents in a box. So complex looking and just too cool, these are exactly the type of plant I’d like to have in a pot. Succulents remind me of ears, hands, markings on cats, seashells, etc because of their natural complexity in design.

DSC02891Dad and I bought coffee from the Blue Bottle Coffee Stand. Apparently Blue Bottle is popular in San Francisco and true ’nuff, the line was quite long. I can’t vouch for the coffee to be especially memorable, but cute baristas making coffee to good rap music… how can you not smile at that? Nay, I cannot say nay. But the coffee size, as I remember, was not especially generous considering the price. All in all it was alright and worth a try. Maybe we caught them on an off day?

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This is the waterfront of the pier, the first sight you see upon leaving the Ferry Building. The crisp scent and the feel of the breeze was a mood amplifier on many levels and a veritable reminder on why traveling is one of those few things in life that has always, and will always, matter and be necessary to me.

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We dined at Hog Island Oyster Co. and tried more types of oysters than I knew existed, gulping down the  mollusks while drinking organic iced tea. Oysters are a hit with my family so that’s one way to win us over if you ever desire to meet the Jaffris. We also ordered Grilled Cod with Couscous and it was pretty good. The arugula was a nice touch to the salty sweetness of the fish. Catching up on seafood after living in the Midwest for two years was like watching the entire LOTR trilogy on a Sunday… and loving every bit of it.

There are more pictures from the trip taken from the Fisherman’s Wharf which I may decide to share either here on WordPress or on my Facebook account. There has been more motivation into trying to get my act together in terms of organizing all the mediums I use and all the writing I’ve done, so there’s hopefully some light down the end of that alley. Posting a picture-heavy post isn’t exactly my usual style, I’m usually more descriptive in a way that isn’t even very clear (why does this description remind me of Jodie Foster’s heartrending speech from this year’s Golden Globes Awards?), but I thought that it would be a more personable way of sharing and documenting before I forget and before I move on too quickly and plus pictures are fun, so why not?

Am currently in Penang with the family. It feels strange to have a house to go home to here but it also feels nice in a way. Time to catch up with myself has been sparse because the days move by so quickly. I am slowly grasping and trying to do a better job though. In a way, I feel like I have to earn respect, independence, and a new way of living all over again. Job hunting has begun and so has living here, but in the meantime there is this.

Playlist

  1. You’re Hard to Resist by Beat Culture
  2. What U Wanted 2 Feel by Machinedrum
  3. Cola by Toro Y Moi
  4. What Happened to My Brother by Sun Kil Moon & The Album Leaf
  5. Poetic Justice by Kendrick Lamar
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2 thoughts on “This is San Francisco to me.

  1. Being a person who has a profoundly serene appreciation for mushrooms, and of course seafood, which you should expose more a.s.a.p, you did the right thing with the pictures. It fine-tunes your pleasant San Francisco story. Uhm, one fictional Rowan Atkinson character by the name of Mr. Bean might still disagree about the oysters. Also, this makes me miss traveling, especially to anywhere near the sea. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Seafood never gets boring, and I totally remember that Mr. Bean episode! It gets brought up quite often in my family. You’re welcome, glad to evoke feelings of wanderlust.

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