This year I decided to do something different for my birthday, use some vacation time, and get out of the OC. My bf Matt and I traversed up the coast to the wonderful city of San Francisco.
Whenever I go to a new town, the first things I’m automatically drawn to are the architecture, the diversity of the population, how the recommended “hot spots” live up to my expectations, and a cities ability to incorporate art into their daily infrastructure. Our first trek around the city was through the SF Japantown for food and shopping. I really appreciated the SF Japantown because it was a lot more functional and less touristy than the one in LA. They had a great shopping center that was beautifully decorated with lots of fun shops and great eats.
The next stop of course, was the wharf. I had to stop in to get a clam chowder bread bowl and stop by Ghirardelli square for some chocolate. One thing I discovered while there was the amazing Musee Mecanique. This old time shop of horrors, is amazing. Its not really a horror shop, but an old arcade with 50cent machines and photo booths. I loved the type on the sign outside, and the interior signage was just as properly antiqued and appropriate. There were all sorts of funny little puppets and fortune tellers. One in particular that I thought looked eerily like Matt hahahah.
After that was our trek to China Town. SF is known for having the largest Chinese community outside of China as well as the largest China Town in North America. If you ever get a chance to go, do it! It was truly an experience, full of sites, smells, and sounds. We walked through the entire town, including a lot of side streets and alleys. We used our voucher that was handed to us for free wontons and green tea ice cream, along with peking duck and chow mein to enjoy a delicious Chinese meal. There was store after store after store full of things I wanted to take home with me! But alas, I refrained.
We ended the night in what’s known as The Mission District. It was built up to be something of the “spot to be” and gravely disappointed me as a large hipster hot spot. The best, and most redeeming aspect of this area was by far the art along the backs of almost every building. I do have to say overall I was impressed with the amount of well placed art on walls and streets all over the city. Almost every nook and cranny offered some kind of visual experience. Including these great window mannequins painted like dia de los muertos.
In the end, it was so nice to get away, and see what other parts of the world are up to. And while I didn’t ride a trolley or stand on the golden gate bridge, I felt like I got a good taste of SF. The weather was perfect and it was truly a memorable trip! I’m sure I’ll be back, maybe it will even be an annual thing! You never know.