Haight Ashbury

Got to run around on Haight Ashbury today. Highlights: Amoeba Records, a dip into the Golden Gate Park (it’s huge, so we only saw a tiny bit), and tasty microbrews at Magnolia Pub & Brewery.

Magnolia was going well, until 2 older hippie gentlemen decided to stroll down Haight Street in the nude. Bit of a shock while you’re trying to eat!

Sharon, who is vegan, has been politely accompanying us to various carnivorous restaurants, so tonight her and I tried out Millennium, a vegan fine dining establishment. My review: it doesn’t matter if you like meat or not, Millennium is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at.

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More images on flickr.

San Francisco with Ex Hex as the Soundtrack

Saturday morning, at 4:30am, Sharon and I grabbed our gear and jumped in a cab with my co-worker and his girlfriend and made it to the airport. The magic of the Ex Hex show was still running strong and I kept bouncing around to the show’s soundtrack in my head.

It was my intention to try and get to City Lights Bookstore that day so I could lose myself in a world of beat writing and other cool literature. After some food and a nap at the hotel, everyone decided they were into joining me. Awesome!

On my last SF trip I had spent a few hours in City Lights, deeply exploring each section of the store so this time I could head straight to the highlights and not bore everyone with a multi-hour bookstore experience. I did find a few books, most of which I had been meaning to pick up.

Some books from City Lights Bookstore

When we were done with City Lights, everyone was hungry again and across the street was E’Tutto Qua, a boisterous Italian restaurant with a small lineup so we slid over for what turned into a delicious meal of homemade pasta in one of the most fun restaurants I have ever been in. Waiters were running around, shouting at each other in Italian and gathering to sing Happy Birthday at nearly every table in the place. I have vowed to come back for my birthday one day.

Topless bar smorgesboard

After the Italian adventure we wandered back through chinatown and picked up a last beer at the Thirsty Bear, a brewpub I had been meaning to stop in to on my last trip. The beer was interesting, but I have to admit that none of us were wowed by it. The early morning and exciting day had caught up to us so we came back to the hotel and collapsed into bed.

Thirsty Bear

Salvation with Ex Hex

When I got home from work on Friday, the stress of the week and the next morning’s flight to San Francisco had built into a painful knot in my stomach. Not only had I not packed, but we were supposed to pack up Rufus and drop him off at Sharon’s friends house and then attend the Ex Hex concert at the Electric Owl before getting up at 4:30am to head to the airport.

Fortunately for us, the Ex Hex show was early and since I had already bought tickets, I reluctantly chose to stop in on the way home from dropping off Rufus and get the show over with.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing shows, especially in small venues like the Electric Owl. Once we entered I immediately felt the knot of stress start to loosen. When the three ladies from Ex Hex jumped on stage and began to play their upbeat, guitar heavy rock, the stress dropped right off and I wondered how I had managed to become so wound up in the first place.

Stress now gone, we lost ourselves in the high kicks and guitar riffs on stage. Definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen in the last couple of years.