San Francisco Day 2 (Jan 15 2005)
My first day left me wiped – it was the hills more than anything – and I slept late my second day in the Bay Area. But another full day beckoned, and after a quick stop at one of the myriad not-Starbucks chain cafes we MUNI’d downtown.
My search for replacement Mostros got no love at the Puma store itself, which seemed to have nothing but the smallest guy’s shoes in stock. It didn’t take long to tire of the chain store wasteland that is downtown, so we booked for Chinatown.
DC’s Chinatown doesn’t deserve the name; it’s a barely two blocks and ever-shrinking. San Francisco’s Chinatown, in contrast, seemed as expansive as its parent nation, and for several block Phil and I were, refreshingly, the only gringos on the street. It was getting to be lunch time, and though Chinatown isn’t short on dim sum joints, most of them are take-out and alternatingly intimidatingly bustling or suspiciously deserted. For some reason unfathomable in hindsight we settled for one of the latter such establishments, and ended up victims of merciless gastric terrorism. We took that as our cue to head for nearby Japantown.
Now, I had traveled to SF in no small part to see if it was someplace I would want to live in the not-too-distant future. But five minutes in Japantown and my everpresent low-level desire to move to Japan was spiked something furious. Which isn’t to say that our little Stateside slice of Osaka isn’t a lovely neighborhood. I partook of its bountiful manga shops (Super 7, huzzah!), its lush and varied shopping (which I mentally dubbed The J-mall), its plentiful green tea ice cream with red bean. I left the neighborhood with a smile, if longing for cross-Pacific relocation.
The evening was pleasant but uneventfully spent back in Castro.