Monday, August 27, 2007

California adventures with Canucks, a Scot, and an Aussie.

Wow, super fun times the last few days! Because it's now late and I need to head to bed ASAP, I'll give you a quick run-down.

Thursday I worked in the archives, had an awesome lunch in a gorgeous spot at Stanford, and then took pics of campus once my work-day was done. For dinner I met up with that guy I met on the plane and one of his friends. They both work in the Bay area and did their degrees at Waterloo. We had sushi at a place in downtown Palo Alto, and then hit up a local bar for beer and darts. Although this was really not something I've ever done before---and, heck, I didn't even really talk to the guy much on the plane, since we weren't sitting beside each other---it was great! They guys were fun and cool and I would totally hang out with them again if I lived here.

The next day I packed up my things for a weekend in San Fran, and after spending the day at the archives, met up with my new Stanford friends, AMcG and GCC, with whom I hung out Wednesday evening at the postdoc BBQ, to drive into the city. We took the scenic route to avoid heavy traffic, so I got to take in some lovely nature-y sights. The countryside around here reminds me of parts of Israel, especially the area around Jerusalem.

I left the 'burbs on Friday night because the Aussie roommate---the only roommate I hadn't met before in Toronto---was having his going-away party. So I got to join in the festivities and meet a couple more Waterloo guys that FN knows. After hanging out at the awesome Haight St. apartment, we headed off to a nearby bar for drinks. The bar was ok, but extremely preppy. Like what happens when frat boys get office jobs and decide to drink US$9 mojitos. Ok, fine, it wasn't that bad. But it's certainly not like the dive/hipster bars I tend to frequent. Not at all. The evening ended back in the living room. Perfect, since I was pretty tired by this point, and so was everyone else.

Saturday morning jack-hammering woke us all up---me later than the rest of the crew, it seems---and then TF (in whose room I was staying) and I went out for breakfast at this great place just down the street. I had a breakfast burrito. Oh my. Where can I get this in Toronto? In the afternoon I took the bus to the Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and walked around a bit in a touristy/shopping area. The weather was gorgeous. And the museum was great! Thanks for suggesting it, EW! There's a Matisse exhibit on now which consists mainly of sculptures. It's really well done, and a nice follow-up to my Rodin tour a few days earlier at Stanford. I also loved the photography exhibits, which surprised me. The museum doesn't have a whole lot of super famous artwork, but it's a really lovely space. I went on a guided tour of the Matisse stuff, then spent a few hours looking at the rest of the gallery and listening to the audio-guide. To the left is a photo of part of the lobby.

Back outside and ready to do more exploring, I found City Hall---where a couple had just gotten married---and walked along the United Nations Plaza. I eventually found my way back to the Googlers' apartment.

I got back just in time to head out with the Aussie to pick up some dinner, so we could quickly eat before . . . wait for it . . . going to the Beastie Boys' concert at Berkeley! I had a great time with the guys---the Aussie (yes, that is what I'm going to call him), Googler JR, and TF---on the drive over and walking through the gorgeous Berkeley campus, and then at the concert itself in this amazing outdoor venue. Although I don't really know the Beastie Boys, and the frat-boy crowd isn't really my thing, it was, well, a thing, so well worth it. FUN. I went to bed late after chatting in the living room with the Aussie.

Today, Sunday, got off to another awesome start. TF and I went shopping to pick up some stuff for him for Burning Man---most of the people I met this weekend are either there now or headed there in a couple days---and have another yummy breakfast. (TF refused to let me pay for my breakfasts.) Back in the apartment, I took a long nap, and then went for a late lunch with a bunch of the Burning Man people. Food is good in San Francisco. Or, that's what my very limited experience of it tells me. After lunch I went shopping with the women in Upper Haight, this awesome area of town just up the street from the apartment. I loved it. And I even bought myself a shirt at one of the vintage clothing stores. The area was kinda like the indie-hipster area of Queen West, but with more (homeless/hippie) people and a less corporate vibe. And more of it.

I'm now back in Palo Alto after leaving all those lovely people back at the apartment, packing up a van. I took a streetcar and then hopped on the Caltrain to the suburbs. I got a glimpse of more of the city; I definitely need to come back to be a proper tourist some day. I boarded the train without a ticket because the streetcar ran a bit late, and then the ticket machines wouldn't take my credit card! But thankfully I was never asked to show my ticket. Another free ride in California. Excellent.

Bed time. The archives await.

1 comment:

erin said...

i love scots!