And what better way to sum up the trip than with a Not-So-Secret-Diary-of-a-Bad-Luck-Girl’s Index, kind of like Harper’s Index, only a lot wordier.
Number of Japanese restaurants we ate at in one day: 3
I’m not sure how this happened. I think one day we mostly just stayed in our area.
First we walked up Fillmore Street and popped into Osaka for sushi. It was pretty good though not stupendous. For an early dinner, we tried to find Kiss Seafood, which is supposedly on Laguna but we couldn’t find it for the life of us. It seemed to be just apartment buildings.
So we gave up on that and instead went to Shabu Shabu, which in case you don’t know is a lot like Mongolian hotpot, which in case you don’t know is basically fondue with raw meat, seafood, and veggies.
It was very good. We got the beef/shrimp combo, and the quality of the beef seemed pretty good, though a few pieces were a bit fatty. We thought we’d never be full, but we totally were.
Later that night we were totally hungry again, so we stopped in this random ramen place. It was just okay, but luckily my ramen was under $9 so I didn’t feel like it was a total ripoff. I actually enjoyed the instant ramen I had last night, but maybe that’s cuz I knew it was only $1.
Number of movies we saw: 1
We caught Ponyo at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, which is this incredibly nice theater near our hotel. For $2 extra you reserve your seats beforehand, which having dealt with terrible seats surrounded by obnoxious people, was totally worth it to me. Plus there was much more leg room, so that when you got up to go to the bathroom, people didn’t have to get up to let you by. And I swear even the Sprite tasted better, like real Sprite and not just syrupy soda water.
Oh yeah the movie. It was very cute and trippy, as the director’s movies tend to be. I still like the others ones better though, namely Sprited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Number of museums we went to: 1
The Asian Art Museum. It was just okay. Lots of Buddhas and other artifacts. There was a samurai exhibit, but we didn’t feel like paying extra, since we’ve seen lots of samurai stuff at the Met. The archery demonstration was pretty cool though.
Number of touristy things we did: 1
Saturday we headed out to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was pretty crowded but not as bad as the South Street Seaport or Faneuil Hall on a bad day. We wandered around, saw a seal poking his head out of the water near the shore, and another shitload of seals sunning themselves on a rock. Then we had dinner at this place, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant, sort of a random pick because it was fuh-REE-zing and we were tired.
We got the prix fixe at $19, which was reasonable: clam chowder, a main dish, and this custard-like ice cream for dessert. My soup was delicious, but our entrees, the crab enchiladas, while tasty were more like crab mannicotti. Sorta strange. The custard-ice cream was really good.
Number of toothless hobos MB struck up a conversation with: 1
We were on the bus on our way home from our (mis)adventure in the Mission. He claims he thought the guy was just a street musician since he had a nice flute, but then he noticed the guy had no shirt on and not many teeth, and then he asked MB for money.
Number of homeless people in the Downtown/Civic Center area: A lot
I was kind of surprised though I have heard people say this before. Maybe it’s because the general walking population is less so the homeless stick out more, or because of the mild weather, or because Giuliani really did make an impact in New York, for better or worse.
Number of stars I’d give our hotel: 4 out of 5
I really liked where we stayed, Hotel Kabuki. I’ve read reviews complaining about the small rooms, but I thought ours was fine. It was also very clean with great bedding and cool Japanese-style decor. The bath is traditional Japanese with a closed off extra-deep tub/shower area.
I didn’t take a bath but I showered in the part outside the tub, and unfortunately the water doesn’t drain very well. The floor should be slightly slanted so that the water runs into the drain instead of pooling on the sides. But maybe you’re not supposed to take extended showers in that area of the bathroom. Maybe it’s just for rinsing off after a soak in the tub.
Our room had sliding glass doors with a little balcony. It was fun to stand out there and enjoy the view:
The thing we had to remember was that the balcony was connected to our neighbor’s, of which we were reminded when their little white dog came trotting over and peeked in. It was so cute.
As for the area, I found Japantown to be fun. I’m a sucker for Asian convenience, grocery, and stationery stores. Plus this weekend was some sort of J-Pop festival so there was a fair, girls dressed up Harajuku-style for the grand opening of some store, and an all-girl Japanese punk rock band.
On top of that, Fillmore Street is very close by, full of cute shops and restaurants. We had breakfast had the Grove twice. It was super crowded both times, but the service was equally fast. By the time I got my mocha, the guy was bringing our food to the table. We had a simple eggs special – two eggs, toast, and a side of bacon. Yum! The first time I had sausage, which was very good too, as was the coffee and mocha.
The only downside to Japantown is that the convenience and grocery stores close early. I went out at 8:30 one night to get water, and the stores were already closed. I had to go into the mall (which is right next door) and get some bottles from this crepe place.
Number of hills we climbed up and down: a billion
Wow, it was killer! Especially around Nob Hill and that surrounding area. I didn’t know how the old people canes could do it without keeling over. What really got us was going downhill. Our shins were killing us.
Number of times I put on and took off my jacket in a span of 10 minutes: 10
I love this weather but it was sort of annoying to constantly be freezing one minute, then hot the next. And then at sundown it was really cold. Makes for good sleeping weather though.
And finally. .
Number of jobs MB got: 1
Yes, this is really happening! He starts September 1. Since getting a long-term apartment seems to be so difficult, we went with a four-month sublet in Nob Hill. It’s furnished so we don’t have to worry about that for a while, the building seems clean, and the apartment in good condition. There’s a washer/dryer in the building, and a Whole Foods a few blocks away (though SF blocks seem much longer than those in NYC). The owner also seems very nice.
As for whether it’s in “real” Nob Hill, or Lower Nob Hill, I think we’re on the northern edge of “Tender Nob” (thanks, Sitcomgirl ;)). While walking back from the Asian Art Museum to our hotel, I think I did notice like three prostitutes. Oh well. Lots to write about! And the place is just temporary till we find something more permanent.
Lots to get done before we move. MB’s going first, and I’ll be following at the end of September or beginning of October. While he’s working crazy hours and getting situated, I’ll finish up stuff here at work (haven’t given my notice yet) and take care of our apartment. I was a bit worried about what to do with our furniture, but I just spoke with my mom and she suggested moving our stuff to their house till we have a bigger place. I was hoping she’d volunteer that! We really don’t have much: a bed, two desks, a dresser, and a small kitchen table with two chairs. The bookcases are crappy, though if we’re moving a bunch of stuff, we might as well move those too.
Luckily for me JetBlue is having a special for the month that MB and I are apart: fly as much as you want for $600. I’ve already booked flights for three weekends in September, and still have yet to book my last one way, just don’t when I’ll be going yet. I know it’ll be killer to fly that much, but we’ll miss each other too much otherwise. Plus it gives me the chance to lug a whole bunch of stuff over on each trip.
I’m a little nervous about these big changes – not having a job, living in a new city where I don’t really know anyone – but I’m also excited. While I worry about having too much time on my hands, I’m also looking forward to about putting tons of energy into my writing.
YAY! Congratulations on MB getting that job!
Also, was “that crepe place” the one that is across from the Fukuyu (not sure about the spelling) Japanese restaurant? Because that’s my FAVORITE place ever.
Yeah! Congrats to MB for getting a job and this dream and experience of yours can become real! I’m so excited for you. So happy that you can take advantage of the JetBlue offer. So looking forward to your writing from SF even if I’ll miss your NYC posts.
Isn’t it so cool to have three different Japanese meals in a day? I’m so addicted to ramen in a great miso broth and fresh and springy noodles.
I thought of your adventures when I saw this blog article at 101 Cookbooks listing her favourite SF restaurant spots – http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/san-francisco-favorites-recipe.html
wow CONGRATS!!! I was out in the area two weekends ago and will be out there again over Labor Day weekend for weddings, and I just absolutely love it. The boy has always loved the area, and I always called him snobby for it, but now I can’t resist how beautiful everything is out there :)
I saw that JetBlue special too and thought how cool it is. too bad i can’t get away from work and go someplace every weekend. *sigh*
good luck with finishing up everything in NYC and the moving!!
thanks, everyone! i will pass on the congrats.
plue, i don’t think it was across from that restaurant. it was in the mall – the japan center? – and called belly good crepes.
wyn, thanks for that link! i like having so many recommendations in one place.
That is so exciting that MB got a job offer! What an exciting adventure!