I’ve mentioned before this past year has been the first time I’ve really been on my own in a city where I don’t know too many people. So I’ve had to learn a whole new level of independence.
Part of that is developing my own routines. During the work week it’s easy. I go to work, I come home, I work out (sometimes). Weekends and holidays are more of a challenge. Sure, I write and hit the gym, but that doesn’t take the whole day.
While I’m sure Oakland has a lot to offer, what I’ve been doing is going into San Francisco to tool around, even if just for a few hours.
I’m one of those weird people (weird at least in California) who doesn’t have a car. So what I do is walk the 2+ miles to the BART station. Going there isn’t bad since it’s all downhill, but that means of course it’s uphill coming back, and I usually have a backpack of heavy groceries. At least it’s really good exercise.
Westfield San Francisco Centre
It probably seems ridiculous to come here when I have all of SF to explore. But it’s easy to get to from the BART, it has some good food, and you know what they say: you can take the girl out of the mall, but you can’t take the mall out of the girl.
I’ll usually get lunch at Ajisen Ramen, which is a chain but still pretty good:
After running some errands, I might treat myself to a red velvet ice cream from Cako (delish) and get reflective at the reflecting pool at the Yerba Buena Arts Center, which I’ve mentioned is one of my favorite places in SF:
New Korea House is a little overpriced, but at least you get all those yummy sides and delicious sujeonggwa, a kind of cold cinnamon drink, afterward.
Another one of my favorite Japantown hangouts is YakiniQ Cafe. They have free wifi so it’s a great place to work, although it does get jampacked on the weekends. Their macarons are pretty but meh. I do however love their honey yuzu tea. So refreshing, especially after salty bowl of ramen or mandu guk.
Sometimes when I’m feeling extra generous, I’ll treat myself to a movie at the Sundance Kabuki. It’s my favorite theater in the Bay Area, between the reserved seating, nice environment, gourmet level snacks, and quality movies.