Peter Lyons

May 13, 2011

Wicked Wiggling in San Francisco

Elise finished her finals last week and decided to go and visit Ed in San Francisco and invite me to join here. We arrived without issue Saturday morning. Ed picked us up in his pimpin' '91 Volvo wagon and we headed into town. Ed had an apartment viewing to go to in the mission, so we went along for that. It was interesting to watch the dynamic. There were quite a few folks looking at the place and a handful of applications submitted. Definitely a landlord's market. After that we hit Beretta for brunch. We had yummy and interesting pizza - my first foray into a pizza with an over-easy egg on it. There was also french toast and mint lemonade to be had. Next stop was Ritual Coffee. Elise had to get up crazy early to take her roommate to the bus station so she was needing her fix.

We strolled toward Dolores park, past Bi-Rite and there was no line, so we got some ice cream. I have been past this place several times and always the line has been too long. We ate our treats and then lounged and napped on the grass in Dolores park. Like last time, I got too much sun and now I have lobster arms. That evening we were joined by Emily and Lara for fantastic sushi in Cole Valley. A small unmarked shop operated by a husband and wife. The food was very good and there was a lot of it.

After that I left the group and shared a cab across town with Emily, heading on to Glen Park after we dropped Emily off. I hung out with the "Bad Ideas Committee" crew for a while and then went to stay at Pat's apartment. Sunday morning I slept in and then took the Muni bus over to Cole Valley, my trusty android phone helping me find the bus routes and stops. Ed had put us on the enormous 10-page waiting list at Zazie well ahead of time, so when I arrived we only had another 10 minutes or so to wait. We got a table on the backyard patio. I had delicious pancakes and shared some of Elise's omlette. After feasting we walked all the way through Golden Gate Park to the beach. We rode the bus back home and relaxed watching some "30 Rock" and "That Mitchell and Webb Look". Then we drove through dense traffic way out to Oakland to meet up with two of Elise's Peace Corps buddies at Burma Superstar. Again we had a mighty feast and it was delicious.

Monday I walked a good ways to Rock Nation cafe in the mission for a delicious breakfast of pancakes and eggs. I worked on my laptop in the morning alongside Marcia and Tanya. Around lunch Rebecca stopped by and chatted for a while. Then I was off to the other end of the mission to pick up the bicycle I rented via AirBnB. That afternoon I picked up my alto sax which I had stashed at Ed's and went into Golden Gate Park to do some playing under a tunnel, a locale very similar to the spot my sax quartet used to play in Cen tral Park in NYC. I played a good while. A woman stopped to listen for a little while and took a video on her iPhone.

I biked "The Wiggle" again back into the mission and stopped to climb at Mission Cliffs. While climbing, someone approached me and asked if I had lost a carabiner, handing me a small keychain carabiner they found on the floor. I had the key to the Kryptonite U-lock I was using for my bike clipped to a belt loop with a carabiner. However, the carabiner being handed to me was open and no longer had a key. Crap, I thought. We searched the gym floor for the key with no luck. I was envisioning having to buy a new bike since that would be cheaper than getting a locksmith to tackle the U-lock. I was somewhat bummed, but on my way out as I gathered up my stuff I found my carabiner with the bike key intact in my shoe. I hadn't left it on my belt loop after all. It seems someone found an identical black and silver keychain carabiner but it was just a coincidence. I was relieved.

Now it was after 10pm and I hadn't eaten since late breakfast so I grabbed a giant burrito and a Dos XX beer before crashing for the night.

Tuesday morning I ventured on my bike into the SOMA neighborhood, hoping to find a coffee shop where some startup techies hang out. I didn't quite land on the mark, though. After a quick breakfast waiting for the coffee shop to open at 10am, I took up residence at Wicked Grounds. I did some good coding and enjoyed the amusing scene. Then I biked back to the mission and met up with a friend Marty who gave me some tips for my OKCupid profile. Then again I biked the wiggle to Golden Gate Park and played sax. Then back again in time to meet up with Pat at Rosamunde. We had tasty sausages and beer and discussed his first day going in to work with black fingernail polish. Then I went back to Mission Cliffs for more climbing. It was a good and challenging session. My partner, whom I found via OKCupid, was keen on climbing harder and harder so we did a very tall 5.10b that goes to the peak of the pitched roof and eventually we both got up a tricky 5.11a corner route with lots of stemming and mantling. Then another easy time falling asleep after a long day.

Wednesday I went back to Rock Nation since they have good WiFi and a great menu. While my bike was locked outside of Mission Cliffs Tuesday night someone stole the handlebar grips, so I had to find a place to get those replaced. I did some coding, hit the bike shop to get new grips, returned the bike, and then took BART to the airport.

It was a really fun and full visit. I'll post some photos shortly after I get them uploaded.