Saturday, June 7, 2008

Welcomed to the Bay with outstretched arms

Time to leave the Big Apple and move on, one step closer to home. I miss the city, the metro, my friends there, both new and old. I miss its large, juicy, delicious burgers/pizza/tacos, the loud (and very funny) black people, the funky smells and sights of Chinatown, and the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. I miss Abe, one of the most relaxed (and hence, relaxing) people I know, who lives the perfect lifestyle, a beautiful balance between a job that he absolutely loves and the free time to enjoy the money he earns in the laid back, artsy borough of Brooklyn. I miss Kat, her boundless enthusiasm and positive thinking, her geekiness about photography, the cute way she mock cries for unfortunate happenings, and the strange way that we're able to talk about family, dreams, and other personal things so easily.

I miss New York.

Onward and forward now, taking a flight that lasts much longer than I'd think (I always thought east to west coast flights were like 3-4 hours!) and landing in the city with my favorite weather year-round --- San Francisco --- and one of my favorite friends, Jon. After lugging my gigantic, overweight pack onto the BART, crossing to the East Bay and then depositing it into Jon's car, I'm immediately assaulted by the most foul, disgusting, horrifying news to reach my ears in about a year.

Jon starts telling me he's playing World of Warcraft again.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

He starts telling me about daily quests that were added to help people make more gold, popping in for some quick 5-10 man instances once in a while, and leveling Cowcowmoo (Leslie's character) from 60-64 over the weekend. He doesn't stop telling me, despite my repeated outbursts of revulsion and outrage, about how fast and furiously fun his weekend was. Talk of WoW floods the car, Jon's mouth, a wide-open spigot, spewing a torrent of things I didn't want to hear.

Yeah right.

Not moments after I throw my stuff into his apartment, say hi to Bruce and sit down on the couch, Jon plops himself down on the big seat next to the couch and fires up his WoW ready laptop.

Moments after that, I break down and ask him where his discs are... *sigh*

San Francisco flew past like an easy breeze, lazily whisking itself around a few interesting things, but on the whole just passing time by. Not as whiz-bang as New York, but fun in its own, relaxing way.

Let's run down a few things done:
  • Rock Band with Jon, Leslie, Thom, and sometimes all 4 of us at once! I found out I love to sing! If only I knew more of these songs.
  • WoW with Jon, both of us leveling from 64-70.
A conversation we had in the car about WoW:
Jon: "A year is a decent break from the game."
Me: "WTF, that's just cuz you're PLAYING it now!"
  • Buying too much alcohol at BevMo. Jon calls me a "dumb son of a bitch" (really loudly, I might ad) because I didn't understand the importance of a good glass, and we proceed to bust up for days.
  • Heading to work with Jon one day, and then checking out this awesome place called Trappiste which serves over a hundred kinds of Belgium and trappiste beers later that afternoon. Cheese and cracker plate compliments all that delicious beer.
  • Going with Jon to a board game night at one of the specialty game stores in the area. I played a game that had to do with selling pieces of art, a game in the middle that had to do with amassing resources and building a cathedral, and Age of Empires III, the board game, which rewarded discovery and conquest of new lands as well as acquiring goods and men. Board games are such a strange beast. I end up playing however I feel at the moment and sometimes I just pick the really wrong strategy (AoE III, whoops!) and get hammered by all the other players, even though I'm like, in the last place. Cruelty, I say!!!
  • Talking to Jon about going out to eat in the city with Leslie and watching his world crumble around him. Jon really doesn't like the city for some reason, and will make it known TO EVERYONE how much he doesn't like the city and how much it's ruining his day thinking about how we might just go there to have dinner and a great time.
We went and had a great time anyway and Jon totally forgot about how bad the city is to him.
  • Lots and lots of Rock Band! Even once with Thom, Jon, Leslie and I, all rocking different instruments. What a freaking awesome game. Drums 4 lyfe!
  • Spending a great day going out to do some wine tasting at a cellar in Alameda and then heading out to walk the trail on land that used to be a landfill. And then seeing this:

It turns out local artists have come to this place creating all sorts of art out of the garbage out there. They even made some people and a dragon:

What a neat place to go walking around in!
  • Jon taking me to some amazing places to eat---a tiny tiny sandwich and soup shop where I had a delicious fresh sandwich with avocado, and Jon going for the scallop sandwich. Then, to Brazil Café, basically a stand in a parking lot with a crazy friendly Brazilian guy (possibly) handing out free mango shake tasters and putting together the best tri-tip sandwiches I've ever had the pleasure of wolfing down in front of all those hungry dogs at the landfill trail. Deeeelicious.
It's always a blast heading up to Nor Cal, soaking in the beautifully cool weather and hanging out with Jon and Leslie. Good times, good times!