We were like birds homing in on all of “our” old places that held so much meaning. The places where old memories were stored. The imprints left by our former lives. It was as if a deeper instinct drove us back to our old neighborhood, to Land’s End, to the Musee Mecanique, and now to Crissy Field. And I wondered, in the metaphysical cosmos sort of new age sense, if we weren’t actually returning, but if we were actually a part of the cycle of the place — that what initially drew us to these locations was the same magnetic pull that was guiding us there now, that had guided us there before, and that would guide us there time and time again. What is it that draws one thing to another in the first place? And does that same force continue regardless of time and distance?
We returned to Crissy Field on our last full afternoon in the city. It was yet another place with countless memories — trying to catch a fireworks show the first time I visited C in SF, the running club I met up with every Saturday, cold foggy mornings and hot coffee from The Warming Hut, The Race for the Cure C + I ran together, and of course our crawfish boil engagement party.
It seemed fitting to return to Crissy Field on our second anniversary, though we hadn’t exactly planned it that way. We were sort of in the neighborhood, fiending for coffee, and had time to kill before our anniversary dinner. We hung out in Crissy Field because it wasn’t too far away from the restaurant and I knew we could easily find parking.
Funny how one can live in a place for so long but never see the things one sees as a tourist. Had that little beach by the bridge always been there? Surely I had been but I couldn’t access any memory of it. We slipped off our shoes and walked on the cool, wet sand. A memory was triggered: I had been here before. And here I was again, this time with Sly. Then, now, here, there, old memories, new memories, past, present, future — they all mingled together so that no one part could exist without the others. Beyond coincidences, deep down everything felt somehow connected.
We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary with dinner at House of Prime Rib — the place where we first met over nine years earlier. It would take us another four years before we finally reconnected and start to date, but this was where it all began. Thank God we met at an old school SF landmark restaurant that has been around since the late 40s. When we walked in, it was as if nothing had changed — everything seemed exactly as I remembered. Except for us. The last time we were here together we didn’t know each other. Now we were returning as marrieds.
Our celebration continued with post-dinner drinks with a friend at one of the best tiki bars we have ever been to: Smuggler’s Cove. When we pulled up I felt a tiny pang of nostalgia as I instantly recognized this place as Jade Bar, the site of so many after work late night drinks. This time the change was welcome: stiff, deceptively strong, expertly mixed tiki drinks, glowing puff fish and rope-wrapped orbs of light dangling from the ceiling, rattan chairs with tropical print pillows, tropical shirt-clad mixologists — it felt as if we were inside the belly of a crumbling pirate ship. Sure I had memories at the old Jade, but this reincarnation was so much better.
This brings us to the end (finally! my drafts folder is empty!) of my sf posts from this trip. There will probably be a couple straggler/summary/related posts to follow, but for all intensive purposes this trip can be marked with the DONE stamp. Now I remember why I stopped midway through these blog posts — going back to that frame of mind and revisiting those old feelings again was emotionally exhausting at times. But it’s a relief to move on. Now I can finally tackle some other backlogged posts, though for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’ll save those for another time.
We now return to present day posts on Korea. Thanks for sticking around.
Back to SF // Part 1: In-n-Out + Union Square
Back to SF // Part 2: Glen Park + Our Old Home
Back to SF // Part 3: Tin Types + Sushi Sams
Back to SF // Part 4: Glen Canyon Park + Japantown
Back to SF // Part 5: Land’s End Trail + Sutro Baths
Back to SF // Part 5.5: That Time When the Hubs got Roofied
Back to SF // Part 6: Ferry Building & Farmers’ Market
Back to SF // Part 7: A Wedding in the Presidio
Back to SF // Part 8: Union Square + Chinatown
Back to SF // Part 9: Bi-Rite Creamery + Dolores Park
Back to SF // Part 10: Fisherman’s Wharf + Musee Mecanique
Souvenirs from SF