SAN FRANCISCO

Back to SF | Part 8: Union Square + Chinatown

April 26, 2015

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On Sunday we met up with a large group of friends for dim sum at Yank Sing, had after-brunch coffee near Yerba Buena, and then checked out the (then) newly-opened Target in Soma. How long had I waited for that stupid Target to open when I lived in SF? Of course it would open after I left. We ate a late dinner at Super Duper on Market Street with one of the only friends willing to go out on a Sunday evening.

With the wedding out of the way, and having seen most of our friends, we found ourselves with a free afternoon. And once more we weren’t quite sure what to do. If we were still living in SF we probably would have hung out at home on our crummy little deck with no privacy, cooked outdoors, read books, and listened to music. Maybe a visit to the neighborhood diner for coffee and pancakes. But as visitors — as not-quite-tourists — we felt obligated to do something.

We drove to Noe Valley, past a house where I once lived, and grabbed some Turkish coffee at Phil’s. Afterward we had lunch at a friend’s restaurant near the ferry building and then, because we were somewhat in the neighborhood, walked around Chinatown. It started to rain, then poured, so we tucked away into a crowded gift shop, bought some flimsy umbrellas and passed the time looking for kitschy souvenirs. We dashed outside into the stormy, rainy streets and of course now that we had umbrellas, it stopped raining.

From Chinatown we walked to Union Square. This part of town held a certain strange comfort to me. I worked only one BART stop from the Powell Street station and came here often, sometimes during lunch, mostly after work to blow off steam. When Macy’s had it’s sales, C and I met up down here for shopping therapy and late night eats. It’s weird for a touristy part of town known for shopping to hold such a soft spot in my heart but for some dumb reason it does. The Macy’s windows decorated at Christmas with adoptable kitties from a local shelter. The few times we ate at Cheesecake Factory because it was so out of place and so novel. The most awesome free running club that met at the Nike store (if you’re in town and like running, I cannot recommend this enough). I spent a lot of alone time here, in my own head, wandering around.

And — not far from here, ‘us’ memories — Fleur de Lys (also now closed) was where Sly and I went on our first date. The mysterious little jewelry shop in the O’farrell parking garage — where we had my engagement ring re-sized because it was a)one of the only jewelry shops opened the Sunday after we were engaged and b)because the dbag jeweler up the street wouldn’t resize the ring because we didn’t buy it from them.

After the rain blew over and the sun popped through the clouds we went to the (then) newly-opened Uniqlo (which had replaced my beloved DSW), and walked around Union Square in search of more dinky souvenirs.

MORE FROM THIS SF TRIP

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
Souvenirs from SF

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