While it’s a little late, it’s finally time for a brief rundown of my weekend in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the Sunday early A.M. return always leaves me exhausted, and when combined with post-trip tasks such as sorting through laundry, mail, and e-mail, the thought of processing thoughts on the trip fall to the wayside.
Actually arriving in San Fransisco, and to my hotel in particular, was the most challening component to the trip. A brief detour in the neighborhoods around Cesar Chavez Street off the 101 led me around a less-than-savory area of town, before I gave up and headed on what I believe was Route 80. Thankfully, a turn-off led me to an exit for the neighborhood I was looking for, albeit with some twists, turns, and good old California-style U-turns along the way.
Knowing I had a few office tasks to attend to upon arrival, I booted up my laptop and took out the remote access card…only to find out that the remote access card was dead. Effectively blocking me from accessing the work network only guaranteed frustration and a trip in to the office on Sunday afternoon, much to my dismay. Though, as I later found out, there is a procedure available in these instances. Not that that helped on Thursday and Friday.
Friday, I (finally!) was able to visit the Asian Art Museum. While the exhibits were quite impressive (IMO, the jade collections were arranged wonderfully and I personally love the tapestries from China and Korea), the remodeled building and the presentation style of the exhibits were the real highlight. The external yet enclosed escalator was a nice touch, and the airy and open-spaced first floor provided a sense of enlightment. The heavy emphasis on Buddhism both provided a common theme to connect the multitide of cultures, yet came at the expense of other ideas that could have been communicated through the exhibits.
The evening was filled with exhausted wanderings around San Francisco, both down to the Wharf and back again. I have to be honest, while many tourists to San Francisco seem to enjoy the wharf, I would limit its redeeming qualities to three things: the In ‘n’ Out burger, the Bay Tours, including Alcatraz, and the Musee Mechanqiue, now located down on Pier 43, though I may be wrong about the exact number. Otherwise, the Wharf could disappear and I wouldn’t shed any tears.
Saturday was the day of the Nihonmachi Street Fair, which contained a variety of performances and street vendors along Post Street outside Japantown. Several drum groups performed, much to my delight, and there were martial arts displays as well. I actually caught the end of one where a guy did a flying kick over half-a-dozen children in to several boards held up by members of his group. Amazing was an understatement. While in the neighborhood, I dropped by my two favorite stores to check if there were any new and wortwhile JPop CDs and Anime DVDs out. Sadly, though, nothing looked particularly compelling, which was a disappointment. Perhaps I’ll be able to find a copy of Love Psychedellico’s single that was released earlier this year. Or maybe they’ll issue a new album soon. I can only hope!
With several hours to kill before my flight, I decided to head down to the Shakespeare in the Park showing in Cuppertino. I was a bit unprepared for the style, which featured a strong cast of actors and actresses performing Love’s Labour’s Lost, but in a more modern styling. The costumes featured had more of a 60’s style to them and were combined with what was an impressive set, given this was occurring in the middle of a park. Sadly, I bolted after the first act to ensure I had sufficient time to make it to the airport.
What was a busy, tiring yet fun weekend was concluded on a note similar to my arrival: I left San Francisco without finding a single Krispy Kreme outlet. No globs of deep-fried sugary death for me…