gwalla (gwalla) wrote,

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Wandering in SF

Today was mostly spent in San Francisco. I went in to the Northern California Media Workers' Guild to get some information on my previous employment at the Chronicle for some job applications I'm filling out. My memory for stuff like that sucks—I can't remember dates and the like (hell, half of the time when somebody asks my age I have to calculate it from the current date, which my watch nicely provides for me, and my birthdate, which I can remember...usually). Anyway, I'd planned to have lunch at Japantown, but my mom (who works for the Guild) found the food she'd brought from home to be pretty bad, so she suggested we get lunch together. We trekked down to the Metreon, and ate at Sanraku. I had ten-zaru soba, mom had plain zaru soba, and we shared an order of 6 tekka maki. The meal was excellent: the tuna in the tekka maki was soft and tasty, and the tempura that came with the ten-zaru soba was fried just right, with a thin, crispy coating of batter that wasn't too greasy. The shrimp tempura was fantastic—very sweet shrimp. My only complaint is that they don't provide grated daikon to mix into the zaru soba broth, but that's pretty minor.

Afterwards, she went back to the office, and I walked up to Geary and caught a bus (immediately—good timing) upto Japantown. I browsed around Kinokuniya Bookstore for a bit, and almost bought a couple of books on sumo and kendo, but resisted the urge. The model shop was closed for some reason. I browsed around one of them music stores, resisted buying a Cowboy Bebop soundtrack or any J-hip-hop (I'm really curious), and admired the Ultraman figure collection in a gift shop window. I also looked around Japan Video for a bit, but that place has gotten really depressing. It used to be stocked almost entirely with imported tapes, including a large anime collection, many of which were of series obscure in the states. Now they still have a large anime collection, but it's almost all been replaced with English-translated DVDs. So I can't find stuff that hasn't been translated yet or stuff that probably won't get translated there anymore. Argh. I got a passionfruit shave ice from the taiyaki stand and left.

Before I left home, my dad suggested I check out the Asian Art Museum in its new digs (the old main SF public library building, remodeled). It's been a while since they reopened, but I never got around to going. I walked down to Civic Center from Japantown (partly for the exercise, and partly because the only bus route I know is the 83 that runs up Geary and down O'Farrell—not much help here). The museum is very impressive. I started at the top floor and tried to just go through it in order, but I hadn't even made it through a quarter of that floor's collection before a security guard tapped me on the shoulder and told me they were closing in five minutes. Dammit. Well, it was already late in the day when I went in, but still. I didn't get to see any Japanese stuff, but I saw a lot of interesting Indian artifacts.

After that, I headed back to Metreon, and the Portal One arcade/bar. I played some TMNT and Bubble Bobble in their "retro games" room, then bellied up to the bar for a whiskey sour and shot the shit with a bartender about the how business picked up since they got in new games (when Metreon first opened, the arcade was called "The Airtight Garage", and had a Jean "Moebius" Giraud theme. All of the games were original—but only one, Hyperbowl, was a hit.) and how one of the announcements on the screens had a typo ("Welocome Dublin High School!"). A little buzzed, I played some King of Fighters until a group of Korean guys took turns switching off until they'd beat me so they could challenge each other on that machine.

I left Metreon and walked down to Stacey's Books, where I browsed a bit, and then headed home. My train arrived right as I reached the platform—the gods of public transit were smiling on me today, I guess.

My legs hurt.

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