A Day in the City

Ted and I are both fortunate enough to be able to take the week off between Christmas and New Years, and it may be my favorite week of the year. Don’t ask me about that when I take time off in the summer, because I may change my mind, but for now, let’s say this is the best. The lead up to Christmas is one of hustle and bustle, with hurrying here and there, buying gifts, going to parties, wrapping gifts, sending cards, decorating the house, making latkes (for Hanukkah, which we also celebrate, because we’re atheists and can do whatever we want), enjoying Stollen Bread on St. Nicholas Day (which we also celebrate, because we’re atheists and can do whatever we want), baking Christmas cookies, etc. etc. It’s a lot of fun, but in reality, it’s also a lot of work. The week after Christmas, however, tends to be a week when very little work gets done, people are still mostly in a good mood, you can probably get a reservation at a decent restaurant, and if you avoid the after-Christmas mayhem at the department and big-box stores, it’s pretty low key. It’s a chance to regroup and relax. I love it.

One thing we did during that week off was to go into San Francisco (aka, the City). We started off with brunch at a place we saw on Check Please, Bay Area. It’s not a fancy place by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a greasy spoon diner, the likes of which we don’t really get out here in the burbs. But the reviewers all loved it, and were doing some big talking about the Rib Eye used in the steak and eggs, so we wanted to give it a try. Ted and I actually tried to go there a month or so ago, but they’re closed on Sundays, so we ended up at another greasy spoon down the street.

Ted ordered the Steak and Eggs, which he said was better quality than the joint down the block, but somehow, he liked the meal better at the other place. How can that be? No idea. It was a good steak, though.
Maya had the French Toast, which she really enjoyed.
I had the French Dip, which was delicious. You could tell that it was really good quality meat. I was so excited by the stupid potato thing, though, that I forgot to take a picture. (as if anyone needs to see a picture of my French Dip sandwich. Blogging is weird.)
The Silly Spud, if you didn’t click the video, is a potato skewered and twisted, deep fried and served hot, sort of like a cross between a french fry and a potato chip. It comes with all different kinds of flavors.
We went for plain, wanting to try the basic potato first before trying any flavors. My review? Meh. I’d rather have either a potato chip (more crispy) or a french fry (that tender inside), but this didn’t seem to combine the best of both worlds. It was more the worst of both worlds. I wouldn’t try it again. Overall, though, I liked Manor Coffee Shop. I don’t know that I’d drive 40 minutes a 3rd time to try it, but if I were in the neighborhood and in the mood for a burger, a French Dip, or steak and eggs, I might give it another shot. Oh, and if Santa didn’t make it to your house on Christmas Eve, it’s because he fell through their roof, and was still stuck there the following Tuesday.
After brunch, we went downtown to see the current exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, Maharaja, The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts. They didn’t allow pictures in that exhibit, though they did in other parts of the museum. It was interesting to see how colonialism seemed to bring a new level of hedonism to the royals of India. They always lived in splendor, but after the British took over, their roles became more symbolic than useful, and they seemed to deteriorate into a worthless group, mostly bent on fine living and partying. Much like the British royals of today, I expect. The Asian Art Museum moved to its current location maybe 10 years ago. It was located closer to our neighborhood, in Golden Gate Park, when we lived in SF. Now it’s in the old City Library, which is a gorgeous building. Kind of strange to walk the gallerias and remember studying there in college.
There was another exhibit, The Maharaja and Me, by a talented artist named Sanjay Patel, that was a lot of fun. Patel is a cartoonist working at Pixar, and his paintings looked like graphic novels in their modern flair, though the writing style wasn’t graphic novel-y.

Here are a few examples.
I really enjoyed the show. Maya really wanted this last picture in poster form for her wall. Ganesh is just so cute, right? Sadly, they only had the poster in a book of posters, and she didn’t want to spend $25 on the whole thing. Too bad he doesn’t sell just the Ganesh poster, because I’d buy it for her online if I could.

After the museum, we decided to walk across Civic Center Park to City Hall. San Francisco City Hall is beautiful, and if you’re going to get married in a City Hall somewhere, I highly recommend it. We walked around, remembering when we were there getting our license and blood tests back in ’93, and saw a lot of brides hanging around, waiting for their turn. I didn’t want to be too invasive, but I did take a couple of pictures.
Ted says that last one is going on his book jacket, if he ever writes a book.

It was a great day. I like traveling a lot, though I’m not as fond of flying as I once was. But when you live so close to such a beautiful city, why go elsewhere? There’s so much to see here, from little neighborhood restaurants, to wonderful museums, world class restaurants, and amazing views. I pink puffy heart San Francisco.

4 thoughts on “A Day in the City

  1. Holy crap, that is a huge steak. And the potato thing seems way overpriced to me; I can get almost 15# of good russets for that price here in NEO, though no fancy spirally thingy. I do love a good potato. But I’m with you–I’d rather have it nice and fluffy like baked or snappy like a chip. Don’t make me wish it were one or the other. Do you like malt vinegar on thick-cut, natural fries? MMmmmm. Now I’m in a Crave.

  2. Nance: it was a huge steak, but once all the fat is cut out, it’s not as big as you’d think. Plus, when you’re hungry, it’s easy to gorge on something like that. 🙂

  3. Haven’t been by in awhile. Slipped out of blogging and into a new name (and anonymous blog). That Steak and Eggs is to die for. I wish I could start my day that way once in awhile.

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