A Saturday in Fog City
The things that happen on a Saturday in San Francisco.
Saturday, July 15, 2017. Exactly a month before I go back home to South Carolina. I’m already mad at the pilot for having the nerve to take me back.
The day started later than I expected. I woke up around 9 AM but didn’t get up until around noon. I had plans with Mary and Anand that involved going back to Dolores Park in The Mission by 2:30 PM. I also wanted to try a siphon-brewed coffee at Blue Bottle on Mint Street beforehand so I eventually got ready and hopped on BART to the city.
I got off at Powell Station — one stop past Montgomery St. Station, my stop for work. I walked about 5 minutes to Blue Bottle and ordered a cold brew coffee. However, since I have the greatest luck in the world, they had run out just before I got there. The barista gave me a half a cup of cold brew and said I’d get my actual cup as soon as they brewed it.
While I waited, I looked around and appreciated the fact that I was in the physical store. I’ve ordered whole beans from Blue Bottle before and now I was actually there. It’s the same feeling I get whenever I walk past a tech company whose software or products I’ve used.
When I lived with my friend Thelmon last year, I used to brew coffee and pour it over a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. The man sitting across from me at Blue Bottle was using a spoon to scoop out the ice cream from his almost-finished affogato.
I headed back to the BART station to catch a bus from Powell Street to Misson Dolores Park, which Anand and I affectionately call “Dolo.” I was looking at Google Maps, which told me the bus was arriving in two minutes. The bus never came. I watched as Google Maps updated the time for the next bus. I walked around to different bus stops — the 7, 5, 38R, 76X, 14R, 70 and F all came, but no J. Which sucks since it’s my namesake.
The traffic was absolutely ridiculous. I stopped thinking about the bus and just watched drivers’ faces as they drove past or inched through crosswalks as people tried to cross with one second left on the walk sign. Oh, the despair. I opened the Uber app and checked the fare from Powell St. to Dolores Park. About five bucks if I pooled. My Millennial conscience kicked me: “Check Lyft instead.” Twenty-four bucks. I’ll buy responsibly some other time when it doesn’t quintuple my bill.
I stood at my pickup location and, again, watched as my Uber trip started. Even though I was still standing on the sidewalk. I canceled the trip and called another Uber. This time, I was actually picked up, by a woman of Persian descent named Rohzia. We talked about the unbelievable traffic and the fact that she had eaten Chick-fil-A the day before. That led to a conversation about going back to the south and if I would come back to SF after graduation.
We picked up another rider, a Nigerian woman on her way to a goat meat party. Interesting. The things that happen on a Saturday in San Francisco. The party, which she didn’t seem too enthusiastic about, was centered around four ill-fated goats. Once we dropped her off, Rohzia admitted she understood the cultural significance of the goats and told me about a custom from her culture that included feasts after the slaughter of a lamb.
“A sacrificial lamb,” I said.
“Exactly. Although now I don’t eat lamb. I’ll just take the chicken.”
I got to the park ridiculously late and weaved my way through the crowd, which was many times larger than it was two Sundays ago when Anand, Fayethe and I went. I found Mary, her sorority little, Anand and his friend and we had impromptu photo shoots.
I heard drums and rapping and located a yellow to orange sunkist-fade bass drum not too far away from me. I walked over and asked if I could play as someone else got off the drum throne. I was given a noncommittal “Sure,” from the owner of the drum kit before he asked if I could play hip hop.
I didn’t answer him. I started playing and the rappers, after their initial shock of having an actual drummer playing with decent rhythm, started a cypher between the three of them. For not having played in just about two months, I wasn’t bad. They seemed to be having fun and we gathered a small crowd before I quit playing.
I didn’t tell Anand and Mary where I was going. I saw them looking around for me and when I made eye contact with Anand his lit up and ran over to get some footage. The bromance is already strong.
We stayed for another thirty minutes or so before the heat got to us. We went to a small bar, decided food was more important than more beer and started walking to a restaurant. Mary guided us, got us lost and we never found the place. We made reservations at a restaurant with a two-hour wait in The Mission before calling an Uber to take us back to the Financial District. The Uber driver ignored ten calls from a woman who obviously need to get in contact with him. We told him to answer the phone but his response was “I’m busy.”
We ate at Panta Rei, an Italian restaurant a couple blocks away from the office. The heat had taken a lot out of us, besides Anand, we were all feeling much better after eating. We said goodbye to his friend and went to the office so I could pick up a package I had delivered to the office. Of course, I couldn’t actually pick it up without a mail key so it’ll have to wait until Monday. Anand walked home and Mary and I made our way to BART. I got home, made sure Mary was safely off BART, watched the pilot of Mad Men for the sixth time and fell asleep.
What a day.
Thanks for reading.