how to be asian
So finally, I shall recap on what had happened on our second day of perusing San Francisco.
After a very restful evening (about 10hrs of sleep), we were finally headed on our way into the city. With our trusty guide and first-night-hosts, Chi Tuyen and Elijah, we hopped onto the Bart and rode it all the way to Union Square.
We checked into our chic hotel, The Chancellor, and proceeded to lunch with my Aunt Nikkie, Uncle Vu, and their kids, Cathleen and Nathan, along with Chi Tuyen and Elijah. Perched on the top floor of the Macy’s building overlooking Union Square, we had a wonderful meal at the Cheesecake Factory. We shared the most wonderful slice of red velvet cheesecake ever!!!
After lunch, the family departed and Marianne and I were left to do some damage to the city. We jumped on a public bus (yes, the second time I have riden public transportation in this trip alone) and navigated our way to the festival happening in Japantown. Lots of people, food, and shopping was had; especially in the $1.50 store where we snatched up quite a few trinkets to bring home. We ate fresh mochi, green tea ice cream, and perused the many Japanese-infused stores including a bookstore, kimono store, among many others.
One of the highlights of wandering Japantown was the little gem of a store that we stumbled across when we walked around a block while waiting for our bus. It was a little, dark store with hardly any merchandise, but oh man was the merchandise great. Cashmere jackets, wool coats, cotton shirts, everything was so well cut and made-to-measure. I will certainly go back one day when I hit the lottery and buy up the whole store. And what adds more to the intrigue is the inability for Marianne and I to come up with its name.
We eventually got back to Union Square and decided to casually walk the streets again and do some window shopping. Before we knew it, we had casually walked into Chinatown. (Really, it was all a coincidence, we had no predilection of where we were going) As in any other Chinatown all we did was shop. In and out of stores, touching every little thing that interested our curiosity, and laughing at all the dirty little things that come out of such a country, we took our time and enjoyed being a tourist. An unexpected surprise was when Marianne wanted to go into a random handbag store and we ended up finding a huge pile of Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Coach, Gucci, and anything else you can name all over the floor and walls. It was an atrocity to stumble across; however, CoCo Chanel did say, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.”
One mission I had while in Chinatown was to find the dark, narrow alley of which resided the most wonderful bakery in the world – The San Francisco Fortune Cookie Company. While Marianne was being occupied in a real-hole-in-the-wall Chinese ghetto boutique with come pretty kitschy stuff, I called up the Aunt and got the directions to this dangerous location. Little did I know, it was just up the street and there was a large group of tourists who were cramping the place and killing its real-hol-in-the-wall-ness. Nevertheless, I got my cookies (a whole 4 bags) and went on my way. We regrouped and took the bus back home to Union Square.
When we finally got back to Union Square, we finished the evening with a nice sandwich dinner at a 50s-esque diner and encultured ourselves with magazines at the Borders next door to our hotel until they kicked us out. Pooped from all the walking and asian culture that we had consumed that day, we called it a night and rested for the next day of adventure.