Parade! and other fun things

I didn’t write a post yesterday, so now I have two days to catch up on. This might be long and picture-heavy.

I’m writing from a laundromat on O’Farrell called Joey’s. They serve ice cream, coffee, and sausages. The laundry prices seem competitive. And there’s wifi (yay!).

A few highlights from Saturday:

I started my day at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.

Then I took the streetcar to Pier 39.

A few piers down from there, I found a submarine.

Also:

Coin-operated gizmos.

My evening’s entertainment was dinner at Edinburgh Castle, which is a pub that serves fish & chips, delivered in paper wrappings from a little take-out place around the corner. There I met Derri, a canned-foods journalist from London, who was hanging out in SF for a couple of days after a conference. She was disappointed that the bartender had never heard of HP sauce or mushy peas. The fish & chips were authentically bland, but they have a decent selection of beer on tap.

Moving along to Sunday: my general plan was to go look at the bay some more, then wander through Japantown for a bit. The first part went as expected.

Fishermen, seagulls, a view of Alcatraz …

and people out for a swim?

This was about when I started wishing I could stay in town an extra week, go kayaking, check out SFMOMA, hang out at the beach getting sunburnt (oh wait already did that one). I’m on my last full day and there are still all sorts of things I’d like to do.

Next: Japantown. I had noticed a couple of things mentioning the Cherry Blossom Festival, but somehow I got it into my head that the festivities weren’t for another week.

I’m very happy to have been wrong about that. I spent two hours sitting around and watching the parade. There were kimonos. There were swords. There were cosplay outfits.

I even saw the mayor riding a Segway. (He hopped out of his car to ask the parade volunteer if he could try it, then zipped around the group in front of him at high speed. His security guys looked a little nervous about this.)

It was quite a party.

P.S. Can anyone tell me about the shrines several groups were carrying, like the one above? It seemed to be related to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Osaka-San Francisco sister city relationship. There were about 6 different groups carrying these, each chanting something different, but since I don’t speak Japanese, I don’t know what they were saying.

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One response to “Parade! and other fun things

  1. Fish n’ chips “authentically bland?”

    Authentically bland??!!!

    Gadfry Daniel! Those terms are mutually exclusive! They do not compute.

    The only conceivable explanation I can think of is they were not drenched in malt vinegar and swimming in salt – which is the way God meant for them to be eaten.

    You’re welcome. :)