Orientation and exploration

I’ve traveled enough to learn that I need to walk around in a new place to get the geography clear in my head, because otherwise I feel lost and uncomfortable. So yesterday I walked from the hostel to Chinatown and back, then around again through the city center area. This worked; I feel like I know where I am now.

Chinatown was sort of under- and overwhelming at the same time. Grant Ave. had clusters of gawking tourists, cheap import shops, some interesting collectibles and antiques, and a lot of restaurants with people outside waving menu flyers.

Stockton has a different sort of crowdedness: little old Chinese men and women buying fresh fish and roast chickens and unidentifiable (to me) dried things. I had planned to get lunch in the area, but after wandering around a bit I realized I had no way to work out which restaurants were any good (having failed to write this info down before heading out), so instead I wandered into a bakery and bought a couple of buns. The yellow bean and ginger one was really interesting, but I couldn’t finish it. The unfilled pineapple bun worked out better.

Afterward, more wander wander until I was tired enough to come back to the hostel for a nap.

In the evening I met up with some of the Podcast Hotel crowd at the JPG Magazine gallery opening/party.

We hung out at the gallery for a while, then carpooled over to Velvet Cantina in the Mission for dinner. Lots of fun conversation with John, Alex, and Marshall about social media, reputation systems, and general internetty stuff.

Today’s plan is to go check out the market by the Ferry Building, then head up to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, after which I will probably want another nap and a shower. And then maybe I’ll crash the Podcast Hotel wrap party.

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