November 5, 2006

Weekend in the Big City

E and I left the city for the suburbs years ago. The suburbs fit our personalities. And, I can't say that the 20 minute commute is something that I don't silently gloat about at work -- the majority of the lawyers I work with live in The City while working in The Valley. I feel their pain because I was ridiculed for doing the opposite while a student. My fellow students went out for bar nights while I sat in the commute. They slept while I drove to AM class. It was their turn to be the efficient ones. But, for the most part, when you compare me against 1st and 2nd-year associates in the valley, I'm continuing my role as an anomoly. I *gasp* choose to live on the *peninsula* just a few towns short of the perceived cultural wasteland of the South Bay. Mind you, I think they are wrong. I think there is just as much culture on the peninsula and in the south bay if you know where to look. But, then again, I'm biased.

Anyways, the merits of the peninsula and the south bay are not the point of this post.

This post is all about our San Francisco weekend. Every once in a while, we revert to our youthful San Franciscan high-rent, no-parking, angstier and more-cultured than thou days and spend a weekend in the city. It's always fun, nostalgic, and reminds us that there are many reasons why SF is considered the best city in the world by many (If it weren't for the fog and the artier-than-thous, I'd probably agree.)

So, this weekend, we did the whole shebang. It was awesome.

Saturday, we drove to the city and ate ourselves silly on Dim Sum. It was delicious. MG and V introduced us to Shanghai pork steam rolls for the first time. Soup! In a steam roll! Engineering at its finest, I tell you. Good thing they went to China last year -- better living through your friends' travels -- it's something I do my best to embrace whenever possible. Plus, we got to love the uncomfortable reality of being in the backdrop of what was slowly becoming someone's Wedding Buffet while wanting to continue eating at a restaurant that honestly scheduled the wedding set-up and Dim Sum hour close enough that you could be *that* table. And we were.

From there, I dropped E at the new Bloomingdale's portion of the Market & Powell Mall to buy us tickets to Borat. I drove towards Fisherman's Wharf where I couldn't find parking, so I filled the car with gas at the station across the street and and ran across to pick up my race packet for today's half marathon.

Borat was sold out before E could buy tickets. Story of our lives in SF -- never quite fast enough on the cool kids' draw. We're valley folk (dorky, nerdy, and wanna be cool...).

So, instead, we went to the Japanese Tea Garden. It was wonderfully relaxing and decadent to be tourists in our own region. We volunteered to take pictures of the Fijian family. We smiled at the Spanish group with their Castilliano accents. We drank strong green tea and tried not to eat snacks. We failed and were full before dinner.

For dinner, we met friends at a delicious and small word-of-mouth-only vegan sushi joint in the Mission (the 4 of them stuck to veggie fare, E and I like fish, thank you very much). The vegan eel substitute was good, although it didn't taste anything like Eel, not that the vegans would know.

From there, we had a drink with friends at their home in SF and drove home so I could sleep before today's race.

Today, I had high hopes of being fast. Last weekend, I ran a leisurely 2h10 at the Silicon Valley Half marathon. I figured I had tons of juice to spare. My hopes were dashed when I parked 2 minutes after the start. I sprinted to the start line and breathlessly ran my chip over the start and hit begin on my garmin. My garmin never even had a chance to sync with the satellites, so my garmin functioned as the world's largest stop-watch. I never had a chance to intelligently plan my race after sprinting to the start for 3/4 of a mile. At the end, I ran 1h57ish according to my watch.

This year's race hurt (physically) much less than last year's. But I also had much less humility. I honestly thought 1h50 was a reasonable goal. When you are 2 miles out at 1h37 and exhausted with uphill miles in front of you, it becomes VERY clear that you are an idiot for thinking 1h50 was gonna happen.

So, while I'm not in as much pain as last year, my pride hurts. I really would have liked to clear 1h55 and think I should try to do that before my marathon. Whatever. I ran across the bridge on both sides. I ran through the Presidio. I enjoyed some of the most gorgeous views that our wonderful city by the bay can offer. So I'm content.

And I can't wait for next year. Weekend of City Happiness -- HERE I COME.

No comments: