OK so the donut shop seems to attract the crazies, or at least that was the Martin Luther King Day special. Maybe it’s not the cool 10-types-of-coffee hangout that I thought it was. I checked, and it does have that many coffees available. The folks on the street this morning: every outside table was taken at Cafe Roma even though it was around 40 degrees out. Each person at each table (this is like A Wrinkle in Time) was occupied by a guy in his late 20s/30s with black clothes, and a black hat or scarf. A couple of women were walking out of the Washington Square Park and heading to Chinatown I can only guess. “Hai le, hai le” which might be Cantonese, since I can’t figure out what that is in Mandarin. Just asked a friend and she had no idea. “Hai” is a kind of “ok, good” and “le” is the end particle, so it could be a kind of filler phrase like “sure, right”. Who knows.
There are some really nicely mosaic’d cafe tables outside of Calzones, one of the restaurants that’s pretty cheesy and touristy. This weekend I got a guy from Milan to update me on the cool North Beach/authentic places. Mostly what I thought, Molinari’s ravioli, that most of the guys in the cafes are actualy Mexican (except for steps of rome). Aquavelli or something meaning “watercolor” is a great Italian restaurant, he was saying. Just tried to find it on CitySearch and didn’t see anything.
Took a long walk by the Embarcadero the other night. Police patrol that, that was interesting, they actually drive on the embarcadero, not on the road right next to it. Good walk: turn down Francisco in North Beach, it’s a gradual climb. You go by some really nice cosy looking houses perched on Telegraph Hill. Keep walking until the road ends, go down a kind of modest set of stairs right to Pier 23 area. It’s a block or so between Telegraph Hill and the bay. There are some interesting markers on the ground about all of the ships that were shipwrecked there (with a map!) and also the beginning point of about 4 railroad lines, sitll preserved in this corporate office campus square type place.
I was thinking about how cool that walk is, then looking up Powell street from Columbus and that looks like a really interesting walk as well. Each intersection on the way to work is a 3-way, so there are 6 different walking routes. I walk about 15 blocks. So many potential cool urban hikes!