Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Chinatown and Top of the Mark

Posted by eemilla on October 17, 2009

On Wednesday, my honey dubbed me Drill Sergeant because I was determined to take in as much of the city as we could during our week stay (with days eaten by travel, wedding events, and weather) so before we had to get ready for the 40 minute BART ride to Pleasant Hill, we checked out Union Square and Chinatown.  My favorite part about San Francisco’s and Vancouver’s Chinatowns were the gates and the bilingual street signs (although Vancouver has a better gate).  I also loved how CitiBank and Bank of America gussied up their buildings (the Bank of America we drove past in the Castro actually had rainbow flags hanging in the lobby).  For his lunch and dim sum fix, my honey ate at the Four Seas; I did not partake as I was not yet hungry, but the service was abysmal.  Although we arrived at lunch, he only saw two dim sum trays before our time constraints required us to leave.  After several minutes of being by passed I gave my credit card to the hostess which she delivered to the wait staff; we waited another several minutes for someone to appear with the receipt.  A lady we had not seen arrived with our check, but rather than drop it she hovered over our table while my husband completed it.

SF Chinatown Gate

Gate guardian

Chinatown Street light

After all the waiting and watching him eat, I realized that I might not be eating for several hours (depending on the wedding reception fare) so we wondered around Chinatown making our way back to North Beach, but Italian wasn’t calling my name.  Somehow (I cannot be trusted to navigate), we missed Portsmouth Square but (walked several blocks north and out of the way and) found Washington Square and St Peter and St Paul Church so we caught a bus back down Columbus where I did take this neato shoot of Cafe Zoetrope and the TransAmerica Pyramid.

Cafe Zoetrope 26Sept09

Heading back to the apartment, we caught the California car that led us to the Top of the Mark which we had missed on our previous day’s itinerary as a drink spot.  I am glad we visited during the day as my honey took some gorgeous photographs of the city.  I enjoyed a lovely fourteen dollar Valley salad (baby spinach, grilled endive, Point Reyes Bleu, tomatoes, and candied walnuts)  along with my fourteen dollar a glass pinot noir.  I must say that the salad was delicious with a surprisingly generous portion, and my pinot noir was rather tasty (Gloria Ferrar).  I decided to forgo the $23 a glass Moet White Star (please note this bottle retails for around $60), but I did understand that I was paying for the breath taking views not whatever was being served.  In fact our server assumed we just wanted to take the pretty pictures as he brought us our drinks and the check before I had a chance to order lunch.

Grace Cathedral from Top of the Mark

Golden Gate Bridge from Top of the Mark

SoMa and Alcatraz from Top of the Mark

After such delightful daytime views, I insisted we return for evening views.  Unfortunately, the loudest New Englanders imaginable sat one table away recalling their days of drunken debauchery; however, I did get to sample a 12 year old Jameson pour with my molten chocolate cake.  The pour wasn’t as enjoyable as I wanted (it was more like scotch than my beloved Jameson), and the cake was dry and missing the super chocolate divinity of the last molten cake I enjoyed (thanks Rezaz).  My honey did enjoy his $13 Mojito more than his $10 chardonnay from our previous visit.

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