Saturday, June 07, 2014

Day 1: Sunset District San Francisco

Sunset District in San Francisco is beautiful. I was expecting "urban"; it looks like England small-town urban, not big city urban.

This morning, with little jet lag except for a head buzz, I left my AirBnB apt on 31st and Lawton and walked to the Safeway on Noriega to buy groceries. Despite rumors to the contrary, the supermarket has everything kosher I could possibly need, except meat. It is possible to find thousands of kosher products in pretty much any supermarket across America and Canada without any difficulty. The only problems will be meat and wine (this supermarket actually had kosher wine, as well as some Hebrew National hot dogs).

Dropped off the groceries and walked down Lawton to the beach. All of the houses are pastel and pretty. The streets are clean. The air is foggy and chilly. Birds chattering, little in the way of traffic, and everyone drives very slowly. At least half of the population appears to be Asian (Korean or Chinese, I'm guessing). On the streets with stores (Irving, Noriega), store after store has signs in both English and Chinese, with hundreds of Asian-style restaurants and Asian food markets.

Sunset District, Lawton St looking from 31st Ave

Street names are etched into the sidewalk. Street signs have house number ranges on them.

The beach was nearly entirely deserted with the odd jogger or two. It's clean and expansive.

Off the end of Lawton is the Pacific Ocean

One of my only fellow life forms on the beach

There were red rose singles dropped on the beach every thirty feet or so. Was this due to something happy or something gone awry?

I walked north and crossed over to Golden Gate Park, also very lovely in the corner that I saw.

Entrance to Golden Gate Park

In the park

I tried to get a SIM card in a Verizon store, but they don't sell SIM cards, only phones with plans. While waiting in line I struck up a conversation with a mom and teen who were buying a new iPhone 5S to replace their two year old iPhone 4S; the only way to renew their plan is to buy a new phone, apparently. I was already considering whether to spend money to replace my own tired one, and was looking at picking up a Samsung Galaxy S3 from Amazon. When I asked, they said that I could just have their old one for whatever I felt, since they would probably toss it out otherwise.

Sad. It's weird how these phones cost a huge bundle if you buy them unlocked but since they are given out for free with service plans they become valueless.  Even programs that encourage you donate old cell phones often just recycle or safely dispose of the materials in them (which is better than having them dumped in a landfill, I suppose).

I picked up a SIM from T-Mobile.

I also checked out the synagogue I will be visiting this shabbat. They are setting me up for dinner and having a communal lunch, as well as hosting a rabbi-in-residence.

Shabbat shalom.

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