End of School + San Francisco
Summer school kicked my ass. History(taught by a mean professor), diff eq, and engineering physics 2 crammed into 2.5 months really isn't that fun, but I gained a valuable skill coming out of all of it. I learned how to focus.
Before this Summer I was a wreck, I couldn't look for a thing longer for 30 minutes, but now I can sit down, learn, and get things done. It's kind of empowering.
The day before I left to San Francisco, Paul and Deana treated Nicolai and me to a 12 course meal at Qui, which included the best bottle of white wine that I've had. I feel kind of bad because Paul thought I was leaving Austin for good, but... I'm still here.
-San Francisco Trip
2 weeks before finals, I decided that I wanted to take a trip to SF. I didn't plan where I was staying until after I arrived.
The trip lasted 10 days, and I ended up staying at a mix of 4 friend's places, airBnB, and my brother's place for only 1 day.
I was chastised by someone for not planning the trip before I left, and this post serves as a response to that.
Here are pictures with captions:
On the first day I had to wait for Dennis to get off work, and was lucky enough to find The Little Spot Cafe, a small unassuming coffee shop, where I could recharge all my electronics. When I arrived this dog was sun bathing in the doorway, and then joined me on the couch.
I visited Mission Workshop, where they make high quality bicycle bags. Ironicly I don't have any of their products, but the last time I came to SF I had a good time visiting the store, so I decided to go again.
I found John Prolly's photography book from his show earlier this year. Also the guys working were super chill and gave me a beer, so I gave one of them a Fast Folks cycling cap to return the kindness.
Haus, a really chill coffee shop in the misssion.
The barista's dog kept trying to come inside. Poor guy.
I liked his hat.
A mural which depicts the drastic change of The Mission from humble Mexican immigrants, to ironic hipsterism. In reality though I think The Mission is still a vibrant place full of culture, and that the 2 social classes have mixed pretty well.
Taqueria Cazadores for an amazing burrito. Highly highly recommended.
I asked the lady working at the taqueria for some tips on where to visit, this is her list! Sadly I didn't have enough time to go to any of the places. Perhaps in the future.
Burritos in SF are better than those made in Austin.
A pic from within the ultra high security, super secret stealth coworking space called Runway (might have to remove this).
Being a normal person.
Late night munchies at an overly expensive 24 hour place downtown.
Met up with Jaime, an old friend from computer science at UT for some Froyo while she was in town for business. She has a sweet job at Salesforce, and decided to relocate to Seattle. She highly recommended to go to Tartine for bread, which actually inspired her to learn baking in hopes of one day starting a bakery. Sadly... I didn't get a chance to go to Tartine in the end.
To be honest I didn't particularly like the yogurt at Yogorino the taste of the tart yogurt is very subtle, and I would rather just have condensed milk than the white chocolate sauce. Call me a simple man.
My friend William, who I met through photography at UT was interning at Yelp. He snuck me in to play some games of ping pong where I found another one of my friends, Michael... who I had no idea worked at Yelp or did computer science at all.
Yelp celebrating their Brazil launch.
They have no idea who I am. I have been interviewing with Yelp these past few weeks, but I didn't make it to the onsite interview :/.
Stumbled into Dynamo Donuts. Which was a block away from William's place.
Press, a book shop/gift store which had a collection very similar to Farewell books, but with local zine's from the area. Visiting bookstores is a great way to get a feel for the area... I mean it's a curated collection of the published culture there. Why not use them to your advantage?
Picked up a fresh Ontario. Dopest magazine I've ever read. Here's their tumblr.
Do you need to do something about the way you feel? Copped this zine, another good buy.
I know this sounds snobby but, I seriously had the best coffee of my life at Blue Bottle.
I forgot the name of this blend, but it had wonderful date and brown sugar notes. I really like the siphon coffee since it allows you to bring smalls portions of your drink to room temperature so that you can taste more of it. Here's how they prepare it.
Walking around the area where Blue Bottle was at, I found a Vietnamese restaurant with a super long line called Tu Lan. Highly Recommended.
Tobang, a great Korean BBQ joint near Santa Clara.
Ramen at Orenchi in Santa Clara. The broth of the tonkotsu is milky and full bodied, but definitely on the lighter side in comparison to other ramen shops. It goes very well with crushed garlic. I'd recommend ordering the karaage fried chicken also, which was probably the best karaage I've had.
Everyone in Castro had dogs. It's a nice place.
Dimsum at a place called Mama Ji's. Our party had 6 people, and a dog... and they were able to accommodate us.
The best dog accessory I've seen ever. A must buy.
We found the infamous truffle man. Those packed a punch.
Dogs of castro.
Pakwan, for some pretty good Indian food after hanging out at Delores park all day.
Turns out the infamous Peter Tsai was in SF for VM World, we met up and ended up going to look at street art.
Downtown / Tenderloin. It has to be noted that there are a ton of homeless people and "sketchy" areas in SF. It smells like piss... everywhere. One could argue that these areas give SF some "character" though.
Chicken wings at SO are legit. I think the rest of the menu is quite bland however.
After eating we went to a clothing store in Haight for a weird game of ping pong where people form a circle around a table, and walk around it while rallying. The final 2 people then play a game to 3. I only won 1 round despite taking ping pong lessons throughout high school.
Ending the night with drinks at an Asian bar -_-.
The miso ramen at Shalala is a great option if you're by Castro St. in Mountain View Very complex broth, which comes complete with butter and corn. Miso ramen isn't usually as "heavy" as tonkotsu, but the variety of toppings still makes it a very interesting and fun dish to eat.
Visited Southtown arcade. Laggy setups... and casuals galor.
After not seeing her much in college, I met up with Helen at Pacific Brewing Company Here's a really blurry picture, but I like it since she's smiling. She asked me, "Do you think everything you're doing is stereotypical of an Asian? The bicycles, food, and photography?"
Is it? Where are the other people then??
I got to hangout with Derek who now works at Menlo VC. We hadn't seen each other in 3 years, and it was like nothing had changed.
He works his ass off everyday, and didn't have time to eat out on most nights, so we just got take-out. That tikki masala in the picture was the BOMB.
We went to a talk hosted by Menlo VC about practices in recruiting and employment. The panel had differing opinions, but in the end I totally agreed with the approach of giving the applicant some contract work to see if they can handle it.
I also met a guy from Munchery, who was a total dickface to me when I expressed interest in working for his company AT a recruiting event. Sorry that I'm not a phd from MIT, that I don't have a masters in photography, and the only chefs I know are from Austin.
It's probably worth making a note at this point that the tech environment in SV is totally different than Austin. Yes tech is thriving in both places, but things just move so much faster on the West coast.
Coconut and Strawberry in the Mission.
One last burrito from El Farolito. Burrito shops seriously need to learn the art of the tightly wrapped burrito.
At the airport these 2 saw my Draught House Pub shirt and asked if I was from Austin. Turns out they're local DJ's in a group called "Austin Boogie Crew" who play gigs at Plush. Here's a link to their Facebook.
So, 10 days, no planning. Not bad right?
This post took so long to come out since... there is no take away. I really didn't learn anything and there isn't much substance to what I've done. If anything, anything, this post supports the notion that you can go on a random trip and figure it out when you get there. It's nod to going with the flow.
Also, there's no way in hell that I could have done any of this without my amazing friends. Cheers yall.
In case you're wondering, almost every photo on this post was taken with a point and shoot.
What have I been up to since August? I'm working on a post about that.