Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
And I loved every minute of it.
From my former digital publication...
July 10, 2006
San Francisco, So Far
Wow. What an interesting two weeks it's been since I first set foot off the plane from the Midwest. Worrying if my luggage was going to make it, and not get lost, was my first worry. Thankfully Delta got it right this time. On the bright side I had all my stuff. On the flip side I had to lug it all with me. Not hot. Taking the BART to downtown was quite the experience. Public transit here is so much nicer that that of other cities in the USA: large, spacious, effective, and most importantly, clean. The hard part is just knowing how to use it.
Popping out of the subway onto Powell and Market Streets was quite a rush. The first thing I saw: rainbow (gay) flags (for Gay Pride is in one week). The second: Abercrombie & Fitch. My first thought: home. Which I quickly followed by a sigh of relief. Even though I stopped working at Abercrombie & Fitch before I left the Midwest, I still kept myself in the system, just in case I were to transfer stores, though I swore my Abercrombie & Fitch days were over.
Since at that time I had no clue how to use the buses I naturally grabbed a cab to my new place. Got there, met the landlord's son who manages the place and lives upstairs with his posse of girls, and ended up drinking with them that night, even though I was deathly tired due to the three hour time change. After passing out Tuesday night, the night I arrived, I still had until next Monday till I started work. Naturally being that I had arrived in a brand new city, I wanted to go out and see where exactly I was. I mean I knew that from my front porch I could see the Bay Bridge clearly. But, I mean: The Bay Bridge... Exciting. Tuesday I explored this city by foot, keeping in mind the whole public transit thing. Mostly staying up around the top of the peninsula, I did all the tourist stuff. Exciting.
Wednesday my friend Derrick, who just finished up interning in LA, made a pit stop on his drive back across the country to Cincinnati. That fun filled day was well executed, with us all doing exactly the same thing I did the day before, though this time I actually felt like I knew where I was, granted it was sort of cheating, as I drug them on the same tour I took the day before. So it really only seemed like I knew where I was going. We did make a pit stop at Ghirardelli Square by the wharf and had some ice cream (one of god's greatest gifts to the world) in Washington Square park. It was one of those marvelously enjoyable times, which you're quite really sure why is so fun, but just is. Come to think of it I just asked a friend yesterday if they ever had had a movie moment and we both drew blanks. The park was actually my closest one come to think of it. Reminiscing about techno, doing cartwheels till you fall over, watching gays make out and no one giving any care, about much of anything. It was perfect.
My roommate Brian had to go back home Wednesday night, so the one person I knew here was gone and my other roommate Jen was doing what normal people do and working and then hanging out with her friend all week, so it was just me, San Fran and well, yeah, I guess that's it. I really couldn’t tell ya what I did the rest of those days from Wednesday to Sunday. Though there was no alcohol involved, so it isn’t like I'm forgetting or anything, it just couldn’t of been too exciting if I don't remember–though I do remember going shopping a lot and buying things I needed. Also known as: running shoes, some cut soccer shorts, flip-flops, you know. Oh and that's right.. Saturday I did figure out how to go to the beach and fried myself crispy with sunshine. The ocean is so cold here. No swimming necessary.
Monday I started work and had no idea what to expect. Turns out the people I work with are sweet. Naturally I had first day jitters, but as they always do, they subsided and the week moved on and gradually I met more and more people at the office, though I'd say after a week and a day I still only know about 20 names out of 80.
I knew that the weekend ahead was San Fran's world famous Gay Pride weekend, and I also knew that I had absolutely no one to go with. Luckily people from work though casual conversation told me they would be participating in the 'Rainbows and Things.org' celebration, and gave me their number. Hot.
Friday I had the day off from work because my firm is doing this whole every other Friday off thing. It's nice. So I naturally slept in, woke up, went to the Apple store to pickup my, what was broken, computer. That's when I made plans to meet up with a friend. You know, the friend you've never met before. We wound up hitting it off and decided to hit the Castro that night. So much fun. Met a ton of random people, and a few creepers.
I woke up having no idea where I was or who I was with. Just kidding. But that would make a great story now wouldn’t it? I took a nap. Friends from work called around four. Went to park to meet them, only when I got here they didn’t answer. My worst fear come true. So I sat in Mission Dolores Park with all the dykes at the 'Dykes on Bikes' festivities for about an hour, waiting on their call, feeling like a huge lame-o and pissed. Then lone behold, a group of about six randoms come up and introduces themselves to me. After some casual conversation it turned out they were all from LA and one of them had a brother that lived just around the corner like a block from the Castro. Nice. So being that I knew absolutely no one else in the city besides them at this point, and I was alone, and never one to turn down friends, I decided to go back to their place and do some drinking. These kids were a blast, and unlike most gays, quite normal. We ended up going to the Castro, since it was so conveniently located. Turns out that all the bars had mass lines to get in because of Gay Pride. So, reverting to High School mode we trucked it down to the 7/11. Hot. Then, to our shocking surprise there was a bar next door that had ::gasp:: no line. So instead of buying beer, we decided to have real drinks. Turns out this is the old man bar on the strip and no wonder it was dead. But the drinks were cheap, and there was no line. My friend met up with us and he had said he asked someone on the street where the 'Men's Room' was (the name of the bar) and they were like um... 'Yeah... you're about 40 years too young for that bar!' ...If that tells you anything.
Anyways after some drunk pizza, more booze, and great conversations we trekked it home. Desperate to find a cab... Getting a cab was like going to war with 5000000000 million other crazy tired drunks. But finally we pushed some bitch out of the way and she scraped up her knee when she fell, and we had to call an ambulance, (just kidding, but that would also make a great story too, right?) and got a cab.
Sunday was the parade, and it was quite the showcase. You name it and I saw it. The cutest thing I saw though was the little boy (probably like 12) holding a sign that said 'I love my dads'. The gays with kids always make me smile. Though I always say I hate kids, I'll probably have my own someday. I'll just adopt around age three. No babies for me. Maybe I should just start specifying and say I don't enjoy babies. Hmm. That might work.
Post party at the Civic Center. Hot. Low-key. Fun. Alcohol. Concerts.
All in all maybe I just didn't go to the right places, but Gay Pride wasn’t anything like I thought it would be here in San Francisco. Granted there were naked people and such. Drunks everywhere–duh. But it was more of a chill weekend. Everyone was just happy. Seriously, this city must hate violence. Everyone and everything here in San Francisco, is great. Before I left the Midwest everyone kept saying to me, 'Aren’t you worried about not knowing anyone? Aren’t you worried you won't have any friends out there?' I was like… it's California. How the hell could I not make friends? I belong in California.
Turns out I was right.
Little did I know I would move to Europe.
It hadn't ever crossed my mind as a possibility.
And here I am, five years later, in Amsterdam...
still going strong.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
It has been so sunny in the Netherlands for the past few days. I'm anticipating spring like never before. These long, dark, European–winters can be totally depressing. So, needless to say, while it was sunny yesterday, I seized the opprotunity to go for a run. A long run. All the way to IJburg from the Indische Buurt. About 10K in all. And, the route included one of my favorite bridges here in Amsterdam. I just bought a brand-new iPod Shuffle (a runner's best friend in my mind). And at only 47 Euros, totally worth it. While running over this pedestrian and bike bridge which connects IJburg to Diemerpark, and subsequently, the Indische Buurt, the setting sun aligned exactly with the bridge. What interests me most about running is the mental challenge it produces. At some point while running, if you can train your body mind to do it, your legs and the signals they send your brain, separate. No longer does running seem like a challenge or a feat, but a meditative trance that allows you to observe the world passing by you at a frenzied pace–while you run through it. Just you, some great music, the setting Northern European (almost-spring) sun–and since this is Amsterdam, lots and lots of water. Running in this city is stunning. Mostly because of the diverse settings that are possible to run through all in the course of one route. First city and sidewalk, then bridges, then polders, then reclaimed islands, dijks, and then back to civilization–all in the course of 10K. It's so nice to be able to run (outside) again without turning into an icicle upon walking out the front door. Sun, please keep your transition into spring going strong.