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February 26, 2006

A whole lotta eatin' and drinkin' goin’ on.

Day two in San Francisco was as good as day one.

I haven’t seen my college suitemate Don for several years. We met in the lobby of my hotel; with the exception of a few gray hairs he looked much the same as in college. “You didn’t think I was going to get fat and bald?” he asked. “I’m glad we’re both vain.” I answered. He had bicycled to the hotel, probably the reason why he looks much the same. He had made a reservation at Absinthe, I laughed and he apologized, not knowing I had eaten there last night. No matter, it was just as good for breakfast. I had the blueberry pancakes, he had eggs and bacon and both were as good as their premium price would demand.

After brunch, we went to the plaza of the Civic Center to talk and catch up. He told me about his wife and children, we both exchanged news about our parents and siblings. It was slightly colder than the day before but clear and sunny; there was some sort of demonstration of various leftist causes in the plaza.

My hotel is only 2-3 blocks away from City Hall; David met me there at 2:30. He also had not gone to seed; he looked thinner and even more like Clark Kent than the last time I had seen him six years ago. Welcome to the era of the Internet where you have close friends you speak to all the time, but don’t see for years on end.

We went to the exhibit of Kyoto artists at the Museum of Asian Art. His favorite paintings were of two waterfalls; I liked those very much but favored the one of a monkey by Rosetsu that is on the linked page.

Dinner followed the Japanese theme; we went to Yum Yum Fish, which is near his apartment about a 20-5 minute MUNI ride from the hotel. The place is a dive (three tables in what looks like a fish market) with top quality sushi for dirt cheap. Six pieces of nigiri sushi (salmon, yellowtail, eel) and a huge plate of rolls (“Dynamite” roll – spicy tuna, BBQ Eel, California roll with real Dungeness Crab, and Salmon belly roll) set us back $22.50 and the fish is fresher than I recall even at the best sushi places in NYC.

We hustled back to the Opera House for Program 2. The highlight is Gonzalo Garcia’s performance in Apollo, which is as good as I recalled it, only the production around him has gotten even more taut. Besides my friends, that was the thing worth flying across the country to see.

I took David out for dinner and gave him an knitted watch cap I made for him in his favorite color - orange of all things. Happy Birthday, Chuckles! David took me out for a drink at the Orbit Room and the cocktails were interesting enough that we both decided to have one instead of our usual safer drinks. I am an alcohol sissy; I usually get a vermouth and soda so I don’t become incapacitated but I went for a Venus Lemonade and he chose a Mojito. We toasted his boyfriend Duane, away on business in New Orleans, but who sent David $10 to buy me my drink. Thank you kindly, Duane.

I stumbled home in a happy state of exhausted mild inebriation. Now, I'm off to shower, pack and vacate the room, then see Peter for a burrito pilgrimage in the Mission District and the matinee at SFB, then dinner with Paul. On the red eye and back in NYC at 5 am. I’m having a delightful weekend.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at February 26, 2006 12:38 PM

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