Thursday, March 18, 2010

a sunny afternoon in san francisco

For the last two days I've been in San Francisco for an advanced Photoshop class. Just could not have been a prettier two days in a prettier city.

My class was held right across the street from the TransAmerica building (that big tall pointy one). I kind of love the TransAmerica building. It's so huge. (this photo was taken up on the hill at the beginning of North Beach, the old Italian section of the city - and my favorite neighborhood - where I hiked up before class to get a cup of coffee and a perfect almond croissant)
Both days I had a nice hour-and-fifteen-minute lunch. I completely and unabashedly took advantage of the fact that it was gorgeous weather, that we were so close to North Beach, and that I had over an hour to do whatever I wanted in my favorite part of town. Yesterday I didn't have my camera, so I just walked around and ate my lunch and read my book and enjoyed it completely. Today I did the exact same thing, only I took photos.

I am *so* doing this when we have a garden. Love these rusty tomato can planters.

I love Oakland, but I would jump at the chance for us to have a cozy apartment in North Beach. In my fantasy apartment, it's on a quiet side street, with a fireplace and big bay windows like these, and we have both stories to ourselves, and a rooftop garden.

Both days I got an absolutely amazing sandwich at Molinari's Italian deli. For about a dollar and a half more than a Subway sandwich, you can get a work of art that will blow your sandwich-loving mind. I was too preoccupied with figuring out which combination of fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, basil spread and other various amazing toppings to put on my roll (which you choose for yourself out of a bin) to remember to take a photo, but it's total old-school Italian New-York style deli. I love it. Today when I went there, the guy remembered me, which earned him a tip in the tip jar. So friendly and fun. And delicious. Did I mention delicious?

However, after I devoured my sandwich, I did remember to take a photo of where I ate it: Washington Square park. Sitting on a warm park bench, listening to cathedral bells, watching kids and dogs play, and little old Asian ladies doing tai chi in the shade, feeling completely warm and full of amazing sandwich, I was supremely happy for about a half hour here.

On the stroll back to class, I decided to finally stop in to Stella Pastries, a traditional Italian pastry and cookie shop. I've wanted to go here ever since I moved here, but somehow just never have. But today was the day!

I sat at that little table by the door and had my first-ever slice of sacripantina. Holy cannoli, it was good. Light but rich, full of creamy flavor. I could easily have been happy with only half a slice, but there was only me there eating, and really, how can you waste half a slice of this? It was far too delicate to box up and have sitting in my bag for another 4-5 hours until I got home. So... I ate it all, every bite. I was so full but extremely happy.

Thankfully I had thought ahead and so had only eaten half my sandwich (which I am going to have for dinner as soon as I finish writing this), so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I ate entirely too much the last two days, but frankly I really don't care, since I enjoyed every bite, and I also hiked across town a fair bit.

I got back to class with a few minutes to spare, and there were my (two!) classmates, sitting there with Subway wrappers and Starbucks fruit cups in front of them, fiddling around online, still in the stuffy classroom. I had a brief moment of wanting to shake them, to say, "Don't you realize you could have had an orgasmic sandwich experience in Washington Square? Don't you know we're right next to North Beach? Subway? Subway!?!?" But I refrained, and instead, happily sat back down, in a blissful sunny carb-haze.

Anyway. I have lots more pictures but I will dole them out as I work on them (with my new Photoshop skills!). Right now, there is a sandwich waiting for me.

Sometimes I am so in love with San Francisco it hurts. Today was one of those days.


Tammie said...

ooh ooh ooh. after you mentioned on FB about your days in San Francisco, I was so hoping you took pictures and were planning on blogging it.

i love all the photos and the new header.

i read the description of it sort of like tiramisu?

Daphne said...

Tammie: it is sort of like tiramisu, only without the coffee flavor (or whatever it is that makes it tiramisu). I asked the girls working there if I should have the sacripantina or the tiramisu and they both said right away, "Sacripantina!" It was pretty dang good. I actually thought of you when I was in the shop because I know you like tiramisu. :)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I love, love, love you new header -- especially the geraniums in the tomato cans.

Your day sounds perfect and you seem so alive and perky! I NEED a day like that.

I'm glad you've fallen in love with your city all over again.

Stefanie said...

What a great day! I love the photos. I've never seen the whole of the TransAmerica building only the top towering over everything so in your photo it looks totally faked, like you photoshopped it in there ;)

Daphne said...

Bee: thanks! It was a great couple of days. Well, great couple of hours stuck into an okay couple of days, but I'll take it.

Stef: I totally Photoshopped the TransAmerica building in. Wait, no I didn't. Just kidding. I did! No, I didn't. (really, I didn't. It just looks that unbelievable!)