SF DAY 4 – Sleepin’ with the fishes

This morning, at breakfast, I toasted my bagel. No no, it’s not a metaphor for anything, I just toasted my breakfast bagel in the kitchen before I ate it. Like a bawss. Clearly, I’m kicking ass at this.

Later on I head to Powell and take the N Judah line to 9th Ave. The sun is shining, the music in my ears is swinging, I am on top of the fucking world, baby. Two blocks, and that’s it: Golden Gate Park. I am really excited to visit the Academy of Science. How excited? Nerd excited.

I am not disappointed. I love when museums manage to design kid-friendly, imaginative exhibitions that are educational to everyone. The earthquake simulator, the real live rain forest with its birds and butterflies, the pterosaur flight simulator, all great, yes. But the most amazing thing is the aquarium.

Understand: I am afraid of fish. Not just fish, anything submerged. Mammal or insect or reptile. Gills or no gills. If it lives primarily under water, I am scared of it. So an aquarium to me is what a haunted house is to most people. Cheap thrills. Let me tell you: I got scarrrrrrrrrrrrrred. There might or might not be a video of me out there, cry-laughing with fear as truly gigantic fish swam around me in the tropical underwater tunnel. Not that this video exists, or anything.

As the afternoon advances, I walk around the park for a bit, find a spot up a tree to think deep thoughts. Or stare at the SF map and wonder how the hell I’m going to get back downtown. I climb a hill and stand on a rock next to a waterfall, pretend for a second I am Pocahontas. I’d sing Colors of the wind but there are people around. I meet a whole bunch of really fat squirrels who are not afraid of humans enough for their own good. These little guys would already be eaten if this was Cambodia. 

Stepping out of the park as the light fades, I decide to try and catch the sunset at Ocean Beach, but I misjudge the distance and have to give up twelve blocks in. I take Stirling to get back to my Muni stop. The big avenues over there showcase the classic San Francisco: wide, almost deserted streets up and down hills, little pastel houses… Chinese shops, banks and restaurants dot the landscape with bright spots of color.

It’s not a bad place to learn to appreciate the city in the dark, far from dodgy Tenderloin and busy Market St. With a leisurely pace and Courtney Love’s voice in my ears, I hit the concrete.

SONG CREDITS: Northern Light – Hole