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Union Square SF, dinners, BALUG

I sort of feel like I’m still on vacation. Work has certainly been demanding as usual, but working from home in an exciting city is a very different than doing the same while living in the suburbs anywhere. No longer do I feel confined to my home during the work day – my lunch break gives me time to leave the condo and grab some lunch out! And appointments? No more will I need to take a morning off to run down to the eye doctor/dentist/etc, they’re within walking distance. And events? Even on weeks when I’m “not busy” I have at least one evening event and something on the weekend I’ll walk or take a bus, train or subway to.

Subways? Buses? Public transit? Growing up in Maine and living in suburbs in upstate NY and outside of Philadelphia never quite prepared me for being primarily tied to public-transit, and honestly it was a worry when I moved here. In truth? Once you get the hang of it, public transit here is pretty easy and convenient. Friday evening I had no issue walking down to Caltrain to catch a train to Mountain View to meet MJ for dinner and a movie.

Heart at Geary and Stockton, Union Square SF

A couple weeks ago I found myself pining for the outdoors and did a quick search for park+wifi and learned that Union Square here in SF has free public wifi! So I packed up my mini9 after work and walked down there to IRC and work on some Ubuntu wiki pages while sitting near the grass and flowers in Union Square. How nice!

Castro sign just outside of the Muni station

And even when I don’t have exciting plans, I need to eat. I have mentioned that this city is full of food and always smells like food? There are all kinds of places to explore, and that’s how we ended up in the Castro one late night recently enjoying some sandwiches and a local beer at the Bagdad Cafe. Then we took a street car home. I didn’t even mention street cars above, what fun these things are! SF has collected them from all over the world and put them in service. Cable cars are a blast too, but at $5 a ride per way I only hop on them when I am looking for a bit of fun in my travels.

Union Square from above at night

Last weekend MJ and I enjoyed a sunny lunch in Union Square when I spied people on the roof of the Macy’s across the Square. People on the roof? Wow! It turns out that the Cheesecake Factory has roof seating over looking Union Square, I had to go. So after lunch we headed back home to chill for the rest of the afternoon, and then in the late evening we walked back out there and had a lovely dinner on the roof of Macy’s. Oh, and banana cream cheesesteak. Did I mention that there are zillions of places in this city that are terribly romantic? It’s awesome.

Entrance of Chinatown at Grant St

On Tuesday of this week I packed up my purse and walked down to chinatown for a BALUG meeting. The presenter was Sameer Verma of the San Francisco Bay Area One Laptop Per Child group. The walk was nice, and although the restaurant where the meeting is held isn’t much to look at from the outside, it’s beautiful inside. Upon arrival we’re pointed to a bar area where we get name tags (yay, name tags!) and put in our $13 for dinner, then hang around and chat until the group tables are ready. We then have dinner together, a variety of dishes are served that we all share. The format was very condusive for chatting and some good conversations were had. After dinner we all went upstairs for the presentation in a big dining area where there was a small stage and projector. The presentation itself was exciting, I didn’t know a whole lot about OLPC and it’s quite an interesting project.

This weekend our friend Nita is in town visiting (yay!) and we’ll be taking one of the Alcatraz Cruises and then spending the late afternoon and evening down by Fisherman’s wharf. Woohoo!