It’s August 19th and I’m walking. On my previous walks, I always pass by a beautiful Blue Bottle on Jackson Street. This morning, I decided I’d finally take a look inside.
Starting at the Embarcadero Bart Station, I’m surrounded by tall sky scrapers on all sides. The concrete buildings would have cast shadows into the street if it weren’t for the overcast clouds.
The side streets off market around this part of town are quite nice to walk on. There’s a fair number of cross walks in unexpected places.
Today I finally took a stop at Walton Square. There’s a stair case that goes up to the apartment towers above.
It’s funny because I wanted to go up to get a picture of Jackson Street but there was already another dude who had the same idea. With his phone camera out, he looked like a tourist, taking a full panoramic video of the surrounding. I can only imagine what he did with his photos.
I also passed by the parking garage I used to park at. They have a good deal, it’s $16 to park if you get in before 9AM.
My mom was in Taipei for the last year so I more or less was driving her car like it was mine. Now that she’s home and working, I’d feel a little guilty if I took my Dad’s car to work and stranded him at home. So I’ve been taking Bart lately, which gives me a chance to go on these morning walks. Another plus is that it’s good for the environment to take public transport.
Today’s Blue Bottle is around where my friend Will lives. It’s close to China Town with rows of brick buildings.
This Blue Bottle’s interior has a modern minimalist vibe to it. I recognize that minimalism doesn’t leave too much room for expression but I enjoy it nonetheless.
I got a single origin pour over coffee, made fresh by the barista Alejandro. He recognized my name as being biblical since he grew up in a Church. But like me, he doesn’t go the church anymore. He said his friend has been getting him into Free Masonry. It seems to be a secretive society as he couldn’t really tell me what they do. The pour over was delicious though. A fresh made pour over is always a treat since most places will serve you pre-brewed pot coffee.
I took my morning meeting at Blue Bottle before walking back towards the office.
There’s a wooden sculpture installation at the office complex adjacent to Walton Square. That reminds me, I haven’t been to an art gallery in awhile. I used to be more involved with my artistic side in high school and college but I’ve lost touch in recent years. Maybe that’s why I’m writing and photographing now…
After work, I was going to meet up with some friends to see Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’. I’m not a fan of horror films but I figured it’d be fun to go out on a Friday.
Going from Pier 5 to Yerba Beuna, I passed by the Sales Force building.
That building went up sometime when I was in college so it doesn’t really register with my days exploring the city in high school. Some people thinks it’s an eyesore on the city skyline. They lovingly call it ‘Zeus’s Dildo’. I don’t care much for it. It’s just another building.
We planned to meet at AMC Metreon in Yerba Beuna park. You can just see it in the back of this photo.
I’d been to Yerba Beuna Park a few times in high school: ice skating at the rink or to see a dance show at the theater.
When I was in high school, I had two close friends named Alex and Avery who were at community college. They found an art club that got free tickets to fine art shows. So they would take me out to see things like dance shows, art galleries, and on one occasion, the opera. I’m thankful for them taking me under their wings during my senior year of high school. I feel like those years were formative for my love of art.
Speaking of art, Yerba Beuna Park is right across the street form the SF MOMA. The MOMA was free for minors so it wasn’t uncommon for my high school friends and I to go there on a weekend for fun. High schooler’s don’t have much money so anything to do that’s free is something to do. I haven’t been in awhile now. I’ve got to make a trip out one of these days.
‘Nope’ was good. It was a real thriller, no grotesque horror, it was all jump scares and suspense. I liked it.
After the movie, we decided to go to check out bars nearby for drinks. I like going out to drink, but mostly just for the conversations. Words flow more freely with a little bit of alcoholic social lubrication. What can I say, I’m a conversation enthusiast.
We stopped by Novelle but it was a bit too crowded so I suggested House of Shields.
It was only a shy 400ft away.
I’d first heard of House of Shields through r/sanfrancisco. There’s a user named u/jimmyjah who posts occasionally to setup meet ups at House of Shields. The meet ups are always off the cuff, day of, so I haven’t been around for one yet. I asked the bartender James about the meet ups and he said there’s always interesting people. Apparently, one time, the CEO of reddit came by.
I have no idea who the guy in the painting is but this is the inside of House of Shields. The decor reminds me of a 50s style bar. All the bartenders wear shirts, vests, and ties. It’s got a fancy, yet dive bar-y vibe going on.
Our group was six and I ended up being the designated drink retrieval representative. I can still remember the orders. The first round was a Proseco, a Pino Nior, a Russian River IPA, a Penicillin, a Gold Rush, and a Pisco Punch. The second round was a Diet Coke, a Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 Russian Rivers, a Hen House beer, and a Sazerac.
I got a Sazerac the last time I was at House of Shields as well. I like the boozy sweetness of drinks like an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.
I’ve been drinking more whiskey lately. My Mom came through and got me a bottle of Kavalan Single Cask Whiskey at duty free before coming back from Taiwan. Those bottles go for around $250 for 750ml in the US but Mom got a 1L bottle for just $160.
All in all, it was a fun night. And I was just in time to catch the penultimate train home.