Thursday, February 24, 2005

February weekend getaway

Two or three times a year, E and I spend a weekend in San Francisco. This last President’s Day weekend was incredible despite the wet weather. Late Friday afternoon we check into Parker Guest House, our favorite bed and breakfast in SF. While having a couple glasses of wine at the B&B social hour, we meet and talked to several other guests. We learned that there was an International Bear Rendezvous convention happening this weekend. We saw big guys everywhere all weekend.

We had dinner that night at Paul K restaurant. This is one of our favorite restaurants in SF. It is on Gough Street, a couple blocks off Market St. After dinner we walked over to New Conservatory Theatre Center to see our first of four plays for the weekend. Tonight was “Mambo Italiano”. It was a well done coming out story...full of love, guilt and family. The play was made into a fun movie several years ago. After the play we drove back to Parker House and walked through the Castro and down Market St. to Martuni’s for a couple of drinks in the back room around the piano bar. Guys were taking turns singing show tunes and standards with the piano player

Saturday, after a leisurely breakfast, we walked over to Geary Street. We stopped at Lori’s Diner on Mason and had an excellent salmon burger for lunch. At 2pm we saw “Well” at ACT. The play was written and stars Lisa Kron. Both E and I agreed that it was one of the best shows we have ever seen. Afterwards, we walked around the art galleries on Geary and Sutter Streets. My favorite art pieces were Albrecht Durer’s print called “The Bath House” at Pasquale Iannetti Gallery, Randy Cooper’s shadow sculptures and Homero Aguilar’s large paintings of walls and mirrors at Louis Aronow Gallery. Dinner was at a new restaurant we had not been to before. It is a little hard to find on Taylor Street but Anju is worth seeking out. They call themselves a seafood tapas bar with a twist. We had the paella for two, several tapas plates for starters and a wine soaked pear for dessert. Excellent meal. Our evening show was Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” at Actors Theatre of San Francisco. It was a small 49 seat theatre on Sutter Street. It was a good thing we got there early because they overbooked the performance. I suspect a lot of people were interested in seeing the play because of Arthur Miller’s death the previous week. It was a good performance by a non-Equity cast. The story was interesting and neither one of us had seen a production of it before. We took a cab back to the Parker House afterwards because it was raining so hard. We decided not to go out to a dance called “Sweat”. The weather was just too nasty and we were tired.

Sunday started with a late breakfast and newspaper reading. We skipped lunch and went to the 2pm show at New Conservatory Theatre Center and saw “Rescue and Recovery”. It was an interesting play about a man, his ex-wife and his new gay relationships. From there we walked downtown to the Union Square area. While walking hand-in-hand down the busy Market Street sidewalk, we received the screamed epithet “faggot” from a passing car of kids. You would think this would not be an issue in SF. We met a friend at the Italian restaurant Puccini & Pinetti on Ellis for a drink and then had dinner there. We have eaten there several times before. It serves basic inexpensive Italian meals. It was not the best cuisine choice to precede five hours of dancing. Nevertheless, after dinner we went to the T-dance “Fresh @ Ruby Skye”. We danced until it closed at midnight. Then we walked back to the B&B.

Monday we were slow to get up for breakfast. The weather turned warm and sunny. We checked out of Parker House and walked and shopped in the Castro. E bought several obscure musicals on CD. We checked out Cliff’s Variety store on Castro and bought some silk flowers in the annex. We bought some cards and rainbow glasses at Under One Roof. This is one of our favorite stores in the Castro. All the merchandise is donated and it raises funds for local AIDS service organizations. Lunch was chicken burritos. Just as the weather started to turn cold and rainy, we drove over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition before it closed the next day. It was a fascinating retrospective of his career until his recent death. On the same floor was retrospective exhibition of Robert Bechtle. He painted photorealist style pictures of cars, street-scapes and family scenes. We decided to buy a family membership to the museum as we were leaving. I’m hoping the next time we visit we can buy one of the mobiles we saw in the gift shop. Members get 10% off! We finished the weekend with a nice meal at Zao Noodle Bar in Palo Alto.

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