|Mural in Chinatown|
Down a random, semi-concealed cobblestone alley? The Irish Bank Bar and Restaurant. You might think you are in Dublin!
Chinatown is a bit more conspicuous with its ornamental gate, lanterns and lampposts.
It's the tourist district, and we comply, stopping at the bakery that advertises its moon cakes in the front window ("The Only Moon Cake Made in America; Best Moon Cake in the Whole USA) - who can resist? We buy three different cakes and munch as we admire the murals that are on every spare wall and some delivery vehicles as well.
|Mural on left says "In Progress"|
A few blocks more, and in the peace of Portsmouth Square, old men are playing vigorous card games, and others are focused on Tai Chi. Not many tourists here - locals always find a place to hide from tourists!
A small alley hides the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, with its tiny storefront that opened in 1962. Women sit at a conveyor belt folding messages into 20,000 fortune cookies a day. This is the only bakery in the city where cookies are made by hand the old-fashioned way.
Up one block and suddenly we are swimming against the tide of Chinese shoppers, who are navigating a myriad of open-air stalls - dried seafood of every type, fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and many curiosities that we could not identify.
By now, all this food has whet our appetite, and soon enough we are sampling the wares of one of the countless restaurants in Chinatown.
|I wonder if these fortunes were made down the street?|
Re-energized, we ascend Nob Hill, poles apart from ChinaTown. Posh hotels, classic architecture, people walking dogs in the park, the hushed serenity of Grace Cathedral.
|Brass Christmas ornament|
Like Spousal Unit and me, #1D is a coffee fiend, and she has a nose for unique coffee shops. This day, her choice is a short cross-walk from the Museum. And how fun it was! Board games, quirky and eclectic decorations, wine and beer, and just the right amount of attitude to be amusing without being annoying - for example, they put their bad reviews in the bathroom for everyone to read!
|Maybe I liked it because I won the game of Sorry!|
Afternoon was moving toward evening, and #1D took off for work after ensuring we made it safely to our BART station. A short time later, we navigated our own way through the BART to arrive at the enchanting California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where #1D has invested her summer honing her skills as a stage management intern.
All the theatergoers were making the most of a glorious evening - sunny with a bit of nip in the air - partaking of picnic dinners in the grove near the outdoor venue. We are here to see #1D and black odyssey, written by Oakland native playwright Marcus Gardley.
We clap, we shout, we sing, we cry. It's that kind of performance, that kind of tale. How fitting that #1D is here for the summer: to be reminded that our history is both chain and freedom, depending on how it is used.
|#1D on set at intermission, deploying props|
And so the second day ended, once again, to a standing ovation.
Linking to Our World Tuesday
Linking to Mosaic Monday