Friday, July 24, 2009

Work : Life

It's so hard being me. I mean, I have to work! Like, 5 days a week! It's tough! I do hard things, and I try hard to do them well. So this week, when I had to go on a business trip, I took pity on myself. Actually, truly, I always do feel mixed feelings about work trips. Inevitably I get more time to myself (all 25 extra minutes of it between the work dinner and when my head hits the pillow), but I still miss my little guy and my cute hubby. And I feel bad for leaving them alone. So I usually call many more times a day than I would if I were home, and I always bring gifts back.

This time, I spent all of about 48 hours in San Francisco. I've been there at least a dozen times and virtually know my way around the Financial District, Chinatown and even once, after working all day, walked all the way from my hotel on Market to Japantown (if you know the area, you know that it took me the better part of an entire night). But it felt good, and I even feel guilty for saying so. It's nice to see red lanterns hanging above the streets of Chinatown. I love seeing the fog sag drearily over the cheerily-colored houses. The hills! We don't have hills in Minnesota. At least not ones that are covered with pastel "ladies" and beautiful, otherworldly palms and purple-pink bushes.

I guess what I'm saying is that I work. I take business trips. I miss my family. But a little part of me loves the freedom of an hour spent wandering alone with my camera. Skipping dinner so I can see more of the city. Watching the chic young women walk by in their tall boots and trendy scarves and just disappearing in the crowd, able to at once be one with the city and be a silent and secret observer. Or spending the night eating food or drinking drinks that I can't get at home. Oh, it's a guilty pleasure.

Although I never get too far afield of my hotel or office, I have developed a few favorite places to hit if I get the chance. Here are a couple of my favorite things to do when I'm in town (some are brand new!):
--Rickhouse Bar
--One Market Restaurant
--Home Restaurant
--Chow Restaurant
--Hubby's favorite, the Toronado Pub
--Ferry Building farmer's market and shops
--Britex Fabrics

Do you spend any time in San Francisco? What do you do when you're there? What restaurants should I try? Anyone know a reliable Chinatown eatery?

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