Maison Scotch jacket, H&M dress & tights, Vince Camuto boots
It wouldn’t surprise me if shopping eventually became registered as an Olympic sport. Sure, there isn’t a ball to juggle or uniforms required, but ducking and weaving around passerby while wielding a 10-pound bag of clothes certainly requires dexterity, physical prowess, and a fierce competitive instinct.
Powell Street is part of the big leagues, with brightly-colored, name-brand stores competing with clanging cable cars for attention. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the area for years, associating it with the magic of my first days in San Francisco as well as an obnoxious part of my commute during my frazzled department-store-shop-girl days. Love it or hate it, it makes an impression as it draws hordes of tourists as well as locals.
I purchased this scarf during a half-year-long expedition to India, and seeing it always transports me back to the flurry of sights and sounds I experienced. I’ll never forget huddling underneath it as our open-air bus traveled through the Himalayas or wrapping it around my neck to keep off the desert sun.
Wearing it seven years later in the heart of San Francisco, it reminds me of all the places I’ve traveled and all the adventures I have yet to experience. Even though Powell Street and the alleys of Mumbai couldn’t be more different, I’ll never cease to be awed and inspired by the energy and the sheer volume of people that come with living in the heart of a city.
After a long week at work, Friday evenings around the Sanfranista household are generally reserved for rest. Jim and I typically live it up by ordering Indian takeout and devouring a C-list horror flick on Netflix with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck for dessert. If we’re feeling particularly fancy, we might walk all the way to the grocery store four blocks away and pick out something from Redbox.
What a glamorous existence we live.
Sometimes, though, the siren song of San Francisco nightlife sings loud enough to shake me out of my zombie-like crawl to the couch. 111 Minna is one of my favorite locales, with vibrant art, enticing drinks, and some of the most indie-stylish people-watching the city has to offer. The gallery often serves as a weekday work-party destination, but on weekends it lets it hair down and the art takes center stage.
Last Friday, the new exhibit by David Choong Lee opened with a beautifully composed explosion of graphic color, abstract images, and photo-realistic portraits of faces torn from the streets of San Francisco.
Once 3-D glasses get involved, the pieces took on mind-bending new dimensions that elicited audible gasps and murmurs from the partygoers. The glasses were scarce, encouraging crowd interaction as strangers remarked and bonded while they passed around the specs. I wish we could have captured it in a photo, but there’s no way that the experience could truly translate to film.
The night ended at a hidden alley bar down the street with a few pints, hours of throwing dice, and strangers turning into friends. After a night like that, the Friday-night couch and I might just have a discussion about seeing other people.