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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SOLO SAN FRANCISCO: DAY 2

my second day was supposed to be my easy day, but when i realized just how close everything was, i became ambitious. i went to haight ashbury, the mission, the castro, and chinatown. i left in the mid-morning (with barely any sleep) to haight ashbury. i first stopped at 'coffee to the people,' a cool little coffee shop. i did what any tourist would do, and ordered 'the golden gate,' a white mocha with orange flavoring. unfortunately, the whole reason i went to the district was to stop at a bookstore (which was closed for the day). after walking to golden gate park, i left to my next destination










found while walking down haight towards the mission district. i then decided to walk back towards the castro



the castro theatre.


after the castro, i decided to make my back towards the mission district. my real purpose was to see the street art. i also stopped at 826 valencia, a quirky pirate shop, and clarion alley. clarion alley was really interesting. not only was it colorful with some beautiful artwork, but much of the artwork carries a political message or critizcizes american society.




clarion alley




after, i went back to the hostel and met with two of my roommates to go to chinatown. which was really close to the hostel. my favorite site in chinatown was the chinese historical society museum. part of the museum shows the race relations between chinese immigrants and the dominant american culture. my own academic research emphasizes on race relations in california.



barbary coast plaque. the barbary coast was the red-light district of san francisco. this was where were brothels, bars, and drug dens.



dragon's gate, the main entrance into chinatown. 




kind of random, but this day will be remembered as the day i almost got hit by a car twice, oops.


now for a song. 'serpentine' by chris bathgate. it's pretty.


Friday, January 17, 2014

SOLO SAN FRANCISCO: DAY 1

recently, i returned from my solo trip to san francisco. during the summer, i started playing around with the idea of traveling alone. many people tried to talk me out of it. most either said that i would feel lonely, while others said it was inappropriate for a young women like. i did not listen to them. i went anyways and i am so glad i did!  i enjoyed it so much more than i thought i would. not once did i feel alone or out of place. i was able to do whatever i wanted and did not have to consult with anyone. it was incredibly freeing and a rewarding. 


so, my first day was kept to a minimum. i did not realize just how small the city is, so i only did what i had planned. i was also super tired. my flight was early in the morning and had only slept a little over three hours. i also had a 2 hour plane delay due to fog, but even more unfortunate i spent that delay entrirely inside the airplane, not the terminal. the first thing i did when i arrived was buy a bus pass (the only mode of transportation i would be using). i must say, san francisco has such a great public transit system. the buses run every 15 minutes and there are so many routes. l.a. needs to pick up their game! i first stopped at the civic center to see the monuments and city hall. i also tried indian food for the first time at the local farmers market. 









after, i left towards downtown. it took me awhile to get my bearings straight. i went to mission street and stopped at the moad (museum of the african diaspora) and the cartoon museum. the latter i did not care for, but i really enjoyed the former (especially the interactive exhibit about music and the gallery of posters about the black liberation movement).




after, i walked around downtown and explored. one thing i noticed, and deeply appreciated, was the combination of modern, futuristic structures scattered and the old, historic buildings. throughout downtown (and the city) there are historic buildings from the late 19th century and the early 20th.
































st. patrick's catholic church (1851)



during my visit, i stayed where any solo traveler would stay, a hostel (another experience i would recommend anyone to take). my only hesitation was sleeping in a room full of strangers (i am a light sleeper and have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places in front of unfamiliar people), but it was not that bad. i may have gotten barely any sleep for the first night but it got better. all my room mates were from outside the states (canada, germany, and france) and i got to know most of them pretty well. i really enjoyed the communal environment, a sentiment that surprised me. there were always new people to meet and talk to. i stayed in hostelling international's downtown hostel. it was a beautiful building and extremely clean. in the 1920s and 30s the building was a hotel. today, many of the old features are still there but mixed with modern and vibrant decor.







above is the communal lounge area (pretty much the living room)


and the room. mine had two bunks and a bathroom.


now for a song. i thought i would choose one that reminds me of my trip. even though this song has nothing to do with my experience, before my trip, this song would pop up on my bon iver pandora station when i was at work. i would always become super excited. "san francisco" by gregory alan isakov.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014




welcome 2014! i'm a little sad for the end of the year, i love the holidays, but i am ready for a new beginning. 2013 has been the most challenging year i have faced yet in my short little life. i may have not met all of my resolutions, but i have accomplished the most important one. i am pleased to say that i am happier now than i was this time of last year. i think 2014 will be a really good year. this month i am going to san francisco, hopefully this summer i will have an internship in d.c., and by the end of this year i will be a college graduate. above is my makeshift christmas tree. for the last four years, i claim free christmas tree clippings at my local hardware store. earlier, i had it decorated with bows, bells, garland, and sparkly pine cones, but i forgot to take a picture, bahumbug. i keep my makeshift christmas tree until it dies in mid-january. i just love the smell of christmas trees

unlike last year, i hope to keep a calendar in my room. every year i get a planner, which i use to the max, but i always forget to update wall calendars. i found this great free printable calendar by shhh my darling.



i spent my new years rather tame. i had a late work day, but i still somewhat celebrated. i picked up some fries and coffee, wore my sparkly dress, and ate some cream puffs. also, to celebrate the end of the year, me and my sissy watched 'this is the end.'

now for a song. to keep with tradition, i will recommend the same song i posted last year on news year. it is a very pretty cover and very appropriate. it also melts my heart a little.




now a segue. speaking of the past, when cleaning through old junk i found one of my drawings from the ye old days. i drew it in the second grade when i was in an art class at my local community center. this was over 15 years ago. yikes.