Doesn't that title inspire scenes of drinking and debauchery? 😉
Age flew in Friday night and we headed straight in to San Francisco and wandered around Market St (including looking around The Metreon) for a couple of hours before we met up with PeterA at a crowded Irish Pub. Pete then took us to the North Beach area – the Italian quarter – where we found a nice little bar and Adrian proceeded to chat up the Italian bargirl after flashing his Italian passport. 😉 Fun night.
Saturday I took Age around the local area. I felt obligated to take him to Fry's where he checked out the Cobra Radar Detectors – and we naturally quoted from The Castle: "just paid for itself!" We then had a coffee at the Coupa Cafe (sidenote: Age didn't think the coffee here was fantastic, just reasonable…) before we went to Santana Row for some shopping then to Wholefoods (got the two thumbs-up) for some necessary groceries before more coffee at the Barefoot Coffee Roasters (Age really like the coffee here!).
Saturday night we trekked out to Santa Cruz to meet up with our friend MartyS. Mexican was the food of the night and then we headed out for some drinks at Red where we met Rain (not her real name – long story!), a friend of Marty & Kristin's. Cool place. Tiring drive home on the pitch black and windy Hwy 17.
Sunday was a big day, we headed straight into San Francisco and did the touristy thing. Following the now-standard trail we parked at the Marina, walking around Fishermans Wharf, ate Clam Chowder at Bedouin then jumped on the cable car to Union Square.
Alcatraz, Golden Gate…
Clam Chowder @ Bedouin
Shopped around Union Square for awhile then headed all the way down Market St to Castro St on the bus. Walked to Height St to meet up with Marty and Kristin then continued to hoof it to near the corner of Divisidero and Hayes where we bought tickets to see Missy Higgins (Marty & Kristin are big fans – they played Higgins at their wedding!) who was playing at The Independent.
Seriously, the best way to see any big Aussie act is to see them overseas. The tickets were US$12 and The Independent is pretty cosy and intimate – with a maximum capacity of maybe 250 people. A bit different to some of her recent gigs in Oz where she's been playing to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.
Before the gig we grabbed some food at the Fly Bar, meeting up with Greg and Dave & Penny, friends of Marty & Kristin's. The half price pizza's (during 'happy hour') were good and cheap. Recommended.
From left: Matt, Greg, Dave, Penny, Marty, Kristin, Adrian
The gig began at 7:30 (with a support act that I can't quite remember the name of, four or five letters, starts with "K"…) and Higgins started at about 9:30. She was just fantastic live – better than expected. Standing front and centre (maybe five metres away from Higgins) in a lightly-packed venue improved the experience! Her voice was strong and pitch-perfect and her guitarist – Josh Cunningham – was superb. It was a simple affair, just her on-stage playing either guitar or piano, with Josh joining her for about half of the songs. Simple but effective. She has a lot of presence and tells a story convincingly with her heartfelt lyrics – the only negative IMO is that some of her songs sound same-ish. But hey, she's only one album in! Will be interesting to watch her develop with her next albums. Anyway, was a good gig. 🙂
Then we had the bloody long walk back to the car late at night. Age and I caught a bus for some of the way but it was still a fair walk – much longer than any real American would have done. 😉 Another tiring drive home.
Monday was a pretty slack day, we headed back to Fry's so Age could buy his radar detector (let me know how it goes mate!) and then back out to Santana Row so he could buy a Diesel watch. Then it was off to San Jose airport so Age could catch his flight (to LA, then Sydney, then Melbourne – ouch!).
Thanks for coming Age, I had a great time and it was good catching up mate. 🙂
I've put some of the locations we visited into Google Earth, you can download them here.