Day 6: Twin Peaks, Smoky Bar

San Francisco is probably the last place you’d look for some good grits – which is a shame, cause you’d be missing out on J’s Pots of Soul.

This cozy restaurant with a purple ceiling serves some of the best breakfast I’ve had anywhere, and I’m a breakfast person, so that’s saying a lot. We had passed by it on our way to the Haight, and our NFT guide had backed up our hunch that it would be good – but I doubt my words could do justice to the fluffyness of the pancakes, the surprising spicyness of the sausage, or the heartyness of the grits. I felt a comforting bliss sipping coffee out of a mismatched mug as soft Jazz swam through streams of morning sunlight.

As a cherry top to our SF trip, my girlfriend and I decided to make a trek to Twin Peaks – the highest point in the city. While we expected a stunning view, what we weren’t prepared for was such gorgeous scenery on our way to the top; the winding streets were silent except for birds and the occasional siren heard from the city below, and the homes were both awesome and quaint. Our favorite was 00 Pemberton St., a small house wrapped in ivy whose only entrance is on a hidden stairway leading up the hill – dare to dream, I guess.

Reaching the summit of Twin Peaks, the entire city sprawled out before us in all of its glass, iron and human beauty. San Francisco, with the many parks and beaches and random patches of green, is perhaps the best example of symbiosis of city and nature – thank god the folks who work for the Seattle tourists bureau don’t work in SF, or they’d have some awful slogan too.

At the top of the city we reflected on our trip, all that we had seen and done, as we gazed out to the bay, feeling our own breath flying out into the breeze – a moment of stillness in this temporary heaven.

On the way back down, some girls (who probably should’ve been back at high school) asked us for directions – we had no idea – and then very nicely offered us a lift, we declined. We wound back through the streets, still enraptured with silly ideas of one day being wealthy enough to live in these quiet homes. I fantasized about flying down the hills on my bicycle when I roadtrip back to SF this September…Janice told me to be careful.

We bussed back to Japantown, hopeful for a delicious sushi meal at Isobune – we were disappointed. Though the floating boats carrying sushi plates around the center bar make this a uniquely cute spot, the lack of anything other than very basic (and rather mediocre) sushi fare is unredeemable. We ate five plates between us (we would normally do 10 or so) before deciding to simply forgo the rest of lunch. Feeling a bit bummed and tired, we walked out into the Peace Plaza to lay out in the shade.

Staring up into a sky splotched with waves of puffy clouds, my view rimmed with pink cherry blossoms, I felt calm and strangely at home – I was inspired, and in the spirit of Japantown, I jotted down a short, haiku-like poem:

Sitting in the Peace Plaza
with bare feet
I never want to leave this city.

And that’s exactly how I felt – all of our exploring and creating new memories had led to the sprouting of young roots in the city. Yet time marches on, and planes wait for no passenger.

That night we had our last dinner in the city with our friend Danielle, though at a rather disappointing place – the Rogue Ales Public House. Though we had a nice time, going to this restaurant ended up being my #1 regret for this trip – While I love Rogue ales, the beer was good, but not mind-blowing, and the food was pretty, well, meh. Not what I had hoped for in a last meal. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve chosen one of the many fine Italian places in North Beach for some cioppino and red wine. Ah well…

We ended the night at Smoky Bar in Hayes – which isn’t really the name of the bar, but is so-called by our friends because the joint used to allow smoking. We reminisced about Korea a bit while sipping on some apple-soju cocktails. People shot pool and drained pints around us, and the night roared on as we faded into silence on the couch. It had been a good trip, and we were all pretty exhausted.

A short walk home, and we fell fast asleep for the last time in San Francisco.

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1 Response to “Day 6: Twin Peaks, Smoky Bar”



  1. 1 Tour de Cascadia « The Daily Transit Trackback on August 9, 2007 at 6:34 am
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