San Francisco - May 2003 (1)

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On May, 28th, 2003, Cat flew down to San Francisco to do some research for Seem Real Theatreís upcoming play Quake Time. The play is based on stories Catís uncles Louis and Adam told him about arriving in San Francisco shortly after the 1906 earthquake. Another reason for the trip was to meet old friend and now successful Sydney, Australian sculptor John Petrie (known as JP) who was flying in at the same time. They were picked up at the airport by their mutual friend, Soapy Salesman Joel Diamond. Joel, Cat and JP had taught English at a school in Tokyo in the 80s. A fine time was to be had by all.

The festivities began as Joel took his friends to his favourite Oakland bar, where Cat discovered Apricot beer was not as good as real apricots, but the barís pear cidre was better than the pear cidre available in Vancouver. Not so cloyingly sweet. JP pronounced the non-Aussie beers drinkable, but they stopped off at a grocery store on the way back to Joelís house to stock up on excellent Normandy cidre (Vive La France) for Cat and Euro-beers for everyone else. Driving down to meet JP was his old friend, Eco-Artist Michael Brophy, who was awaiting them at the house. Along with Joelís brother Stuart, the party moved to the superb Oakland Vietnamese restaurant Pho 84. Everyone agreed that Joelís menu suggestion was well worth the trip to the Bay Area for, or perhaps even to Vietnam.

Bo Tai Chanh   8.95
Rare beef marinated w/lemon juice, and spices, then topped
w/mint leaves, peanuts, onions, & sesame seeds. Served w/fish sauce.

Cat caught the BART back to his hotel, The Ramada Plaza on Market Street. A very historic hotel that had once served as City Hall, The Ramada Plaza was comfortable, cheap, adjacent to transportation and across the street from the main library, where Cat would be doing most of his research. Still, a seriously sleazy area. Cat's usual tattered attire made him less a target for aggressive pan handlers than the usual tourist, he suspects.

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