Don't Let Things Maca(ruin) Your Day
Last weekend I decided to take a bit of a random trip out to San Francisco, where I stayed with my new friend Caity. We met first on Instagram then met up in NYC a few months ago. She is working at LinkedIn and though they have a NYC location, she had to work for the first year at their headquarters in San Francisco. She invited me to visit before she moved back to NYC and I figured why not, could be fun. It's in my personality to plan things well ahead of time and need an itinerary and checklist kind of format when traveling, so I did the same for SF and prepared a day by day plan, though a relatively loose one by my personal standards. But if this trip proved anything it's that even the best laid plans go awry. Oh, and that if the ridiculous bad-luck scenarios are going to happen to anyone, they're going to happen to me (and unfortunately to Caity, a fellow bearer of the bad-luck curse, I came to discover). Warning ahead of time that this is a bit of a long story...
I flew in on Thursday and after dropping my bags at her place in the Financial District, I stopped by the AFAR office to meet with some of the editorial team there since I've been working in the New York office with the sales and marketing teams all semester. When I left the office it was still nice outside and I decided to just start walking. I walked pretty aimlessly for awhile until I reached the water, then edged along the water until I ran into Fisherman's Wharf (almost as hellishly tourist filled as Times Square). Caity was still at work so I looked at my map and realized I was pretty close to Lombard Street, so that became my next stop and my first real taste of those ridiculous San Francisco hills. After snapping some photos it was time to meet up with Caity and I decided to just walk back to her place. 45+ minutes later and I'd finally made it, having misjudged the distance completely. I'm so used to the walkability of NYC that I was thrown off by how much more spread out SF was. After changing into something less casual, Caity and I went to grab happy hour drinks at The Tipsy Pig and wound up eating dinner there also. We wrapped up just in time to make it to the waterside for a beautiful sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Friday began with Caity leaving early for work and me on my own for most of the day. I had decided on a few things to do, including the bakeries on my list, since Caity is gluten free and couldn't partake anyways, and the SFMoMA that she'd seen several times. I took my time in the morning waking up and got an Uber over to Jane on Fillmore for breakfast. I was half paying attention during the drive and when my driver dropped me off I walked into the surprisingly empty cafe. I'd been expecting a huge line like I'd read would often form at this trendy spot, but I counted myself lucky and went to the counter to order. "One cappuccino," I began before the barista cut me off. "The power is out so we only have the iced coffee we made this morning and the baked goods in the case," she explained. I was too confused at this point to do much more than order an iced coffee and a croissant and when I sat down at a table I began to Google the situation. Or I would have if I'd had cell service. I snapped a few flatlays of my dejected-feeling breakfast before overhearing the table next to me discussing that the entire area was without power. This was getting stranger and I timidly joined their conversation; I soon learned learned that half the city had been affected. I started walking down Fillmore before I finally got a sliver of service and was able to route to my next destination, the Mr. Holmes Bakery, also without power. There the salesman informed me there were two other power outage events in LA and NYC and everything really started to feel more and more apocalyptic, not to mention all of the street lights being out and the empty buses stranded on street corners and the melee of confused people milling around. I walked to SFMoMA where finally, somewhere had power! So I killed time in the museum until lunch (I called ahead of time to make sure that they had power and were still open) with Caity at Leo's Oyster Bar. It was a really odd morning and felt like scenes straight out of a doomsday movie.
Leo's was delicious, the decor was phenomenal, and the ambiance was ideal with a skylight overhead making our seats sunny and bright, so we spent a few hours eating and drinking and chatting. Caity had brought her manager, Tera, and we all had a wonderful time getting to know each other. The power outage strangeness was soon forgotten and after lunch, Caity and Tera went back to work and I went to see the Painted Ladies, then met up with Caity at Miette, the cute pink sweet shop in Hayes Valley. We explored the area a little before going back to Caity's and resting before it was off to dinner at a Mexican restaurant she frequented. It was a long wait so we just sat at the bar and ordered, then after dinner met up with her friends from work for drinks. The first bar wasn't hopping so we went to another, but I was exhausted considering the time change and the long day, so decided to head out around midnight. I'm really not much of a partier (though anyone who knew me freshman or sophomore year of college would be surprised to hear that), which is especially true when I travel because I want to be able to wake up early and see as much as possible wherever I am. Partying hard while traveling is, in my opinion, a waste of valuable time. But Caity wasn't traveling and wasn't tired so she stayed at the bar. I fell right into a deep sleep the second my head hit the pillow...
I woke up pretty early as she and I had agreed upon, which I hadn't thought would be an issue since she's a total morning person and usually gets up at 6a.m. naturally. But when 8:30 rolled around and she was still sleeping, I began to rustle around and make some noise in the hopes of waking her up. She groggily looked up at me and informed me the reason she was having such a tough morning: she'd been robbed at gunpoint the night before. About an hour after I had left the bar she and her coworker were heading out and a small Latino guy pushed her and said "give me your phone." Now Caity is a tall girl and very athletic, not to mention her friend Nelson, so they probably could have fought the guy. But when Nelson argued with him to leave Caity alone, he said he had a gun. The details of the ordeal were pretty blurry but the gist was pretty clear in that Caity's phone was stolen and she was upset and traumatized by the event. She and Nelson then called the cops to file a report and through tears she explained what she could remember. They were up most of the night dealing with it.
She made some calls in the morning to her parents and brother to let them know she was okay, and to her insurance company to file a claim, then we spent a few hours at Apple getting her a new phone. One of the craziest things was when she was explaining to a worker at the Apple store what had occurred and a woman nearby piped in that the exact same thing had happened to her the night before, close to where Caity had been assaulted, hence why she was also there buying a new phone. Apparently there has been a string of phone theft in the SF area recently. I just felt so bad about the whole situation and tried to be supportive, though I'm not entirely sure there's a proper response to console someone after something like that. Needless to say my first 48 hours in San Francisco were turning out to be very eventful, though not in quite the way I'd expected. Moral of the story? You can't let a weird power outage and a horrible crime ruin your day when things, in all actuality, could have gone so much worse. The power came back on and Caity, though shaken up, was safe and got a new phone. There are some things you just cannot plan for.
Thanks Caity for the photos of me! And for more of my photography, like the photos of San Francisco you see here, check out www.emilybyrski.com