San Francisco Tulips

Last Saturday as I was heading back to San Francisco from Oakland, I looked into what events are happening near me. One of my quick go to websites is events12. It focuses on free and priced events in big cities. They feature: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Or, San Francisco and Seattle.

I found American Tulip Day in Union Square. It featured 100,000 tulips you can pick for free. There was a line heading around the block just to get in. Although it was long, it went quick and I only waited about 10 minutes. As you walked in, you could see hundreds of people walking through the tulip beds picking flowers. There were red, yellow, pink, purple, white and a mix of yellow and red tulips. Once inside you were given a small bag. But if you came prepared, you would have brought a grocery bag to fill.

I thought the flowers were going to be already cut for an easy picking. Nope. They made you work for it. They were still in their beds, bulbs and all. If I had a garden I would have picked more than I could carry so I can replant them. I took home about 19 of them. All very beautiful. I got a few strange looks on the metro heading back across the city to go home. I guess not everyone knew about free tulip day. I wouldn’t have either, had I not looked online. I typically don’t go into the touristy part of town.

For those who don’t know, Tulip Day is a version of a Dutch holiday that brings a pop-up garden of thousands of flowers to Dam Square in Amsterdam for thousands of people to enjoy. Further note on tulips: Tulip mania “was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble.” Click the link… I never knew about that… and it’s pretty interesting.

20180302_213135Also this weekend, on Friday I stopped over at First Fridays in Oakland after work. It sort of got rained out, but they kept on going with what they had. There were food trucks, music, a DJ and even a bar. They even feature half off the Oakland Museum of California since the event is held on the street level of it. The event is free and it’s super fun and community driven.

After that, I headed to Independent Brewing Company to try some new beers. They’re located in Oakland too, but a bit hidden away near an overpass. I wouldn’t have known about it, had my friends band not played there. Occasionally they have art shows and music. This last weekend they had a Tom Waits cover band play. A trio featuring a quiet bassist, a banjo player/singer (who was also the opening act called the “1 Man Banjo”) and a female accordion player/singer. They were decent, but they could couldn’t (wouldn’t?) play one of my favorite songs Chocolate Jesus. I mean, c’mon… it’s almost Easter.

The place was pretty empty, but I still had fun. Hopefully this next weekend is better than the last. Let’s hope nothing gets rained out again.

One more thing before I forget! The bay area features a plethora of shows, from punk to metal to jazz. You can typically find most shows on The List. It’s assorted by date and club in which the bands are playing. Occasionally I find shows that aren’t featured on it, and that’s a shame, but knowing the right people and places to go always help with a good time. 🙂

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Question the Indigestion

Real talk…

About a month ago I came to the conclusion that food is ultimately better in Europe. I’ve also had this conversation several times in the last week, with natives of Europe and people who have traveled abroad to Europe from U.S.A.

Why do you ask? I have never once in my time in Europe, gotten indigestion from the food here. Except the few times I went to McDonald’s (but it’s McDonald’s, so it’s expected). The only time I have had any kind of stomach ache, is from eating too many dumplings with my goulash or over eating food here in Italy. Italians take their food very seriously and consider it an insult if you don’t eat what is given, at least in my experience.

The meat in particular is different. The best burger I have ever eaten was in Berlin. The U.S. has so much shit in their food: sugar, sodium, chemicals, etc, etc. Everything is pumped full of them. This is the reason you won’t find some American foods anywhere else in the world. Because they are banned from all the shiiiiiiiiiiiiit they put in it.

Don’t get me wrong, I looove American food. Especially shitty American diner food. I love a good burger, fries and milkshake and a side of ranch (I miss ranch so much, I dream about it on the daily). I love hollandaise sauce and over processed potatoes. I love fried foods and sauces and all the bad things that make life worth living. But….

I will be sad when I leave this magical place. So if you ever travel to Europe, especially if you’re a meat eater, even if you’re not (I won’t tell anyone you cheated on your vegan/vegetarian diet thing)…. eat the goulash, eat that weird meat, eat that unknown foreign meal full of deliciousness. You deserve it, cuz you won’t find that same quality in America.