Getting Freaky in 'Frisco

Well, I didn't get that freaky. But I had to use poetic license for a headline that encapsulated how much fun I had in San Francisco over the past four days. My summer vacation, as chronicled by my meals:

After a press screening of "Seros Queridos," a Spanish comedy that tormented me with a cliched plot and predictable characters before surprising me with an uplifting ending, I snacked on coconut macaroons flavored with lemon zest at Tartine in San Francisco's Dolores Park neighborhood. I must thank Mai for inviting me to the press screening at the Variety Club preview room and educating me on the etiquette not to discuss the film while still in the screening room. My innocuous question about Max Berliner's other movie roles could have tainted another (re)viewer's opinion of the flick. It was Spare-the-Air day in San Francisco, so we took the BART for free from Union Square to Dolores Park, where we sat at an outdoor table and watched all the folks walk by while nibbling on our cookies and sipping pink lemonade and iced white peony tea. "SSC," Mai said to me as a super-styling-couple (she in dark minidress, he in T-shirt and straight-leg jeans) strolled by.

After our snack, Mai and I walked to a boutique that recently opened in the neighborhood. When walking around San Francisco, I always make a point to look up to gaze at the colorful murals and clever graffiti. Mai reminded me to look down at the sidewalk. An emo street artist has been on the rampage recently in the foggy city, spray-painting stencils of non sequiturs that are simultaneously amusing and annoying. One such memento inspired a rebuttal by a citizen who found it more of the latter.

After Mai left to make her evening appointment, I wandered the Mission Park neighborhood and looked up to find an aged ad for pound cake.

On Saturday, my sister, Tu, and I went to Hayes Valley so that I could check out a couple of boutiques that a colleague had recently profiled. It was so hot that Tu and I slipped into Citizen Cake for something cold to drink. "Brunch or dessert?" the host in an all-black outfit asked us. "Brunch and dessert," we cheerfully replied. I had a bowl of polenta mixed with cheddar cheese and scallions and topped with a soft-boiled egg. The bacon was baked to be crunchy but not greasy. Tu had a scoop of plum ginger sorbet with a ginger molasses cookie. She said the combo of sorbet and an iced tea helped cool her temperature by 5 degrees.

Later on Saturday, Tu, her fiance, Travis, and I headed to Berkeley to see The Flaming Lips play with Ween and Liars. The Go! Team cancelled for some reason, so art-rock group Liars kicked off the show on time at 6:30 p.m. Travis wasn't impressed by Liars, but I liked them because I could hear the influence of The Boredoms on their music. Liars were more closely linked in sound to the Lips than to Ween. Still, Ween played a great 75-minute set with a sweet encore that almost convinced me that they, instead of the Lips, were the main act. The Lips finally came on. Wayne Coyne walked above the crowd in a clear plastic bubble. He also tossed balloons into the crowd and shot streamers out of a gun into the air. The band was flanked throughout the night by a group of sexy girls in purple and silver microdresses and green alien masks to the left and a band of Santa Clauses to the right. Coyne's voice was giving, but both he and the crowd were so sincere and happy and high on pot and life that everyone had fun. "Simply being around people enjoying life makes you enjoy life," he told the crowd.

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