As an actor-playwright-screenwriter-director-producer who hangs around with many of the same, not to mention musicians, novelists, poets, literary hangers-on, painters, sculptors and former captains of Trident submarines, I hang around with a lot of people whose idea of getting up early on a Saturday consists of awakening at the crack of noon. But for this week’s Challenge, I thought an exploration of the Upper Haight neighborhood of San Francisco (from the intersection of Masonic & Haight to the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park) might be fun, if only to find out how many San Franciscans have stirred by 9:00 a.m.
And in fact, I saw few of the natives, but a lot of tourists.
The natives of San Francisco’s Upper Haight mostly had not gotten up, perhaps because of the previous night’s fun. San Francisco has 5 seasons, not four: autumn, winter, spring, summer and Hallowe’en (San Francisco’s national holiday), which starts on the weekend of the Folsom Street Fair and continues through October 31 (November 2, if our city’s national holiday comes on a Friday). This gentleman might have been wondering if his buddies had fallen out of bed yet:
I liked this young woman as soon as I saw her. If there’s one location almost as pleasurable as a kitchen table on a Saturday morning, it must be sitting on the roof of one of San Francisco’s better bookstores watching the world walk below you.
One place where you will find a lot of activity early on Saturday morning is Golden Gate Park, especially on the children’s soccer fields and the tennis courts.
I visited a place I’ve loved ever since I was two years old and my father was stationed on Treasure Island, namely the California Academy of Sciences. They have special “Neighborhood Free Days,” and since Saturday was my nabe’s turn for free admission, I pounced upon the opportunity to avoid spending $24.95. Undoubtedly, yours truly walked around the place with the exact same huge stupid happy grin he’s worn every time he’s visited the Academy. Science becomes just so awesome when done properly.
Of course, some people have to work on Saturdays; but of course, it might not look like work:
After the Academy, the Conservatory of Flowers. I’ve already published the orchid pictures here; this shot shows what the east wing looks like.
The Conservatory is also a popular location for weddings.
Having worked up an appetite, the time came for brunch. I selected Bugaloo’s, a pop-up weekend brunch restaurant that pops up inside Parada 22 on Saturday and Sunday, with big excellent Southwestern and Caribbean style breakfast entrees in the $8-12 range. The food and decor outdo each other in color.
The orange liquid in the clear flasks seems to be a habanero flavored vinegar sauce, spicy and warm, but not crazy hot.
Even in a rowdy party-all-night town like San Francisco, you can still savor a lively Saturday morning.
Vonn Scott Bair