Stalk the Chorallaries, Part II

Discovered that I had forgotten my Blogger password, so had to go through the rigamarole of changing it. ::sigh:: I've decided to post here instead of to my Zephyr class to avoid spamming everybody's zlogs. Some time when I have free time (stop laughing!) I'll go through and find what I posted to my class yesterday and put it here, just to preserve continuity. There may also be pictures, whenever we get around to downloading them from the memory cards of the Chorallaries' digital cameras. (I am apparently the only person who brought a laptop on tour. I don't quite understand how these people survive it, sometimes. 😉

Today was a pretty good day — we've found our feet, so to speak, and are starting to get comfortable with San Francisco, so there was a lot less running around trying to figure out what's going on and where we're supposed to be headed. It felt a little bit like all we did today was eat — we got a late start this morning, so the first thing we did in San Francisco was have lunch at Chipotle's, a taqueria like Anna's, only better (though pricier, too). The food was really good, and the portions were huge. I had a burrito with black beans, lime-and-cilantro rice, fresh green pepper and onion, guacamole, and salsa, and I could have happily waited until lunch tomorrow for my next meal. Chipotle's rocked for very large values of rock.

After that we went to the Museum of Modern Art. It was an interesting museum — I was pleased that most of the "modern art" actually managed to be aesthetically attractive as well as "modern." There were a couple of exhibits (eg. the exhibit of art made using experimental photography techniques) which didn't excite me, but otherwise I was quite impressed. One of the painters on exhibit based much of his work off photographs, to the point where you couldn't tell whether the thing on the wall was a painting or a photo unless you got close enough to see the brush-work. There was also an experimental, rather trippy, set of video collages based off the Winchester Mystery House which were interesting, and an exhibit done by an artist who took very (not exactly, but close enough) random words and phrases and put them in interesting contexts, like lab manuals and ketchup-bottle labels. One of the neatest things there was a set of videos taken in various rotating restaurants, all made at the same speed, focused on an unoccupied table, and displayed in a ring around you so that you could look any way and "be" in a different restaurant. Very cool. They also had an exhibit of art made using type which was interesting, though often hard to read — my eyes started to go wonky halfway through, partly because of the trippy art and partly because of the food coma from my burrito. A lot of the art felt like things William Gibson describes in his cyberpunk books. There was also a pretty cool gift shop at the museum — they had a set of chopsticks I thought about buying, but for some reason I'm leery of purchasing cooking utensils at an art museum. Form over function, and all that. Maybe I've just been hanging around with too many engineers lately.

It started raining as we were getting out of the art museum, so we dropped by a Starbucks and got hot drinks, and then took the bus to Ghirardelli Square for the informal gig we had planned. Because of the rain we couldn't sing in the square proper, so we ended up singing in the Ghirardelli ice cream and chocolate shop. It was crowded and there really wasn't enough open space for an a cappella group, but we made it work, and the people seemed to enjoy our music. The management was really nice to us — after we were done singing they brought out a humongous banana split with a half-dozen kinds of ice cream that we shared. (heart) Ghirardelli.

After that some of us considered having a nice seafood meal on Fisherman's Wharf. Since I'd eaten so much so recently (the burrito had nowhere near worn off), I wasn't terribly interested in another meal, so several of us walked around the piers and checked out the touristy trinket shops. We'd seen clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl advertised by several street vendors and heard that it was good, so we eventually decided on that for our supper and set out to find someone who would sell it to us, but most of the stands had closed up because of the weather, and one of the sit-down restaurants we found which sold it was out of bread bowls. There's an incredible profusion of little seafood stands and small restaurants on that particular pier, though — they're packed in almost literally elbow-to-elbow — and we eventually we found a vendor, but there wasn't really a place to sit down and eat. We ended up walking along the pier in the rain eating clam chowder, and went to an In-and-Out Burger to finish our bread bowls while the vegetarian and kosher-keeping members of our group got food.

After that we found a Borders bookstore to hang out in while the members of the group who had opted for a more expensive seafood meal got the cars, and I picked up a Flogging Molly album I've been meaning to get for a long time, so we now have added Irish punk to the list of musical genres we can listen to on our car rides.

The plan for tomorrow as I understand it is to sing at Sacred Heart, an all-girls Catholic high school which is the alma mater of one of our members, and then go to Stanford and hang out and sing somewhere on campus. We've also got a gig in the evening with an alum (and maybe an alum's group) at a coffeehouse somewhere nearby, which should be fun. If I can find out what the coffeehouse is called, I'll post it for anybody who's in the area.

I should get some sleep — it'll be an early morning tomorrow so we can get to our gig on time. (Silly, it's not even 2500 local time…)