San Francisco se lève


(“San Francisco arises”. Famous French song 🙂 )

Having now safely arrived in San Francisco (I may not have been clear in my previous post, but we were delayed by 4 hours–we didn’t remain stuck in Chicago), we now set about to a. sightseeing, and b. eating out with friends.

(ok, there was c. awesome reading at Borderlands, thanks to Jude Feldman, Naamen Tilahun and the rest of the staff–and everyone who showed up to listen to me blather on about the Aztecs. Now I’m all set for the Worldcon reading 🙂 )

Thoughts on a.: wow, that is a hilly city. We have a map, but as Nick Mamatas pointed out, what we really need is a gradient map. We walked from Chinatown to Pacific Heights over a bunch of hills, and were mostly ready to collapse by the time evening came around.
Oh, and I’m in love with Chinatown. Definitely more Chinese than Vietnamese (unlike in Paris where the reverse holds true–we call it “Chinese district”, but there’s very little Chinese about it). I love the herborist shops and the teahouses (must snag a tea before I leave), and the crafts shops (lots of touristy stuff, but there’s some really pretty things. Friend and I got a bunch of paintings–mine’s of mountains lit by the setting sun, lost in a sea of clouds with a solitary little house on the peaks). And the food… mmmmm…
Thoughts on b: had drinks and/or food with Mike, Nick Mamatas, Kate Kligman, Jason S. Ridler, Erin Hoffman, Katherine Sparrow, Dario Ciriello and Keyan Bowes (hope I haven’t forgotten anyone…). The Chinese restaurant in particular (Chef Jia’s) had amazing food (mmm, vegetable potstickers), though we managed to eat three meals with it (the original meal, plus the leftovers over two other meals…). And the company was great, though we were a little frazzled by so much sightseeing. Have learnt useful things RE US food: “hot” is not hot at all on my scale, and “sweet” is definitely over the top for me.

To come: more sightseeing, and more food 🙂

And in shameless self-promotion items of the day, I forgot to post that if you’re in the UK, you can get the Kindle edition of Servant of the Underworld for £0.99, less than the price of a coffee. Offer’s good until the end of the summer if I recall correctly–so if you’ve always wanted to try out the book….


  1. You’re in my hometown. I left it and moved to Scotland, and while Scotland is beautiful, I definitely miss SF. I recommend the Musee Mechanique at Fisherman’s Wharf if you haven’t seen it already. It’s free and full of functioning antique arcade games.

    Helpful hint: Don’t call it “Frisco.” The locals hate it 😉

  2. There is a Little Saigon in SF too, if you’re interested. (The area is a little dicey, but fine, really.)

  3. Laura: Musee Mechanique looks awesome, but not sure we’ll have time…
    Nick: thanks! We took a bus through it, and I saw a few shops–might swing by (though Chinatown is a lot more interesting to me as a tourist, definitely less familiar. I can get good Vietnamese stuff in Paris, whereas good Chinese not so much…)

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