On the second day I went to Irving street, it’s in the sunset district in San Francisco. I’m really sad I did not take any pictures there. The street is nothing special as in stunningly different that makes you just want to take out your camera and keep this moment forever, it’s more like an area where you could imagine yourself living because it has this special something that you cannot really explain.
I found above picture online because I wanted to be able to give a glimpse of this street. It has a lot of little shops and small restaurants side by side and the intersecting roads are built with resident’s houses. I love that they are all only a maximum of maybe three stories tall, this made me feel like I was not in the city at all although being so close. What adds to this feeling is the Golden Gate Park between Lincoln Way and Fulton to which I went on a different day as it is damn big. Around one corner you have downtown, around the other you have a forrest and place to spend your weekends and free time at: perfect.
The specialty about this district are the street names. You will never get lost. Why? Because all horizontal streets have names, alphabetically named, and the vertical streets have numbers, counting up. So if you’re at the junction of Irving and 9th (like above painting) and you want to get to the junction of Lawton and 15th you know without doubt you have to go 6 streets west and 3 streets south. Easy, right? 😉
Besides Irving, also Haight Street is a very popular street in the Sunset, it has a very different appearance though. The first shop I saw there was a tattoo studio, to give you an idea of what kind of shops are around there. The people walking around this street were dressed as punks or very alternatively and I saw a few homeless people, too.
If this street was in Frankfurt for example, I would not have felt as safe as I felt at Haight. I was not afraid someone would jump at me, steal my purse or start harassing me. The people there were very friendly and busy with themselves instead of seeking for trouble as someone might expect.
For dinner I have been taken to a place without having been told what it was. So I went in and saw a bar with people sitting around it on the left side whereas the right side was a little higher, straight surface with thick poles going to the ceiling. Around this bar there were some more tables to the sides with a lot of people sitting down and having a great time already – I later found out a lot of these groups were birthdays or bachelorette’s parties – and in the back stairs went down to some kind of club I suppose (I didn’t go downstairs).
So we were sat down at the bar and I sat right next to the raised straight surface. We started ordering the food and only then my company let me know that we were in a bar / restaurant / club where apart from the owner and barkeepers all waitresses were transvestites who would put on a show on that straight surface between the courses.
There I sat not knowing what to think or expect, trying to get a glimpse on those waitresses (we were taken care of by the barkeepers), starting to feel very uncomfortable sitting right next to the “stage”. I have never been in contact with transvestites before, growing up in a village, I only saw them either on TV or from a far distance in Singapore. And I can still count those occurrences with one hand.
Well, we started with our first course and when everybody was done the first show started. Three girls were singing playback dancing to current chart songs and they didn’t do a bad job! What I did not expect though, was that one of them started flirting with me and touching me. I had no idea how to react 😀 In retrospect I can just laugh at this, but at the time I just wanted to run away from this scene and watch from distance. After this show I switched places with my company, only to have him get touched during the next performance but starting to feel a lot more comfortable now 🙂
I must say I actually did enjoy the show despite the beginning shock. It was something one does not see every day and the food was good, too. I think the next time I’d go there I’d enjoy it even more – knowing where I’d wanna sit and what to expect. Then I’d also be courageous enough to take photos – I did not dare that night although everyone else did. If you ever go to San Francisco, spend a dinner at Asia SF, it’s definitely worth the experience. 🙂