This post is born from admiration and frustration. The admiration is mine for these people. The frustration is mine from trying to figure out free on-line photo editing software, and attempting to download four different pieces of "free" panoramic photo stitching software only to find that they're either infected with viruses, or suspected to be infected with viruses... so rather than risk disaster, I give up and post what I have as best I can. Sirenita Lives!!
Last week, after their road trip began in KC, trig and Jenny arrived in San Francisco. I gave them a day to recover before we hooked up over at Alioto's Restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf. We were supposed to meet around 1:30-2:00pm but as usual, I lost my way on the streets of SF and after several cell phone updates I managed to find my way and get into a parking garage around 2:45. Hiking through the crowds of tourists, I found them at a table overlooking the water and profusely apologized.
The reason I'd suggested Alioto's is that the last time I was at Fisherman's Wharf in 1987 they served abalone, the most cherished delicacy of all West Coast shellfish. Since then the species has been significantly depleted by Japanese culinary demand and the resurgence of the protected sea otter population. California abalone is commercially available through only one aquaculture facility, The Abalone Farm in Cayucos, CA, and it sells in Japan for around $200 USD per pound. It is so damn fine that I was more than willing to pay that price just to savor and share it's heavenly texture and taste with trig and Jenny, but alas even the vaunted Alioto's couldn't justify putting something that outrageously expensive on their menu and the alternative calamari steak is a pale substitute for the real thing. So trig and I ordered fresh oysters on the half shell and shared them with Jenny and while they chose the less expensive lunch menu, I ate a crab and shrimp cocktail. It was a pleasant meal, if not the great and rarefied experience for which I'd hoped.
We lingered for two hours chatting about OS and Sirenita and I'm afraid I wandered off into my usual pontifications and may have bored them a bit. We hiked back through the tourists to the parking garage when they climbed into my beater 1991 Nissan Pathfinder and I promptly lost my way in San Francisco's amplified (BART train operations were shut down due to a strike and thousands of commuters were clogging the streets with their cars.) rush hour. trig's cell phone battery was on its last gasp, but with Jenny acting as navigator we circled around to Van Ness. After the battery finally died, we managed to find some land marks that trig recognized and avoided the stand still traffic on the freeway while, from the back seat, he patiently guided me to Sirenita's house in the Mission district.
We arrived around 5:00pm, stressed and desperate to pee and seek the succor of cold beer. Since my last visit to Sirenita, she's been through hell and back and thanks be to heaven and G_D, she's survived and thrived! We found her hard at work with nanatehay in the small garden behind the house. I'm an idiot for not taking any pictures of the formidable mermaid mistress in her garden attire, but to tell the truth I was so blown away happy to see her up and about and so full of life that I forgot that my Kodak was in the pocket of my shorts. I won't go into detail, but will simply post the pics I took of the beauty of the Mermaid's garden lair:
After cleaning up, drinking beer and stuffing our faces with pizza at around 8:00pm the entire crew retired to the landing to partake of some California legal medicinal herb, but since I had to drive back to Novato and I can barely see in the dark, I abstained for fear of becoming terminally lost on the streets of San Francisco. This was my parting shot:
It's a little fuzzy and out of focus, but that somehow seems most appropriate to the end of that very cool day. I believe that overall, it was a good day had by all because Sirenita Lives!!
Except for attributed photos and text, all content is copyrighted © 2013 JKM (an apparently ineffectual boilerplate joke?)