A weekend in and around the city

Friday night Leona flew in from Oregon, so we met up with her, Chris, and Marcia to show off the apartment and explore our neighborhood. Walked down to Polk and ended up eating outdoors at Shalamar’s. We all ordered at the counter independently, and we all ordered the same things: chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, and rice. It’s a good baseline for an Indian restaurant you’ve never been to before. The curry was a little oily, but overall the warm, spicy dish was a nice compliment to the cool night. The ambiance consisted of people talking, eating and every table taken. It reminded me of college.

Camera tossing at Volpi's in Petaluma

We met up with some folks Chris met the night before and walked down to the Bigfoot Lodge, which is becoming the first place I want to take people to show them the neighborhood after hours. It’s made to look like a log cabin on the inside. They have a large sculpture of a sasquatch. And apparently if you stay late enough they set the bar on fire. After a few drinks our crew (some of whom had to drive back to Petaluma) was showing signs of fatigue, so we called it a night.

Volpi's air conditioned sign

Saturday was a chill day. Only had Leona’s birthday in Petaluma to attend that evening, so we slept in. Made a cornmeal pizza with artichoke hearts and polish sausage for brunch. Stephanie napped. I computed. My car was parked at work in Sausalito, so we had to take a bus to go pick it up before driving to Petaluma. Did a little shopping and then met up with the extended crowd at Volpi’s, a homestyle Italian restaurant. I had a tasty ribeye steak while spaghetti, tortellini, and gnocchi were consumed around me. Later drinks at the fratastic McNears, excellent cupcakes courtesy of Dawn, and driving home after midnight.

Justin with a cupcake in his mouth

Sunday we cleaned, followed by some errands on Polk Street which for the first time gave me that warm feeling: I live here. Browsed through a fancy kitchen supply store, explored a hardware store with high ceilings and impressively diverse inventory, picked up some cheap bottles of wine, stocked up on toiletries from Walgreens. All this in about a three block stretch of Polk between Pine and Clay.

Stephanie and Justin at Volpi's in Petaluma

We got back to the apartment just as Stephanie’s dad Jean Claude and Sabine arrived, preparing to spend the night in advance of Jean Claude’s naturalization test Monday afternoon. Popped a celebratory bottle of champagne, and then walked over to Chinatown for dinner at Hunan Home’s on Jackson and Kearny. During dinner Stephanie quizzed me and Jean Claude on our knowledge of US government and history.

Who said “Give me liberty or give me death”? Patrick Henry. Indeed.

Update: added photos taken at Leona’s party


I just watched an episode of Quantum Leap, which was SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced by my new speakers. Thank you so much for celebrating my party with me and warming my new, little home with a snazzy sound system. Y’all rock.

Leona, I’m glad to hear it. And thanks for getting those pictures out so quickly. I borrowed a few to illustrate this post. They came out pretty good I think. Hope you enjoyed discovering what I (and others) took.


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