Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesdays with Willie

I haven't seen Willie since he dropped me off at the airport. In 1994.

We're back in touch again thanks to Facebook.

Over coffee yesterday at The Grove, we caught up about the goings-on at the Japantown Benihana, which is where we met. Ah, the joys of waiting tables.

Willie has the distinction of being one of my only Japanese friends. (I told him this was a trip to see my ethnic friends. No joke.)

Speaking of ethnic stuff, he told me an unsettling story about how, after watching the Japanese version of The Ring, he got a bloody nose. (If you've seen The Ring, you'll know why this is disturbing.)

Post coffee, we decided to walk. Willie walks everywhere. Really. He can walk for nine hours with just a couple of food breaks.

I like walking. But living in Milwaukee, I'm out of practice, even with having a dog.

So I was unprepared for the San Francisco hills. Some blocks have steps built into the sidewalk but they're still difficult — even with Willie yelling, "Feel the burn!" I think we took this photo on Fillmore and Jackson. I can't recall exactly; I was lightheaded from the altitude.

Luckily Fillmore flattens out and we could take a break by stopping at Citizen Cake. I picked up a few things, and Linda and I ate cupcakes and cookies for days! Also, she took me to El Farolito, which had a line out the door and some of the best tacos ever.

But I digress.

Many things have changed since 1994: Cal football games are at AT&T Park, the Hard Rock Cafe near my old apartment closed, and businesses no longer use plastic bags (for real, Walgreens?!). It's a lot to process.

But to be able to take the 38 Geary, meet up with an old friend, and wander around the city, I am glad that is still the same.

Cheers to my Japantown friend!

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