I was working at San Francisco (SFO), technically, so I didn't actually get to explore a lot of SFO. I did go out exploring every morning and at night, and on the weekends. SFO is possibly one of the cleanest cities and the only city where you actually see gays walk on the street freely! I have to admit I live 4 mins away from Castro, the gay capital of the world.
So, I was staying with my friend, who I was working for. He lives in a 3 storey house with an amazing view of the entire SFO.
At night, the living is actually a pretty magical place to be. Due to jetlag I was up at weird hours in the morning so often, I would make a nice cup of tea and just sit in the lounge.
The whole I was there, it was mostly cold and on some days, wet! So a hot cup of tea and a view like that was actually more than perfect! On good days, we get a view like this!
And this is only like probably 120 degrees of the view. Due to the height of the house, in relation to the other houses around, we get close to 280 degrees of views like that! Including the giant gay flag at Castro!
I did what most tourists would do - the Fishermen's Wharf and Golden Gate Bridge. Due to my laziness, I did both at once. So, armed with a 6 pack and a clam chowder from Fishermen's Wharf, my friend and I jumped on a boat and cruised to the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz, a "small island early-on served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963." taken from Wikipedia.
I also took a trip to Castro, since it was only 4 minutes from where I live. It's easy to misunderstand the suburb as a gay suburb. It doesn't feel that way at all, in fact, it was a pretty inspiring place to be despite it being wet day. It's almost like what an ideal world would look like. Apart from the gay flags on some shops, the whole place looks like your ordinary friendly suburb. People there were incredibly nice and you see more straight than gay people on the street. What makes it an inspiring place is both straight and gay couple were holding hands and doing what couples do! There were of course interesting characters (from the perspective of a foreigner), a typical sight in USA but overall, the place ooze with happiness and inclusiveness.
I visited the Castro Theatre and watched, something Hand Joe. I don't quite remember the title, but it was a good show. It's an experience I wouldn't forget - sitting in a threatre as old as my grandmother, showing movie projected from an old projector! Everything inside is so well-preserved you almost feel like you've been brought back in time.
I also managed to catch up with a few friends in San Francisco and made some others. Had a great walk around The Mission every morning in search for the perfect coffee and breakfast, had a meeting with the Community Manager from LiveJournal who introduced me to this very old-school place for breakfast. It's almost like out of the movie.
One thing that I definitely appreciate about America is the free flow coffee and huge portion of breakfast!
Oh, and I also ate at a restaurant, which apparently is the founder of the original Hawaiian Pizza, so that was pretty special. I am too lazy to dig out my notes to find the names of all these places. :P
Coming up, Atlanta, Chicago and a very special boy who is reading this blog right now! First person from my real-life who knows about my blog!
And I want to draw attention to James' comment on my previous post because I think its rather important information to know. Thanks, James!
It's actually called a "dishonorable discharge" and it's far worse than being fired. It means you're excluded from any military position ad infinitum. If future employers find out that you were dishonorably discharged, it's pretty much the blackest mark you can have on your record. Your eligibility for employment anywhere drops significantly.
A dishonorable discharge puts someone at the same level as traitors, cowards, and other such unsavory categories of people who fall short by not performing their military duties.
In no way should LGBT members who have always faithfully performed their duties be grouped with people that actually jeopardize our country and military through traitorous and spineless activity. If anything, LGBT personnel are some of the bravest and most loyal military personnel, serving their country loyally despite a hostile leadership. I salute all LGBT military personnel.