February 28, 2004

Going to the Apple Store grand opening was so fun today. By the time I parked (in the Howard & Steuart Street garage, which by the way, is the cheapest garage downtown on the weekend) and flew down to Stockton and Market, there were masses of people on the sidewalks along with TV crews, photographers and of course, a couple of white-buttoned-down-shirted-Mormon missionaries. There was a line of people waiting to get into the store, which snaked around five and a half blocks. Steve Jobs was at the store, of course, to welcome the first few customers (who, might I mention, slept on the sidewalk in front of the store overnight). Whilst waiting for the store to officially open, I chatted with a pilot from Holland who was amused to see such a huge turn-out of people for something as banal as a store opening. I tried to explain to him the whole Mac community thing. About Apples, how they just work. I think he got it, although he mentioned that Apples were way more expensive in Europe and thus have a smaller user base. He later left to watch a movie at the Metreon and I fell in line.

My three-hour wait started on Market where we turned the corner and proceeded across O’Farrell, up Powell, east on Geary, then down Stockton to the Apple Store. Standing all that time, I tried reading a bit o’ Thomas Merton and must’ve read all of four pages the whole time I was in line. I think I was distracted by all the people-watching (I love this aspect of the city) and also by the fact that practically every other car that drove by inquired what we were standing in line for. It was definitely worth the wait, tho. What an amazing store! I shot a roll of film, B&W of course, because there were tons of geometrical forms to be captured and they always stand out better in that medium. I was esp. taken with the wide glass stairway leading to the second floor. If you’ve ever been to an Apple Store, you know what I mean.

I was pretty famished after my whole Apple experience, so I traipsed a few blocks down to the infamous Vietnamese restaurant Tu Lan on Sixth Street just below Market. Tu Lan is a paragon of fast food. It’s how fast food should be: fresh ingredients cooked up quickly and efficiently. I squeezed onto a seat at the kitchen counter and in no time, I was served up a sizeable bowl of crunchy imperial rolls and rice noodles with a smattering of mint leaves (nice touch) and sweet and sour sauce to die for. If there’s anything my palate savors, it’s a good tamarind-based sauce. Maybe it’s my Filipino heritage. I love sitting at the kitchen counter when I go to restaurants; there’s so much to watch and note: knives flying, sky-high flame-age on the stove, banging iron skillets, heaps of sliced green onions, stacked nests of dry egg noodles. Then there are the white-clad cooks: the stars of the show.

There was one drink on the menu that sounded intriguing and shady at the same time: soda milk and egg yolk. One wonders what that might entail.

Oh yeah, something to watch out for when walking in the city: low-flying pigeons.


5 Responses to “”

  1. Sounds like a most splendid day. I’ve been taken by illness, or I would have liked to join you. In lieu, I watched Food Network for hours, bundled in a quilt. Next time!

  2. argonaut Says:

    Oh no you’re sick! Sounds like a sick day spent wisely however. I could use a quilt here in SF, it’s been so cold these days.But yes, ’twas a most wonderful day. SF is the best city on the west coast. If you do get a chance to come out here again, I’ll give you the gastronomic tour.Meanwhile, get better. I’m off to see the Decemberists.

  3. quelynn Says:

    Soda Milk and egg yolk? When I was a kid, they used to have a commercial on Philippine TV that featured this muscle-building dude demonstrating how healthy sarsaparilla softdrinks were if an egg yolk were put in it. 😀 It looked disgusting on TV, but it became a fad for sometime I think. 😉

  4. jctang Says:

    you met steve jobs! *swoonsand no, low flying piegons aren’t deadly, crows are the ones to watch out for!

  5. argonaut Says:

    Quelynn: Yeah, the trend for a while was to drink raw egg yolks, until the salmonella scare came about. Zoiks.Jctang: Actually, I did not get to meet Steve Jobs, sadly. Just saw him from a distance (across the street). Will watch out for those crows, thanks for the warning!

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