I’m not a huge Holiday person, but I had the opportunity yesterday to fly down to San Francisco with my wife and spend the day with my in-laws, who are actually fantastic people and not at all the sorts of monsters that the image of “the in-laws” typically conjures up.
I will say that driving anywhere near Union Square during the holidays is a bit of a nightmare, made more so by the frankly overwhelming police presence and the number of blocked-off streets. San Francisco has been in the news lately thanks to a number of smash-and-grab flash-mob-style retail robberies, and it looks very much like they would not like to be in the news for this again any time soon.
They are aided in this by what appears to be a gentleman who has decorated his vehicle in a way that I am CERTAIN would get him in trouble in most jurisdictions.
We were in Union Square because, well, it’s the holiday season and some degree of “Festive” is required, and Union Square goes all out with the Festive. There’s a massive Christmas tree, there are ice skaters and carols and everything is shiny and I will show you absolutely none of this in favor of an out-of-context image from the parking garage.
I realize that “C.H.U.D.” was set in New York City, but if a modern low-budget horror director wanted to do some sort of revival with a Bay Area setting they could save themselves a lot of money on sets by making use of this parking garage.
But, since we didn’t get eaten by anything and didn’t get to witness any Surprise Wealth Redistribution on the part of the local citizenry, we decided that we’d get some lunch at SF’s Japantown. My in-laws are well aware that my wife and I are both massive weebs, after all, though they presumably don’t know the word “weeb” and probably have some much more polite term.
Anyway, parking in Japantown is much easier and much less terrifying, so I recommend it. I won’t necessarily recommend the place we decided on for lunch, because they served me a painfully-mediocre katsudon and charged fifteen bucks for it, but there are many restaurants and some of them look pretty good. I wouldn’t mind spending a week in the area just trying out new places to eat.
I also recommend visiting Japantown if you want to drop some cash on nerd toys. There are a LOT of shops that will sell you anime figures or Sanrio plushes or Tokidoki-branded tchotchkes.
Note: I’m not sure how much a four-foot-tall Rem figure will cost you. I imagine it’s measured less in terms of dollars and more in terms of how much of your soul you are willing to sacrifice. Also it probably comes with a free lifetime membership on some sort of government watch list.
But, to be clear here: I’ve just received my holiday bonus, which was a single check that was roughly four months worth of salary in one lump sum. I have no significant debt and could have gone ABSOLUTELY HOG WILD in the anime stores.
Instead, I bought this:
…which was a bootleg Nezuko keychain. It cost me $4.35, with sales tax. It’s not fantastically-well-done by any means – presumably the bottom of her hair is intended to have orange highlights, and her coat should likewise be a different color – but it’s cute enough and I have been enjoying Kimetsu no Yaiba and now I have a little mascot for my office.
So, the majority of my bonus is, rather than being turned into nerd toys for my office space, being put into savings. I did buy a new standing desk, so I’ll probably post something on that when it arrives. I guess this is what being an adult feels like.