Monday, September 15, 2008

Grocery roundup, frustration.

Spirits are a little low around the old apartment, kids. 

No job leads are coming through. The "be here tomorrow" emails I was getting from a certain creative recruiting company when I was still living in the midwest are, somewhat as predicted, no longer rolling in since I packed my bags and moved 2500 miles. I spend eight hours a day staring at my computer, sending email after email, unable to enjoy the fact that I live in one of the greatest cities this country has to offer. 

Still? Trying to remain happy about some things. Went on a great bike ride on Saturday, as I did the Saturday before (with the exception of the wreck, which we are no longer talking about). The Roommate and I have figured out a fun little loop that goes up 16th street, cuts in a zig-zaggy way over to the Embarcadero, and ends up at Pier 39, where I pretend I need a break, but really just want to watch the seals. Then it's back down a little to Market, which we take all the way to Valencia back to our neck of the woods. Attempted hitting up The Phoenix again (despite the fact that I was there after last Saturday's bike ride, and okay, I was there on Friday too but give me a break because where the hell else can I watch the WSOP, get fries with mayonnaise and drink a Hoegaarden?), but it was overrun by some weird mission bar crawl. 

The same mission bar crawl, I might add, that made me leave Kilowatt after a girl sat half on my lap and pretended I didn't exist while I was watching the Ohio State/USC game, then when I elbowed her in an attempt to move, told me to stop being such a bitch. At 5:30 in the afternoon. When only one of us had been drinking. Seriously, I know I've only been here two weeks so I have no right to bitch yet, but please stop invading my bar. And get a smaller purse.

So today was email upon email, pleading with very good firms to give me a job. The financial situation is a little desperate, folks, I'm not going to lie. In two weeks I have to pay rent for another month, and then there's going to have to be some very serious decision-making about my future in this city. I know jobs don't just pop out at you, I know the good ones take time. That's why I'm being semi-patient. But at the end of the day, I am an unemployed girl sitting in her apartment for eight hours a day refreshing craigslist. No one likes that girl.

Today, though, I decided I had to get out of the house for an hour or so, which led me to a very small market tour of the mission. No bicycle, because I was too lazy to carry it down, but everywhere was very close to my apartment anyway, so it didn't matter. 

Number one was Bi-Rite on 18th between Guerrero and Dolores. The type of place that could easily be my only grocery store choice, ever - great food, two blocks from my apartment. Reminds me so much of the little grocery stores I loved so much in NYC. Also, though? Expensive, which is why it isn't currently my grocery store of choice. Wicked expensive. I know food is more costly here than it is in the midwest, but christ. I am not prepared to shell out that kind of cash right now. Fabulous wine selection, additionally.

Number two was the Guerrero Market on 19th & Guerrero. I went there yesterday to pick up a giant piece of lasagna (just slightly cold in the center, like my home microwave makes it!) and a Chronicle. The Roommate went with me and tried a homemade chicken empanada. We didn't discuss it, but based on how quickly he faced it, I'm fairly sure it was okay. In news of the classy, we also bought a half-gallon of milk, walked to Dolores Park (so many pugs! so cute!), and drank the whole damn thing. I have always thought I could be a major contender for the milk challenge, but I've never actually tried it.

It should be noted that the whole reason the Guerrero Market and I made friends the first time is because yelp claimed it had macaroni and cheese. Since I no longer have a kitchen, I have started to crave all the things that I make really, really well. Yesterday was mac and cheese day. Except it wasn't. Because I think they either have mac and cheese or mac and beef, depending on the day, and they have now only had mac and beef for two days in a row. It is making me sad. I need a giant bowl of real mac and cheese soon, or I'm going to lose it.

Number three was the place we refer to as yuppie food market on 21st & Valencia. I think it's called Valencia Whole Foods. I have never actually purchased anything there, despite walking through a couple of times to see if there's anything that suits my fancy. They do sell the New York Times, and they are just a few feet away from the coffee shop I like so much, so you'd think they held a higher place in my heart. I did see today that they sell one of my favorite cheeses in the whole world, but I felt weird only buying a block of cheese, so I declined. I have yet to be super impressed by them. And it's so, so expensive. The markup does not make any damn sense. 

Number four? Lucca's. Oh, god. Now, here's the problem, and here's why I walked out without buying anything. I have heard only good reviews. But I wanted to eat pasta. They are a ravioli place. It's in their name. But I don't have a stove. So I don't give a damn that their fresh ravioli has been reviewed super well, or that it could not have looked more tasty, or that the people behind the counter made me want to buy every single thing they have... no, what matters is that I can't cook anything they sell. I really wish they had more of a deli-style thing where they could throw some cooked ravioli in sauce for me or something, but that's not what they're going for. It would simply be a solution to make me happy. I would have dropped a ton of money there today if I had a kitchen.

After all the walking-in-not-buying-anything, I ended up at my favorite bodega. Thanks, Mike's at 21st & Mission. You have a huge variety of Milano cookies, you have gallons of milk that aren't overpriced, and you sell individual bags of microwave popcorn for when I decide it's movie night. You have never treated me badly and I continue to walk all the way down there when I know there are closer bodegas to my apartment. Thanks.

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