I yarn for San Francisco

I just got back from a great weekend in the Bay Area! I got to spend good chunks of time with Rachael and Joanna, which was a lot of fun. I think Rachael is becoming the Official Bay Area Knitblogger Hostess, don’t you? Sadly, I didn’t take nearly enough photos! Anyway, I figured I’d break things down into categories, since not everyone probably wants to hear about my running (which is why I rarely talk about it) or what I ate (don’t you want to know what I ate, though? Don’t you?).
KNITTING: First, I have to say you should NOT go to a yarn store with either Rachael or Joanna if you DO NOT want to enhance your stash. Really. We went to ArtFibers after the marathon expo just for kicks. It was, after all, just up the road a few blocks. I was not planning to buy anything. The problem is the place is captivating. The yarns are not available in regular old yarn shops; they are custom made for ArtFibers. They do other evil things to entice unwary knitters as well–they hire cute people like Rachael’s friend Kira who say things like, “Well, if you spend over $100, you’ll get a 10 percent discount.” They also have comfy chairs and needles so you can sit and swatch. That way, when they make your custom pattern, which is free with yarn purchase, the pattern will be written to your gauge. NO MATH NECESSARY. Isn’t that horrible? And then if you go with Rachael and/or Joanna and ask which yarn you should get, because you don’t feel you should really get both, they will say, hey, if it were me, I’d just get both. So that’s what I did. Two very different yarns and two very different projects.
Here I am with the temptresses. Do I look dazed?
artfibers yarn.JPG
And the yarns, safe at home. Yup, that Kyoto is the glowing stuff that Rachael got last week.
RUNNING: So the reason I went up to the Bay Area was to run the Chronicle Marathon. I’ve run it before, but they keep changing the course around, which keeps it interesting (well, as interesting as running 26.2 miles can be). It all went fine, but I have no official time, because they DIDN’T GIVE ME A CHIP. Without the chip, you’re out of luck, because you’re off the radar. I don’t care all that much, but I guess I care a little, because I keep griping about it. Anyway, it was so foggy during 2/3 of the race that it was drizzly. I wear glasses, so my glasses got all wet (and fogged up when I ran up hills), and I would try to wipe them off with my fingers, which would kind of smear around the water and then make things blurry, which made me worry I would get sick to my stomach. But anyway, my friends Beth and Juliana and their babies came and cheered me on, which was really, really nice, and I met them at the finish, along with Joanna, who ran the 5k in her FIRST RACE ever.
FOOD: The Bay Area has great food, which almost makes it difficult, since there are so many choices! Rachael, Joanna, and I went to the Ferry Building Marketplace, the fancy schmancy gourmet food market in San Francisco. Thuy and her friend met us there for lunch. Unfortunately, it was so packed full of people that many places had lines out the door. We decided to try Mistral Rotisserie Provencale, which sells rotisserie chicken and stuff like that. The food was pretty rich (I got roasted potatoes which were swimming in olive oil and creamed spinach as my sides) but tasty.
I just got tired of writing about food, so I’m just going to mention some highlights:
– a restaurant in a car dealership in Oakland. We went there after the marathon. I had some sort of chickpea soup and a salad, Joanna had a fancy BLT that we initially couldn’t figure out was a BLT because of the wording on the menu, Beth had a polenta breakfast dish with butter and maple syrup, and Juliana had brioche French toast, I think?
– Ryowa Ramen in Berkeley. Yummy vegetable gyoza and miso ramen. I love me some good ramen, and the only ramen I can get around here is the freeze-dried packaged kind
– Chocolate cake! Juliana made the chocolate cake from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, and it was quite delicious
– Royal Coffee–an Oakland institution, which I unfortunately never frequented when I lived near there way back when
– and last but certainly not least, Zachary’s Pizza. Anyone who has been to Berkeley has most likely had Zachary’s. It is the best pizza ever. They do Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and luckily for visitors like me, they sell half-baked pizzas that you can finish off at home, so that’s what I did! Peter had never had Zachary’s before, and now he, too, is a believer.
zacharys pizza.JPG

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16 Responses to I yarn for San Francisco

  1. J Strizzy says:

    I’m so glad you got some Zachary’s while you were here! And mostly I’m glad I got to hang out with you, cuz I had a great time with you and Juliana and Beth and the babies, and I’m glad you suggested the race to me in the first place, since I had a great time doing it. I might even do another one sometime…

  2. Ann says:

    Mariko, I love how you slip offline for a few days and GO RUN A MARATHON. Woo!, official time or no. You captured the problem with Artfibers perfectly. I’m glad you got some Kyoto; gosh, it glows.

  3. Rachael says:

    Yay for Mariko! I think you ran your fastest time ever, chip or no chip. I KNOW you did.
    I had such a great time with y’all — sorry I didn’t stick around for dinner, but I slipped into sleep as soon as I got home….
    I’m also sorry I’m such an enabler. (Do you believe me? What if I wipe tears away while saying it? Believe me yet?)

  4. carolyn says:

    did you get your hair cut? it is looking tres tres mignon in the pics (rachel posted a bunch!). congrats on the superduper run there. very impressive for a wee skinny girl like yourself who must’ve gotten really hungry like halfway thru the race, no? 🙂 you know there’s a fall marathon in chicago, seems like you’ve gotten warmed up just in time….

  5. Em says:

    Oh, wow, what an awesome trip. And I’m with Ann…I love that you slip off and run a marathon. And eat a ton of food. And get goaded into buying more yarn than you thought you would. I wish I’d been there.

  6. MJ says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time! You probably ran a good time, chip or no chip. I love the yarn purchases, especially the pink Sorbet. Wish I was there!

  7. Theresa says:

    I had that same problem at ArtFibers. It’s like going to your favorite gourmet ice cream shop where you like almost all the flavors. I left with three projects’ worth of yarn. It’s just hard not to enjoy the place.
    How awesome that you ran a marathon. And Carolyn is right, there is a great marathon coming up in Chicago….

  8. anh-minh says:

    When I worked in the Financial District, I spent *so* many lunch hours at ArtFibers. Too much good stuff. The next time you’re in SF, another place I highly recommend is Imagiknit. Awesome place. Great service, too. (And there’s even a cute tea place across the street from it!)

  9. gaile says:

    Go Go Mariko! Congratulations on your marathon! I am even more impressed than ever!!! 🙂

  10. Deb says:

    I’m on my way down there next week. You have me way too excited about FiberArts!! I have to check out that Kyoto:)

  11. Jessica says:

    You’re so nonchalant. I did this, I ate that, I ran a marathon. You rock, lady.
    I can’t wait to see your ArtFiber spoils knit up.

  12. Meg says:

    That sounds like a fantastic fun trip (well, maybe except for the running part). Reading your blog sometimes makes me do funny things, like sprinkling a ready-made rice krispies treat with Guittard chips & nuking it ’till it’s a puddle of sticky stuff studded with chocolate. Yum.

  13. Silvia says:

    Yeah Mariko! Chipless and fogged up, and still kicked boootttaayyy!
    That yarn is great, it’s a fun store and I’m glad I never knew it was there the whole time I worked across the street from the place (for 6 years)…
    Well, Zachary’s…what can we say…

  14. Kira says:

    I’m glad you had so much fun visiting me at Artfibers. Sorry we make it so enticing. Make sure to post photos of your sweaters when you finish them.

  15. seltsame says:

    I ran Chronicle too – nice to find another marathoner/knitter. I can’t believe they forgot to give you a chip at the expo – did they just not have one for your number? So what was your unofficial time? I know you’re an experienced marathoner – have you ever run Big Sur or Silicon Valley and if so, which would you recommend?

  16. Lynette says:

    Congratulations on your race! That pizza looks awesome too – definitely Chicago-style. Yum!

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