The plane left from Kennedy Airport. I bought a muffin near my apartment and, upon arriving at the terminal, decided I’d eat whatever snack they gave me on the plane. Little did I know, American Airlines doesn’t give you snacks: they charge you for one of four horrible options. The worst of these options, the Chinese Chicken Salad, was consumed (enthusiastically, I might add) by the girl across the aisle from me. It smelled worse than it looked. I had a $3 giant Snickerdoodle that had more chemicals listed in its ingredients than Janice Dickensen’s face. But it held me over until the plane landed.
When the plane landed, I got my rental car (a controversial decision: half my friends said I was crazy, the other half said I’d need it) and drove to meet my friend Raife near his acting program in, what I think, was downtown San Fran (near all the giant chain stories–Macy’s, Banana Republic, Borders.) I parked in the most expensive parking lot in the history of the world and then set out to find (in the hour I had before I had to meet Raife) my first San Francisco bite.
Do you do this when you arrive at a new city? Seek out a meaningful first bite? I do. I want my first bite to be memorable, significant, something the city is known for. When I went to Paris last year, my first bite was a chocolate eclair at a patisserie near my hotel.
I paced and paced, searched and searched: maybe I’d find a Mission style burrito (which made no sense because I was nowhere near the Mission). Maybe I’d have fresh sour dough bread.
But I could find nothing and I was getting hungrier and hungrier and time was ticking and soon I’d have to meet Raife and, not only that, but see a play with him. So, friends, readers, country men, forgive me, but this was my first bite: