Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So, I've decided that my project this summer is going to be to engage in the 7 deadly sins somehow. This week's sin was gluttony, and the place at which the sin was committed was San Francisco, California:

I ate at no less than 7 restaurants, including:

Ebisu (Japanese)
The Slanted Door (Vietnamese fusion)
Tartine Bakery (French pastries)
Boulevard (French-influenced Californa cuisine, dinner)
Foreign Cinema (French-influenced California cuisine, brunch)
Mecca (experimental dining, new American)
Top of the Mark (fucking delicious seafood-heavy brunch at the Hotel Inter-Continental)

I also ate at the Ferry Building's farmer's market (oysters, various truffle oils, coffee) and at Cowgirl Creamery (samples of gruyere and sheep's milk cheese), also at the Farmer's Market. I also drank lots and lots of incredible wine from Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, as well as, of course, tequila.

Yes, I gained about 3 pounds, but it was well worth it.

I also reconnected with a cousin whom I haven't seen or spoke to in about 22 years, as well as an aunt I haven't seen in about 10 years. I also had the pleasure of meeting my cousin's wonderful partner and husband. DJ is the only family member in front of whom I have said "fuck," have been able to drink with, and have been able to be 100% myself. I can't emphasize how freeing and special that was for me. "Fuck" has many, many wonderful attributes, including the bringing together of families. It was also pretty cool to toss back wine with my aunt.

Aunt and I were able to share and talk about my dad, which is something I have never been able to do, not even with my mom. She told me a lot about dad that I didn't know, including that he used to stop by her house on the way home from work every day and just shoot the shit with her before coming home. She had just returned from Korea, and visited the town where they were from, and said that everyone there still remembered my dad and talked about how well-loved and well-respected he was. People who knew him always say that to me. Anyway, they were very close, and I know she was his favorite sister and he her favorite sibling. I didn't know this, but his death precipitated her family's move to Sacramento, away from the rest of us. She had the guts to stand up to a mean-spirited, rude, and crass pastor who dared to give the "God takes people away early because they were useless to him on earth" sermon to the congregation, which included my mom and four of my dad's sisters, shortly after he died. Yeah. We made each other cry that night, fueled by lots of merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

I am so, so happy for DJ, so happy that he was able to find someone to be his partner and friend and husband for his life (he ROCKS, by the way!), that they are both able to be themselves and have found happiness. Honestly, we had a blast just hanging out and being sarcastic and making fun of people (and saying "mother fucker," "fuck," and "douchebag"). I knew there was a Park like me out there! It was also pretty cool to be in a gay bar in the middle of the Castro drinking tequila with my cousin. I hope this was just the beginning of many trips back and forth b/w SF and Chicago, and I hope 1) more wine will be involved; 2) more food will be involved; and 3) plenty of laughs will be shared.

Cheesy as it sounds, there is something special about family, something that cannot be replicated. I'm going to make more of an effort to spend more time with them, even the weird ones.
Top of the Mark, after Sunday brunch.

We were utterly stuffed at this point. Caviar bar, oysters, lobster, papaya salad, crab, lox, eggs benedict, mimosas, dessert.

One last thing: I have to post a link to this article about Bar Martignetti, which I posted about a few months back. We were right -- it WAS a bunch of Ralph Lauren frocked, East coast frat boy douchebags.

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