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Stuff I'll miss about the Bay Area

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Now that it's less than 16 hrs or so before I drive out of here for good, here's a list of stuff I'm going to miss about the Bay Area, in no particular order

- my friends, incl. all those goofballs I used to work with at GS

- daube de boeuf and tomato soup with puff pastry at Bistro Jeanty

- Steff's sports bar

- Corned beef and turkey sloppy joes at Tommy's Joynt on Geary and Van Ness

- 3-way combo plates at Everett & Jones BBQ in Oakland

- East Bay hip hop, incl E-40, Too $hort, Keak da Sneak

- friends and a board to play Settlers of Catan with

- being able to drive up to Napa on a whim and buy bottles and bottles of wine

- doing the HotSpot podcast

- monthly poker nights

- the pho place at the 99 Ranch Market shopping center (tho I'll be in striking distance of a bajillion Vietnamese places down in Garden Grove)

- playing basketball at lunchtime on Fridays, and at Lowell HS on Saturdays

- the girl who's cut my hair for the last 5 years

- The DFC (Durant Food Court in Berkeley, home of Steve's Korean BBQ and Meesha's Gyros place)

- local media coverage of Cal sports (Go Bears!)

- proximity to stores that actually stock a good selection of Cal gear

- Chicken tikka masala at the Indian joint across the street from the GS offices

- Cuban sandwiches at 21st Amendment

- garlic fries at Pac Bell Park (I'm not calling it SBC Park, dammit)

- Little Star Pizza

- Fat Tire Ale

- Chicken fried steak at Rudy's Can't Fail cafe in Emeryville

- workable public transportation

- good hole-in-the-wall eateries of varying cultural origin (the OC seems to be the home of national chain restaurants and white-washed 'ethnic' food)

- the arcade machines in the GameSpot lounge

- niu row mien at Gou Bu Li in San Pablo

- chocolate-raspberry cookies at Teacake Bakeshop in Emeryville

- sundaes at Fenton's in Oakland

- drinking pitchers of frozen margarita at Chevy's during lunch

- late night trips to Casino San Pablo and the Oaks Card Club

- Lester's smoked bbq pork ribs

- 20 people all doing an Irish Car Bomb at the bar

- Chimichangas at Casa Orozco Mexican restaurant in Dublin

- Drinking Red Devils at Thallasa in Berkeley

- The sight of ships in San Francisco Bay as you drive across the top deck of the Bay Bridge

- Seeing the sun set on the Bay from just about any elevated point of the East Bay

- Being able to say I'm from the 510, the East Yay, the home of hyphy and "yeeeeeee!!!"

- The sound of the cannon going off on Tightwad Hill when Cal football scores at home games in Berkeley.

- Laughing at all the poor stanfurd fans here.

- Followed only by laughing at all the silly Niners fans.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that like...80% of the list is food and liquor related. But yea, after living here for most of the last 11 years, it's strange to say that I'm going to miss it. When I arrived here in fall of '95 to start school at Berkeley, I absolutely loathed this place. I hated the cool and rainy climate, the car-unfriendliness, the densely packed and cramped feel of the cities and their general filth (particularly Berkeley and SF), and the liberal politics of the area. I guess over time I'd grown to appreciate everything here and now even see a lot of things through a different lens. Honestly, if I had my druthers I'd stay here where most of my friends are, but the promise and excitement of a career change compels me to go back south. Can't have it both ways, so be it. This seemed to be the only logical choice, and I can't say I hesistated much if at all in pulling the trigger.

I would like to add one more thing--it could only be Murphy's law in effect when two days before you move away 450 miles is when you meet a cute bartender/dancer who makes a pass at you and then responds favorably when you spit some game back at her. Some of us are cursed, I guess :P

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