The Room Tour of San Francisco (with food!), Part 1

OH HAI, SAN FRANCISCO!

GIF of Johnny from The Room walking toward Lisa on-screen with a gift behind his back. He is saying, "I have something for youuuu!"
GIF of Johnny from The Room walking toward Lisa (who is off-screen) with a gift behind his back. He is saying, “I have something for youuuu!” Via Giphy

Valentine’s Day is the worst, but since I spent all January working on a ton of things, the timing of the posts of our Very Romantic The Room Tour of San Francisco coincides with “Love is Love As Long As It Can Be Capitalized Upon” Day. Sorry, pals! Remember, every day is a good day to love yourself and others. In the immortal words of Dr. Chuck Tingle, “love is real!”

Image: view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from Coit Tower
Image: view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from Coit Tower

 

What was I doing in January?

  • Volunteering! Oh, winter is slow at work, so I’ll just schedule two ongoing LGBTQ+ volunteer projects from January to March, teach a skill-share on zines, learn how to write a grant, and sign up for a class on Universal Design! NO BIGGIE.
  • Writing my first solo mini-zine, “I Love You Like an Octopus”! Now available on Patreon for $20+ patrons.
  • Creating my Winter 2019 on Patreon rewards! I’ve restructured the lower tiers to be more enticing (I hope), especially for folks on a budget. The postcards are ordered, the bonus zine is printed, and I sent Robin’s sticker draft to a local press I want to work with.
  • I pitched and submitted a piece for Dinner Bell Mag (“No Chefs, No Masters”) on writing queer food narratives and sharing the housework.
  • Early February, but: Robin and I got interviewed for a new radio-show/podcast. I READ SOME OF THIS BLOG OUT LOUD.

2018 was pretty rough, but we came out on the other side with things to celebrate (see future The Room on Cake entries, insert Tommy Wiseau’s laugh here) and new creative opportunities and inspiration. We also started 2019 with two on-sale tickets to San Francisco, where Robin arranged a very romantic three-day tour of San Francisco for me so we could see the sights from my favorite bad movie, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. I’ve been a couple times before, but it was nice to be able to do whatever I wanted with someone who knew the area well.

If I’m not on business, I’m a budget traveler who tends to spend all my time outside the hotel. I’m always looking for a clean room, reasonably priced, where my partner and I won’t get harassed for being queer. While my favorite locations tend to be off-season B&Bs, I’ve also spent a lot of time in discounted or budget hotels, including an Olympic-era hotel in Nagano that was probably haunted, and hostels with private rooms. We ended up at the Red Victorian Hostel (or see AirBnB) in Haight-Ashbury in the Gigi Room, which has a private bathroom.

Here are the guides Robin used to scout the locations:

A note: There is no hospital on Guerrero Street! According to Greg Sestero in The Disaster Artist book, he ad-libbed the line. Guerrero Street was where Tommy Wiseau’s San Francisco condo was located, and Sestero hoped that by saying that, he’d loosen up Wiseau during the take. Wiseau was pissed, but the footage was the only one with useable audio from the scene, so it ended up in the movie (66-67).

We used a combination of the BART, the bus, walking, and Lyfts to get around.

Day 1

After we dropped off our bags, we went out to Union Square, which Johnny walks past on his way home before the birthday party scene.

Image: Union Square, San Francisco. The stairs where Johnny walks past on the way to his surprise birthday party. This is a night scene. There are three palm trees with fairy lights on them.
Image: Union Square, San Francisco. The stairs where Johnny walks past on the way to his surprise birthday party. This is a night scene. There are three palm trees with fairy lights on them.
Night scene: Cable car to Powell and Market. I got to ride in front but it was too dangerous to take pictures while standing.
Night scene: Cable car to Powell and Market. I got to ride in front but it was too dangerous to take pictures while standing.

We then took the cable car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf to get a sundae at Ghirardelli. Did you, uh, know that chocolate is the symbol of love?

Image: a picture of my partner's hand holding a spoon, which they are sticking in a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
SPOONS! My partner bought me a hot fudge sundae (my first ever?!) to share at Ghirardelli!

We popped around the corner in the rain to get Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe. Buena Vista is one of two cafes with a credible claim to inventing Irish coffee.

close up of Robin's and my hands toasting with our Irish Coffee.
Image: close up of Robin’s and my hands toasting with our Irish Coffee. Let’s drink and have some fun!

Johnny doesn’t drink, but we can safely say this is better than scotchka any day of the week.

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which I have better photos and a full day’s itinerary. We do sports like BEST FRIENDS (1), GO GO GO out to breakfast, have something like cheesecake, and more.

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