On a bright Sunday morning, we headed across the Bay to San Francisco's Mission District for brunch with Lian's friends, Max and Manjula. Though we'd never officially met them, we'd been in contact for quite awhile (and felt like long-lost pals after following their six month meandering bicycle journey around Europe). To get to their place, we took the BART…
…and then surfaced in colorful, vibrant San Francisco. With yet another day of sunny 70-degree weather to greet us, we could hardly wipe the smiles off our faces as we strolled through the epicenter of all things progressive in America. It is practically obscene how hip this city is.
Arriving at Manjula's apartment, we joined them for a delicious meal of country bread and scrambled eggs as the morning sun filtered through their living room windows. Over orange juice and coffee, we chatted and listened to a selection from Manjula's record collection, before heading out on Max's Xtra Cycle to a local festival.
Occasionally, a district in San Francisco closes its streets to motorized transport so that cyclists and pedestrians can party it up in a celebration called called "Sunday Streets". This month, the party happened in the Mission, right near Max and Manjula's house!
Hailing from New Orleans, the Bay Easy Brass Band was there, livening up the streets:
There were cruisers and fixed-gear bikes as far as the eye could see, a pair of truly enormous bicycles, hot pink roller-bladers, plenty of scruffy skateboarders, and even a guy with a spinet piano affixed to a custom-made trike!
After an hour of people watching and chatting, we stopped by the legendary Philz Coffee, home of SF's cult following for expertly-roasted, individually brewed coffees. We resisted the urge to get our own, opting instead to try a brain-melting sip of the one Max picked (it was fantastic):
A few minutes later, as we checked Balmy Alley, one of many streets full of colorful murals in the Mission District, we met up with more of Lian's friends: Dan, Sanjay, and Xieu.
Our entourage now nearly double in size, we straggled towards the back, taking ever more photos.