So our date was pretty amazing.
I told him I’d pick the place. For a long time, I fretted on where to go. Some place that wasn’t too stuffy and fancy. Fun, energizing. I asked my restaurant connoisseurs for suggestions. Someone said Cha, Cha, Cha. I thought of going back to Gitane, the new hot spot that I’d already gone on a magical date with one of my soul dates. I thought maybe we could head out of the city and go to Sonoma or Napa, but when I asked for a timeframe, he said 7ish. That scrapped the out-of-town idea.
I was sold on the Dining in the Dark concept. How romantic to hold onto each other in the dark while eating dinner? No availability on Open Table. I called the SF Dining in the Dark office. “Please, oh pretty please, it’s me and my boyfriend’s anniversary,” I lied. “Please can I get a table for Saturday night.”
“I’d love to help you, but we’re having a private event that night. That’s why we have no openings.”
Then in the middle of the day, I remembered a hidden restaurant that someone had mentioned at a bar. I couldn’t remember the name except that it was an island off of the Embarcadero. I googled ‘restaurant island ferry san francisco.’ And there it was: Forbes Island.
I pride myself on knowing all that there is to know about this city. I didn’t know about this place. It’s off of Pier 39. You take a little pontoon to the restaurant that has its own lighthouse that you can climb.
So my date’s laughing because he can’t believe we’re going to Pier 39 when he told me to pick any restaurant at all. Not to be shy. We’re walking out of the parking garage and I said, “Ok, you have to help me. Here’s the map with directions on what we need to do. It’s called Forbes Island.”
“No way! We’re going to Forbes Island?”
I was crushed, “Oh no, you’ve heard of it? I thought it would be a surprise.”
“I’ve never been. No, no, I’ve wanted to go. This is so cool!”
We found the gray phone on the dock, placed a call, the pontoon came to pick us up, and we both thought Forbes Island was the cutest restaurant ever. Afterwards we climbed the lighthouse. Back on land, we went up to Coit Tower, then to the Diego Rivera murals at the SF Art Institute, down the crookedest road, viewed the outdoor sculptures at the Sculpturesite gallery and his favorite interactive art piece by the carousel next to Moscone, traversed Yerba Buena Gardens and the Martin Luther King, Jr. freedom memorial.
I felt ashamed as someone who’s lived in SF all her life and didn’t know about these things. I felt like a tourist in my own home. It makes me want to do more, explore more. I don’t do enough. I’ve become too comfortable at home, in my career. I need to make more changes this year.