I moved to San Jose three years ago. San Jose is an hour south of the world famous San Francisco. Every movie and TV show takes place there, everyone abroad dreams of visiting San Francisco. However, in my three years here, I’ve only managed to visit SF a few times and sort of end up hating it every time. Why? San Francisco is dirty. San Francisco isn’t an easy drive. San Francisco is expensive. The people of San Francisco are all transplants. It doesn’t feel sustainable. And start-up culture is the worst! Just watch HBO’s Silicon Valley or watch any interview of a tech billionaire. They’re the worst.
I prefer my sleepy town of San Jose. But some times, you just have a perfect day planned out and SF is part of the plan. That was my cousin and me in April of this year. I hadn’t visited the deYoung Museum yet, and there was a Claude Monet exhibit there. She and her boyfriend are plant lovers and artists; we had to catch that exhibit.
After the museum, we headed to the Conservatory of Flowers. Oh. My. God. It is one of the coolest places I have ever been. It’s a Victorian-style greenhouse filled with the most exotic plants. Each room creates a different ecosystem. There are the most unique plants, many of which I’ve never seen in my life. It was crazy! It also has a corpse flower. That corpse flower is the most starkly alien creature, wondrous and unforgettable. It makes me wonder why I wasn’t taught about something this cool in school.
It was early in the day but we had enough of SF. We headed to Berkeley and Richmond afterwards. In Berkeley, there is an employee art store called Artist & Craftsman Supply. Aren’t co-ops or union-run companies just better? We lost ourselves there for a bit.
We ended the night in Richmond with fried Taiwanese snacks, Asian beauty, and bubble tea. While SF is mostly horrible (still), the places around it contain gems and make the trip up worth it.