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Posts Tagged ‘Manor West. I left my heart in San Francisco especially at Ocean Beach.’

I took this while driving to Oakland. One hand on the wheel the other on the camera.

***Post Script: I started writing this blog on May 26th about an adventure that happened May 17th thru the 20th. As usual things have been crazy in my life and I was not able to get it finished and published till now.  Normally when that happens I just shelve the blog.  I thought there was too much here to just let it fall by the wayside.  I hope you enjoy a great weekend in Lisanti Adventuring. ***

What a difference a year makes in ones life.  That was exactly what was going through my head as I was cruising up the 101 north toward a crazy weekend in San Francisco.  It was precisely one year ago that I was on the same trek, but under very different circumstances.  Last time around I went in a vain attempt to run away from my problems for a brief stint.  This time my intentions were all about having some fun and adventure while spending some quality time with some very good friends.  

Initially I had planned to go up sometime in June to cause trouble with one of my favorite partners in crime and SurfingRuinedMyLife.net all star John Mauriello.   Then my former roommate and another SRML all star, Brennan invited me to the 2nd Annual Lobsterfest at our buddy Christian’s house in Orinda.  From what I heard the the inaugural Lobsterfest was  all time.  Who am I to pass up an event that with my presence could go from all time status to epic?  Finally my roommate Dan was going up the same weekend for an event, the 101st Bay to Breakers.  I mean did I need anymore reasons?  Game, set and match.  

“I will be on the road by 8am”

Well that was what I was proclaiming at my usual Wednesday night dinner party.  Which sadly was the first without my sous chef and good friend Calvin, whom like many became a Santa Barbara, but really a California in general, casualty and moved back to Boston. (thats a blog right there for another time and definitely a topic worth shedding some light on) Dinner was with out a doubt not the same with out him.  For starters we went through a lot less wine.  Oh Cal why?!!!!!??? The food was superb as usual.  

I guess I drank too much as always and did not wake up till 11am. So much for the 8am start.  Then all sorts of things happened to keep me off schedule.  Schedule! Ha ha ha ha.  That’s a joke.  There has been a running gambol among everyone who knows me.  We like to call it the “Lisanti 10 minutes” (which I am pretty sure I wrote a blog about either here or on Myspace.  I will have to dig that one up. Find this blog in the Myspace archives and I will give you 5 UCB points copy and paste the actual blog text not the link in the comments).  In a nutshell I have  little concept of time as it is and now that I am not working well forget  it.   If it was not for the contrast of night and day I would be completely hopeless.

I did not get on the road till nearly 5pm.  So much for grabbing a surf on the way up.  Instead I trucked it through the 101 north.  Around Salinas I get a text from Mauriello “I hope you brought good clothes, we are going out tonight”.  Now this is the same guy who a week before told me he did not want to get wasted with me this year.  You don’t have to twist my arm to party.  Did I bring nice clothes?  Fuck I had five pairs of shoes in my trunk alone.  The Civic and I went into high gear and I don’t know if it turned into the Delorean or what but I made it in just under five hours.

Wheres Doc Brown? Marty!!!!! I really want to own a Delorean some day

Night at the Roxbury Gets a Little Out of Hand

I don’t know if it was from all the excitement or what but I as soon as I showed up at John’s place it was time to game up and move out.  Apparently he was doing a promo thing for this fledgling sunglasses company him and some friends are getting off the ground.  I don’t know, but somehow I think a very sound promotion would be to get Chris Lisanti on a program, but considering I broke a pair at this promo event I may be more of a liability then an asset.

It was at this club called Manor West.  I could not find my way back to the place if my life depended on it. I only know the name because It was on my most recent bank statement five times.  I am not going to mention the size of the tab, but will put it this way, upon leaving the bar tender handed me his personal phone number and told me if I wanted to come out at all over the weekend he would make sure myself and party would be on the VIP list, no line, no cover.  Just use your imagination.

A high bar tab leads to a high level of intoxication which in my world usually leads to a high amount of absolute ridiculousness.  We get to the club are through VIP the whole way with one of the most ridiculous looking promo girls I have ever seen.  She had to be at least my age trying to sport an outfit that barely fit her with a push up bra that I was afraid might explode at any minute taking my eyes out with the under wire.  For my sake it did not happen.  I was handed a pair of the sun glasses to put on. I concurred, which allowed me to not see a thing but shadows in the dark club.

For whatever reason this place felt a bit like the Wild Cat. There are plenty of you out there now who have experienced a night at the Kitty with me and know what it entails.  Those of you who have not but are a regular reader I am sure have a well enough idea.  Upon walking in John and I were both very sober only having a PBR and a  Bacardi mini shot.  That being the case it was time to do some damage at the bar where round after round of tequila shots were reciprocated.  As a result it did not take long to become completely inebriated.

The blonde bizzaro promo chick draged Dave, John’s partner out onto the dance  floor and we followed.  From there John and I full on became Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell in “Night at the Roxbury”. Remember that scene of them dancing out of control at the club.  That was us in a nut shell and we were all dressed up in sport jackets an nice duds for dub step night.  We have this friend called Face who is now a San Francisco based dub step artist.  At one point in the evening we started screaming FACE! as loud as we could.  Before long the crowd joined in and at pretty much most of the dance floor was screaming FACE.

I hit on some chick all sloppy.  I’m sure I drooled all over her face while slurring my speech.  Surprise, surprise she walked away.  No worries all I wanted to do is dance anyway.  That is about the last thing I remembered from the night.  The rest was all provided by Dave and John.  Some how I managed to close out my tab and we began walking to catch a bus.  On the way we stopped at an all night doughnut shot at my request.  I got a bear claw and forced John to eat a pink doughnut.  I guess I was a bit obnoxious to the counter help.

The Social Experiment 

After walking out of the Doughnut joint we ran into two homeless people.  John proceeded to pull out three dollars form his pocket, our bus fare.  He gave a dollar to each and then put the third one up and told them to share it.  One bum grabbed the extra dollar and ran leaving the other bum all surely about it.  In response to the incident he scolded John about how that was not good bum to solicitee etiquette.   All the while Dave was holding me back from beating the bum while screaming profanity.  How a good old fashion urban bum shanking did not take place is besides me.

Thanks to the social failure in sharing I had no money to get on the bus.  I drunkenly pulled out a ten spot but could  not get it in the machine.  Over it the driver just let me ride for free.  John tried swiping his metro card but was too drink to make that happen either.  I think everyone on that bus was just happy none of us vomited.  Apparently we had a deep philosophical conversation before I passed out on Dave’s couch.   The first adventure happened being in the city for less then eight hours.

Lobster Fest

Brennan and I about to put our new friends in the Jacuzzi. Wait is 180 too hot?

I missed the first Lobster Fest last year by about week or so and heard nothing but rave reviews after.  This year when my boy Brennan invited me jokingly on Facebook I decided why not.  It was not like I had anything better to do.  Besides someone had to help cook all the food.  The party was located at Christian’s family’s home in Orinda, a ritzy little suburb just outside of the city.

It was a quaint home with an amazing view.  They had this cute little antique stove that took a few minutes to get acquainted with before being able to work with it.  We had over two dozen lobsters to cook, I made a rice pilaf and roasted potatoes.  The boys grilled up some vegetables.  Their friend Andy, another crazy mofo who happened to find his way down to Santa Barbara a few years ago to party brought a few bottles of his own personal home made wine.  He had a Montreux red blend that I found most enjoyable.  I was supposed to meet up with him and see his set up and get a bottle myself but unfortunately had to leave sooner then I had expected.

All I can say is that a solid crew of people showed up.  Everyone ate, drank and had a good old time.  There were some failed pyrotechnics that could have burned the house down.  A drunken attack on a pinata filled with mini-bottles of booze where near death by falling off the balcony fifty feet down lurked in the shadows.  There was a computerized toilet I for one made a point to take full advantage of and a state of the art massage chair that basically had it’s way with me and I pleased for it.  I don’t usually do house parties but I must say this one was top notch.  You can definitely count on seeing Chris Lisanti at Lobster Fest 2013.
The Surfing
While going up to SF is never about the good surf you are going to score, especially in the spring time when the winds are primarily bad and swell window finicky.  The one thing you can count on about Ocean Beach is the fact that there will be waves of some kind be it good or bad and no matter the size it will take you way too long to paddle out if caught inside.  I was in the full on frother mode I have been in since winter’s end.  To Mauriello’s dismay I made him surf more then one session I think he would have been more then happy to have lived with out.  You can read about those surf sessions in detail at the May edition of the Surflog, 5-18 through 5-20.

The food!!!
Now keep in mind I am not a fan of food in California in general.  Next to New York I have to say things are lacking.  Maybe that is just my own personal taste.  As far as San Fran is concerned I have no complaints.  Every time I am in that city I eat like a king.  Remember I love jank joints that serve comfort food.  you can take that gourmet shit and shove it up your ass.  I have a serious hankering for luncheonettes.  First morning, well more like afternoon by the time we got back from the crazy night I described earlier in this blog, we hit up this awesome little eatery called Sea Breeze.  The nostalgia from Spring Lake New Jersey had me won over.  Then the food and service were even better.

John and I were still dressed in our out clothes from the night before and our waiter thought we worked in sales.  We hit up this amazing little mom and pop Mediterranean place literally run by a Greek Mom and Pop.  I was enthralled and had to try just about everything on the menu.  John broke the atm machine and I scared this poor lady off most likely being a “cocky prick” as Amber from Wild Cat likes to describe me.  Whatever the case the food was some of the better cuisine of that genre I have ever had.

Finally no one likes an all you can eat Indian lunch buffet better then I do.  SF is full of the places.  The one I picked was all you can eat for like 8 bucks.  By the time we got there the buffet was seriously lacking so we decided to order an Indian pizza “with out pizza sauce” as the menu described it.  Although I would noy call it a pizza by any stretch of the imagination I will say it was very tasty and I would totally get it again.

I love Mediterranean food.mmmmmmm

Bay To Breakers
Finally we get to the main reason I ended up in SF ahead of schedule, Bay to Breakers.  Apparently Every year during this time there is a running race that runs 8 miles across the city and it is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.  After the race is over around 9am a ridiculous amount of people take to the race course dressed up in costumes drunk and walk the course while drinking and partying in the streets.  This thing is a full on party for miles.  As far as you can see in either direction of the street it is packed with costume clad enthusiasts all going nuts.

I for one found myself hammered by noon.  A bunch of my friends were going dressed as animals thus the group was know as the “party animals”.  I went as Ace Ventura cause you cant have a bunch of animals running around all over town with out the pet detective.  There was every kind of costume imaginable and some people were even naked.  If I had known I could have went naked, well lets just say I would have had a different kind of out fit on or not on.  There were house parties happening along the street on the route.  Some with DJ’s, others with professional bands.  All the parks were filled with parties and some even had people doing trapeze like stunts in the trees.  It was a sight to be seen.  I would with out a doubt recommend giving it a go at least once in your life.  There is a good chance I will be a permanent fixture.

Here I am caught in the middle of all the chaos.

That damn Route 152
My plan was not to leave for a few more days.  My roommate Dan who also came up for Bay to Breakers got screwed over by his ride home and hit me up.  Although exhausted from the long day, heck long weekend for that much I agreed to leave by the early evening.  Being it was a nice night I decided to take the Pacific Coast Highway California Route 1.  The drive alone is a breath taking one weaving down the vista laden Northern California coast.  There was a solar eclipse happening at the same time.   It was definitely the perfect way to cap off an already splendid weekend.

I made sure to stop for a burrito at my favorite burrito place in the entire world located right off the hwy 1 in the heart of Santa Cruz.  There are basically four options once in Santa Cruz for getting back to Santa Barbara.  One can stay on the PCH and keep enjoying the views through Monterrey and the Central coast. Although a very nice drive it also takes double the time.  Since it was already dark there was no point for any more scenery.  Next option is the 17 which runs straight across to San Jose and then links up with the 101S.

The route I like to take is the 183 which cuts across on a southerly angle from Monterrey to Salinas finally linking up with the 101S.  It is the hypotenuse of a right hand triangle and always my choice of route in any circumstance.   Unfortunately I was not paying attention and jumped on the god damn 152, the fourth and worst option.  On a map the 152 in theory looks like the best way to go distance wise.  Topographically it winds through the hills and is only one lane on each side.  It reminded me of driving in New Zealand, but with out all the giant logging trucks zooming past at 60KM.

I ate up about an hour and half of this sketchy road where I was owned by some dare devil chick in a Prius.  I can drive and my Civic totally handles better then her shit car, yet she was traveling easily 15 to 20 miles per hour faster then me around every turn.  Ultimately we all ended up getting stuck behind this RV pulling a trailer  causing us to have to cruise at 25mph for the next 50 miles.  As it turns out the 152 is also supposedly haunted cause of the high accident rate and that back in the 1920’s some sheriff used to hang people along the side of it.  All I can say is that I was a little bit spooked and I did not even know it was haunted.

Well there you have it a fun filled action packed  three days of pure Lisanti mayhem.  Yep all of this you just read went down in a three day span.   I assure I spent the next three days doing absolutely nothing to make up for it.  Look for more adventures that happened over the last month or so to come soon.

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