Pursuit Horizon Blog 6 – GOcar Go! A weekend in San Francisco.03 Jul 2012, Posted by The Journey in
Amanda get a case of Mochi madness. Zach goes KungFu Crazy in Chinatown. Tea please. A man has his frank and beans out. There aren’t really celebrities in this hotel. We race through SF in a bumper car.
Days 8-10– Mochi, Tea, Castro, Go Cars and Mochi
Saturday was a glorious sleep in and relax day. After a little help from some sponsors, we had secured a great hotel in Japantown for Saturday and Sunday. We decided to get a little footage in Chinatown, where Z yet again embraced his Asian Heritage. Maybe embrace is not a strong enough word; The man was literally doing Muay Thai in the middle of an intersection (VIDEO). I tried to get him to do the traditional Thai fighting dance (after the embarrassment wore off) but alas he would not.
As we walked by Vitality Tea, we heard an older gentleman say “Drink my Tea it makes you TWICE as sexy.” This of course reeled Z in; and Uncle Gee as we came to know him was awesome! He served us several different varieties of traditional Chinese Tea, which were absolutely delicious. He was extremely informative and made the experience the best thing we had done all day. I will definitely be back to visit Uncle Gee and to buy some more of his awesome tea.
We jumped on a cable car, which are very cool, and headed back to Japan town. Japan town is amazing! All I wanted to do when we returned was to explore this little nook in the city that I had never seen. Everyone here is so polite and smiling. Z even felt comfortable enough in this area that he let me walk the shops by myself at night. Yes he is a bit protective b/c I am so small (I secretly like that he is….Shhhhh) so this was BIG. The Mochi here is incredible. Red Bean Mochi, Mango Mochi Ice cream, Sesame mochi, oh man. If I lived here it would be all I ate.
Sunday brought us to Castro district. This is one of very few places I feel secure in leaving my bike on the street. Castro is a very bright, neighborhood with lots of awesome little boutiques, great shoe shops and good food. We set out to film a bit and also to hand out some cards, but totally got sidetracked and just wandered through the shops until I found an amazing comic book store. In which I proceeded to talk nerd with the wonderful man in the store. Zach about fell asleep outside b/c we talked for so long. What? I like comic books…and mochi.. .did I mention the mochi?
Monday is a wake up, pack up and get going day. Until Z’s phone rings. It’s Brad from Go Cars GPS Tours. He has seen our website and is excited we had contacted them. This place is cool, the people are friendly and any store that has a STIG shirt, I’m all about it. The Go Cars were a blast, I was skeptical at first, but they are hilariously fun.
If you have never see a Go Car, they are bright yellow, three wheeled, 150cc, GPS talking tour cars. If you follow the tour route, you will have a very friendly female voice guide you through the city, off the touristy areas. She gives you quite a bit of history along the way, and is very entertaining; even telling you that you did not make a correct turn at the light back there. You can choose to go off the tour and explore in these fun little cars, and then pick up the tour again in another area. These made for some awesome footage as Z made me drive so he could film. Let’s just say we about peed our pants watching the footage tonight.
Speaking of tonight, we are with Z’s friends and they have been incredibly hospitable and kind. I’m starting to feel spoiled by having a hotel, MOCHI and people to stay with. It’s good to not put up the tent for a few days, but I do miss the fire. It’s a good spoiled.
Day 8-10- SF is so packed with awesomeness.
Sitting on the curb in SF around noon on Friday, just outside of JOBY HQ. Just finished up with the video podcast so we’ve decided to set up camp on the curb and use their Wi-Fi. Time to find a place to stay and rooms are crazy expensive and there is no real camping. The $100 or less hotels are super sketchy and rated only 1 or 2 stars on Kayak.com. Houston we may have a serious problem. Amanda seriously needs a day or two of down time and I think I do too. Feels like we have been running a filming, blog posting, riding, and camping marathon. How the hell am I going to find us a place for around a $100 a night that is safe enough to park the bikes?
Wait, let me explain something first. I love my Triumph, love it, but I realize it’s a tool designed to get the job done and this is it’s job. It’s fully insured and I know it can be replaced. I’ve only had the bike for a few months and I bought it just for this project. I’m intentionally trying not to get too attached incase anything happens. Amanda’s CBR on the other hand is her first bike and she has had it for a few years. She is crazy obsessive about it. She never lets it out of her sight if it’s not locked away safe somewhere. For example at the TWIT studios it was parked outside in a extremely safe upscale neighborhood, but she still looked stressed. Now this leave me in SF with a trying to find a safe room for about $100. That’s already about $75 over budget for us. Because every time we stay in a hotel it means we have to skimp on food somewhere or camp for free for a few nights.
Bingo I see a hotel in Japan town for just over a $125 a night and it has a 4 star rating. On the bikes and off we go. There it is up the road and I’m sensing this is not a $125 a night hotel. It’s upscale with a valet and expensive cars parked outside. I’ll just park up on the curb by the front doors and ask anyways. It takes us a few minutes to unplug all the wires going to my helmet and at this point the valet guys and staff inside are watching. The logos all over the bikes are also drawing some attention. Off the bike, through the Japanese decor in the expansive lobby to the front desk.
I start off with “I was wondering if you could help us out. We are filming a documentary and are on a very tight budget while in production.” The concierge at the front desk explains to me that the $125 a night is incorrect and that the cheapest room they have is twice that. He also tells me it would be an extra $40 per night per bike for parking. I decide at this point it can’t hurt to ask if there is any way he could help us out and that our production has us to a rigid budget. “We honestly would take anything, the worst room you have even a storage closet as long as our bikes are safe” I plead. Overhearing the conversation another concierge steps in. They step away for at the most ten seconds. I’m fully expecting the dismissive I’m sorry at this point, but. “Sir I’m positive there is a way I can help you out.” I’m liking the sound of this! A few keystrokes later and he has us booked in at only $105 a night and lets us park the bikes it the hotel lobby entrance, practically in the lobby where the valet will watch them 24/7. I head back out to tell Amanda the good news and she tells me she just received a text from a sponsor who is going to help us out with the room. I can stop stressing over the budget now. This is a very good day so far.
Up to the room we go as the bellman escorts us. He ask for our key in the elevator, don’t think much of it. Into the room and this is not the storage closet, not at all. It’s huge and there is a whirlpool tub. Wow this is really nice. The bellman keeps talking about how they have lots of celebrities at the hotel. He also goes on about how they almost never say who they really are but he figures it out in a day or two. Amanda and I think nothing of this, just that the bellman is being really friendly. We then unpack and head out to go split a $5 footlong with a side of free water. It is at this point we notice we are on the only floor of the hotel that needs a special key to access. Into the lobby and the staff is there and everyone is being very attentive and awesome. Out the front doors and down the street we walk when we both turn and look at each other with the same thought. Yup we think the hotel thinks we are celebrities or something. Who knows but something strange is going on and neither of us is going to complain.
Saturday morning and we’re exploring China. Opps, I meant Chinatown. Why I typed another sentence instead of just fixing that I’m not sure. Anyways, I love places like this that are so rich with visual character and people. I just love filming in these types of places. Hmm Panda seems to be getting a bit hungry, need to find her lunch soon.
“My tea will make you twice as sexy” put on the breaks I need to talk to this guy on film. Plus if I drink the tea how much sexier could I actually get? The man’s name is Uncle Gee and he is 82yrs old and is a character. Amanda is loving it and having a blast and we are getting some really good content. After 30 minutes at the Tea House we head off to get some Chinese food from the place Uncle Gee recommends. $5.95 lunch special, priced right and tasty.
This is the longest line in the world. Seriously it’s not moving that fast at all and it seems to go on forever. Oh nice a disturbed person screaming into a megaphone about a government conspiracy. My Spidy senses are also sensing pick pockets working the area. The street dancers are at least entertaining to watch. We are in line for the cable cars and I sure hope they are worth it.
I’m hanging off the side of a cable car nearly being clipped by the oncoming cars and passing cable cars. I’m trying to get some cool footage and I love situations like this. Now let’s try this without holding on to the bar and just using my legs to grip. Maybe a really low shot with the camera inches from the ground looking back at Amanda on the cable car. Yep, totally worth waiting in the endless line.
!ALERT! There is chocolate in the area I can smell it. Must proceed directly to Ghiradelli’s Square. Yum, yum, yum . . . ok finished, wait Amanda’s not eating all of hers . . . yum, yum, yum. OK ready to go.
“It’s raining men, hallelujah”. Why is this song in my head, why am I thinking about old episodes of “Men on Film” from the TV show “In Living Color”. Castro Street that’s why. You can’t film a segment on San Francisco without Castro Street. I’m totally OK with any lifestyle anyone wants to live. Life would suck if we were all the same. Plus this place is packed with colors, oddities, and interesting things to film. And as if on cue, right out on the open walks a by a dude with his beans and franks out for all to see. Is it legal to walk around naked at noon on a public street? Seriously is it here?
Oh look a comic store. Amanda’s a serious comic nerd and she heads in. Let me go into detail about this, so zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Back to the hotel to work on the video blog. It’s now 2am and I need a scene for the credits. Down to the lobby it’s impromptu Bollywood dance time. That’s right did you watch the last 30sec of the video blog, you should 😉
Monday morning and we are outside the hotel loading up the bikes. Brad form GOcars is calling. I left a card with the company a day ago and was hoping we could film us touring the city in a GOcar. Brad invites us to head down and film a segment. This was so cool. It was just silly, silly fun. Amanda was driving and I had the whole miniature sized vehicle rigged with cameras. This feels like we just busted a bumper car out of the amusement park and are cruising the streets at 40mph. Amanda is cracking me up. I’ll have to find a piece of footage for the next video podcast.
I thought I wasn’t going to stay up till 1am again writing my blog. Oh well, hope you enjoyed it.