Bil Browning

Reflections on the trip to San Francisco

Filed By Bil Browning | December 08, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference, reflections, San Francisco, Victory Fund

I've spent the past few days in San Francisco and had a fantastic time. It was one of the best trips Jerame and I have taken. Unfortunately, travel has its revenge on bipolar people (especially when combined with jet lag) and I'm not quite up to speed yet. After sleeping quite a few hours yesterday, I'm feeling much better though.

IMG_0243.JPGI had the opportunity to sit down for interviews with Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis at the Victory Fund's Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference that I'll be working on this afternoon. I've also got an interview in the can with projector Dana Beyer about the ethics complaint lodged about her outside-of-work trans activism and the government corruption behind it. I'll post them as soon as I'm finished editing and uploading to YouTube.

While I'll be doing a couple of more in depth posts about the trip and some of the experiences, I wanted to give you a quick sketch of the highlights and see if there was any specific items anyone wanted fleshed out. Tidbits and nuggets after the jump.

  • Projector Meghan Stabler is a wonderful tourist companion. She, Jerame and I explored Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square together on Thursday. It was my first time riding on a cable car, putting my hand in the Pacific ocean, and seeing sea lions outside of a zoo.
  • Jerame and I met Tod Hill and Jane Levikow from the Tides Foundation for dinner in the Castro Thursday night. I was surprised to learn how many LGBT issues Tides has assisted over the years other than their fiscal sponsorship of the National Equality March.
  • After dinner Jerame and I went to see the Castro district and wondered where Harvey Milk's camera shop was. We looked it up really quick and realized we were standing in front of it; I was standing on the small marker on the sidewalk.
  • The quick tour of the Twitter headquarters with contributor Joe Mirabella and projector Josh Cohen was really cool. Running into the founder was even cooler, but we didn't realize who he was until much later that evening when Joe told us!
  • Contributor Kip Williams gets even hotter when he plays the accordion for you. He also knows the best El Salvadorian restaurant in the city (which becomes even greater when you go with Jerame, Joe, Josh, Kip, Heather Cronk of the New Organizing Institute).
  • IMG_0244.JPGThe Bilerico Project gathering Friday night was a lot of fun with a great view (as evidenced by the before-the-jump picture!). Meeting contributors Gloria Nieto and Mattilda Bernstein-Sycamore was amazing; I wish I'd had more time to hang out with Mattilda after the party, but she didn't stay for dinner with a few friends.
  • When you visit the Mission District, you have to get #pie with Kip. I'd waited months for that experience; he promised to take us when we were all in Pittsburgh. It didn't disappoint.
  • There was surprisingly little trouble in Chinatown; Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall must have lied to me. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant we stopped at though was fantastic.
  • We saw Michael Ceras at a cafe in Haight-Ashbury and I finally got a beenie I like in a nearby shop. While Jerame made fun of it originally, he wore it on the way home since it was cold and rainy; sadly, he looks better in it than I do. Argh!
  • NCLR's Calla Devlin knows how to pick a good restaurant. Dinner with her and her partner was a great cap to the trip. The food was divine and the conversation was hilarious and too short.

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Well, Bil, nobody in their right mind could ever accuse you of being a slacker....
Glad you had fun with cool people and good food- the essentials of any good trip for me.
For what it's worth, before your post, I had never heard of the Tides Foundation- and I'm not exactly isolating myself. I'm probably not alone. I think the good work they're doing might be worth a post or two.

Bil, your link to [the Harvey Milk plaque] pointed to the wrong photo. (Hey, nobody's perfect.)

I'm always amazed that the plaque does not mention his assassination, along with that of Mayor George Moscone --- as if visitors from all over the world are assumed to know about it.

And ... every trip to San Francisco has one characteristic in common: "So many fantastic restaurants, so little time."