While on the F bus to San Fran, we had seen an atas-looking region of familiar brands and decided to check it out on Saturday. After brunch, we got on the F bus once again and this time alighted at Bay Street Emeryville, a shopping district / complex about half an hour away from campus.
One thing about America is that many of the shopping malls (not all) are spread out horizontally, only having one level or at most two. As a result, the malls are low-lying and can cover huge areas (like at the SF Premier Outlet). This is definitely a subtly different experience from Singapore, where we pile levels onto levels in an attempt to squeeze as many stalls as is possible onto our limited space. When we first arrived at Bay Street Emeryville, we were slightly disoriented, unsure how to navigate or make sense of the place, but we soon realised that it was just like a mall, each side of the street lined with storefronts open to shoppers.
We dispersed and spent the afternoon (window/)shopping, before visiting the farmers’ market which had been set up along half of the street. There we enjoyed the freshly picked fruits, sharing some peaches and strawberries (even as we mourned the fact that we were missing the tropical fruit season back in Singapore; lychees rambutans mangosteens durians and more!)
For dinner, we visited Pappy’s Sports Bar and Grill, which was pretty cool and formed my first impression of a university-centered sports and food place (can’t think of another word for it). Walking in to the shop, we were greeted with a Cal flag and the restaurant menu right underneath, with a selection of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads. After ordering, we found some seats at a high-counter table (we didn’t explore the basement area) and were surrounded by at least 4 screens, each showing different competitions: racing, baseball, basketball, badminton; and that was only in our section of the restaurant! The rest of the meal was spent in half-attention as we ate and stared at the matches going on around us, occasionally making a comment but generally not talking much. Although I imagine the atmosphere is more charged when a high-stakes match is going on and there are actual fans watching, it was still a pretty interesting experience!
That was all the fun we had that weekend! The next week was midterm week and it was time to disappear into our rooms for some (varying levels of) intense mugging.