Tuesday, April 26, 2011

our international day. day 5

i live in corner brook newfoundland where the population is almost 100% white anglo-saxon. the first black or asian people my children saw (growing up in the 70's and 80's) were on sesame street. so, when travelling, delving into other cultures is always a huge treat. and on our 6th day in san francisco, we dove.
1. the alemany flea market is the biggest and best in san francisco. so on sunday morning we took a cab out under the freeway and spent hours just browsing. mexican and asian. old hippy. some wonderful finds like this lace runner (my daughter asked me to look for some lace to make a curtain out of). i bought glass beads and shell buttons and delicate depression glass and a hand embroidered tablecloth (that was $5.00). for lunch we had salvadorian take-out.
2. from there, we took a cab to alamo park to see the elegant victorian "painted ladies" houses. we wondered if we'd be impressed after seeing so many gorgeous homes. and we were. something about their pale delicacy.
3. then we walked to the john coltrane church. this was one of the highlights of the trip for us. it's an african orthodox walk-in church that celebrates the power of music as a devotional expression. a 3 hour jam session every sunday afternoon. everyone welcome to bring their instruments and play or sing or just get up and dance. black iconic saints look down on you including one of john coltrane with flames coming out of his saxophone. the music, the spirit was wonderful.
4. we left the church and walked over to japantown and the tail end of the japanese cherry blossom festival parade. the streets were packed as far as you could see. the event was for all ages. traditional japanese kimonas (women in their 80's to little toddlers). hundreds of teens dressed up as their favourite anime characters. drumming and the crowning of the cherry blossom princess. and culminating in a medieval feeling performance. we then wandered into the japanese bazaar - food and music and japanese craft and everywhere fundraising for the japanese earthquake survivors (here children were decorating fans and donating money to the cause).
5. and we finished our day for dinner at a great pizzaria near the hotel.

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