Left to Right: Jahgun Eemo, Mahngneh Eemo & Mother at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.
My 2 aunts came to visit and stayed with us for a good part of the summer. They flew out here for Carol’s wedding along with the rest of my family and chose to stay a bit longer. One aunt stayed for close to three weeks, and the other was here for just under two. After they left, my mother invited them to come back for a longer period of time to escape the NY heat and spend quality time together. Three weeks later, they came back and stayed for nearly a month.
The photo above is a bit misleading because it was taken when my aunts came to visit a couple of years ago. It was the only photo I had of the three of them together. It was also the photo for which my aunt gave me permission to post.
One would think that a one bedroom apartment filled with four women would seem crowded, but honestly, I could barely tell the difference. My aunts’ predilection for cleanliness and order left my apartment more organized and less cluttered than when they first arrived.
One of the best things was seeing them eat their way through SF. They loved the phở place my mother and I frequent. Apparently the broth doesn’t taste quite the same elsewhere. Other things they ate included tea leaf salad from the Burmese place, Vietnamese sandwiches, falafel, jambalaya from a soul food joint, dim sum from the local Chinese hole in the wall, and lomo saltado from my favorite Peruvian place, which was a big hit.
Side note: When Mahngneh Eemo went into the sports bar/taco shop, a ‘young guy’ attempted to pick up her up, asking her to dance. She was getting us a huge plate of loaded nachos to share.
Other eats included pasta at a local Italian restaurant chain, an all you can eat Chinese buffet, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, The Elephant Bar: Global Cuisine/Wok Kitchen and Ono Hawaiian Bbq. And of course, what is a trip to California without having an In-N-Out Burger? I’m sure there were more I’ve forgotten, and the list doesn’t include any of the Korean places.
They were also all about the farmer’s markets. They took advantage of all the fresh, inexpensive, summer fruits that were readily available here: plums, pluots, watermelon, nectarines, cherries, peaches, mangos, papaya, and Korean melon. Delicious.
Besides food, Jahgun Eemo explored various areas of the city. Being from New York, she is public transportation savvy and felt comfortable riding mass transit by herself. I printed her some maps and off she went to site-see and shop.
On one of her trips, she went to Japantown and brought back a whole bunch of stuff. I had asked her to buy me some fresh mochi from Benkyodo, a well known bakery. She bought mochi and manju in one of every flavor! Aren’t they pretty?
She also bought me nice pens from the Japanese stationary store. My friend Heidi posted some Tangle Pattern drawings that she had done. Out of curiosity, I looked it up and instantly took to them. Naturally you can do them with any pen, but of course the recommended one is an art pen. I asked my aunt to buy me one, and she came back with four! The ones she bought were made by Sakura and is actually imported from Japan, unlike the ones sold in art supply stores here in the US. Those are made by Sakura America and have tan colored barrels, not blue. Fancy!
One of the places that my mother, and now my aunts, like to peruse is the shopping area on Irving street between the ten block stretch of avenues near my house. When my aunts were here, I had just finished making the knit sushi for Cindy so I asked my aunt to find me a bento box type thing to display the sushi. She bought the cutest wooden holder on Irving Street and found all the goods to pretty up the box in Japantown.
Did you know that the green grass-like plastic actually served a purpose at one point? They’re called baran/haran. With the wooden box, kid sized chopsticks, and baran that my aunt got me, the sushi project was a huge success.
All in all, it was great having my aunts here. I told them to come back in the winter when it’s freezing cold in New York. Perhaps. My aunt said she may be able to visit again next summer. I wish there was a vacancy in my building so I could cajole her into moving here.