I took the subway from Market Street down to Mission today to do some walking around. Getting off and back up onto the street was slightly disorienting. Immediately a smell of trash and feces overwhelmed me as I reached ground level, a wild pack of bums was gathered around begging and yelling irrational things into the sky to help welcome their new visitor. Here you cant see or sense where the ocean is, since I had no reference for where the bay was my mental compass kept flipping, leaving me with the feeling that it was morning and the sun was still rising in the sky. I started walking what I thought was north and then realized it was south, but the illusion was so strong that I kept having second thoughts. Along mission all I found was run down taquerias, liquor stores and majorly grungy bars; it was hard to make out why this was listed as a tourist attraction.
After a while walking around on Mission Street I saw that all the restaurants had warnings about wearing hoodies inside, it didn't make too much sense until I noticed that there was a lot of gang member looking people around me, all wearing hoodies. I myself was wearing a blue hoodie. Was this a neutral color? Was I now going to be the target some fresh San Fran gang violence? I decided to find another street to walk on and see if it felt safer. One block west I found Valencia Street, populated with boutique stores and coffee shops.
Once I got hungry enough I zeroed in on an Irish Pub on Valencia called The Phoenix. I lucked out with it being 6pm and found that happy hour was in session here. I got myself a Speakeasy to drink and a mini burger, taco and onion rings to eat. The atmosphere was interesting with a drunk 75 year old veteran next to me hitting on a 30 year old girl, the bartenders provided good scenery and I was no longer afraid I would be shot or stabbed. I managed to get out of here for 18 bucks total.