Monday, October 19, 2009

San Francisco Love Parade

I woke up late on Saturday and walked down to a diner close-by for brunch. Mel's Drive-In is a recreation of the popular restaurant chain from the 50s. Retro neon lighting, quaint juke boxes and super-busy staff behind the bar dispensing fried eggs, toast, orange juice and coffee. Quite a charming place to begin a lazy weekend.

As I walked back to my hotel, I began noticing something strange: girls and guys in costume. Wondering what was going, I walked along with them and came across a large parade in Market Street. Floats blared out dance music and hordes of young girls and guys in costumes swayed and danced to the music. Others just lined the streets as the parade made its way slowly towards the City Square.

LovEvolution 2009 San FranciscoLovEvolution is a dance music parade and festival organized every year. The parade starts from 2nd & Market Street in downtown San Francisco with about 25 floats heading west down Market Street. The floats arrive at Civic Center plaza where they park to becomes 25 stages on transformed festival grounds with food, beverage, a live electronic and performance stage, and outstanding revelry.

LovEvolution 2009 San Francisco
LovEvolution 2009 San FranciscoWith 25 different DJs belting out electronic dance music and about 100,000 people filling the city center, it was one big party through the day! It was a windy evening and clearly alcohol was helping keep the under-dressed partygoers warm; there were some completely stoned and drunk as can be expected. However, the mood overall was cheerful and full of fun and the after-parties continued late into the night.

LovEvolution 2009 San Francisco
LovEvolution 2009 San FranciscoI strolled out much earlier and decided to get some dinner on my way back. I went into Ame at the St.Regis, a place I have dined before.

Sashimi Trio at AmeThe sake, Miyasaka Yamahai, was dry and earthy and warmed me up as I waited for my starters. The Trio of Sashmi was a great start. The crudo of halibut with horseradish, the salmon with a thin slice of of cucumber and tartar sauce, the red snapper with string beans were a study in contrasting tastes and textures.

Sunchoke Soup at Ame
The cream of Sunchoke soup with foie gras tortellini had promise but was ruined by excessive saltiness. The broiled sake marinated Cod in Shisho broth was heart-warming and as good as I remembered.

Sake marinated cod at AmeThe grilled quail on risotto was wonderfully tasty with a hint of gaminess; it was a whee bit difficult to dig in with a regular sized steak knife - one of those times when I would have loved to dig in with my bare hands! The wheat berries, pioppini mushrooms and foie gras sauce enhanced the taste considerably.

Quail at Ame
Green tea affogato at AmeThe dessert - Green Tea Affogato with pistachio ice cream - was interesting to say the least! It was like having chikki with green tea and ice cream. :)


Lakshmi said...

It would be good to have a parade like this in india..

indicaspecies said...

Haha..nice pictures of the parade!
I hope to grab an opportunity to be a part of the celebration of the Halloween Parade in Manhattan.

kyh said...

Reminds me of a beach party... So happening there!

RennyBA's Terella said...

What a lively and colourful parade - all pics in the slide show was great - thanks for sharing!

The food looks delicious - as always from you :-)

Shantanu said...

@Lakshmi: Heh! Not sure if one can happen here...with our cultural police always on the lookout for a new reason to assault people. :)

Shantanu said...

@indicaspecies: Yup... should be as much fun too.

@kyh: Quite the same atmosphere, but minus the sun!

@Renny: Oh yes, the food at Ame is always a delight.

indicaspecies said...

Hehe...been catching up on your blog and reached this post.

Now that I am back from USA, I can say that I was able to attend the Halloween Parade in Manhattan as well as see the New York Marathon the very next morning (Nov 1).