A San Francisco Kind of Day

By Haley Kim // Mosaic Staff Writer 

Yesterday was the famous Mosaic SF trip! I woke up excited,  laced up my Nike’s and we quickly walked to the bus station at 9 AM sharp to ride over to the CalTrain station, where we then waited an hour.

Once we arrived in San Francisco, we walked a mile or two to the Westfield San Francisco Centre. I glanced longingly at the stores we passed, especially Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, but I continued walking on with the group. By the time we got to the mall, it was already close to 12:30. As we walked through the tall, glass doors, I sighed as I looked at the sparking, sophisticated stores. I had a strong desire to shop, but I knew that we were not in SF to shop. Sadly.

We soon dispersed for lunch in the Food Emporium, and were told to meet up again at around 1:05. I quickly made a beeline to the Sorabol Korean food (I have been to the Food Emporium before), as I dearly missed my Korean food (it’s already been a week since we have been at Mosaic!).

As we left the food court, we stopped by Union Square to wait while the rest of the group caught up. The warm afternoon sunshine created the perfect summer picture, and we watched the crowd, which was trickling in to watch a “circus show.” Eventually, those of us who were already there walked over to the gates of Chinatown. The rest of the group eventually caught up, and we soon walked our way through Chinatown, where we admired the adorable stuffed pandas, the quirky bowls and cups, and the fun hats and headpieces. We noticed some murals, one in progress of Chinese Zodiac animals, that was very bright and colorful, and the other a much darker mural of Chinese people in 1889. That one was pretty much all black and gray, except for a few red design elements and a California lottery ticket one of the men was holding. I made my artistic interpretation.

Soon we reached City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, one of the coolest bookstores I have ever visited. It was multiple floors, but each floor was small and was crammed with books. There were two staircases that wound inside the building. We didn’t spend too long, but I knew that I could easily spend a whole day in there. Very easily.

After City Lights, we walked through North Beach towards Pier 39. By now it was getting really windy and cold. Despite that, I had a strange craving for ice cream, so I got Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, which definitely hit the spot. We then walked around, climbed the piano stairs, and stopped in a couple of stores, like Seasons, a Christmas themed store that sold sparkling Monster spray and Disney paintings, and Lefty’s. We also attempted to be cheap and get into the Aquarium without paying, but unfortunately there was a guard.

Soon we met up as a group, and it was time to leave, and we walked back to the bus station and then to CalTrain. The San Francisco trip was a lot of fun (and I got a lot of exercise!), and it was nice to stop thinking about the impending stories for a day.


A different crowd, A different ambience, A different experience

By Bahaar Muhar // Mosaic Journalism Workshop 

After returning from a horrible dinner, I put on my walking shoes, slipped on my Mosaic badge, and got ready to walk out the door to explore San Jose’s “nightlife.”

We walked around and had our first stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library where Joe told us that it’s a great place to come by some time and check out – it would be one of the few places that we could actually go back to on our own.

Then we crossed the lights to Flames. And I thought, “Wait. Flames? That sounds familiar! That logo even looks familiar!”

Joe told us that this was a originally a breakfast place; one of the many Flames. That’s when it clicked. There’s one right by house – but its known for pancakes, not for a nightlife.

We walked through and we stopped at the middle of the place, in front of the bar when the manager came with a worried face towards us. I guess he got concerned since we were a big group.

We then attempted to check out Fahrenheit but they were having a private party so no entrance for us.

Afterwards, we walked around more lively restaurants that would ultimately become night time hangouts in a couple of hours.

One place in particular was really nice. It had beautiful art, was a nice hang out, and had a great aroma. What was it called? No idea.

We stood at the end of the lane of many different nightlife places, peaking through one that had a huge bouncer blocking the way.

We met a guy who came out and told us that it was a great place. He was the third generation to go to that place and after leaving us with a tad bit of knowledge of past crimes and issues regarding San Jose nightlife and lots of alcohol breath, he strolled off on his bike.

We crossed the streets, dragged our feet around, saw regular restaurants and we ended up at a more modern street with more places to eat and more places to hang out. Joe told us more about the crime that once existed in San Jose regarding its nightlife and it was a bit hard to believe that it was actually like that.

The minute I saw the Old Spaghetti Factory, my eyes brightened up; we had been looking for a good place to eat that was local for so long and I finally found something. Still looking forward to going there soon!

Then I read a poster that the world’s best milkshake was at some restaurant to our left and I thought:

“Wait seriously? So many places? And the world’s best is in my neighborhood..”

I guess I’ll have to go try it to know myself.

We continued on and then I lost my appetite for that milkshake.

A guy in a green shirt was bending over with one hand on a lamppost throwing up. Sucks for him. His friends surrounded him and one looked at me as I saw with an awkward smile.

Will this be life after college? Lol

Then we went to the market. Before we entered Joe said it was one of the greatest things that San Jose had ever created and I thought he was exaggerating. But actually, the place was really cool; there was such a cultural mix and so many great places to eat.

The atmosphere was so lively despite it being crowded and then Joe took us right in front of a pastry stand. And that was my favorite part of the evening.

If there was one thing I really really really REALLY wanted after my trip in India was yummy sweets like macaroons, and Joe put them right in front of me. It sucked we couldn’t get any but at least I knew where to come back.

Then we left the street through the empty Sonoma Chicken Coup and Joe said, “We’re a little over halfway done.” And it was a bittersweet feeling; I wanted to be done with the tour because I was so cold and tired but not at the same time cause it was a totally different experience. We walked back and saw a couple more cool nightlife places and then we walked past one of the most beautiful places in all of San Jose.

Being half-awake I don’t remember the name but it was a Cathedral with beautiful architecture. Joe mentioned that it costed a lot to restore it after the earthquake. San Jose had to hire a guy from Italy for 5 years to fix the murals inside.

Then we walked through the famous Fairmont hotel where Obama had come just a month and a half ago but now it reeked of different types of alcohol.

We saw a couple more places but everyone was tired and ready to go home. We started to finally head back to SJSU.

Luisa opened the dorm door and we went in. I took off my shoes and called my mom and told her about almost everything from the tour. I guess I shouldn’t have told my mom. She thinks Mosaic is kinda crazy now – but she thinks a lot of things are. I’m glad I got to explore things with Mosaic and Joe and the gang that I never would have on my own.