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.

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Just a Normal Guy

By Enya Kuo // Mosaic Staff Writer 

I was shocked to see that he didn’t come in with sparkles in the background and confetti falling around him and trumpet fanfare announcing his entrance. I gestured wildly in his direction, but I didn’t want him to hear me squeal, “He’s here! He’s here!”

Michael Phelps sat. Bob Bowman sat. I sat, but I wanted to jump up and shriek, “It’s Michael Phelps!”

He wore a gray t-shirt. Neon shorts. Slightly messy brown curls peeking out beneath his blue cap. He was so…normal. What?

The other reporters started asking him questions, and I was feverishly debating whether I should take notes or watch him talk, with his slight lisp, his big hands lying on the table, his even bigger shoulders, his slight lean toward the mic. I tried to do both.

It’s Michael Phelps!

The reporters started ignoring poor John Martin, who was in charge of the press conference, and started jumping in with their own questions. I should jump in too. Push back, like Sean Webby said. Okay. Okay.

“Uh, Michael,” I piped up, “when you’re swimming longer sets, what do you think about?”

“Nothing,” he said. “Sometimes it’s brutal how painful it is, or ‘Why is he making us do this?’ but

I guess now I do think more of stroke, about how my technique is because it is challenging for me to get everything back. It’s coming back slowly, but I really don’t think about much when I’m training.”

I TALKED TO MICHAEL PHELPS!

It was a happy day.