Arnold M. Zwicky
zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jan 12 05:43:01 UTC 2005
On Jan 11, 2005, at 7:40 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> At 10:12 PM -0500 1/11/05, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>> We stood in line at the Thai restaurant for an hour, then in
>> went to the Mexican place down the street. I order the beef
>> molcajete, which was
>> so tough I had trouble dhewing it and so picante that the experience
>> of even
>> the sause was distressing. Ugh.
> OK, de gustibus and all that...
> ...I'm willing to concede that SF would have had
> tastier options, but I don't want to (as it were) bad mouth what I
> thought was a pretty decent block of restaurants to find a few yards
> from the side door of the hotel.
until very recently, sf wouldn't have had anything like this variety
within a few blocks of the hotel. now there are the restaurants in the
ferry building and in soma. but to get ethnic variety or fabulous
high-end food you have to go a significant distance from the hyatt
recency. similarly in most of the other cities we meet in.
it's also true that ethnic neighborhoods have a big range of places.
you can get routine or even truly bad food (including dim sum) at
dozens of places in sf's chinatown.
within a mile or two of the hotel in oakland there were truly fabulous
restaurants. for instance, jojo, where i was provided dinner on
saturday night. it's about as far from the hotel as zuni is from the
hyatt regency in sf. roughly comparable, though jojo is much more
intimate than zuni.
similar observations about the hotels we routinely go to in nyc,
chicago, and l.a. in san diego, we're *way* off the beaten track.
i've been amazed how downtown oakland has preserved most of the ethnic
neighborhoods and turned slum land back into a mixture of renovated
buildings and new development (like the marriott). [fairness
statement: my step-brother dennis power is the director of the Oakland
Museum of California, which i think is a really cool museum.]
i'm going on to this extent because i thought the location was great
and that the hotel went to extraordinary lengths to suit us (LSA, ADS,
ANS, NAHOLS, SSILA, and SPCL), in ways that no other hotel (in my
roughly 40 years of having a hand in such arrangements) has. i want to
(ok, yes, the drive from palo alto to downtown oakland is *much* easier
than the drive from palo alto to market st. and the embarcadero in sf.
but i've been in love with downtown sf for, oh, about 40 years, so i
don't think i can be accused of bias towards the ease of oakland.)
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