I've been trying to be more productive on Sundays as of late; and by "productive" I mean driving around to random bars and restaurants I've never been to in order to drink at as many new places as possible. While I know it's cool to check out the new high-end cocktail bars in the city and visit some new gin joint with pre-pre-pre-Prohibition libations, I've taken a completely different course over the past few months. Rather than go north into San Francisco and floss it up with the yuppies, I've been driving south towards San Jose, trying to get as lost as I possibly can in the sprawl that exists between Salinas and Santa Clara. I have no sense of direction in the South Bay and it's pretty easy to lose my orientation. Today was fantastic fun. My wife and I had Bloody Marys in a random bistro then strolled into a throwback cantina in Sunnyvale for Mexican food. The Piña Coladas tasted just like they do on the beach in Playa del Carmen and their mezcal selection was quite large for a small, hole-in-the-wall kind of spot. I made a note of the location so I could return in the near future.
The more San Francisco continues to modernize, the more I find myself longing for the nostalgia of the past. There are parts of the South Bay that feel like Modesto in the mid-80s. It feels more like Los Angeles than the Bay Area at times; those neighborhoods that have resisted the facelift and continue to maintain their retro vibe. There are people down there drinking Cadillac margaritas instead of Negronis. It's incredibly refreshing. I highly suggest doing this more often. If you drive around Stevens Creek it's amazing how many strip mall gems there are lying in wait.