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My San Francisco getaway: Magical, impulsive, perfectly solo

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NOVEMBER 07, 2022

After barely making it back to my dorm room in my makeshift Mia Wallace costume, I had the sudden urge to get away for the weekend. One night of Halloween partying felt just fine, but I wasn’t sure I could do it three more times. So, standing in the bathroom in a sticky black wig, I impulsively planned out a weekend getaway to San Francisco.  

As Oscar Wilde once said, I can resist anything but temptation. 

So come Saturday morning, I took BART’s Red Line to the city, planning to go straight to my hotel. 

But turns out, the station was directly connected to the Westfield San Francisco Centre. How convenient. 

I spent the next hour in Aritzia, trying on every winter coat on display. The Slouch, Cocoon, Stedman, the list goes on. 

The next thing I know, I was dragging myself up the streets to my hotel with a giant shopping bag that was almost as big as the damage done to my wallet. No real regrets. 

After checking in, I collapsed onto the bed, DoorDashed a warm bowl of curry and watched my comfort show, Gilmore Girls, really relating to its iconic theme song: “If you’re out on the road, feelin’ lonely and so cold.” I forgot about how cold the city can get at night time. 

But, after a hot shower and some food, I was ready for my night! I booked tickets for the Frankenstein & Psycho Concert at the San Francisco Symphony, and I was ready for some spooky live music at the coolest Davies Symphony Hall. 

My seats were in the loge section and the lady who checked me in likened the seating entrance to the “9¾ platform in Harry Potter.” 

I knew I came to the right place. 

When I entered the concert hall itself, I let out an audible gasp. The structure was beautifully lit and the instruments on stage looked almost magical —  plus, the hall was orange and it felt like being in some giant fantasy pumpkin. The concert, needless to say, was spectacular. I got to hear the score of both Frankenstein and Psycho, as well as children’s Halloween rhymes read by the most lively gentleman. 

My evening was a perfect combination of beauty, horror and Halloween magic, and I hope to revisit the symphony before the holidays. 

The next morning I went to the famous Arsicault Bakery and had a magnificent blackberry almond croissant and a chocolate chip cookie. Paired with a scorching hot cappuccino, of course. I made sure to get a baguette sandwich for the road and off I went to the Legion of Honor! 

The Legion of Honor is an art museum in Lincoln Park built to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I. The beautiful Beaux-Arts museum is especially recognized for its extensive collection of European decorative arts. 

As I walked up the foggy courtyard, with Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker erect upon me, it almost felt like I was at some ancient, abandoned ruin. 

The museum is divided into 19 rooms for each time period, and needless to say, I ventured through each and every room. There was also a special couture show of the designer Guo Pei, and I got to indulge in the breathtaking garments and haute-couture gowns. 

Plopped onto Durant Avenue to head back to my dorm room, full of adventure and memories, I felt refreshed and ready for another long week. 

I like to make a special effort for new experiences, whether it be exploring the Bay or even studying at a new spot on campus. While it’s not always easy to keep yourself moving and seek unfamiliarity, I’ve never had any regrets over keeping a wanderlust attitude. 

Oh, the places we’ll go. 

Contact Haera Shin at 


NOVEMBER 07, 2022