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Sunday Nostalgia: On Dining Out.

This is Hamburger Haven in the Richmond District, SF. The name is always funny to me because they serve a variety of things, their breakfast being one of my favorites. My friends are always a bit thrown off when I ask them to meet me there at 10 AM, like — Burgers? For Breakfast? 😉

Eating out for breakfast was always something I looked forward to on a lazy Sunday. Remember the days when you could enjoy a cup of coffee inside a buzzing diner?

The pros about this pandemic is that restaurants have taken over the streets, making my little downtown feel like a little snapshot of Paris. But even with this new restaurant culture, I still miss sitting in and dining in retro booths.

I wonder/hope that when we are able to dine inside of restaurants again, we can continue to spread out on the streets. Especially for suburban towns, do we really need all that space devoted to cars? Car culture – let’s try to minimize it.

Think about all that space devoted to parking… is it really necessary?


When my downtown opened up the streets to outdoor dining, It was the best happy hour I had ever been to. It felt so good to be outdoors, enjoying the leisure activity of drinking wine, with other happy faces collectively enjoying and reflecting on the simple things in life that we all miss.

I know for some people, it’s too risky to eat outdoors; I respect that. I still feel a bit of anxiety operating in the world outside of my home. I feel fortunate that I am no longer in the city, to be honest, we moved out of the Tenderloin just in time.

I don’t know if I would feel as safe to eat outdoors if I was still living in the city. My few day trips driving through has shown a not-so-socially-distant-crowd. People are still going about their city-lives, which is expected because, I mean, without a car (like most city dwellers) what else is there to do but to crowd out the open public spaces?


There must be some subconscious stimulation one gets from people watching; Listening to people talk, with glasses clinking in the background. Perhaps it’s a creative element, creating stories to the characters in your view.

One thing I always used to think about was faces- how weird they are. Each face you see on the street is so distinctly unique (or similar). You are so aware of your perception, that a passer-byer, or another person dining in seems so familiar, but then foreign at the same time… they are essentially white noise to your visual world. Then, when I think of faces as white noise, It sort veers towards a twilight zone perception, where faces are created to “fill up space”. The person you see, you may never see again, but yet, they exist, in their own world, in their own perception they are the main character and you are the white noise. It’s all weird… but does that make sense? lol

I guess that’s what I miss most of all, getting lost in someone else’s white noise; being a nobody in a crowd. All this time in quarantine has me thinking insular too much.


So, what have you been doing when you feel the need to see and be seen?

Walks in the park aren’t cutting it for me. Perhaps I should join some online happy hours or something! Any recommendations, drop them below in the comments.

Until next time,

Urban Suburban Girl

My name is Darin Marie. I was born and raised in the burbs of Los Angeles, spending most of my formative years in San Francisco. I'm a database manager by day and this is my creative outlet. All photos are my own unless noted otherwise. Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment on “Sunday Nostalgia: On Dining Out.

  1. Terrific story. In St. Paul du Vence, in the south of France overlooking Nice, they have specific parking garages just outside of the village, and the interior of the town is for walking only…refreshing and fun, and something we should try to do more, because I love your outdoor Paris vibe!

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