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Day 1 Recap - Embracing Our Culture: Coast-to-Coast
May 23, 2014 | News
Day 1 Recap - Embracing Our Culture: Coast-to-Coast

Our Coast-to-Coast station adventure to northern California is off to a great start. The flight was smooth and the group has already begun sightseeing, eating, shopping and bonding!

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WURD President and General Manager Sara Lomax-Reese will be blogging from the trip and sending updates to share with WURD fam back east. Here's her first dispatch, followed by fabulous photos from day one of the trip:

The WURD Coast to Coast trip got off to a great start, assembling at Philadelphia International Airport in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. Arriving in San Francisco at 9am PST, we were greeted by our dynamic tour guide Anita Rao. With incredible humor, knowledge and enthusiasm, she gave us an amazing tour of San Francisco's major sites -- the Golden Gate Bridge, The Presidio, Chinatown, Twin Peaks (which offers a wonderful view of the entire city), the Botanical Gardens, the Castro District, and one of my personal favorites-- the Ghiradelli Chocolate headquarters. She also shared some of the challenges facing San Francisco, the biggest mirroring Philadelphia: the effects of gentrification on the indigenous population of the city. With Silicon Valley only about 90 minutes away, many of the young tech workers are settling in San Francisco, driving up the property costs. Same issue in Oakland.

We headed into downtown Oakland and checked into the Oakland Marriott around 3pm. After a quick exhale, we headed off to Pican Restaurant for our opening reception. Owned by African American restauranteur Michael LeBlanc, we learned about the thriving Oakland restaurant scene, which, according to him, is one of the best in the country. Our menu consisted of classic soul food with an international flare-- fried green tomatoes with pork in a curry and coconut sauce; shrimp and grits with fried okra; fried chicken with smoked gouda mac and cheese; slow-cooked barbecued ribs over cole slaw. All very delicious.

Exhausted, we returned to the hotel and crashed.

Friday will focus on an African-American tour of San Francisco led by John Templeton, a leading authority on San Fransico's Black History, ending at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Stay tuned...

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