San Fran: cable cars & Chinatown! Meet me in NY, June 13: Chara-con cosplay, avantgarde party.

rainbow wall, colorful mural

Let’s do the “San Francisco Disco”! I have many colorful posts to share with you, from my recent trip.

But first, let me announce my next destination… New York, NY. I’m here for a secret TV shoot, and want to celebrate Friday the 13th (of June) with you.

alice's pig, rose skirt crop top

On 6/13, hang out with me at Maid Cafe NY, for their very first cosplay event — Chara-Con! I’ll be the special judge of the “character contest,” with awards for Craftsmanship, Styling, and Crowd’s Choice. Winners will get tickets for New York Comic Con 2014, and giftcards from Cosplay Shopper. Applications can be found here, and will be accepted until June 12th.

Even if you don’t want to dress up, I hope you’ll come experience this unique maid cafe, and cheer on the cosplayers. No cover. See you there!

WHEN: Friday, June 13 from 6-8pm
WHERE: Maid Cafe NY, 150 Centre St, NYC
RSVP: Via their Facebook invite

king vulcanus levi, ny club kid personality

Later that evening, I’ll be hosting an underground party with nightlife royalty, King Vulcanus Levi. Join us at Friday Factory, a Vaudeville experience for the 21st Century. See avantgarde artists (including my friend Lauren from Tokyo!), musicians, dancers, tarot readers and more. Come have a drink with us, and enjoy Mediterranean snacks from much-loved Chef Fred Mero.

WHEN: Friday, June 13 from 10pm-2am
WHERE: La Rosetta, 243 W 14th St, NYC
ENTRY: A discounted $10 if you say “La Carmina” at the door, with a free drink and snacks

San Francisco castro, lgbt rainbow

Back to the Frisco-Disco. I’ve been to San Francisco about five times (it’s one of my favorite US cities), but this was Yukiro’s first visit. On Day One, we decided to take in SF’s most famous sights.

This blog is 99% about the alternative, bizarre, underground side of travel (like the drag queen mega-show) — but why not also see what cities are famous for? It would be rather obnoxious to go to Paris and avoid the Eiffel Tower, or visit Cairo and shun the Pyramids.

San Francisco fashion blogger outfit post

In any case, no matter what we do, we tackle it with our signature style.

I’m wearing a rose-print “Reality Trip” crop top and skirt, c/o Alice’s Pig — I adore their vintage, romantic designs. My white platform shoes are c/o YRU. Can’t get enough of their funky designs.

pier 39 carousel, kids riding

San Francisco Tourism gave us Muni (metro) passes that let us hop around easily. We rode to Embarcadero Station, and walked to Pier 39 (to save time, change to the light rail). This is a favorite waterfront attraction, filled with shops, seafood restaurants and a cute carousel.

merry go round, San Francisco wharf

Yes, we rode the merry-go-round. I conquered a zebra, and Yukiro straddled a seal.

asian kids on horses carousel ride

I first traveled to San Francisco when I was six years old. It’s a wonderful destination for everyone, from children to alternative club kids.

view of alcatraz, San Francisco pier 39

Many tourists take a ferry to the famous island prison, Alcatraz. We decided to only walk around the pier, and dine on the fresh seafood…

poster against shark's fin soup

… but not on shark fin soup, of course! Such a cruel and wasteful practice.

San Francisco aquarium of the bay

Since we had passes, we ducked into the Aquarium of the Bay to admire leopard sharks and other “under the sea” creatures. The sea otters were sleeping, but outside, we saw dozens of sea lions flopped on the marina dock.

blue jellyfish in tank

Yukiro was a bit creeped out by the jelly-fish. (We’ve been watching an anime about a rich cross-dressing boy and a dorm of otaku girls, called Princess Jellyfish – have you seen it?)

kissing a frog

What happens when an evil queen kisses a frog?

bourdin bear shaped bread

Onward to Ghirardelli Square at Fisherman’s Wharf. We ducked into the Boudin bakery, known for its turtle and bear-shaped breads. However, we did most of our shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (in Japan, it’s difficult and expensive to get dark grain, gluten free and other healthy specialty foods).

San Francisco fisherman's wharf, Musée Mécanique

We met a street performer, carrying a real bunny in a basket on his head. The Musée Mécanique at Pier 45 is always a hoot. It contains creepy, antique penny-arcade machines, like peep shows and fortune tellers.

San Francisco Chinatown streets, lanterns

You can’t miss two of the most colorful districts, Chinatown and North Beach (aka Little Italy, and home to the Beats’ City Lights Bookstore).

chinese lucky cats

We found fans, lucky cats and other Chinese kitsch.

san fran chinatown stores

Coming up, I’ll show you Japantown, Haight Ashbury and San Francisco’s best alternative-spooky stores.

cable car, san francisco tram

Also on the “SF Must Do” list: riding a cable car. It stops by a fantastic anime and manga store, Powell Gifts.

kids riding powell street cable car

I first did this when I was a kid (that’s me in the pink).

painted ladies, san francisco houses

Stroll around and admire the Painted Ladies, or colorful Victorian-Edwardian houses that are signature San Fran.

old first church, steampunk cross

How gorgeous is this steampunk-ish church cross?

san francisco architecture homes

Tip: wear good shoes, since you’ll be walking up and down steep hills. We passed by Lombard Street, the zig-zag road in Russian Hill.

baker beach golden gate bridge view

Finally, an obligatory shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. This view is from Baker Beach in Presidio.

steiner street full house

And let’s not forget Steiner Street, the residence of Full House! I half expected Uncle Jesse to sing us a song.

Did you enjoy our touristy-tour of San Francisco? Don’t worry, the next posts are about the alt stuff: skeleton shops, BDSM cafes and play parties.

Sending you a kiss (notice my shorter hair cut)? See you in New York City — please tell your friends about my Friday, June 13th events at Maid Cafe NY and La Rosetta (info at the top of this post). See you all soon!



  1. Alice's Pig
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Hey, looking soo lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  2. kill jill
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink


  3. Molly
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    It is going to be grand!

  4. Aria
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Cant wait to see ya

  5. mandi
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Sounds fun vv

  6. George
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Girlllll the hair is rad.

  7. 23
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I’m coming!

  8. joweehh
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 3:04 am | Permalink


  9. art
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    I wish I could go

  10. cindy
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    id LOVE to hang w u & Pepper inbox me fb or here

  11. Worldsend
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully i can go

  12. Glimmerings
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


  13. Paul
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink


  14. Brian
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Love the cut & color! :)

  15. Ash
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you guys are having a great time!

  16. Sophie
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    I miss San Fan I was there in 2011 such a beautiful City.

    • lacarmina
      Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      I love coming to SF, there is always something new here, and it’s so healthy and calming… <3

  17. Haru
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Aww you two are cuties

  18. Freisa
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Oh I want to see you in New York.

  19. ariane
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    My fav!

  20. Francis
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink


  21. Jenny
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    super cute

  22. Nena
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink


  23. Shek
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 1:20 am | Permalink


  24. yukiro
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    NYC journey seems like so much fun! wish I could join you! Had so much fun in San Fran <3<3

  25. Angelina
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Nice outfit.
    Check my blog!

  26. Paul
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    See you

  27. Cherry
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Cute clothes.

  28. Ricky d
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I love to see you happy!

  29. Reverence
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    hi ms la carmina…i guess the upcoming event is so amazing..

    i love cosplays as i did too…
    plz update me with the event…i really wanted to watch the video show…

    have a great show…

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