Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The most temperate spring I ever spent was an autumn in San Fransisco

So it's apparently nearly halfway through October (not that you would know it based on the 75 degree weather here!), and I've only posted once. I would like to blame the Jimmy Wales epic I am currently slogging through, but in reality it is because I was totally ignoring that responsibility and vacationing in sunny California, specifically in sometimes-foggy-but-mostly-sunny-this-weekend San Fransisco. My sister has lived in the city for a number of years, and it's always fun to visit her there. San Fransisco is one of my favorite cities, and when there it's hard not to make comparisons to New York because the two are so vastly different. New York wins on size and on the "number of buildings over 10 stories" and "quality of bagel places" fronts, but I'm sorry to say San Fransisco wins in terms of "number of places that don't smell like urine" and "proximity to wineries that aren't on Long Island."

The last time I was in town, my sister was sadly ill, so I did a bit of exploring on my own. This time, she had a much more functional illness, and was able to squire me around town and show me where the good ice cream places are. My boyfriend was also able to accompany me, so you will note the overall quality and quantity of photos are far greater than on trips where I go alone. In light of that, in the tradition of all previous travel posts, this will mostly be a photo dump. Enjoy!

The day we arrived, my sister had to work, so my boyfriend and I touristed out. We went to Fishermen's Wharf and Pier 39. I was happy to see Lefty's, the store catering in merchandise for left-handed people (their motto: "Where the customer is not always right!") was still in business. It's tough for those of us trying to get by in a right handed world. I remember buying a left handed calligraphy pen there once when I was a kid. As it turns out, having a tool not specifically geared to my hand preference was not the thing keeping me from mastering the fine art of calligraphy. Anyway, for posterity, I had to pose in front of it. This random (probably right handed) woman decided to join in too.

I went out to Alcatraz to do the tour when I visited San Fransisco for the first time as a kid. As an adult, I'm too cheap to pay for the tour and just admire the island from afar, in very much the opposite way that the prison's former residents would have. I'm not sure that sentence made much sense, but I'm leaving it anyway.

Sea lions with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. It gets no more touristy than this.

We saw this while walking around aimlessly (although in the general direction of my sister's neighborhood). A fine statue on a fine day.

I'm ashamed to say that I watched most episodes of Full House as a young adult, and, for reasons best left unexplained, the theme song is currently my cell phone's ring tone. That said, I did not recognize this iconic image until after my boyfriend had photographed it and explained its significance. Actually, perhaps he should be more ashamed of this story than I should.

Did I say it got no more touristy (See: 3 photos up "sea lions" for reference)? I stand corrected. Also, we almost got locked out of our car share here, but it was totally worth it.

My sister works for Save the Redwoods League and gets a couple of extra days off a year for bringing people to the Redwoods. Thus at Muir Woods, we basked in the sunshine and glory of the trees. As seen here.

This might seem like merely a foggy image of San Fransisco from across the bay, but is actually an attempt to capture the Blue Angels, who were doing their air show the week we were there. That random black dot is not in fact a piece of dust. It is an airplane. Possibly five airplanes in perfect formation, although I'll admit it's hard to tell for sure.

We had lunch in Sausalito across the bay. It is home to a very delicious crab melt and a very delicious-looking seafood platter.

We went wine tasting in Sonoma (and a little bit in Napa) one day. I purchased a bottle of wine that I didn't get a chance to drink thanks to the TSA's strict guidelines about liquids on planes. I trust that it will be in good hands with my sister though. On another note, I feel this wine tasting outing more than makes up for the one I missed because of Hurricane Irene. Based on all the California wines I've had in my life and the handful of Long Island wines I've had in my life, the scales tip ever-so-slightly in favor of California.

On our last day in town, we explored more of San Fransisco. We did some vintage shopping and checked out the murals in the Mission. The Mission is the seeming equivalent of Williamsburg in New York whose cup runneth over with mustached hipsters. Incidentally, while on comparisons many neighborhoods seem to have New York equivalents: the Castro would be Chelsea, Haight Street would be the East Village, and Nob Hill would be the Upper East Side. However, in my limited explorations, and thematically for the sake of this blog, there seems to be no direct equivalent to Astoria.

My favorite of the murals in the Mission. Well, I guess we only saw one alley's worth, so I can't really make this sweeping declaration. It is an enjoyable mural though, and admirably photographed!

I was glad to get away for a few days to gallivant around a different city over-eating. It certainly makes for a refreshing change. Thanks very much to my sister and her roommates for housing us!


  1. I have a photo of that same mural! (without you 2 in front of it.)

  2. very cool, i love the photos!

  3. As a fellow lefty, I really hope Lefty's is still around when I finally visit SF! Great post!

  4. Glad you had a good time. We get to see that lovely Carolyn soon in Oregon

  5. It looks like you had a good time! Isn't Muir Forest great? I love how easy it is to reach Sonoma and Napa from the city.

  6. Thanks for the comments, friends!

    Sharry--Carolyn was mentioning that. It made me want to get up to Oregon for a visit as well, but it might be a few years yet.

    Marla--You and A should work in bay area real estate :)