Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”– Lois Wyse

San Francisco Trip 2007 — 

One of the advantages of the social network was to reconnect with old friends – you know those people who were there and vanished just because and later on you will find out they are living in another  country… Just like my friend Kathy, she was there and then she was gone. I was trying to recall when was the last time I saw her but my memory just retrieved a big blur. I’m having those memory gap moments recalling it. One thing I cannot forget though was how I met her. It was the early 90’s, no internet, no mobile phone and the landline is the only medium of communication unless you’re psychic. A friend of hers dialed my number wrongly and I was feeling chatty. We then decided to meet up and she tagged along Kathy. I tried to hook Kathy up with my friend but she ended up with my other friend… so there you go…clear as a mud!

I gave her a heads up of our visit and she was unselfish enough to give us her weekend. Coming back from NY to LA she picked us up from LAX  in the wee hours of the night and let us stayed at her crib to rest and prepared for the road trip to San Francisco, that’s 8 hours drive. Along the way there was nothing much to do but sit, sleep, wake up, and looked at view – sit, sleep, wake up, looked at view and occasionally pee. It was long ! Everything in America is drive, drive, drive, roads, roads, roads it was unending stretch of  mass of land!

As we almost reached San Fo we stopped for few hours at our fave spot– factory outlet or just the ‘outlet’ as my friend corrected me – outlets are for high end labels at low price and this is what we loved about the US.  Without this the vacation will be such a dull. Anyways, as the climate was freezing, nighttime came early. We reached the fisherman’s wharf by 6pm for dinner. The place is a tourist attraction located in pier 39 with a lot seafood restaurants and souvenir stores. It’s famous for its clam chowder – the best tasting we ever had by far. We retired at Marriott near the airport.

In the morning, we went to Twin Peaks, the two hills situated at the geographic center of San Francisco, California. They form the second highest point in San Francisco, after Mount Davidson. It’s the best spot if you want to have a look out of the city.

Then we went to a tower located at the Telegraph Hill named Coit Tower. The tower, located in the city’s Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco. As per Wikipedia:  Lillie’s fortunes funded the monument four years following her death in 1929, as she had requested. She had a special relationship with the city’s firefighters. At the age of fifteen she witnessed the Knickerbockers Engine Co. No. 5 in response to a fire call up on Telegraph Hill when they were shorthanded, and threw her school books to the ground and pitched in to help, calling out to other bystanders to help get the engine up the hill to the fire, to get the first water onto the blaze. After that Lillie became the Engine Co. mascot and could barely be constrained by her parents from jumping into action at the sound of every fire bell. After this she was frequently riding with the Knickerbocker Engine Co. 5, especially so in street parades and celebrations in which the Engine Co. participated. Through her youth and adulthood Lillie was recognized as an honorary firefighter. Her will read that she wished for one third of her fortune “to be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved.” Two memorials were built in her name. One was Coit Tower, and the other was a sculpture depicting three firemen, one of them carrying a woman in his arms. Lillie is today the patron saint of San Francisco firefighters

Next stop is the most winding street in the world the Lombard Street. Surprisingly there’s a lot of tourist who visits this place. We passed by this crooked street to experience the curve. The houses were as fabulous. Afterwards, we had dim sum lunch at Chinatown and the rest of the afternoon we took pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I met an old friend for dinner at Boudin Bakery –known for its sourdough bread (called the “Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread”.  It was more than a decade since I last saw her and thanks to Facebook I was rubbing elbows with her again. Just to note, I was actually surprised with a lot of friends, relatives, former classmates, and colleagues who after commenting in FB I was in the vicinity, they message me that they wanted to see me – touching really! Anyways, back to my friend Edna. I knew her back in high school, well actually the whole student body knew her because she was that popular and she can make everybody laugh, she was too funny to go unnoticed. She was ahead of me but we happened to share friends and hanged the same  group during our early college days.  I remember going to a road trip, she sang bohemian rhapsody from the foot to the top of the  hill with feelings and with facial expression (that was the  first time I heard that song and is now connected with her by memory). She can make that  crazy conversation that goes in circle that somehow you’ll end up confused and she gets it. After dinner the celebration continues at a karaoke bar where we witnessed Manny Pacquiao beat the hell up Margarito.

I don’t mean to be mushy but my 2nd trip to San Francisco made me realized that indeed It takes a long time to grow an old friend they are hard to find, hard to lose, and impossible to forget… and there’s  no distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth…So thanks friends for sharing with me the best weekend @ San Fo (where i hope to live in my next life).

SF bridge1

Golden Gate Bridge shot from Golden Gate Park

“San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.”

October 2007 – The road trip to San Francisco was butt cracking but it was all worth it when we passed the Golden Gate Bridge – the longest suspension bridge over a strait between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city with Marin County. The bridge was designed and built in 1929-1937. Irving Morrow acted as consulting architect and Joseph Strauss was the designer and chief engineer. Completed during the year 1937 it has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. 

San Francisco Pier

San Francisco Pier

In 1776, the Spanish established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. San Francisco is the most European of all American cities; the residential streets are a row of nearly-identical Victorian houses. Although the general public often incorrectly refers to a Victorian era house as a Victorian “style” house, Victorian era refers to a time period and not to a style.

Victorian Houses

Victorian Houses

We went to Golden Gate Park to take pictures of the bridge. My cousin said we are so lucky, her countless trips to SF was always foggy and this is the only time she seen the bridge in its full glory. From the park you can also see Alcatraz Island, commonly referred to as simply Alcatraz or non-locally and theatrically, as The Rock, is a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison, and finally as a federal prison until 1963.

The city is very compact, hilly, and scenic. So everything was there, and it seems everything was near. If you go down the street there’s the pier and bay area where we hang around and a few miles up is the financial district and if you turn left the residential area where opposite that are the park. I envy the people who lived here I hope someday I will get a chance to be a part of this awesome city.