Tourist At Work

Saturday, November 10th, 2007, 2:07 pm

Time for a quick San Fran photo dump. I’d write more but I just spent 30 minutes on a post and WordPress ate it. Nice.

When we checked in to our hotel and walked to our room I felt like I was watching The Shining. Should’ve brought my Big Wheel:

The easiest landmark to reach so far has been Grace Cathedral, which only required me to climb on semi-serious hill:

Walked around Chinatown again, took some pics:

At one of my old jobs I did a lot of work with Citi and so this sign caught my fancy:

We bought tickets for the Warriors-Maverics game on StubHub, and it turned out our seats gave us access to this separate bar/dining area that was pretty sweet. Though they stopped serving food just after halftime and I didn’t get my fish tacos. I have utter contempt for people who attend sporting events but aren’t true fans–they just jump on the bandwagon when it’s trendy. They buy a jersey or T-shirt like they belong, but they really don’t. They just like hanging out in the bar (which isn’t open to ordinary fans) sipping high-end beers and eating fish tacos instead of kielbasa or nachos. I’ve always thought of these people as total douchebags. Well, douchebag, c’est moi:

What can I say, I liked the shirt.

Yesterday Mark had more free time so we decided to get chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf. Took the streetcar down…the streetcars here remind me of the rides at Kennywood, which for the non-Pittsburghers among you is our fabulous amusement park. The streetcars are old, rickety…and they even smell like Kennywood. The old leather, the weathered wood, the crankcase oil, I think that’s why.  We had clam chowder and Anchor Steam at Bistro Boudin, and then…and then I wanted a nap. Burp. Instead we walked around the Wharf, seeing the sights you’re supposed to see when you visit San Francisco.

Like Alcatraz:

The sea lions. Yes, the smell was quite impressive:

Lots of fat, fat seagulls lumbering around, and big pigeons too. I think PittGirl would LOVE this joint. Pigeons were actually hopping around on the tables till they were shooed away:


Del Monte Square is right by the Wharf, I used to work for Del Monte, so of course I had to have my picture taken there:

Ahh, that’s just a joke, I really don’t have hard feelings toward Del Monte. Some of my other former employers, tho…but that’s a rant for another day.

We wanted to see Lombard Street. The line for the streetcar left much to be desired (get it, streetcar, desire, heh heh heh!) so we did something incredibly stupid–we walked. I mentioned the other day how frickin’ insane the hills are? The slopes leading up from the Bay to Lombard Street were psychotic. Or maybe we were for walking up them. It wasn’t so much that I got winded going up them–I get bad shin splints and a couple of years ago I got plantar fasciits that crippled me for a month. I’ve actually been stretching before we go out to limber up my calves and Achilles, but the hike to Lombard Street was totally twisted. Especially with a belly full of chowder, sourdough, and crab.

But we made it. Most of my shots pointing down were blown out by the sun in the background, got this one at least. Be a strange place to live:

From there we took the streetcar home. Which is a story unto itself. I had my camera in a backpack and I had to take it off as I stood on the sideboards and hung on for dear life. One hand had a death grip on my bag, the other on the pole, and I had about three square inches of space for my feet to rest because the car was so packed. Next to me was a kid around 10 years old. Now, the streetcars don’t move too fast, but there’s oncoming traffic and cars trying to pass you and all that, and if you slip, you might have a problem. Going up some of those hills, with the car jerking back and forth, I wasn’t having much fun. I was more concerned about losing my bag than my life, but I was glad when we reached California Street and our hotel.

Had a nap, and then we went out again. This time we took the trolley to the Castro, which reminded me of Bloomfield in Pittsburgh, except that there were a lot more fit young men walking around holding hands. Walked around a bit, saw the theater, which was jammed with people waiting to buy a ticket:

We were hungry and started looking for a place to eat. Found a few spots that looked OK but didn’t excite, and then we saw a joint called "The Sausage Factory". Despite the location the name wasn’t a double entendre, and we almost went in…until we saw that there was a long line waiting for seats. Instead we took the train back to Market Street and, again, started humping hills. We walked until we hit Uncle Vito’s pizzaria, just down the hill from our hotel. It looked and smelled good every time we walked past it, and it turned out our eyes and noses were on to something. Pizza was great and a pitcher of Sierra Nevada was just $12. We ate, drank, and then walked up two more hills to our hotel and a good night’s sleep.

For today, not sure what we’re doing. Mark gets done around noon and some friends of his from med school who live in the area will be joining us. Think we might eat in Chinatown, as Mark hasn’t been there yet. Not sure if the oil spill in the bay that you’ve probably heard about will affect our plans to see the Golden Gate Bridge, doesn’t sound like it. We’ll watch the game tomorrow in a Steeler bar we know of here, and then Monday we’ll tie up any loose ends before we head back home. As for now, I’m hungry.


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One Response to “Tourist At Work”

  1. Cynthia Closkey Says:

    Enough with the Chinatown. For lunch go to Cafe du Soleil (

    Then go hang out in the Haight, wander into Golden Gate Park for a while, then have dinner at Cha Cha Cha.

    The show at The Bottom of the Hill seems to be sold out tonight or I’d recommend that. Instead you might look for something to do in the Mission District. Or maybe SoMa if you want to hang with the dot-commers.

    Damn, I need to get back to SF sometime soon.

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