So, there I was, sitting in Carlos’s on Mission and 24th… While I was waiting fro Kendal I had a Corona and was made to feel very welcome by the people in there – they even offered to let me change the music having worked out that I was more likely to be a Rock fan the guy who was watching the door let me know that the jukebox was an internet one and there would be Metal on it 🙂
So anyway, Kendal showed up, we did the hellos thing and then we celebrated with a really good shot of tequilla, and just had a chat about Canada, her day and that kind of thing. It was cool to discover that we get on in real life too, and it is a fun thing to meet the people that you only previously knew from the internet. We headed on back to her and Steve’s appartment, and after eating my first real American Burrito (a Super Shrimp Burrito no less) we all crashed.
Tuesday morning I was still all screwed up with my body clock, which actually worked out well because it meant that I was able to go out for a walk with Kendal and Rudy, and so it came to pass that I was brought to Phils Coffee on 24th. Now this is serious people, you need to know that though I would strongly recommend that anyone who is planning to visit SF should make the time to go to Phil’s there is a hidden danger. If you drink the coffee from there you will be ruined for coffee from elsewhere, and I do mean everywhere! Tip: If you think it is worth the risk, have the Turkish (with cream and sugar, even if you don’t normally), or the Arabian black.
So, once Kendal and Steve were away to work I headed out into San Francisco to begin exploring. I took the BART to Powell and then on my first day in the City I managed to go straight through one of the areas that Kendal had advised me to avoid – I walked down 5th all the way to the CalTrain. Now I’ve heard that it would have been worse if I had walked down 6th instead, but even so I have to admit that while I was walking it I did not feel threatened, but when I thought back later to some of the things I saw and so forth I did realise that it might have been a good thing that I didn’t have the camera out at that point. So at the CalTrain I crossed to 4th and from there I walked all the way down to South Beach. I stopped for lunch opposite Pier40 at an Italian owned café, which was really cool – I finally experienced an American sandwich, which is truly an expience – I mean as I expected it was more than enough food to last me until supper time. From there I walked down South Beach, under the Bay Bridge and all the way along past the Port Authority to Pier39. The Bay-front in San Francisco is really pretty and interesting, all the piers on one side and parks on the other, and this is a city wil really cool and intersting civic sculpture, like this amazing sculpture of a bow and arrow:
When I arrived at Pier39 I was bushwhacked, so instead of heading straight on in I sat under a huge tree in this gorgeous little park and just stared and stared at another sculpture called “Sky Gate” (I have a picture, but I have not processed it yet), and enjoyed watching the world go by. Pier39 and Fishermans’ Wharf is basically San Francisco’s biggest tourist trap, so there was every kind of person from every culture milling around, pointing at things, and so forth, but there were also local people walking their dogs and business folk taking their lunchbreaks – it all made for a cool slice of life view.
I wandered onto Pier39 mostly with the intention of going to see the Sea Lions. The Californian Sea Lion is an amazing creature, and Pier39 has a protected, safe ‘drag out’ for them, so you can spend a long time watching them laze about in the sun, going for swims and having little fights with one another. I was really pleased that I had carried my longest lens and my doubler, because without it I would never have managed to take a single picture of them that I was pleased with, let alone this one:
(I have others, but I think that this is the best)
By this time I was starting to get really tired, so I recouperated in Bugga Gump by having an Anchor Steam (local beer that you can buy at home, but only bottled), and that was a good way to relax 🙂
So, after all of that, rather than burn out on day one, I headed back to the Mission and Kendal and Steve’s place to partake of ‘The Holy Day’, otherwise known as ‘Taco Tuesday’. We had a cool evening, hanging out, eating fantastic Carne Assada tacos, as made by Steve and enjoying some Scotch, which is more than slightly appropriate with Kendal’s Vox persona being ‘Miss Scotch’.
With both of them working and me still beign on East Coast time we called it a night pretty early, but what a great first day; I certainly had no complaints whatsoever.