I finally switched pens after most of the trip. I use a Moleskine notebook for daily notes, and have some small metal pens that I have been using so far. The have a cross-hatch design that is digging into my finger, so I swapped one of them over for a hotel pen that shouldn’t do that.
We caught the other line of the Powell street cable car that took us along the Hyde Route, up to the top of Lombard street. It is so stereotypical to go and see all the tourist sights, but damn if they aren’t cool. That’s why everyone goes to see them. The gardens in the street islands as you descend are really amazing. We actually looked up the price of the homes on the street and they start at $12 million. Amazing. We walked down with the crown and noticed that almost no one spoke English. I guess we were with the real tourists after all.
After walking down the street a bit, we ran into the Art institute containing the mural by Diego Rivera. it’s pretty impressive, and his other work is great as well. I wouldn’t mind learning art in a place with great examples like that just painted about the place. We kept walking through north beach, and grabbed some coffee and food at a little cafe below Coit Tower. We finished our walk up and went to Coit Tower.
The tower is pretty impressive, as are the murals inside. We got tickets to the top, And the view is impressive. I really find Depression-era projects interesting. The murals are very socialist-realist, and the strong simplicity of the concrete constructions is really imposing. We continued our walk down from Telegraph Hill towards the Embarcadero. This set of steps is pretty imposing to walk down, I can’t imagine trying to go up them.
We made our way to Levi’s Plaza, and found a shady spot within the grass surrounding the fountain there. It was pretty hot, and we needed a rest and some protection from just pure exposure. Oscar was going wild because of the grass, and was flipping and rolling around. He was so happy to have grass again. We stayed for a while, until we were well rested, and even had a chance to try out the lifting ring on Oscars new vest/collar as he ran so fast chasing a pigeon that he didn’t notice the fountain and fell right in. Dog Dork.
We kept walking down the Embarcadero and made our way to the old Ferry Terminal, with its big clock tower. We were just heading that direction to take a look and catch the California Street Cable Car back, but we were amazed to look at the amount of new remolded places along the waterfront. So many of the old docks were now nice restaurants, public parks and boat landings. it was great.
But we were floored by the transformation of the Ferry building, which now contains a beautiful marketplace filled with Wine merchants, butchers, food and kitsch shops. the glass-roofed promenade is back, and the place is a beauty. We walked through, trying food samples, and decided to have a picnic in the park. I grabbed a couple of bottles of nice wine, Yulia got some bread and cold cuts, and we found some sausages on a stick for Sasha.
We left the Ferry Building and went across the street to the park. They had a beautiful plaza with a gigantic fountain, that had a path that let you walk around the pouring water and stay dry – mostly. it was nice to stand in moist air after such a long, dry walk. We found a nice tree and relaxed in the grass. We ended up not bothering with the wine, and just snacked and rested. Oscar was barking at people passing by, so we cut it short and headed over to the Cable Car. It was only a block away from the park. We were able to get on the next Car, and I noticed that the California street line has double-ended cars. I was actually pretty surprised. I didn’t know that the cars were different on the different lines. but i any case this meant that we had now ridden on all three car lines. cool. We rode up to the line crossing, and a Powell car was already waiting, so we jumped on and rode down to our hotel.
Back at the hotel we finished off the wine and remaining food from the market, and watched a few movies. We were tired, but had a fantastic day in San Francisco.