Sixty-seven percent of you wanted to read more about the walking tours we took. (that’s about 4 of you!) Walking tours in San Francisco are free, ours were both well attended. On Saturday we walked a mile around the very flat Embarcadero area, and on Sunday we hiked UP Taylor Street to California and spent two hours exploring the old haunts of Alfred Hitchcock. Fortunately we did that tour during the daylight hours, and there were no birds out, to speak of. I’ll tell you more about that tour tomorrow, if you’re still interested.
You probably knew that these birds were dropped into a background. They were actually checking out the local garbage dump. Sorry to ruin the terror so early into the post, but I’m
terrorized frustrated today with my computer because it won’t process my pictures because of a disk error. It’s driving me insane – oh no that’s Alfred that’s doing that!
The first tour would have been easier if we hadn’t just run from eating lunch at the top of Neiman Marcus Department Store in Union Square down to the Ferry Building to make it to the 2:00 tour on time.
Finding where we wanted to go was like going on a treasure hunt at a party. We had our trusty map, and cell phone, AND we stopped an asked people along the way. We prepared by buying a ticket to ride every type of public transportation available, but could we find a bus stop when we needed one? They were all over, but people kept saying, “You can see the tower from here.” I’d move to where they were standing and look, nod my head like I really saw it, but I didn’t. After one person left, I asked Jean if she had seen it. She FiNALLY admitted that she hadn’t! :) We trudged on – rapidly, our lunch weighing
us me down quite a bit.
We made it, and by the time shown on the famous clock tower, we were across the street from the Ferry Building and well on our way. Crossing the street in the thirty years between the 1960s and 1990s would have been impossible because a freeway ran right through the Embarcadero area. Not everyone wanted President Eisenhower’s federal money to create freeways connecting all major cities across the nation. One woman, Sue Bierman, a resident of the Haight-Ashbury, organized a rally to emphasize that not everyone in San Francisco wanted a cement city. Melvina Reynolds wrote a song especially for the rally held to halt the effort to populate San Francisco with 10 lovely freeways planned for the area.
At this point on the tour I’m sorry, but got sidetracked by the natives enjoying themselves in Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building. It was really Jean’s fault. She said, “Look at those guys over there. I think they’re loaded.” So I focused my long lens on them until one of them smiled at me, and then I knew the gig was up, and I moved on to my next
victim I mean sight on the tour.
The tour guide said something about this lovely fountain designed by Armand Vaillancourt, and how controversial it was because it was made out of ugly concrete tubing. I must have no taste in art. I like it.
I missed all that because I was trying to catch a picture of the tightrope walker. I wonder what kind of toes he had. We meandered over to a park and stood next to a cherry tree. She talked about the tree some, but by then a girl had tried her luck at the tightrope, and a young couple in love captured my light sensor.
Next we stopped in a park-like courtyard of an expensive condominium. Just before we got there, Jean announced, “If I lived in San Francisco, I’d want to live right in the city.” That was before the tour guide told us that normal rent ranged from $5,000 to $14,000 a MONTH!
We should have taken a clue from our hotel room. I didn’t take pictures of it for you because we had it cluttered before we opened the door the first time. Yes, it was SMALL, but in its defense, it was close to lots of cool places.
We ambled a bit farther on one street and stopped where there was a little alcove tucked into this awesome brick building. There were lines and shadows all over the sidewalk, and sun sparkling on the windows, and I couldn’t hear a thing the young tour guide was reading from her book as I paced excitedly up and down the street somewhat near to the rest of the group. Which of the three views of the building do you like best? What is the name of the building?
I must have embarrassed Jean with all my wanderings. She left the group. She will kill me if she does read this post because she hates having her picture taken – ever! I just love this picture of her, though, and my background came out perfectly blurry. I’m so proud of it! We left the tour after that, and caught a cable car back to the hotel to get ready for our next event.
The man in back of me hanging out the side of the cable car, sort of urged me to not lean out so far. I had a really hard time taking pictures because I had my coat on, and my camera was over my shoulder under my coat, and I was hanging on with one arm wrapped around the pole so I wouldn’t fall off. Ding, ding – not me, the cable car!
So that was our first few hours in San Francisco. We went to see Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running play in America in the evening then came back to our hotel, checked out the internet downstairs, then crashed.
There was no internet in our room the first night. No cell phone service either. By the way, Sally had a huge room with two huge beds and a jacuzzi tub in the same hotel when she went. hmmmm