dinsdag 3 december 2013

3 dec: another full day in San Francisco

Town House motel @ Lombard> a good choice

A long walk ahead again today. Robert said he had looked it up and according to Google the total was only about 2,5 hrs. But Google doesnt count in steep hills and/or people taking pictures of every turd.
First we climbed up Lombard Street, we were still fresh so that was ok. The view from Hyde/Lombard is really cool, you can see a lot!
While we were taking pictures, two tourists in the cable car were doing their best to pose for us as pretty as possible. hey guys, you're on the internet now!! :-D
Downhill towards Columbus Ave/Str.

The Leaning Man of Belgium

View from Russian Hill to "Cow Hollow" district

The American Tardis!!!!!

Cable car on top of Lombard Street with a nice couple posing for us :-D!!

View from Lombard/Hyde. In the distance Coit Tower on Telegraph hill and Bay Bridge

"Honey we can see the church from here!"

Cable Car on Hyde with Alcatraz in the distance

the famous part of Lombardstreet. Still think it would make a great slide.

Have to park your car like this but it amazes me they dont tumble down the street.

"the Church" was on our way and its the Catholic St Peters and Paul.
Yesterday when we got lost, we drove up and down Columbus a few times and saw this church, and I was pleased that we passed it again by foot now. Quickly went it, the stained glass above the entrace is gorgeous, and it looked as European from the inside as it does from the outside. A bit weird, esp because there was a big American flag, and it felt like Paris, France.
Outside, a whole bunch of aged Asian-Americans were doing gymnastics/tai chi/something on the music of first Michael Jackson and later Billy Ray Cyrus.
Looks like we passed Little Italy

the American Spirit! it shows!

 We walked all down Columbus av with lots of interesting things to see like the garlic restaurant :)
 At the end of the street we found... the statue we had been looking for!!! I didnt tell yet but we got great help from Gretchen the Librarian and she was able to track it down! it was in the garden of an officebuilding, and we were preparing to talk ourselfs in, but there was an entrance from the street.
Wow! It was really great that we found it! The search for it is great on its own, even if you dont find it, its exciting, but finding it is ofcourse cherry on the cake.

we spent quiet a while there trying to find out from wich angle the picture was taken but it was hard as its almost 50 years old, and we think it was mirrored, and ofcourse the buildings in the background could have been rebuild or changed.
It was fun but it was also very cold and windy in the garden so after half an hour we "gave up"

But it was great start of the day!

where are we/where are we going
 I was totally frozen (choose the wrong clothes) as it was pretty chilly today. We went inside Starbucks - our FIRST this trip! And maybe our last too, cos we both didnt like our coffees :-( we've been drinking coffee house/neighbourhood bar coffee all the time and this Starbucks coffee was really the worst I had so far. But the heating was on and we took our time so I could defrost.
When we left Robert gave me his (very manly) woolen hat and his scarf and with two scarfs, the man-hat, the combination with the rest of my clothes, and the bags under my eyes I perfectly blended in with the Market Street crowd :-D (cos all roads lead to Market Street too)
Japanese "dollar store" loved it!!
 But we passed this very interesting Japanese shop and I ran in to see what the were selling. The were selling... a lot of weird stuff from Japan and it was all 1,50, and... They sold armwarmers!!! they saved the day! I put them on under my jeansjacket, that is very old and has a few holes in it, not very warm, but the handwarmers were perfect. And cute.
Market Street again

Market Street
 So yeah Market Street once again. It wasnt as crowded as saturday. We walked in the other direction (as saturday) and looked at the homeless people. No one should have to walk on the street wearing a garbage bag in stead of a jacket, in their old days. When I just tried to ignore it last time, today it was like I saw every person behind the homeless/weirdo. What is their story? Dont they want help, or dont they get help?
Also some shady persons that looked like dealers etc.
Foodtrucks on United Nations Plaza/Marketstreet
Just before United Nations Plaza, where tons of homeless etc hang out... POOPMAN STRIKES AGAIN!!!!! OMG!!! at least this guy had the "decency" to turn his ass to the wall. I cried "OMG dont look to the right" to Robert, who then looked to the right :-) It wasnt as bad as the full frontal view on saturday, but still, good heavens, where is it going with this town?

 We had to be on Hyde Street for the former Wally Heider Studios where CCR recorded 3 albums. There was this plague on the ground. A homeless guy was sitting on it and politely moved over when he saw we wanted to take a picture.
Nothing to see other than that, we knocked on the door but no reply, and so we went to the first Fantasy Studio "somewhere" in Mission.

Underneath Highway 80

 We turned on Mission Street  and... passed a huge Goodwill store! We walked in and I walked through the shop surrounded by people shouting to themself and people picking out the cheapest stuff they could find. On the stool near the boots, to sit on if you try on shoes, there was an old man sitting fast asleep. There were moms with small children and some bargain hunters like us. I thought the old sleeping man would be kicked out but the staff let him.

I was in a good mood when we left cos we FINALLY went in a big thriftshop (and found something - they had a lot of interesting books on healthy eating) but it didnt last long because it turned out to be a more than TWO HOUR WALK.
It was cold and I was grumpy and hungry, and the map was unclear and the streets we needed were just underneat the worn out folds of the map.
And when we finally FOUND the street, and it became clear we had been making big detours, we walked it a block to find out... it stopped! there was some big company in the middle and you had to walk around it. Great. So we did, and continued... and after a few blocks we found a big school blocking the street so we had to go around that too. (funny system by the way)
We were now in the Mission neighbourhood and it looked quiet and ok. Some nice houses, some older, but like a normal neighbourhood with normal working class people.
The place we were looking for was the first Fantasy Studio, where John Fogerty worked as a shipping clerck in the early early days of Creedence, as daytime job.
We didnt notice we passed it and when we were standing in front of it we were wondering if this was it. There was abig mural painting with musicians on it and the word "Fantasy" but we thought there was "something like a plague".
Okay so exhaustement strikes; we just went to a place with a plague :-) This was a place with a mural painting. I was so tired and cold and hungry that I just waited untill Robert was finished exploring. He ran the bell but no one answered.

Next: FOOD, seated food. we walked towards Mission Street, what was a buisy street here with lots of "immigrant" shops, little supermarkets, pawnshops, restaurants etc. The people on the street were a mix of all kind of everything, to me it felt like I was in Amsterdam, just a normal old neighbourhood with not much tourists.
There were all kinds of Latin restaurants (the Tom Fogerty Chicken Enchilada calories were all burned at this point by the way, that was the only thing that kept me going, burning that Mexican food calories off :-D )
but we saw something called "Jim's" at the other side of the street and it looked "all American" so we went in there.
What a find! It was a charming, old restaurant , bit of a 50's diner, but not fancy and "retro" but a bit like it just had been there for ages. It looked a bit old but we quickly looked at the customers, theey looked like "normal people" :-D :-D se we went in.
I had the veggie sandwich with avocado + chicken/rice soup and Robert had the chickennuggets. Twice, because he was hungry. we discussed this: we're in america and in aplace like this old fashioned restaurants portions could be huge, but this was the childers menu. The waitress who took our order didnt blink her eyes, but the one who brought our food thought it was a real good joke and asked if he was hungry :-D
My sandwich was good, the soup a bit funny but good, the coleslaw was good, the coffee was good, the fries were good, but the nuggets not that much. Maybe we should have said something, but we didnt.
The whole place looked it could use a bit of a clean up but in the end it was a fun experience in a normal , reasonable priced place in a normal neighbourhood away from the tourists.

Oh yeah and thats mayonaise!! again no problem. No one asked if we're from Belgium yet. 
View on Mission Street

Latin / Asian shop

 It was a nice walk and the sun had come out too. We went into several big thriftshops.

 Thrift Town ruled! It was huge and they had great stuff, but we only took a quick look. will be back next time.
 After crossing 16th street, the atmosphere changed from (Latin & Asian) families/students/hipsters/yuppies/regular folks/some weirdos/ some homeless to 100% shady types. It didnt feel right to me at all, I freaked out and dragged Robert back to the busstop, and we got on the first bus that arrived.
Maybe I jus panicked for nothing, but I dont like to take risks, and crossing 16th really felt like entering a new world.

We got out in front of the goodwill store we saw earlier today, and looked up where to go. Took the bus that takes Van Ness ave, and got out halfway because we were FINALLY near that Trader Joes I wanted to see all week!

When we got out of the bus we saw Guitar Center across the road, and we've never been there so we went in. Funny place, every two steps someone came to ask if we were allright, just looking or needed assistance and just had to yell if so :-D But they were all friendly. Looked at some weird guitars and their 1,5 item big "lefty land"
 Met a guy from Belgium, and went to TJ's on California and Hyde. Nice walk again. And another thriftshop! Nearly bought a pair of boots.
The cable car runs on California str and we were kinda surprised to see that there were NO tourists in it just some locals looking on their cellphones and looking bored.

Trader Joes was excellent agai ofcourse. They even sold "European style bread" :-D (I left it there)bought some lunch for tomorrow and went back. The busstop in front of the shop had a map on it that was first of all so high you couldnt read it at all and second of all it wasnt lit. We had no idea so we went back to the busstop we came from, because that bus would take us near the motel.
The bus was a bit old...and the driver didnt feel like providing information at all. So no sign inside that told the next stop, no driver prenouncing the next stop, busstops that dont show the name of the stop, and unlit streetsigns on the streets you pass. great! So we had to look on our small map and just guess. well we guessed right, thank goodness, we really didnt feel like walking a few extra blocks.

In the motel: getting all our stuff together and packing bags!! I'm not totally done yet... hope everything will fit... but my carry -ons are a bit bigger (thanks Staples for giving me that huge bag) so I assume it will work out. If not I just have to wear a few cloths extra and wear my Dr Martens as earrings.

We will leave EARLY tomorrow, fly to Nashville via LA.

The sadness for leaving San Francisco and California and the excitement of getting closer to the Bottle Rockets level up a bit right now... all I can say is the same thing we"ve been telling everyone: We will be back!!!! <3 <3 <3

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