March 28, 2010:
One of my favorite things that Dennis had ever said was “We are task saturated and time compressed!” And now that I only have today to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of San Francisco, I think that phrase is even more relevant now.
We woke up still full from Tadish Grill, so we didn’t eat any breakfast, and we planned my last day. The first order of business, was to go to Zachary’s Pizza to meet up with my Great Uncle Eugene and my Great Aunt Rinata. Planning this had been an ordeal in of itself, because of scheduling and confused math. But we were on and out the door.
Zachary’s Pizza was a cool little joint that was known for its Chicago Style Pizza Pies. The pizza was pretty good, but the lunch company was even better. We chatted a bit with each other, but, as I had already been said, time compressed and all that. Our next destination was the heart of the city of San Francisco itself.
We decided to use the BART system of subway trains, both to let me get to try it out for a bit, and to give Dennis and Veronica a break from driving. The BART ain’t a bad way to travel. Southern California could use something like it. But our love of the car here has delayed any real headway in that area.
Back to Frisco…
Our first stop off the BART was the Cartoon and Comic Book Museum. Man, I’m easy. Dennis and Veronica had me pegged. That was fine, because I caught a glimpse of some original Frank Miller art from The Return of the Dark Knight, not to mention tons more original comic book, manga, anime, and cartoon art. It was an incredible display.
We stopped off at the Hotel that Dennis and Veronica held their wedding at. Apparently, this hotel is known for the Doorman that works there. He’s dressed as a Beefeater from England, and they get paid an insane amount of money. In fact, the same Doorman, Tom, that had been working there when Dennis and Veronica got married was actually there today. He was very nice, and helped us grab the Street Car to go deeper into inner San Francisco. I finally got to ride on these little cable cars, though they didn’t head straight to the stars, they were certainly packed to the gills. We got off in Chinatown, which we walked through to get to Little Italy.
Little Italy was the sight for most of the Beat scene establishments. We went to Café Trieste and had a snack and sit down. We walked over to City Lights book store, where I bought The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. After the book store, we ambled over to Vesuvio, the bar that Jack Keroauc liked to hang out at. I only grabbed a half-pint of beer, still trying to settle down from all the walking.
We then walked UP THE HILLS of San Francisco, which were designed to break lesser men. I’m may refer to myself as Nate the Greater, but I’m just barely great enough for these hills, but at least I didn’t keel over and die. As we neared an intersection, I could smell burnt car brakes. We had arrived to the famous windy street!
We walked up the side, and I was surprised to find that people actually lived right off this windy street. I couldn’t help but wonder at who would want live on such a busy, and yes, famous, one-way street, but to each their own. We headed down to the Fisherman’s Wharf, which Dennis and Veronica referred to as the “most touristy and barely San Francisco area” we could go to.
We walked through the wharf, stopping here and there to get a good look at certain shops. We ended up taking a tour of the USS Pampinito, a WWII era Submarine. It was pretty cool, and I knew that I would have gone crazy in such cramped quarters. We continued on to the Museum Mechanique, which had a huge collection of old arcade games from early 1900’s to the recent 80’s and 90’s. I even took a picture in one of the old school photo booths. We headed further down the wharf, grabbing some sourdough bread from Boudin’s, and watching some street performers.
I felt exhausted, but more than happy to have had such a busy weekend. The last place we would eat dinner at was a place called Fog City Diner. And yet again, I was blown away at the quality of food to be had within San Francisco. I had a Pesto Pasta with chicken that was really, really good, while Dennis and Veronica had a sampling of crab cakes, chili releno, and other delicious choices. After we ate, we headed back to their home, with a stop at a grocery store for some drinks and snacks for my ride home.
It didn’t hit me till I was buying a Diet Dr. Pepper that it truly had been my last day in San Francisco. The first sip of that soda was bitter indeed.
Topics of Conversation @ San Francisco: Hippie sniffer, tax season, France, carpeted vs. plastic, embers, 100 Proof alcohol, Evil Chocolate Companies, career choices, the urine aroma of LA, upper/downer topics, snoring as a sign of enjoyment, the beauty of pesto, D.I.N.K. living, etc.