Textures in San Francisco

Textures for me are colors, signs, and the odd what not. You might also call them patterns, or images of what exists in the open, but still under the surface, if you are unaware.

 

San Francisco possessed a myriad of colors and other textures.

I was not meant to understand them, but merely to enjoy the many colors and shapes along the way….

San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf

Back in 1976, I took a chance and moved to San Francisco. Coming from Los Angeles, San Francisco is an entirely different world. True, we were all Californians, but there was a different atmosphere in this city, one that I’ll never forget.

I have my memories from back then, but while the City has moved on with the times, my mind cannot comprehend the changes since then. I used to live in an apartment, only a stone’s throw away from my hotel, San Remo, but things were a lot less developed back then.

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Fisherman’s Wharf Area – Source Google Maps

San Francisco Memories – 1976

Here are some photos of a pair of Canadians, I met back then. They were traveling about, and ran into the younger me, trying his hand at finding work, without luck mind you, and  experiencing the San Francisco of 1976.

 

Whereas somewhere in 2016, the older me was back playing tourist…..

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Cable Car Route

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Big Buses

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bikes on an angle

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Cable Car

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Seafood Restaurant

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Crab along the Wharf

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Yum

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Advertising Apron

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Danger in 2 languages

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Luxury Liner

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Fast Food on the Wharf

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Hillary in Candy Store

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Famous Sign

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Fish and more Fish

San Francisco seemed to have changed a bit since 1976. Not all changes are good, mind you, and what I saw of the more Touristy San Francisco was a bit discouraging. Not that it didn’t resemble other places in the world with its offerings of Fast Food and Tourist Junk, but I just couldn’t place the San Francisco of then, to the San Francisco of now.

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OK. I admit that my hair had thinned a bit, and had  gone to grey, but still….

And I didn’t carry a hat rack around on buses and Cable Cars, and70s_sf76_2

Oh, what the hey! It still was San Francisco.( Golden Gate Bridge 1970s.)

It had moved on, and now it was time for me to do the same.

Next Blog – Walking San Francisco

San Francisco – Lombard Street

Lombard Street has a reputation for being San Francisco’s Crookedest Street. Granted, there are many other hills in the City, but none so famous as this one.

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lombard street

Source for both maps: Google Maps

In the summer months estimates run along the lines of 6000 visitors per day. I for one wouldn’t want to live along that street, but read this article, and you can get a better idea about how it really is:

https://skift.com/2016/10/05/san-franciscos-famous-lombard-street-is-swamped-by-tourists/

On this trip, I first met this sight on foot from my hotel.

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Parking in the 90 degree zone.

 

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Building anew

 

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A touristy place

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Looking north with Alcatraz Island in the background.

 

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At top of Lombard

 

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SF architecture

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Rent a Hippie Van

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Coit Tower

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Pyramid in background

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Seen from Lombard

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Cable Car coming

 

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Cable Car at top of Lombard

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Hard on the legs

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Even the tourists have a hard time coping with the hills.

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Adjusting for the Grade

 

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At the base of the Street

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More hills in background

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Looking towards the Bay

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My trip continues by walking northwards towards Fisherman’s Wharf in my next blog.

 

PS Imagine living on this street. People banging on your door, wanting to use the bathroom. Blocking your driveway. An endless stream of Tourists.

I only took the pedestrian way on this day, but tomorrow……

San Francisco – A Very Special Hotel

My journey continues from Twin Peaks towards Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Source: Google Maps

The actual route isn’t as important, as the 4 Yellow Stoplights that I managed to drive through, before I began to see Red.

I drove through the Castro District, with its many colorful flags:

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The Castro District is located near the famous Hippie District: Haight Ashbury.

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Then, I arrived at the San Remo Hotel at North Point.

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Source of Screen Shot: http://www.sanremohotel.com/

The young woman who showed me to my room, told how the Hotel was built in 1906 just after the great Earthquake that leveled the city. It was originally used to house the many workers, who would help to rebuild the city. It has all the comforts that I was interested in, including WiFi, and a good location near to Fisherman’s Wharf. They even offered inexpensive parking at a nearby Shopping Center.

Here are a few photos of the inside of the Hotel.

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Old style plumbing, that still worked fine.

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Narrow halls and wood paneling.

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In each room as in the rest of the Hotel there were framed reminders of Expositions and other events in the history of San Francisco.

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The Main Desk.

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Antique Memories adorning the walls

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Free refreshments, like coffee and tea.

 

As with my other hotels, a survey appeared in my e-mailbox asking for an opinion of my stay. I said that the old-world charm should not to be changed! I felt that my stay couldn’t be better, even attaining the level of Danish “Hygge” or Cosiness.

When I first researched the Hotel, it was labelled as Cosy, but Uncomfortable! I agree with the former, but not the latter.

San Francisco’s Crookedest Street, Lombard and Fisherman’s Wharf, will have to wait until the next Chapter of my journey…..

 

Twin Peaks – San Francisco

The name seems to conjure up images of something that I’d heard at one time or another, but it really is just a name after all.

Here is the Wiki for you Wiki type of people:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks_(San_Francisco)

I love this place and try to take the people who are visiting San Francisco with me here to give them nice panoramas over the City of San Francisco, and the surrounding area.

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I hope you like a lot of people, because despite the road work at the base of the peaks, everyone who was anyone found their way to the viewpoint regardless.

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Here is a shot of Downtown San Francisco showing Market Street cutting its way towards the City Center. At the top left background you might just see the Trans America Pyramid, which I will be close to. Almost close enough to touch in a coming blog.

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Here is a wider shot of the view, with some unknown tourist adding a bit of local color to the shot.

I realize that being presented with such a vast expanse of city, especially after visiting the wilds of Yosemite, or being hoodwinked into going along to my family reunion, but this next photo will help you to find yourself in San Francisco.

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Here is my reassuring arm and outstretched finger guiding you towards the City in question….

 

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Don’t think it is all fun and games up here, as there are also communication towers present to serve the many people in the cities below.

 

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And this, the last shot for this time is taken from my rusty, trusty iPhone 4S showing my present location, and the surrounding area.

Next Blog – Twin Peaks to my Hotel at North Beach

Toll Bridges and the Free Direction

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Source: https://www.transit.wiki/Bay_Area_Toll_bridges

I love the free direction when traveling to San Francisco. Unfortunately, someone has got it all figured out, and eventually, you either have to pay to get into San Francisco, or pay to get out once again.

Upon entering this area, I first encountered the Carquinez Bridge on I-80. Going south is the Free direction – Yea!

The next obstacle is the Bay Bridge from Oakland to San Francisco. This is the Not-Free direction. One way around this is to possess a flying car, but there are most likely Fees at the Airport, if that option were used?

The other way around this is to drive the length of the San Francisco Bay to the South, then up the San Francisco Peninsula to the North. It might though not be as profitable, unless gasoline prices drop to ½ Dollar pr Gallon!

Lucky for me, the toll prices were less if between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

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There were no less than 22 Toll Booth Windows, all of which were occupied. Apparently a large 3 -day Convention in San Francisco occupied much of the time and frustration of the Toll Takers, which was apparent when I paid my $4 fee to cross on the Bay Bridge.

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco%E2%80%93Oakland_Bay_Bridge) partially collapsed during an Earthquake in 1989 when the upper level of the 2 story bridge, collapsed onto the lower section.

This was the first time since then, that I had been on the newer sections of the bridge.

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Source: Google Maps

I thought that the construction was more ascetically pleasing than the old bridge, but then that is a matter of opinion.

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Shots along the newer section between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island.

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The main span between Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco.

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Alcatraz Island. Former Federal Penitentiary, now administered by National Park Service.

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San Francisco Skyscrapers becoming more visible.

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Newer Skyscrapers, and Older. Trans-America Pyramid visible to right of center.

Next Blog – Panorama Views at Twin Peaks.