Tuesday, October 2, 2007

San Francisco Here We Come

Street corners have the names stamped into the pavement (right). You don't have to look up confused at the signs to know where you are.

This trip was my first time in San Francisco. It's a nice city. It's funny, the things that make it unique, are also the same things people label as touristy. I don't mind seeing touristy things, after all, I AM a tourist. People will say, you have to see the real city, like a local. Well, I'm not about to get up at 6:00 a.m. shower, shave, blow dry, iron an outfit and go out on my merry way to work. Isn't that what I'd do if I were a local? I'd much rather be a tourist. Roll out of bed when I feel like it and meander around wherever the mood takes me, and of course, take pictures (okay, that is my job, to take pictures, don't get all technical with me).

Before we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, into San Francisco, we had to stop and take a picture. It was early evening and the light had a golden quality to it. A very pretty time of day. Across the bay, San Francisco looks foggy. The Golden Gate Bridge has a team of full time painters keeping it that bright orange color. When they get to the end, they start all over again. I wonder if they have a hard time keeping employees.

One of the days we were there, we took a boat ride around the bay. These sail boats were heading out all in a line. In the background, you can see Alcatraz.

We cruised by The Rock and that was enough for me to see it from the outside. The boat tour featured an audio recording with interviews from past inmates of Alcatraz. One man spoke of seeing the federal penitentiary in the bay as he grew up in San Francisco. How it was a looming presence. He never imagined he'd end up there. Another man said he only ever looked out the window once while incarcerated there. He couldn't bare to see the teasing bright lights of the city. The sight of people living their lives in the distance was too much to think about.

Something I never knew about that I found intriguing. Americans Indians (I was taught to say Native Americans, but that is now out. So indigenous peoples of the Americas...), occupied Alcatraz Island 1969-1971. It was supposed to be a symbolic occupation carried out by urban college students, but turned into a full scale occupation that lasted 18 months. This sign below was on the side of a building on Alcatraz Island. Read more about it here, click this link.

Back on land, we saw some cable cars. I like looking at them. Especially the ones that look like this. Sort of like an airstream trailer with 1950's diner paint job. Most of them just look like regular city buses attached to cables.

Down at Fisherman's Wharf, on Pier 39, you can see all the Sea Lions you want. They like to hang out on the rafts here and started doing so in 1990. The Sea Lions alone make it worth the trip down to Fisherman's Wharf. Their barking is quite loud and boisterous. They fight with each other, sun themselves, groom themselves, and just sit around looking cute posing for pictures. I think they like the attention.

See that Sea Lion (Lioness?) and her (I think it's a her) three babies? She chased away any other Sea Lions that got too close to her little ones. They're trying to take a nap and they don't need some barker waking them up.

They remind me of cats when they sun themselves and squeeze their eyes shut tight. Hmm, this is the life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like doing the tourist things too. There is a reason why they are popular. The funny part is that many locals don't do the tourist things in their own town, and regret it after they move away. -Hubby