Wednesday, May 17, 2006

San Francisco

I was looking for the Bleu House on top of the Hill in San Francisco but, Gosh! not only every house is almost blue-ish, but also you have thousand hills in this city. Where am I going to find this cliché? After all I was not there for this French Indiana Jones adventure (should I translate that into Jean Tarn-et-Garonne), but I was there to enjoy myself, and take some pictures on the way. Mission accomplished!

I borrowed the Toronto Public Library and used it intensively over my stay there. This was a useful guide for all the touring and sleeping info, but less interesting for the fooding exercise, don’t know why, but anyway. I stayed at the Golden Gate Hotel right downtown, and it was a very nice quiet and cheap Bed and Breakfast. I highly recommend it if you want to have a close to life experience in SF. The B&B is half way through one of the million hills you have around there, and leave you with a taste of how could it be to live in this town.

YOU EXERCISE in this city!

Up and Down is what I did during my time there. The first few hours I was looking at where I wanted to go, but rapidly I switched to how I was going to a place and change my list of thing to visit accordingly to the topography of my journey. Not that I wasn’t young enough or too oversized to exercise, but man! it’s a killer if you want to visit this city by foot or bike. On the other hand, running in this city by cab is the funniest thing ever. Lighting up the trunk of your car on one of these billion hills is cool. By the end of my trip, I was flying in this city by cab only, just to light up my cab trunk, and not because I was too lazy to exercise. I was like Steve McQueen in Bullet. Even a couple of time, I felt the backseat grounding in the asphalt, between crossroad, and that is great feeling to have in San Francisco. Is it a cliché?

The city is well design to do a visit by neighbourhood. One day you do the pier-bay thing, next the dot-com burst area and the other one the happy-hippy town. What shock me, somehow was the fact everything was layout by a master urban planner. There is no overlap between neighbourhoods. For example Market Street separates SOMA from Financial District in a scalpel motion. But after all, having a straight city planning does not mean that people don’t take care of their city. Actually, I would thing the opposite. The only drawback could be the non-self-evolution of the city. But SF is a well-visited city and should be looked like in the guide (guide that I used by the way). You expected to find what you have in your guide at the place you are and at the time it’s been said. Is it a cliché?

Houses are gorgeous and always seem to be on the hedge of falling. Maybe because SF is located on the earthquake spine, or maybe it is because people did not want to spend to much time in building something that will ultimately not been sue since you are always out doing some physical activities. The only question I have looking at the basement garage, is how do they fit a car in it? It always seems to sink somehow. Is it a cliché?

The main attraction of SF is not the San Francisco Giants stadium, neither the cable cars, nor the Alcatraz Island (don’t expect to see Clint Is-Good, he escaped in 1979), but it’s the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is incredible. The location of the bridge itself is stupendous. The piece of metal is linking two of zillion hills that exist in this place, closing the bay area and letting human-being being in this part of the world. You are a kind of excited before you see t5he bridge, and you are more excited after you seen it from far away. The only thing you want to do is getting closer and closer to touch it, and be an extension of the red Oeuvre d’Art. I took plenty of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, the king of all the bridges, the duke of the human cabled constructions, the prince of the all the screws, the master of all the bolts. But none of them will give you this feeling of smallness you have when you are underneath it. I loved staring at it, being on it, and imaging what could have been to build this monster that one day could be destroy by a sudden spark of our planet. The strongest and greatest of our creation is nothing in the hand of mother world. Am I a cliché?

Thumbs Up

  • Location: The bay is more spectacular than what you can imagine
  • Weather: What to say there
  • ¿ Habla Espagnol Usted? Everybody is speaking Spanish. If Vancouver is the far west Asian city, then San Francisco is certainly the northern Spanish city.

Thumbs Down

  • Backlog: Time stopped in the 70’s in the happy area. Is it a cliché?
  • Suburbia: America cities are becoming so easy to read. I felt like some downtown areas were already in the suburb.
  • Expensive: Not much to say, except that in order to enjoy this city, you should bring your extra wallet, the fat one, the one from grand-mother’s.