Friday, 21 October 2016

An escapist tale (San Francisco, Day I) or Short-Sleeved Shirt, Shorts, and Sock-less Sandals

For anyone who didn't notice, there is a six letter alliteration in the title of this post. ssssss ...

checking  out of my SRO
 I check out at 11, pick up some French characters, namely M & C (originally from Epernay, France) across the street, and figure out which direction I should walk towards Fisherman's Wharf.  NO, I don't want to visit THAT tourist trap, but I know that the location of Blazing Saddles that has e-bikes is located close to the wharf.
 I had forgotten how BEAUTIFUL SF is.  None of the tear down the old and replace it by concrete mania has taken a hold here yet.  All those beautiful old buildings and trees gives the place a charming flair. Au contraire, Vancouver can be called many things ( Don't get me started, LOL), but charming is NOT one of them.

still life with insulators and moon

 The way up Russian Hill looks steep, so at some point I ask people waiting at a Cable Car stop how and how much one pays for the Cable Car. When I hear the answer of 'about $7 cash', I just shake my head and keep walking.  That means I still have NEVER EVER taken a San Francisco cable car.  I leave that to the tourists ;-)  And good thing I didn't take it. There are MANY places that I wouldn't have seen and where I wouldn't have stopped to take a picture.

The view from Russian Hill (yes, the crooked street is close to here ;-)

the Sausalito ferry heading into the fog

NOT cycling the bridge today

Just 2 blocks after taking this picture of Golden Gate (in the fog, as is not uncommon), I run RIGHT into the Blazing Saddles location I was looking for.  But after being told that the Stromer e-bike rents for a 'flat rate' of US$ 88 for 24 hours, I just laugh (nice try of highway robbery) and tell them I'll have lunch first.  The attendee tries to still reel me in with a last minute 'deal' of US$ 71 for the same bike, but even that seems VERY steep for a 4 or 5 hour rental.  

There is a Sushi place right next door and I order a Mackerel fillet. Not with the standard and boring Teriyaki sauce, but with something salt.  

The last time I had mackerel was in Saigon with Wilhelm and Ute and it was AMAZING. In September in Korbach, Ute told me with just a tiny touch of jovial Schadenfreude just the two of them went back to the same place the day I had left and had the same dish again.  My present meal might not beat their sneaky mackerel-munching in my absence, but I'm sure that I am scoring quite high in the Eat-fabulous-Mackerel-in-an-amazing-location Competition, if there is one.

All this musing takes place while I munch on the mackerel, and eating usually is conducive to the best thinking. I won't give them the pleasure of renting an e-bike for an outrageous amount, but will simply rent a regular bike (NO motor) to find head to Crissy Field.  Good pictures should be the result !  If these two glasses of wine don't affect my ability to hold the camera steady tooooo much, LOL.

The sticker right next to Indochina reads "You will change the world"

When I get to Crissy Field, I am disappointed.  There are no Herons on the field, unlike two years ago, when the slow-stepping birds were on the hunt for moles and I caught one on film (digital chip) just after it had pulled one from the ground.  The field today is filled with dogs and their owners. Could that be the reason why there are no more herons?????
At a lake next to Crissy Field,I finally discover two herons, but that's a measly number compared to two years ago.

I return the rented bike only a bit more than 2 hours later instead of the rented and paid for 4 hours. The distance is much shorter than I remember (or maybe I'm pedaling too fast) and my age is showing as well.

After another glass of wine at Applebees (another first) in Fisherman's Wharf, I take an old-fashioned tram to the next Bart station.

Bart takes me from Embarcadero to Lafayette, and after a 25 minute walk I am at the house of my hosts.
I don't think Clinton in this election display is meant to look like a Halloween Witch ;-)

The evening concludes with a fabulous meal at a French restaurant and in retrospect toooo much wine ;-)

Now these are scallops

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