Thursday, January 6, 2011

Loving San Francisco

What an immediately endearing city! I'm only going to tear myself away for a few minutes to share a few images and then get back out there exploring. We arrived yesterday to brilliant sunshine and arresting blue skies, checked into our nautically-themed hotel near Fishermen's Wharf and joined the crowds strolling the kitschy, carnivalesque sidewalks near the waterfront.

Even noshed on a Fishwich and Fries, fighting off the pigeons for our share. . .
Then it was hill-climbing, first Telegraph Hill and Coit tower, then there was a Russian Hill, then Nob Hill. We did think about the cable cars, but there was a long line-up, so we just exercised our legs, building up an appetite for dinner.
And exercised our eyes . . . I love the colours and the architectural details -- much to remind me of Lisbon (not least, of course, the hills and the cable cars)

Serendipitously discovered Grace Cathedral during an organ rehearsal -- magnificent! if you've never heard a pipe organ played by a superb musician -- and not a recording, but on site, in the sacred acoustics it was made for -- put it on your list for 2011. I walked the indoor labyrinth (there's also an outdoor one I'd like to walk later) there as I listened, testing out the meditative, spiritual benefits on behalf of my good friend and neighbour Carol -- I may be a convert!

The late afternoon sun on Nob Hill buildings was captivating, rich, nostalgic -- I kept catching my breath, grabbing the camera again. . . until it was time to wander into a wine bar where I foolishly convinced Paul to join me in trying a flight of reds . . . each! Then wandered up the road for a glorious Italian meal . . .
I have oodles more photos but you know how long they take to upload and then to arrange in Blogger -- today was also a successful, enjoyable day. Cable car ride, trolley ride, wonderful exhibit of Cartier-Bresson's career at the SFMOMA plus an exhibit on the science/design of wine (found the term I was looking for in evaluating a shiraz I didn't like last night -- Hamster CAGE! -- My term had been dill-pickle juice . . .) and an exhibit of the SFMOMA's 75-year collection retrospective. Dramatic Pollocks, Rauschenbergs, Rothkos, playful Lichtenstein, clean Mondrians, etc., followed by lunch in the Museum Cafe (which must be the model for the VAG cafe, surely) a wander in the Yerba Buena gardens . . .
And the all-important nap back at the hotel, just finished, so now it's time to get dressed and head out for dinner at Canteen. Early reservations, taking the cable car again, my handsome date awaits, so I'll sign off for now -- next up, tomorrow, my lunch date with Lisa!.


  1. And I, needless to say, have a HUGE smile on my face right now:).

  2. I can just feel the fun coming through your words and the pics help too. Makes me want to come back
    SF is one of my favourites places to go...
    feeling a wee bit of envy as it is pouring rain here.
    Have a great dinner with that handsome man and a fab lunch with LPC.
    I am smiling too.

  3. San Fran is one of my fave cities too. Have a great visit! Paula

  4. Isn't San Francisco just the best?

    I hope if you have time you'll make it out to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. Not sure what's on exhibit now, but it's such a wonderful space and with amazing views of the ocean and Golden Gate bridge. And the DeYoung...amazing Asian art collection!

  5. Beautiful photos...and so many things to see.

  6. Oh, I'm so envious! I love San Francisco. Enjoy the rest of your stay ...

  7. Golly, if I weren't so awfully busy the next few days, I would LOVE to play hooky and meet you for an expresso, or gelato, or some other yummy trekking up the hill in North Beach.

    Maybe next time?

    Please say hi to LPC.


  8. Well I am beyond jealous! I once touched down for a few hours but did not have time to leave the airport, I did gaze longingly at the modern art gallery shop they have in the airport though.
    I could tell from the plane it was a beautiful city and when I got home I bought the Rough Guide and vowed to return. That was 9 years ago and still I have not made it! So I will live vicariously through your photographs instead.
    Hamster cage is an excellent description; the only American red I like is a merlot.

  9. Again, thanks all -- hope you don't mind my collective response, but individual ones take a bit too long when there's a new city to explore.
    Pseu, thanks for the reminder -- this is on my list, and there's an exhibit on japanese prints and the impressionists, so I hope we make it.
    Susan, another time indeed -- I'd love that!
    Alison: well, you're still way younger than I am, and this is my first visit here -- you've plenty of time, in other words.
    And really? only the merlots? We like many of the California and the Oregon pinot noirs and Cab Sauvs.. . and drink a fair bit of our own BC Okanagan wines.

  10. called you for a walk in the rain yesterday--shoulda' checked in with your blog. Enjoying the sun and city buzz vicariously.

  11. The sky is so blue, amazing. It is winter, is it not? The meeting of bloggers sound so exciting!

  12. San Francisco is one of the few US cities I would move back to live in... it's just magical. SO happy that you are there!

  13. Alison: I'm back next Friday -- we should walk!
    Met: Blue sky and sunshine! What a concept for January. . . and yes, meeting other bloggers is great fun!
    Duchesse: It's a revelation to me, a wonderful revelation. I could definitely live here!

  14. Oh I love SF, and walking all over the place, and SFMOMA, and ........ the list goes on and on.


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