Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day Trip - San Francisco

I've seen that I never explore cities that I live close to, even when they offer a lot of attractions. There's the thought of "its so nearby, we can go any time" that prevents me from making as many trips as I can or seeing as much as possible when I do go there. That's the case with San Francisco. Though I've lived in the Bay Area for almost 11 years now, I really haven't seen much of the city.

When I go to other cities(like Chicago), I try to see as much of the city as possible since there's the thought that I may not come back, atleast in the near future. But my itineraries in San Francisco have so far been limited to the Golden Gate bridge(from a couple of viewpoints), Crooked Street and Pier 39 since my trips usually happen when I'm taking some guests to the city and those are pretty much the main must-see spots for tourists.

Yesterday we went to San Francisco after deciding beforehand that we wouldn't see any of the usual spots. It was a pretty cloudy and windy day but that didn't stop us(and it hadn't stopped a lot of people, considering how crowded it was - the All-Star game could have had something to do with it). Since riding the historic cable car was the #1 item on our agenda, we parked near Ghirardelli Square and boarded the cable car at Aquatic Park for a ride to Union Square. There we had lunch at Wolfgang Puck's eatery in the basement of the Macy's building and then walked for a bit around the courtyard across from Macy's, where an Art Festival was going on. We took the cable car back from Powell/Market but this one dropped us off at Bay Street at Fisherman's Wharf. So, to get back to Ghirardelli Square, we walked along Fisherman's Wharf, which looked like the San Francisco equivalent of Chennai's own Burma Bazaar, with its multitude of small shops and rock-bottom prices. We then popped into Ghirardelli Square for some ice cream and coffee before heading back home. Overall, it was a relatively light trip but it was fun seeing a side of San Francisco that I haven't seen before. Here are a few photos from the trip...

Still have a few more spots to visit in San Francisco like Coit Tower, the Museum of Modern Art, etc. So I'm hoping that I can make another trip this summer.


At 11:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

you got a really nice shot of the forever 21 building !

now I know where you wandered off from the line..


At 11:36 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

crooked street and Golden Gate bridge for sure.

SFO is a very nice city, not very crowded (I mean the downtown) as Chicago/LA and there are beautiful parks and memorials to spend a Saturday/Sunday evening.Weather is mostly superb 3-4 degrees cooler than San Jose

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Your comment about not exploring nearby places is quite true! I have been in Tampa, FL for 2 years, but still haven't been to Orlando once, whereas I've been to the whole of CA. And wanted to tell, I enjoyed Coit Tower dude - amazing view from the top!

At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, for an outsider is it possible to get to all the important spots in SFO and also see them fully without the need of driving around in a car(i.e just relying on cable car or whatever other modes of public transport are there)? Atleast the important spots(like wharf, pier, GG bridge, crooked street), if not all of SFO.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you havent seen any other movie other than sivaji, balaji? i noticed you havent posted more reviews since periyar.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

sundar, thanx! i think that shot i got when we were in the line. the one i got when wandered off was the straight shot down Powell with the 2 cable cars on 2 sides :)

srivatsan, agree with everything u said. except maybe for the weather part. i think it usually gets almost 10 degrees cooler than SJ :)

karthik, glad to hear someone else shares the same laziness when it comes to nearby places :)

vijay, can tell u that its defly not possible to c all the important places in cable car. they have short, predetermined routes and don't go near GG bridge. but u can get to crooked st. and fisherman's wharf and also chinatown. not sure about Muni and where it takes u :)

anon, the only other movie i watched since 'periyaar' is 'karuppusamy kuthagaithaarar'. haven't updated bbreviews yet since i posted reviews for both 'sivaji' and KK here. this is probably the longest stretch i've gone without seeing any tamil movies! i think situation will get back to normal from the coming weekend :)

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vijay, neenga ketardhu accomplish panna konja kashtam dhaan. Golden Gate Bridge is somewhere else in SF and nowhere close to the Crooked Street. I doubt you can cover everything by foot or by cable car in one day basically because I don't think these venues are bundled together or even remotely close by (some of them are, but not all of them!).

Anon, I guess you would like Balaji to review Nee Naan Nila, Pirappu, Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthaen, Thullal, Ennai Paar Yogam Varum (with the donkeys!).. those are the only kinds of films that have released a little before and a little after Sivaji.. If I were you, I would spare Balaji the torture! :-) ;-)

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SFO is a great place..did you have the famous sundae in ghirardelli's? Ever been to haight & Ashbury. That is the place where the hippie movements flourished in the late 60's. Amazing place with so many interesting shops and people..Try it out sometime

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the SFO inputs


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