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San Francisco, September 26-29, 2002
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Getting to San Francisco
We flew into Oakland, the slum across the bay, at some hideously early hour in the morning. We hopped on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train, once we found someone to tell us where to go since the signs and maps are missing or confusing inside the station. But it got us into San Fran faster and cheaper than a cab.
We found our guide, degenerate AA, at work and followed her onto the bus to her place. In her neighborhood there's actually less than one car per household on average, a strange concept coming from Atlanta where there's more than one car per person. Everyone walks or takes the bus, so there's always someone out and about. We rubbernecked the whole way to AA's place, enjoying the young and pretty populace.
|After a nap, we hit a burrito stand down the block. Super tasty burritos are cheap and plentiful in San Fran, you see Mexican restaurants and taco stands all over the place. We walked around the block and admired the architecture for which the city is famous. Block after block of two and three story Victorian houses with bay windows, tons of decorative trim, many with flowers crawling up the front, stand wall-to-wall the length of the block. You can see how the city would've had a difficult time with fires before the widespread installation of fire hydrants and motorized fire engines.|
Every block in San Francisco sports a cool old car, from the big fender 40's era to monster muscle and everything in between. They're not all in mint condition, but just the fact that there's one on every block amazed me.
Then there are the surreal moments, like encountering a latex glove full of what we could only assume was piss, laying on the sidewalk next to a fire hydrant. What the hell?
Eventually AA and PH got home and led us across town to dinner. When I say "across town" it's not that far - the whole city is only 7 x 7 miles. But since parking is scarce, highways are unheard of, and mass transit a breeze there's rarely a need to get in a car. We hopped a bus or trolley to the Mission District, an area packed with small restaurants and bars. We ended up at a tiny, tiny little Italian restaurant - another thing SF has in good numbers that we lack here in Atlanta - Ponte Vecchio. They have perhaps 10 tables and the clientele frequently come in speaking native Italiano to the Italian staff. We weren't starved after our late lunch, so we split an appetizer and main course, starting off with a decent bruschetta followed by a very tasty ravioli. A cappuccino later, I'm ready for the kick off event for Tease-O-Rama, our excuse for heading to the left coast.
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