The Houses of San Francisco
September 20, 2015 § 7 Comments
The most striking thing to me about San Francisco, apart from the hills, is how uniformly cute and old the buildings are. For example, this bewitching beauty looks like it’s straight out of a picture book:
I wondered, though, what these houses looked like on the inside.
During my visit, I stayed with Kaiti, who lives in an unassuming apartment building with bay windows. Bay windows are ubiquitous in this town!
She told me her building dated back to the 1920s; the floors and doors creaked so loudly it was like screeching. When I was home by myself on Monday, I could hear someone above me walking around, opening and shutting drawers, and thought to myself it could very well be a ghost in a building with this much history. (I might’ve been delirious.)
Anyway, I was enamored with some of the colorful Victorian rowhouses we came across, but I feel like it must be a lot of work to upkeep, plus I don’t like living in old buildings, so I just appreciated them from the outside.
They certainly make the buildings in NYC look bland.
This pink house has seen better days, but just the thought of living in a pink house (THE DREAM!) made me smile.
We also saw some very large and ornate gates (the one on the right was like 12 feet tall; you can see the tiny shape of the actual door in the bottom half).
Kaiti decided to pose on a few stoops, like we were just friendly neighbors.
SF Day 1: The Agony & the Ecstasy
SF Day 2: Staying Alive
SF Day 3.1: A New Morning
SF Day 3.2: Walk, Eat Until You Die
SF Day 4: At Last, the Bridge
San Francisco Day 4: At Last, the Bridge
September 17, 2015 § 5 Comments
I saved the Golden Gate Bridge for my last full day because I figured it would involve a lot of walking, which I was finally up for doing by Wednesday.
Kaiti and I started our day at Turtle Tower, a well-known Vietnamese restaurant in the Tenderloin area. She recommended I get their chicken noodle soup, which was good, but came with so many noodles that they sucked up all the soup before I had finished even half the bowl!
While planning for my trip, I had read that Tenderloin was to be avoided, but I couldn’t be sure how sketchy it really was. Kaiti seemed to be fine walking through it by herself.
After our brunch, we walked around the area trying to buy a box of tissues for our drippy noses (I had forgotten to bring my usual cache), and I decided that those cautioning against traveling through Tenderloin had the right idea. Everything was run-down and far less cute or well-maintained compared to the rest of the city. There were also a surprising number of Vietnamese restaurants — interesting that these businesses coexist peacefully alongside the sketchy Tenderloin population?
We finally found some tissues at a Walgreens. The ramshackle bodegas we tried were no help.
Then, onward to the bridge! For some reason the address that Kaiti put into her Lyft app directed us to the other side of the bridge, so we drove back and forth across it for no reason (including paying the extra tolls?!). At least it saved us the effort of walking across it I guess.
I saw quite a few of these GoCars around the city. Three wheels with hardly any visible protection from the elements/other cars — doesn’t look very safe to me?!
San Francisco Day 3.2: Walk, Eat Until You Die
September 14, 2015 § 5 Comments
I didn’t have definite plans for the afternoon, which is why I somehow agreed to the grueling hike over and up to Coit Tower from the Ferry Building (I think Kaiti was trying to kill me). It’s only a mile from the Ferry Building, but the last bit consists of 400 stairs, and I really thought I was going to die. I would’ve been fine if I weren’t sick, but alas, my body barely managed the climb.
The views at the top of Telegraph Hill were a small consolation. The bottom level of Coit Tower had a cool wraparound mural and small gift shop. We didn’t go up the tower elevator because we didn’t want to wait in line, and sadly, we did not see or hear any parrots.
San Francisco Day 3.1: A New Morning
September 11, 2015 § 6 Comments
By Tuesday, I felt a bit better — still congested, achy and now coughing, but able to move around more and finally bring my camera (Olympus OM-D E-M5) out in the afternoon for some better quality photos.
Kaiti and I started our day early, heading out at 7 a.m. for a double whammy breakfast at Craftsman and Wolves and Tartine.
C&W is known for their Rebel Within, a poached egg inside a muffin speckled with green onions, which was reminiscent of Chinese scallion rolls (hua juan). I also couldn’t resist picking up a fig tart because they were so pretty!
We got to Tartine before 8 a.m. and there was already a line forming outside. I was full, but we ordered a cup of bread pudding, a mini lemon tart and a pain au jambon (ham croissant).
I’m always drawn to bread pudding on dessert menus because I love bread and pudding. Yet somehow I’m never completely satisfied, I guess because I always expect it to be breadier? More like French toast maybe? Tartine’s bread pudding had the texture of watery scrambled eggs. I’m not saying it was bad, but I probably shouldn’t order bread pudding anymore.