Ramble On

Monday, July 28, 2014

SFO Touring Day 2, Part 1

The neigborhood garden at Portrero Hill.
Busy work week last week, but now I’m back to finish up with a final few posts about the trip Mary and I took to Northern California in May. Today my post will follow-up on the two days we spent touring around San Francisco – I wrote about the first day already, and I’ve also posted about the fine breakfast we had to start day 2, which we spent under the oversight of our most excellent tour guide, Brian. 

Brian and I were stationed in Berlin together during our Air Force days.  He also keeps a blog, and although I’ve linked to his post about the day we spent together before, I’ll go ahead and refresh our rememories here:  http://breakfastatepiphany.blogspot.com/2014/06/dotties-true-blue-cafe.html.  A read of that post will let you know that he is a skilled and experienced tour guide, and however much we paid for the experience it was well worth it, and I’ll have to recommend him again for any touristas that would care to join him.

After Dotties we got on the Streets of San Francisco for some sightseeing in earnest, and made our first stop at a fun building that doubles as an art project.  The structure was rendered unstable and unoccupiable in the 1989 earthquake, and the owner has never made the seismic upgrades that would be needed to put it back into use – at least that is our theory.  There are installations of furniture on the exterior walls, perhaps stuff that was left behind inside of it, and Brian tells us there’s always something new.  This time it was a sort of frieze of old piano parts.

From there we went to the Portrero Hill neighborhood, where there is a street that is just as crooked, but less well traveled, as Lombard Street.  We took a look around, and discovered a fantastic community garden at the top of the hill.  We spent a lot of time admiring the garden patches – and a fantastic urban view of the Mission and Castro districts.

Our next stop was over to the Mission District, by special request.  Our friend Cathy used to live in the neighborhood there, and she hosted us a few times in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, so we asked to drive through the area for old times’ sake.  We stopped at the house for a minute and then walked over to Mission Dolores Park, and we checked out the Golden Hydrant.

Surprisingly, Wikipedia doesn’t have an article about the hydrant, so I want to make a note of it here.  Apparently, the pipes connected to it didn’t break during the 1906 earthquake, and it was used to save the neighborhood and mission.  It’s worth a stop for the view across the park and to pay respects, so we did just that.

By now it was past noon, and we’d begun to feel the need for refreshment.  Brian took us down to the 21st Amendment Brewery – again, by special request – and we sat outside to enjoy a pint of Hell or High Watermelon, an occasion that I dutifully recorded in a previous blog post here:  http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-norcal-brewery-tour-part-3.html

As I am writing this, I am recalling how indulgent Brian was as a host, and there are a few more stops I need to write about.  I guess I’ll stop here for the day and pick it up here tomorrow!

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