amtrak residency, day 8, 3/20/15.
I have slingshotted around San Francisco and am now hurtling back toward the East Coast, back on the California Zephyr at 9:10am this morning to cross through now-familiar terrain but staying on the opposite side of the train as much as possible to take in a different view: Continue reading “Please Look After This Bear”
Amtrak Residency. Days 6 and 7. Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Calfornia.
Days 6 and 7
3/18 and 3/19/15
Yesterday and today were mainly traveling days. Up refreshed by 7:30am yesterday despite the previous night’s ghostly shenanigans, I worked on LITTLE ROCK for awhile before heading to the Hot Springs Pool for one last dip before skipping town. I had lunch at Polanka, a hole in the wall run by two Polish Continue reading “After the Gold Rush”
Only my second trip in ten years to Baghdad by the Bay reminded me that SF is short on culture but long on history, fog, rain and redwoods. The redwoods were here before the city and will, the good Lord willing, be here long after the city’s gone, so make a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to
Only my second trip in ten years to Baghdad by the Bay reminded me that SF is short on culture but long on history, fog, rain and redwoods. The redwoods were here before the city and will, the good Lord willing, be here long after the city’s gone, so make a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods first and foremost on your list, followed by a drive along the Pacific Coast’s awe-inspiring Shoreline Highway.
Back in the city, hit In-N-Out Burger down by Fisherman’s Wharf, a West Coast tradition since 1947, where the meat is fresh and never frozen, the fries are cut from fresh potatoes on the premises and fried in cholesterol-free vegetable oil. Sure, it’s a burger and fries and isn’t ever really going to be good for you, but these are better for you than others, and besides the taste is incredible; a burger and fries the way nature intended it.
For a dash of history nothing beats a cable car ride. Yes, it’s really only for tourists these days and there are only 3 lines still in operation, down from the 22 lines that operated for locals back in the day, but it’s a living piece of US history and a mechanical wonder. In fact the cable cars are fully mechanical, not electric. Check it out:
And for a bit of culture I recommend a visit to the legendary Magic Theatre, started during the Summer of Love and taking its name from one of my favorite novels, Hesse’s Steppenwolf. The play I saw was a faux Restoration comedy that’s better left undiscussed.
I topped off the trip with a drink at Top of the Mark, an historic, elegant bar atop the Mark Hopkins Hotel in Knob Hill. I recommend their specialty martini the Manhattan Jack. I know, it’s not a real martini because it’s not gin or vodka but it’s still a lovely drink – Jack Daniel’s, vermouth, and a cherry. You’d swear it contained bitters or some sweet liquer but nope. I had two and my envious companions also each ordered a round of them and we watched the repeated lightning strikes across the evening skyline during yet another rainstorm.