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  • San Francisco USA

21st August 2008

San Francisco USA

posted in Uncategorized |

StepsAfter many delays and mishaps the bus finally arrived in San Francisco (Amy highly recommends booking early and taking the train). Josh, Amy’s brother was nice enough to pick them up at the station and to put them up in his house (home also to John, Glen and the amazing snuggle dog Chewie).
San Francisco is a great city to explore on foot, Amy found a walks San Francisco book on the self in Josh’s house and they utilized it very well in one super sightseeing day. Starting in downtown walking through Chinatown and Little Italy finally winding up the steep streets and stairs to Coit Tower. Coit Tower is built on top of telegraph hill and is named after Lilly Coit a somewhat eccentric resident of San Francisco in 1933. After taking in the views from the top of the tower and descending the steps on the other side down to the waterfront, it was time for a long visit with the resident Sea Lion population of Pier 39 . Later after heading down past Fisherman’s wharf to Ghiradelli square where after a break for hot chocolate the walking continued with more steps to see Lombardi Street and the curviest street in the world.Lombardi Next stop was Barbary Lane on Russian the small back stairway featured in Armisted Maupin’s Tales of the City. From there it was back through Chinatown finally arriving at the starting point and getting back on the MUNI to return to Josh’s house. Hunger took over and forced a stop off in the 9th and Irving neighborhood, home to many restaurants and cafes, where Milano pizza was open and waiting. Following a good dinner of Pizza and salad, Amy and Turgay probably made the most ridiculous decision of the day and walked the 40 odd blocks back to Josh’s house. It was an exhausting but rewarding day of sightseeing.
Pa tells Ma all about itAnother good city walk is the Coastal Trail which runs from Ocean Beach to The Golden Gate Bridge. On the beach there are surfers, sun bathers, swimmers and the occasional frustrated artist who has come to create in the sand. The Coastal Trail passes near the windmill in Golden Gate Park, following the beach and up the hill, past the stairs that head down to the ruins of the Sutro Baths. The trail winds its way uphill and down along the coast mostly through forested trails with stunning views out over the ocean and bay but it also continues through some of the more upscale neighborhoods, before finally ending near an old fort at the foot of thethe dunes Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is a spectacular piece of engineering and walking across it though a bit crowded with bikes and pedestrians is well worth it. The views out over the bay are beautiful and we spent a long time looking out over the water and watching the kite boarders jumping the wake of the ferry boats as they passed under the bridge.
Ocean Beach is a beautiful place for evening strolls and with Josh’s house located so conveniently near both the beach and Golden Gate Park it was easy to spend many hours just wandering. The park is full of wonderful surprises; there are lakes, meadows and woods, formal botanical gardens and a Japanese tea garden with a beautiful pagoda and good green tea.reflections At the top of the Park they explored Haight street home to the hippy movement of the 60’s, there Turgay discovered Amoeba Records with its very extensive blues section, and to their surprise it also had a decent Turkish music section. With so many places to explore there are myriad reasons to return to San Francisco and continue the exploration.
Amy and Turgay had a chance to catch up with some of her friends. They took the train down a little south to see Chris, Todd and Ellie.Tankut and Brady's Hair We hung out at the house and then all went to dinner at a New Orleans style restaurant and dessert at Red Mango, a frozen yogurt and fruit chain. It was wonderful to meet Ellie as a toddler. Another day they met up with Amy’s friend Tankut and his son Brady, after taking the ferryboat to Sausalito they had a wonderful brunch looking out over the water, during which Brady was kind enough to sleep. Amy had several more friends in the San Francisco area that she didn’t get a chance to see because of timing or life getting in the way, but she hopes to get back to the area soon to catch up with everyone.

Home to thousands of wonderful restaurants, one of the highlights to any trip to San Francisco is the food. Amy and Turgay have decided to list their favorite restaurants below. We have provided links to their web sites where available.

  • Chocolate pudding at AlembicJava Beach Café A café located near Josh’s house has excellent coffee, teas, goodies and salads.
  • Burma Superstar Burmese food at it best, we recommend the Rainbow Salad and the Vegetarian Samusa Soup. Josh and Chris shared this with us, thank you, thank you, thank you.
  • Milano pizza In the 9th and Irving neighborhood a good basic pizzeria that is opened late, it’s the smell of the pizzas that will draw you in and the taste that will have you coming back.
  • New Ethiopia Turgay discovered and Amy rediscovered Ethiopian and Eritrean food in this 9th and Irving neighborhood restaurant, we highly recommend it to all. Everything we tried there was delicious.
  • Ton Kiang for Dim sum Josh took us out with his friend Chris to have Dim Sum and we had to be rolled out of the restaurant. Well worth the wait.
  • Alembic We discovered this small bar/restaurant on Haight Street in our wanderings and we were so happy we did. The chocolate pudding is reason enough to go back to San Francisco.
  • Magnolia Open late, with a busy atmosphere this brew pub and restaurant offers great pub food along with some fancier fare, Turgay loved the Cole Porter beer.
  • Arizmendi Miette's Candy ShopA cooperative bakery in the 9th and Irving neighborhood serving great rolls, breads and bagels for eat in or take out.
  • Miette A cake shop and candy store we found they have very tasty macaroons.
  • NOLA Palo Alto CA Great flavors in a good atmosphere, this New Orleans themed restaurant was a great surprise. Thanks to Chris and Todd for sharing it with us.
  • Red Mango This frozen yogurt chain is all over California and in Asia too, a tasty and healthier dessert with fruit and yogurt combos.
  • Bridgeway Café Sausalito A great brunch or lunch spot Tankut and Brady took us here as an excursion from San Francisco and it s well worth the ferry trip across the bay to Sausalito, with great views and inside and outdoor seating.

We all want to thank Josh, John and Glen for putting us up and letting us take over your living room, we hope to return the favor in Istanbul one day. Thanks to Josh and Chris for sharing so many great restaurants with us. Special thanks to Chewie for the morning snuggles.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2008 at 9:44 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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