We's in California

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

San Francisco: One Great City

This weekend we went to San Francisco. I will try and prevent this post from turning into your aunt Becky's holiday slide show of her chartered bus tour to the Grand Canyon. To keep it somewhat readable I will list the first four words I now think of when someone says "San Francisco".
1) BEAUTIFUL: San Francisco is a beautiful city. There a quite a few large hills right in the downtown metro area that provide for great views. It has become VERY expensive to live there and there were a few areas that felt a little touristy. Then again the only people who complain about areas being "touristy" are from "tourISTS" who like to think of themselves as "travellers" simply because they because they bought a "lonely planet", have "dred-locks", and can't afford a "hotel". Although WE did stay in a nice hotel (which makes us tourists), we didn't ride the trolly cars because it cost $5 (which makes us travellers) and we found umbrellas in Chinatown for $1.39 (which makes us cheap).

2) TECH'M'OLOGY: San Francisco, being (sort of) part of the Silicon Valley, has a very intelligent population. Google is apparently implementing a free city-wide wifi network in San Fran and there are tons of tech companies in the area. Instead of billboards for Arbys and Viagra, many of them read things like: "The New Cisco XL9999 Network Router: Hackers Beware" and other tech related products. And these are huge expensive billboards right on the freeway. We even saw one that was for a business that can help you when you want start selling stocks of your private technology company! ie: Have an IPO and take it public. If you're a software nerd like I am, then you know it's crazy for there to be a market large enough for that type of thing to be targeted with a billboard. Then again if you're a software nerd like I am, you also find predictions in the 80's about how much RAM people would need in the future hilarious. 64 kilbytes!?!? Are you serious!?!?

3) DEFENSIVE: People in San Francisco pride themselves on being the most liberal city in the States. (See left.). So naturally when they hear we're from Canada, they make a point of talking about how their governor's insane and their president's a moron. I got the feeling that they believe that every Canadian is a gay socialist activist poetry slam organizer who knows in their heart that George W is the responsible for mankinds fall from grace. San Francisans (-iscoites?) are great people though. They wear nice shoes.

4) ALCATRAZ: Wow. This was not just good, it was amazing. This has to qualify as the creepiest place on earth. When you combine what we know about Alcatraz (the "hardest of the hard" convicts, years in isolation cells, and mysterious escape attempts) with the rundown and overgrown aesthetic of the buildings themselves, it feels like you're stepping into another dimension as you get off the ferry. The island and prison itself are smaller than they look from afar, which just makes it a more intimate experience. Hollywood has always been obsessed with Alcatraz, and for pretty good reasons which I won't get into here. We came, we saw, we spent $16.50 each.

Two strange things happened to us: About halfway into our hike across the Golden Gate Bridge we got caught in an insane rainstorm. The rain was going straight sideways, such was the wind! We confided in the eight other stranded "travellers" on the bridge for about 20 minutes, then made a run for it, trying not to literally get blown off the bridge.

Also, on the way back to LA, flames and smoke started billowing out of the car in front of us. Then a metal piece flew off the car and hit our car. (Which now needs some touch ups). As the three girls pulled over and ran screaming out of the burning car, one fell into a wet mud hole up to her shoulders. They called fire department and eventually we drove them to Modesto, which Dayna and I can now confidently say is the worst city in America.
And now to begin what will hopefully become a tradition of ending each entry with a "so bad it might be good" line from The Streets:
"You won't find us on Alta Vista, cult classic, not bestseller ..." - the streets


  • Magnificent shot of the Golden Gate. You guys belong up in the Bay Area, I'm sorry to say, with your wit, library books, vegetarian diet and knitting needles. Please stay here long enough to bring some cable cars to Van Nuys.

    By Blogger Andrew, at January 04, 2006  

  • A kid at the Edge last night had a "Hotel Alcatraz" t-shirt. It was like San Fransisco had come to me in a dream. But that "one great city" slogan seems familiar...

    In response to your streets quotes, I will be providing MF Doom "So good they are great" rhymes. This is first: "got more sole than a sock with a hole"

    ps. We missed you at Bob's wedding. We talked about the funnel.

    By Anonymous blade, at January 04, 2006  

  • We definitely are more San Francisco than LA people. I guess nobody is really an LA person, people just end up here!

    Joel that line sounds suspiciously like something YOU would write. I'm gonna have to cross-reference that. Bob's wedding was killing me all weekend. I've heard good things. (And don't think I don't notice your links. When Beef Terminal blows up, I can say I was there. Also if Beef Terminal smartens up, goes to college, and gets REAL job, I can say I was there too.)

    By Blogger Gareth, at January 04, 2006  

  • Modesto, the worst city in America?

    Apparently you haven't been to Detroit...or Pacoima.

    By Anonymous Bmart, at January 04, 2006  

  • Gareth, you and Dayna are like, totally San Fransico people.

    I'd quote some random lyrics too... but vocals are so over.

    ps. the funnel/jesus are inextricably linked, (know that you are a better person for not getting this joke)

    By Anonymous Ryan, at January 05, 2006  

  • obviously haven't been to Florida! America's top 200 worst cities are all in Florida! (According to me)

    By Anonymous jeannette, at January 05, 2006  

  • Florida?! I can't go to Florida! That's America's wang!

    Ah, Homer Simpson.

    By Anonymous Das Ubergeek, at January 13, 2006  

  • Dale K Galipo is a man who will take advantage of you. I was a person that he used sexually while still in trial. I am much younger than him, and i think people should know what he's about

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 13, 2006  

  • I know this comment is WAY past when you wrote the original message, but I nearly choked laughing at your description as San Franciscans as defensive. It is true though! I live here! LOL

    Great shots. I should take more time to photograph my area.

    By Blogger Kentucky Girl, at July 20, 2007  

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