Sunday, June 29, 2014

A San Francisco Evening

Who doesn't want to reek of garlic? Our first meal in San Francisco is always, if we can manage it, at The Stinking Rose ("we season our garlic with food") in North Beach. Their website tells us that the restaurant has become famous for celebrating the culinary euphoria of garlic and serving over 3,000 pounds of the pungent herb each month. Named after an historical term for "garlic," The Stinking Rose offers scrumptious, contemporary California-Italian cuisine prepared and adorned with garlic

We walked the mile and a half from our hotel, and were soon digging into bagna calda ("garlic soaking in a hot tub") and neon ravioli.

City Lights Books was just a few buildings away and we spent some time after the meal browsing the free-spirited selections in the famous bookstore founded back in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin. On our very first date in 1980 (or so) Beez and I had discussed Ferlinghetti's poetry collection, A Coney Island of the Mind; Beez with his usual total recall and me figuratively trotting along, trying to keep up with his quick intellectual strides. Of course, Ferlinghetti's shop has always been special to us.

And speaking of trotting along, I did my best to keep up with daughter Dee and gym rat Beez on the (long) way through Chinatown back to the hotel. At the slightest hint of a hill I stopped to "take a photo" while resting up for the next block. It irritated me that all those hours on the treadmill over the past six months didn't seem to translate to real-world San Francisco walking, but as my son Ben pointed out it would have been a lot harder for me to walk all over the city B.G. (before gym)

Street mural,
Chinatown, San Francisco

Although I was born in Maine, I lived in San Francisco from the age of 3 months until I was eleven. I had no idea that all sorts of forgotten foggy city memories were lodged deep in my brain. More about that next time.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Along the Road in California

Here are a few scenes from our recent road trip to California...

Date palms

Joshua trees

The best part of a hot driving day

This photo is special to me because it shows the turnoff to Marinwood, where I spent some of my childhood 

And you know where we're headed from here. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vertigo in San Francisco

A more daring photographer would have leaned out further, but I just couldn't manage to do so!

We just got back from a trip to California and I wanted to share this vertigo-inducing photo with you. It was taken from the 21st floor looking down to the third floor of the J.W. Marriott Union Square Hotel, where our daughter was staying. You can see a photo gallery of the hotel here.

We were just down the street in the far more modest but historical boutique hotel, the King George, which was built in 1914. You can see photos of the King George here.

Both place were centrally located and we never took our cars out while staying there. We walked (and walked, and walked!) to North Beach and Chinatown and all around the Financial District. When our destination was too far for walking, we took a cable car or a street car.

I will share more about our trip in upcoming posts.