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.


Sylvia K said...

Looks like a great trip down memory lane!! I love San Francisco! Haven't been there in a while, but maybe soon! Love your pics! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the new week!!

Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

I swear, the light is just different in the Bay Area. I can feel the difference in your photos. The scenes are nostalgic of course but the light is especially evocative. I can almost smell the San Francisco sun. Thank you for these - as much as I am growing to love life in the high desert (I really am!) - sometimes my chest literally aches for San Francisco and Berkeley.

You're so lucky to have spent this time there. Excellent vacation destination! Do you have plans to go back and maybe stay longer someday? I'm asking because I'm not used to hearing you talk affectionately about California! And a few days just doesn't seem long enough. Golden Gate Park alone could be good for several days - the gardens, the zoo, the museums. The Japanese Tea Garden! The Asian Art Museum! And although we didn't experience it when we were growing up there... The Exploratorium!

My visits there over the past several years have always been too short. It's a magical place.

Joyful said...

I used to love San Francisco. I probably still would but now with the knee issues I couldn't begin to walk around there like I did way back when. I do remember with fondness my several visits. I'm glad you went to the gym so you can now enjoy San Fran better than bg :-)

Paula said...

I grew up in the south bay and 'The City' has always been a magical mecca for me. I remember my first trip there as a five year old- we went to the Steinhart aquarium, where my interest was completely captured by the alligators, of all things, so much so that my parents managed to find me a stuffed toy alligator which I named Kaki.

San Francisco is such a wonderful place. I have a sister who lives there and I love staying with her and having to deal with moving the car around because of the street sweepers....thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great trip .... filled with today's joys and yesterday's wonderful memories. And your son is right ... it would have been harder. (I would have to get back to my gym routine before being able to walk those hills now and Bill couldn't do it at all any more. Ah, it used to be so easy... well, no it didn't, but at least it used to be doable!)

Thanks for sharing the memories and the great pictures.