Saturday in the City
The weather is perfect for a lazy Sunday in San Francisco: rainy, windy and all-around gross — a perfect excuse to stay inside and lounge. After looking through my blog posts as of late — or lack thereof — I thought it would be a perfect time to catch up on some of the recent happenings in my neck of the woods. There’s been no shortage of things to share; rather, just a lack of time to actually write about these things.
The sun was shining on Saturday morning, and while I’ve learned that that doesn’t mean it’s warm outside, it does mean that it’s a great day to throw on a sweater and take in the sights and sounds of the city. I wanted to get ambitious and go on a real (outdoorsy) hike, but instead we opted to check out the city on foot. We started our jaunt by fueling at Nook, a nearby coffee shop that’s become a bit of a work haven for me, and then began our jaunt down Hyde Street en route to the ever-touristy Fisherman’s Wharf.
As a preface, I should say for anyone wanting to follow our little self-guided jaunt: it’s amazing but it’s hilly. Yes, I realize that’s typically a given in San Francisco, but it’s a pretty decent decline if you’re heading towards the water. If you’re coming the other direction, be prepared to put your quads to work! (I should also note that the 3+ mile hilly walk made me feel much better about missing my Saturday workout.)
After our jaunt down to the Hyde Street Pier, we made our way to Fisherman’s Wharf to keep up our touristy adventure and grab lunch. I’ve been to the wharf on a number of occasions, most memorably as a child ordering clam chowder in a bread bowl. In keeping with tradition, Boat Shoe Boy and I headed to Sabella & La Torre’s, a little fish-laden crab stand doling out clam chowder, fried calamari and fish sandwiches to hungry tourists (and us).
Afterwards, we perused nearby shops and loaded up on tons of saltwater taffy before making our way down to Pier 39. Now, I’ll admit, I love Fisherman’s Wharf, despite it being rather touristy, but Pier 39 can be a bit overwhelming at times. Everything about it screams Tourist Trap! Still, it was only fitting that our photo tour included a run-in with the famous pier so we made our rounds and enjoyed some pretty views before heading to North Beach.
Oh, North Beach. If you haven’t experienced North Beach, it’s really something that should be on every person’s agenda. Despite it’s raw, somewhat-grimy quality, it’s one of my favorite parts of the city. Italian bakeries abut pizza places and butcher shops while people sit outside drinking espresso and Peroni. There’s something about it that I just love, though (sadly) I’m sure it’s not for everyone.
Our jaunt through North Beach was a quick one. After committing to walking home (I had half thought we would hop on a bus at some point), we made our way through Chinatown en route to our stomping grounds. I’ve never been to China, but I imagine that Chinatown is a pretty decent representation of the real thing. The population density in the area is absolutely insane and every inch makes you feel like you’re in a different country: dim sum on every corner, peking duck hanging in shop windows, jewelry shops laden with jade and stores selling shark fin (is this legal?) and packaged bird’s nest dot every inch of the street. It’s truly an experience. Despite the fact that I’ve wandered through many times, I had never really spent time perusing the goods that shopkeepers peddle. Get this:
Throw in a 10-pack of birds nests for $1250, a shark fin running around $775 and a massive mushroom at $250 and I couldn’t help but wonder: who buys this stuff?!! Honestly, does anyone know?
After that somewhat traumatic experience, we headed back home in time to clean up and celebrate a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with Boat Shoe Boy and his flatmates!
All in all, an eventful and pretty successful Saturday! The whole day just made me realize how much I love being in a young, vibrant city. There’s always something to do, a new place to discover and great sights to see. I can’t imagine this ever gets old.
xoxo from San Francisco,