San Francisco: A City of Eclectic Charm

DSC08269

San Francisco: Alcatraz, Cafe Trieste, Chinatown and more!

My most memorable moment of San Francisco visit was walking one balmy evening through The Mission on the way to dinner. The Mission could not be any more different from a more conventional downtown: the area was obviously up and coming and fashionable with a plethora of new restaurants and bars, and yet intimidating with beggars and mad people wandering the streets. At one point, I witnessed a proper “bitch fight” – forgive the rather crude term, but it is exactly what it was – one woman, obviously a diva with perhaps a little too much swagger, who started beating another with her handbag whilst shouting rather funny sounding obscenities at her. This was a scene that you could easily imagine as part of a film, and yet you never encounter in real life. The local spectators, stopped in their tracks by the commotion, were cheering loudly and clapping. I had to stop and watch the whole feisty scene unfold, as the whole spectacle was entertaining beyond belief…

DSC06746

Amazing street art in Chinatown

San Francisco is my second favourite city in the US, following closely in the footsteps of New York City. It is a “walking” city with a distinct character, a city of picturesque neat architecture accompanied by a slight roughness around the edges. The most populous city in Northern California, San Francisco is ridiculously charming: rolling steep hills that can make even the fittest person feel unfit; the constant hum of the cable cars; an eerie fog that often envelops the city like a feathery duvet; the proliferation of brilliantly coloured flowers in almost every nook and cranny in the summer; the iconic, magnificent red Golden Gate Bridge soaring high above the glistening waters of San Francisco bay; expansive, brilliantly-coloured Chinatown. San Francisco is also home to the former infamous and daunting Alcatraz prison located on Alcatraz Island, a federal maximum security prison (1933-1963) that was housed many a notorious crimnial including Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and Robert Franklyn Stroud, “the Birdman of Alcatraz”. It is also a prison with perhaps the most stunning location affording sweeping views of San Francisco itself across the bay, and well worth a visit, if you are only in town for a short time. San Francisco is a city I could easily imagine myself living in. It is a city whose appeal is further heightened by the proximity of the Wine Country, with an astounding array of first-rate wines: delicious chardonnays, delectable pinot noirs, and mind-blowing cabernet sauvignons.

DSC06784

Proliferation of roses in a residential neighbourhood

Image 1

Cable car rolling along Powell Street

DSC06773

Old Chinese lady waiting for her washing to dry

DSC08088

Abandoned swimming pools by South Bay

Image

Caffe Trieste, where Francis Ford Coppola worked on the Godfather

Image 1

View of Alcatraz Island from uphill

DSC06850

Washington Square

DSC06533

The original Blue Bottle Coffee outpost on Mint Plaza

DSC08127

Roses at Golden Gate Park

DSC08191

Alcatraz Prison

DSC08286

Uptown San Francisco

DSC06935

Pizza at Zero Zero

Image

Vegetables at the farmer’s market outside the Ferry Building

DSC06803

Montgomery Street

DSC08197

A building on Alcatraz Island

DSC06572

Mini mushroom farm for sale

DSC06728

Street art in Jack Kerouac Alley

DSC06839

Coit Tower

A gull on Alcatraz Island

A gull on Alcatraz Island

DSC06928

Street Performer in downtown San Francisco

DSC06761

My William Eggleston inspired shot of a bathroom at Caffe Trieste

DSC06832

Flowers everywhere…

Image 2

Cable car going slowly uphill

Image

Flowers on Alcatraz Island

DSC06723

Entrance to Jack Kerouac Alley

 

 



One response to “San Francisco: A City of Eclectic Charm”

  1. I also like Pizza. Very informative post. Good walking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *