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Published: November 22nd 2011
If New York and Los Angeles are America's most famous cities, generally seen to symbolize the dreams that can be the universal impression of the United States, then surely San Francisco is the middle ground, a quieter, more stable type of paradise. San Francisco meets the preconceptions, and perhaps exceeds them. The steep streets are steeper, the coffee shops and thrift stores more hipster and off the mainstream cuff. But there's also a side to San Francisco that's unexpected. A city layered with history and diverse cultures and people that can only be experienced by walking the streets of San Francisco.
We arrived on a cold Friday night and took a taxi into Union Square. Quickly, I learned that San Francisco was not a city designed for motorist. It's a place that encourages those on foot, public transit and bicycle. This is refreshing, to have everything at your footsteps. After checking into the Crescent hotel, we were off to find some dinner. We ended up walking around Union Square until we set our minds on Burger Bar. After a couple drinks and a kobe burger we decided to head back. Before calling it a night we hit the bar inside
Blue Blottle Coffee
the hotel conveniently located 15 feet from our room(yes, it was fairly loud throughout our stay) It was a perfect way to relax and unwind from a long Friday and having just arrived to SF.
We woke up early Saturday morning and hit the ground running. Our first stop on this chilly morning was the famous Blue Bottle Coffee. I had heard so many great things about this coffee spot. I was eager to try the freshly roasted, organic, shade grown coffee. With a line out the door I knew it had to be great. And it did not disappoint one bit. The quality of coffee was extremely high and everything we saw inside the store looked amazingly yummy.
Charged with coffee we wanted to explore Fisherman’s Wharf. We eventually found ourselves on the waterfront, Pier 39. What an incredible clear view! From this vantage point you could see not only the Bay Bridge but Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We wandered down the Pier and found a mass of tourists crowded at one particular spot. We followed the general gaze and looked down into the harbor. There, we saw a couple of wooden platforms literally covered
Knowledge without action is useless. Power to the 99%
in a mass of lazing Sea Lions, all basking in the glow of the perfect sun, and in the light of a bunch of tourist cameras.
After sightseeing we headed back to check out the occupy SF tent city that we saw on our way in. It was located across the street from the Embarcadero in the Financial District. The movement….. Across the street was the Farmers Market. We decided to stop and have a quick breakfast. There were so many delicious choices and vendors. I love the concept of having fresh, organic, locally grown options…it always seems to bring a community together. Kyle decided on an egg scramble with scallions and some really amazing yummy cheese that we forgot the name of unfortunately. Although it sounds a bit mundane it was surprisingly cooked flawless.
From this point we were off to the other side of town to visit Kyle’s two brothers - Corey and Kevin who we planned on meeting in the Castro where Kevin resides.
Mission Cheese was a lucky find that we stumbled upon for lunch. The ambiance was what made this little spot. It was intimate, relaxed and the touch of reclaimed elements made
it feel inviting. There were sandwiches all around at our table all accompanied with unique cheese and a light salad. It was a very chic spot. I loved the idea of having cloth towels for napkins, water from milk jugs, and recycled jars to drink from. Two thumbs up in my book. Next stop Sycamore Bar. Quintessential dive bar but with a twist. With board games and couches lining the spot it had a laid back feel. We opted to sit out back on picnic tables and tossed back a handful of drinks while intermingling with locals.
Sunday we got a chance to enjoy a couple more of the local tourist spots. After breakfast we tackled some very steep hills. From there we came to the famous Lombard Street. Lombard Street, which has an unusual section of street known in tourist circles as the crookedest street in the world. This one way street has eight sharp turns that make driving through that section of street at any speed beyond impossible. After Lombard Street we caught a ride on San Francisco's famous cable car back to our hotel. The cable car is pulled along the street by cables that run
Its mouth watering flavors will not let you resist the temptation of taking just one more bite!
under the road, and that are attached to the trolley by nothing more than a hook that the driver sticks through the rear floor of the car, down into the road to hook up the car from underneath. This mechanical simplicity, along with San Francisco's incredibly steep streets, gives people riding on the cable trolley an experience similar to riding on a slow roller coaster. Unfortunately we only made it half way there as there was a broken down cable car down the road.
After heading back to our hotel and checking out. We were ready for a final farewell lunch. We decided we would try to tackle the BART transit system. It was quite the adventure although not too hard to figure out minus our tickets. We opted to head back to the Mission to meet up with Kevin. We were set on trying a hip little Peruvian Restaurant called Limon. Limon has to have the best ceviche I have ever tried! Super fresh and rich with mouthwatering flavors. It also came with a shot of the citrus marinade that was drinkable. We also ordered traditional style Peruvian fried rice (chaufa), Chicharron de puero, and Lomo Saltado. All
of which were heaven. This restaurant solidifies my new found love for the cuisine.
After a fabulous meal we headed back to the room to get our bags. From Union Square we took the bart to SFO. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the airport. Unfortunately, this short getaway went by way too fast. We did a lot in two days and but still had a long list of things we wanted to do. SF is a great city to visit if you're in need to get away from the convenient driving suburban life (too many adjectives or not enough?) of Southern California. SF is hip, fun, and like we said before - a medium to LA and NYC 😊 Peace and love from K & E.
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