San Francisco is truly one of the magnificent cities of the world and there are a multitude of reasons to come here to explore.
For music enthusiasts like us, there exists a full menu from which to choose because this city draws in a number of musical acts big and small. The smaller venues host many a local musician and the quality is astoundingly good. The average quality of street musicians is higher than you will find in most cities. On many corners of the city one can find musicians playing for tips and you’re convinced that they are probably graduates from the local universities, given the breadth of their repertoire. On any day any number of street bands or quartets can be seen or a lone musician embracing their instruments and just playing what they feel. You just want to stand and drink it all in. Music can set your soul free at times if you let it, and this is a good town to see what can sooth the musical soul.
Whether your tastes run to the avant-garde, or the mainstream, you can get your fix here. We’ve witnessed everything from John Fogarty playing all those great
hits from his CCR days, to Tim Robbins playing some eclectic form of Celtic/Bayou bump, to Jeff Bridges honky-tonking to local artists crying the blues at Lou’s Blues. It’s all here. Venues like Yoshi’s and Bimbo’s 365 club feature all types of music to feed the soul.
One of our more enjoyable outings recently was heading north to listen to our friend Mie play cello with the Lakeport Symphony. It was a delight to find such an accomplished group of musicians in a small town.
And there’s so much more….some of our fellow Travelbloggers have met us here during their sojourns and drank in all this city has to offer. The counter-culture, the arts, the natural beauty of the coast, the giant redwoods, the cuisine all add up to a very unique part of this country and make it so very special. The area prides itself on the highly educated, yet amazingly casual populace that somehow seems fairly mellow beneath it all. Kind of a “yeah, we get it, but whatever” kind of outlook. The reason could be all that the area has to offer and folks are just generally busy getting into whatever they dig doing, whether
it’s hiking, biking, exploring, listening, learning, watching or simply doing whatever strikes their fancy. Come as you are, there seems to be something for all, well except for really warm weather, after all it’s San Francisco.
There is another side to a visit here….Alcatraz and Angel Island. Most people have heard of Alcatraz and it is an experience to visit because of its proximity to San Francisco and the fact that no one ever successfully escaped due to the extremely cold waters and undertow which would have kept anyone from swimming the relatively short distance to freedom. Imagine sitting in a damp cell and being able to hear folks celebrating the New Year at the local yacht club…tortuous at the very least. Angel Island was many things, including the “Ellis Island” of the west as many a Chinese national was held here back in the 19th
century. The island also had military value and housed soldiers on their way to and from conflict. It is now a daytime hiking paradise with spectacular views of the city.
Speaking of hiking and spectacular views....20 minutes from the city you will find Muir Woods. A great place to commune with acres
Playing the Cello
of nature. On the day we were tramping around we ran into an owl and four deer. There is something special about wandering among the big trees and listening to the brooks and streams.
The city is many things to many people and it hold special value to a select few……we consider ourselves fortunate to have had its experience………
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