Blogs from San Francisco, California, United States, North America


I wrote this back in 2014. Let's see how much our favorite city has changed. 2014: Borrowed from the Concierge at the Handlery Hotel: Where to find local wildlife: sea lions at Pier 39, elephant seals at Ano Nuevo State Park. harbor porpoises under the Golden Gate Bridge near Fort Point. What about the much maligned fortune cookie? Though they came originally from Japan, they were introduced to America at the Japanese Tea Garden out at Golden Gate Park in the late 1800s (about when my grandfather came to America). And if you go to 56 Ross Alley in Chinatown, you made watch them being made at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. So, who really care's about Ben and Jerry's in the City. Not people who prefer the local varieties, like Mitchell's, Bi-rite, or Swenson's. ... read more
Coit Tower at night
Fog on the Golden Gate Bridge

From 2010: Has it really been 13 years since I last visited Alcatraz? This must be my 5th or 6th visit to Alcatraz Island, former home to the Federal Prison. It housed some of the worst of the worst, like Al Capone, Robert (Birdman) Stroud, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, Mickey Cohen, Arthur "Doc" Barker, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and Nicky Cage. I went this time as a tourist! And it was a glorious day to be in the City. Rather depressing, but free room and board This is what I wrote a few years back: Most of my local friends know about Alcatraz Island or as locals call it, "The Rock", and have probably been there at least once. For those of you out of the area, and the country, the small island ... read more

This might be one of the most famous bookstores in the world!!! I wrote this back in 2013. I am reposting (2020), in the hopes that you might donate to City Lights Bookstore, as they struggle through the quarantine in San Francisco. It is by far, the most historic, and unusual bookstore I have ever visited. They have been running a successful "Go Fund Me" page. ​From 2013: Today is a special day for someone very dear. This lady grew up in San Francisco, in the Mission to be exact. But she has never been to the famous City Lights Bookstore. Today is the day! We also had dim sum at City View in Chinatown, and topped it off with some Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building. This is from a previous email written a ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » North Beach February 15th 2023

February 14th must be more than cards, flowers, and candy. And who is St. Valentine, and what is the Valentine's Day massacre? Though it sounds a little like my pal Andy Rooney, it might be interesting to find out why this day is what it is. It is celebrated in a big way in Southeast Asia, as we found out firsthand. Most restaurants are decorated, stores are full of special gifts, and people seem to step a little lighter on this day. Valentine's Day was named after two early Christian martyrs, both named Valentine. It was Geoffrey Chaucer who began to associate it with love, romance, and courting. Since the 19th cent... read more
Don't send flowers!

North America » United States » California » San Francisco February 4th 2023

As usual, I'm running a little late on my blogging. I know it is even over a month late! The funny part is I've got some time on my hands this afternoon, and I'm writing this from Kinshasa. It seems we are truly back to pre-covid time, and I can once again declare the world a small place! Going from Mexico to Bali is not a short trip. So a short stop on the way back home is always welcome. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of 24 hours stops in LA. Been on the West Coast up and down tons of it's all about back to simply efficient stay. I arrived late afternoon in SFO...checked-in in one of the non-descript airport hotel....clean room, nothing to say much about it. Stay on ... read more
Swan Oyster Depot...always special...
Welcome to SF in February...
Chinese New Year parade...delayed due to the shooting in Monterey Park...

From JohnnyJet: I also can’t comprehend how some people think it’s okay to take care of their personal hygiene on an airplane like clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or giving themselves a manicure. In the past, I would tell the passenger it’s not allowed to apply nail polish on a plane because both nail polish and nail polish remover are highly flammable. But after getting chewed out, now I would just ring the call button so the flight attendant can do the dirty work. They always shut it down immediately. Unfortunately, it’s happened at least twice in the past week as two incidents made the news. First, last week, the url= Mail reported: “An American Airlines flight from Miami to Barbados had to return to the airport after flyers became sick due to an 'aceton ... read more
Don't tweeze!!
Stop the hair toss now!!!!

Having traveled a bit during the pandemic, the highly touted United Polaris Lounge has not been available in Chicago, Europe, or SFO. But now, post pandemic, the Polaris Lounges are open for business. I plan to use the one at SFO, though I am flying on Turkish Airlines. From James Dozer at Travel Codex: THE UNITED POLARIS LOUNGE IS THE BEST BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE IN THE ENTIRE STAR ALLIANCE NETWORK. My favorite lounge used to be the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX but this Polaris Lounge blows everything else out of the water. The lounge is spacious, beautifully decorated and offers passengers a host of wonderful pre-flight amenities. The United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is located in the G concourse of the international terminal (closest to gate G92) and is only open to Star Alliance premium ... read more
Lots of choices
The noodle bar

North America » United States » California » San Francisco October 15th 2022

From Fodor's: For the past two years, disruptive passengers have been a nightmare to deal with. In May, when we conducted Fodor’s Summer Travel Survey, 60% people said they were worried about an encounter with an unruly passenger. The number of incidents have come down since, but drunk and disruptive passengers continue to annoy American fliers. And that does not count delayed and cancelled flights, lost luggage, and indifferent service. The Vacationer conducted an online survey of 1,098 American adults 18 years and older. They were asked, “When flying on a plane, which behaviors from fellow passengers annoy you?” There were frankly no surprises in the responses. The top two most annoying behaviors were tied: disr... read more
Why does it happen to me?
A real pisser!

How many of you have walked across the Golden Gate Bridge? Better yet, how many of you have bicycled across the bridge? I have done both, on numerous occasions. It is a great thrill every time, as the conditions are always different. The weather can range from typical San Francisco fog, or a pristine clear and sunny day (and everything in between). The bride opened in 1937. The cost was $35 million or $523 million in today's dollars. My first time, crossing the bridge by car, was in the 50s. Our bridge toll was 50 cents. Today, the cost is $9.05. Forty million cars cross the bridge each year. It translates to $145 million in revenue, to pay for employees, maintenance and paint. The bridge is not golden, but rather international orange, creating the illusion that ... read more
What a view!

Contrairement à ce qu'avait annoncé la météo, le ciel est très nuageux ce matin. Nous avions prévu de prendre la voiture et d'aller voir le Golden Gate Bridge, puis ensuite de monter à Twin Peaks et d'aller se promener le long du pacifique. On inverse donc le programme, en général le temps s'éclaircit en fin de matinée. Twin Peaks est la colline la plus élevée de San Francisco, à prêt de trois cent mètres. De là, on a une vue a trois cent soixante degrés sur San Francisco et la baie. Dommage que le temps ne soit pas de la partie, le panorama, est magnifique. On reste un petit quart d'heure, puis on prend la direction du pacifique. On descend l'avenue jusqu'au sud de San Francisco. La partie de la rue qui longe la plage est ... read more
Le Pacifique sous les nuages
Le Golden Gate Bridge
Lombard Street

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