Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Days in SF

I spent the weekend in the city: biking up, through and back on Saturday; walking around on Sunday. Bicycling has become part of my routine, and Saturday I biked sixty-one miles. My plan to bike to Sausalito and back did not happen, but I think getting lost is one of the first steps in any true adventure. A bit tired of biking, I decided to walk around the city a bit on Sunday. Wanted to share some photos I took while up there, as there is so much to experience in San Francisco.

Just Nuts
Artwork entitled "Just Nuts"

Saturday: Bicycling

I planned to ride from San Mateo to Sausalito, but I forgot to make a turn somewhere. So, I got lost, but kept moving forward. Uphill, uphill, up the @$%^#* hill: made it to Colma. Now where? Might as well keep going, I thought. Ended up over by Lake Merced.

Lake Merced
Rowers on Lake Merced

I rode alongside the beach. With temperatures over seventy, people were out enjoying the clear skies over the sand and surf. Making it up the road a bit farther meant I was at an entrance to Golden Gate Park. Since I had wondered about biking from the Caltrain station at 4th and King to the park, I figured I would ride through the park, over to Caltrain. And, now I know it is an easy ride.

West of San Francisco
People enjoying the wind and waves

Wow, a lot of people were in the park: more than at the beach. I did not spend much time there; decided to bike on through to see how difficult it was going to be to get home. But, I stopped at one pond to see some radio-controlled boats. I stopped a couple more times just to photograph two waterfalls.

Golden Gate Park WaterfallWaterfall
Waterfalls in San Francisco

I made my way over to the Caltrain station, and decided to continue my ride back to San Mateo. However, this was a good place to stop for a bite. Some pretzels and hummus, with a lot of water, and I was ready to head out again. I did not make it far down 3rd before I stopped again. There was a large crowd and some tents, so I took a peek. Don't know if the event is regular, but it was entitled the Black Cuisine Market Place. I've ventured by this spot a few times before, never noticing an event. Having just eaten, I skipped grabbing a plate, but the food sure looked good. Next time, I'll eat after I pass this point, just in case. The music had me loitering for a few minutes, then I continued on my way.

Black Cuisine Market PlaceA Jazz Jam
Black Cuisine Market Place: BBQ, beans and rice, some crafts and live music

Couple other random sightings along the way. I found India at the India Basin Industrial Park. This area used to be known as Butchertown. Kudos on the name change. And, the last sight I snapped a photo of for the day was of Street Life, an interesting art piece in Visitacion Valley, made of a bunch of parking meters.

Found India in San Francisco
India, right here in San Francisco

Street Life
Don't feed the meters

Sunday: Walking

It was too nice a day not to be out and about. However, I was a bit spent riding the day before. Why not head up to the city again, this time walking around a bit. I ended up on a mission to visit Guitar Center, which took me through the area of town known as the Tenderloin. I might have steered clear if I had read more about the area's crime.

iPad Musician
Street performer making music with his iPad

Hungry, I found an Indian restaurant on Yelp, called Pakwan. Went in and ordered some lunch, then sat and sipped some chai. From the opposite street corner, I hear a woman scream out, "Jay!" A few seconds later, "Jay!" This goes on for a couple minutes, and then the waiter visits my table, informing me they are out of what I ordered. More interested in the insanity across the way, I decide to skip ordering a different entree, and head over to investigate the Jay-woman, as a photo had to be taken! When I approached, another man had walked up close to her, and she called him "Marcus", not yelling out for Jay thereafter. I snapped a photo, and continued on my way.

A Lady in the Tenderloin
This is Jay-woman

Scavenging Livin on the Edge
Ah, the Tenderloin. Middle of the road shopping and shirtless dudes singing from windows.

Finally made it to Guitar Center, but was pretty hungry. Wouldn't ya know it: no place to eat as I looked around. Fired up Yelp again, and ended up munching at Cheese Plus. Not a bad sandwich spot. Looked much better than the Cafe Ellis I spotted in the Tenderloin, which seemed to be nothing more than a sign.

Cafe Ellis
Cafe Ellis appears to be out of business

Spicy Ketchup
Might have to return to try this

Got to Guitar Center and ended up buying an amplifier. Not much thought given to how I would get home with the amp, though. So yes, I carried the amp all the way back to the train station, and from the Hillsdale station back home. Total walk: over seven miles. Miles carrying amplifier: a bit over three. Tired, I was. Too tired to even hook up the guitar and start jamming.

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