San Francisco Day 3

Headed towards the Ashby BART station, a Berkeley surfer:

An odd car:

Cheapest gas ever:

Sarah, our local expert, explained that native San Franciscans regularly mispronounce areas to emphasize their original spin on the neighborhood. Here is the BERT station:

Surfacing the BURT station in SF:

After we conceded to burgers for breakfast because no one near the financial district would serve us pancakes, we walked along the harbor towards the tourist-trap called Fisherman's Wharf. A tugboat along the way:

These three-wheeled touring cars littered the city and corner parking spots:

No steering-wheel here. These are driven by handlebars:

These gentlemen were also driven by their own handlebars:

From one of the Dirty Harry movies, I remember that tower:

Blending in with the locals:

One pier garage was filled with trolley cars. Where did Deb go?

More cars:

San Francisco is known for amazing food. We were very hesitant to pass up the But-ly restaurant, but the rear seating was full of bums:

Actually, it was not far from here that we were attacked by our first homeless man. After we apologized for not parting with our change, he fired a volley of volcanic insults drawn to saturate myself, my date, and my mother. I didn't even know my mother was black.

Finally, large flags indicated the illustrious Pier 39. I was disappointed.

Apparently, it was farther down the road. How I would spend my lunch break:

Closer to what I was imagining, this is the true entrance to the pier filled mostly with shops and restaurants, with an aquarium to boot.

Bayside, Alcatraz.

After some natural disaster, a majority of the legitimate pier was overtaken by sea lions. The hoard of males:

They're bendy!

The life:

Bendy sea lions and a non-bendy ship in the background:

A bread alligator:

Russian Hill.

North Beach is the Italian sector of town. Again, garlic rears its head.

Chinatown from North Beach:

On the second floor of the famous bookstore, this is out the window. We were both obligated to buy good books:

Also out the window:

This building helped define a corner of North Beach. However, neither Deb nor I can look at this picture without disdain for the homeless fellow that attacked both myself and then Deb. "Wipe that look off your face!" he first shouted at me while I sized up my picture. Next thing I know he has Deb against the brick wall with a long arm and finger in her face, screaming curses and foul breath. Together we walked the block, but still he continued. As we rounded the corner two blocks later we could hear him screaming abominations at the top of his lungs.

Originally, lunch in Chinatown sounded like a good idea: until we couldn't read any of the menus. Instead we backtracked into North Beach and sat outside an Italian calzone eatery. Deb really liked the tables:

The view up the street:

More with window reflection:

Italy then subsided into Chinatown as we crossed the street with DELICIOUS cherry gelato in hand. Deb tried on some cool shirts, but the real bizarre stuff was in these huge jars. An exotic ingredient store, some contained deer horns at $318 per pound. Shark fins were over $2000 per pound. Ginseng at $3000 per pound. Does the FDA even have regulations for this kind of stuff?

After stopping in the Shrine to St. Francis, we bought municipal transportation tickets and planned our route to the Golden Gate Bridge. First was a trolley ride up the steep hill for two blocks.

A picture of a trolley:

Our connecting trolley, however, broke down. After waiting for 30 minutes, the car finally strolled up the hill being pushed by a special tow truck. Another while passed and no car was to be seen, so we walked down to the Union Square bus stop to head west. The wait ended when we rode the bus all of the way down to the Presidio, a famous military base:

We waited at our connecting bus stop for a very long while to no avail. A bus driver told us that the bus we wanted wouldn't come by for another while, and instead gave us a lift to a nearby cafe because we couldn't find any public restrooms. Now rested, Deb ordered a coffee, and was surprised when the cashier asked if we were part of the "Lucas-party, or Lukai in the plural." Naturally, I said we were and Deb got a small discount on her coffee. She strongly doubted my apparent widespread fame. Sadly, I couldn't play it cool any further when we stumbled on a Yoda fountain indicating George Lucas's studios nearby:

It was now a few minutes after six and this girl also waiting at the stop explained that the last bus circled the area at 6:30. It would be a bit hard then for us to get home by this same bus we hoped to ride to the bridge and then back to our current stop. We waited until 6:25 and finally decided to leave less be stranded miles farther away from the city proper. Instead we walked back and had an amazing Italian dinner with some of the best Chianti either of us had tasted. A cold wait for the return bus and an exhausting BORT ride finally carried us back to Berkeley.