Wednesday, February 26, 2014

San Francisco - 2014

Imagine that - a whole year has passed since I blogged.  That is because (a) blogging is so 2006 or (b) I have nothing of interest to share.  Anyway - here goes another SF trip.  We are trying to make this an annual thing.

March 1, 2014 - 
Today we have tickets to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the de Young Museum at Golden Gate Park with my cousin Steph and her husband Steve.  We had brunch at Velo Rogue in the inner-Richmond, then took a nice walk around the park.  I learned a lot about Georgia O'Keeffe at the exhibit.  She was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin for starters, then moved to New York and intimately New Mexico.  It was great to be in the park and catch up with Steph and Steve.

We spent the late afternoon and evening walking the Upper Market area.  Dinner was at Chow on Church Street near Market.  Chow was great, and reminded us of the Citizen Cafe near our house in Minneapolis.  Everything is made from scratch using local food.  The service was great too.

We enjoyed a walk around the residential streets of the upper market area in the evening.  There was a bit of rain, but nothing an umbrella and decent shoes could not handle.  The mansion at 250 Douglass was a site to see at night.  As were the steps that are scattered throughout the area.

We leave for Minneapolis tomorrow, the 2nd.  The cold weather continues there.  It will be about -10F when we get home.  The trip was good and we did almost everything we set out to do.  Can't wait to come back again next year.

February 28, 2014 -
Rain was predicted throughout the day, and that it what happened today.  It was the typical San Francisco rain store that I remember, not a complete washout, but off and on showers of varying intensity.

We took the 24 Divisadero bus to Cafe Mojo, a Coffee/Bike shop that I was aware of.  The bike shop doesn't open until 11AM, almost no retail opens before 11, but the coffee shop was open.  Cool place, we recommend it.

We caught the 24 bus back to the Castro, transferred to the 33 and got off at Valencia.  We shopped Valencia, made a stop at Ritual Roasters for a coffee and a tea.  Ritual is a roasting company in San Francisco.  Their beans are found in a number of coffee shops and restaurants.  We like their product.

The rain had stopped so we walked 24th Street to the Noe Valley and shopped there.  After that we walked  over Diamond Street back to the apartment.   All told it was about 3 miles in walking so far.

Dinner was with Jane and her partner Obo.  Jane is the last of the neighborhood Moms who remained in her place from when we lived here.  Everyone else in our circle from that time has left The City.  Dinner was at Pakwan, a Pakistani restaurant that has a few locations in the Bay Area.  The food was excellent, and its inexpensive.  It is an order at the counter and pick up your food kind of place.  We had never at Pakistani food, and we found it to be indistinguishable from Indian food.  We walked over to Bi-Rite Creamery for an ice cream for dessert.   It was great to catch up with Jane and meet Obo for the first time.

February 27, 2014 - 
The weather cooperated today, so we headed out not he bikes to the east bay.  We pedaled to Embarcadero BART and got out at West Oakland.  We pedaled the new east end of the Bay Bridge.  It doesn't quite go to Yerba Buena and Treasure Island, but it was a worthwhile ride.

After the Bay Bridge we made our way to Emeryville and Berkeley, and decided to have lunch at Tacubaya.  I managed to get a flat (front) and repaired it with a little help from one of the mechanics at Mike's Bike in Berkeley.  (Brompton Tires are tough to roll on to the rim).

We made our way back to the City.  Dinner was at Frances near 17th/Noe, and it exceeded our high expectations.

February 26, 2014 - 
I discovered that the Front Axel Nylon Hook on Kay's Brompton had cracked.  Its the little plastic piece that is mounted to the front fork that keeps the front wheel all tucked in when the bike is folded down and is being carried.  It is non-essential for riding, but Huckleberry Bicycles is a Brompton dealer and a shop I want to visit, so we stopped in, met Nate and he sold us the part.

It is raining off and on, mostly on, so no ride today.  Breakfast was at the Dolores Park Cafe.  We were witness to a Google Bus that pulled up in front of the cafe.  It was marked GBus to MTV (Mountain View, CA).  When the bus pulled up about 4 people immediately left the Cafe and boarded the bus.  I had heard about how Google and some other firms provide transportation for their employees.  That was the first time that we saw it.

I also saw a person wearing Google Glass today at a Muni station.  That was a first for us.

After breakfast we took the historic F line down market to Kearny Street.  We walked to Chinatown, opting for the more touristy Grant Street.  From there, it was North Beach, including a stop at the venerable City Lights Books (no signs of Bukowski's ghost) and Al's Attire (did not drop any money this time).  On the way back we shopped the Farmer's Market at City Hall/UN Plaza.

Tonight's dinner plan was to meet my cousin Steph and her husband Steve at a Sushi restaurant in Oakland.  When we arrived at Civic Center BART station there was a crowd of people waiting to get in.  We learned that the BART system was closed due to police activity in the tunnel between 16th Street and 24th Street station.  Apparently someone stole a atop near 22nd/Mission and fled from the police in the BART tunnels.  We didn't make it to Oakland, so plan B was to go to the Sushi Boat at 389 Geary.  Steve was still in the City where he works.  He was also unable to get home, so he met us (sorry Steph).

February 25, 2014 - 
We fly to SF, the Brompton Bikes are going with too.  California is in a real serious drought, but rain is predicted for most of the time that we are in SF.  With the cost of rental bikes, and the hassle, we decide to bring the Bromptons.

Upon arrival we immediately set up the bikes (which means attach the seats, attach one of Jim's pedals and put air in the tires).  We decide to roll past the painted ladies (hilly) and then on to Golden Gate Park (flat) to the ocean.  The Richmond and Sunset Districts are behaving predictably, meaning fog and wind.  We just left -6 degrees Fahrenheit, so we are more than good.

On the way back we find our way to the Mosiac Steps.  These are steps that have been finished with Tiles that reflect underwater life at the bottom and the solar system at the top.  The steps are located at Moraga and 16th Avenue.  Kay discovered them on line before our trip, and we are glad that we found them.

We rolled back inbound, and headed to Market Street.  We eventually made our way to a bar called 21st Amendment for a beverage.  From there we made our way to SOMA Streatfood Park, a space that features about 7 food trucks, indoor seating, beverages and events.  There was trivia going on while we were there.  Kay had a Crab sandwich, I had a po-boy, plus we split some excellent pierogi.