Monday, March 06, 2006

SFO part 2

Here's another day's out travelogue in SFO, complete with pics for those interested.

This was my second visit to downtown and I could feel the pulse of the city better. Boy, its big! Every spot is so happening. So modern and quite fascinating. Theres a lot of variety in the kind of poeple you'l meet. I remember awe-ing at the big city streets of Dubai in my childhood. But I never thought I'd see a place this huge in every sense. I guess its second only to New York.

O.k, coming to my latest trip..I thought I'd try the world famous San Francisco cable cars all the way downtown to Fisherman's Wharf. It takes you across really steep hills going up and down. Its a nice ride. The crowd today was amazing. There were all kinds of people just out to enjoy the day. The vintage cable cars are quite fast for its age.

The other highlight of the day was a huge bunch of deep baritoned sea lions and seals awaiting my arrival at peir 39, complete with all the sound effects of their welcoming snorting and barking! Well, I didn't know, but they do give off a real barking sound. And today I saw about a hundred off them in the orchestra. Some of the people watching just joined the show....(the sea lions were better)

I had been to Fisherman's Wharf last time. But the place, the views and the crowd made me come back. Its a fabulous place with shops, restaurants, scenic bay views and lot of rides. Lot of street performers (wish I could be one) dancing and making music for money. There were also some who came there just to vent their feelings. Like a man I saw singing ballads, a red-head who just yelled at the top of her voice and using her violin in some frenzied ballet, created some sort of fusion music..all in all it was a place to be. My favourite was this person who played on deep flutes (the ones they use for Sufi music). It was so soulful and I wished I could lay in the grass there all day listening to that music.

Lot of crab eateries all around the place. Lot of shops on souvenirs and just about everything. Lot of rides and for the happy hour folks, a really jiving hard rock cafe! Aquariums, pools, rides, just about everything. People showing public displays of affection(!!), people proposing, and what not. Its fun. You'l find just your kind of place there. Oh and not to mention, lots of Indians too with the elderly gaping at, I guess the culture shock for whom it hadn't mellowed down yet! I just hung around the area a little longer and did some shopping for the folks at home.

And then I made my way back, yup in the cable car again. This time another route. And hey, what did I find!! A..secret, staring at me right in front of me. I did hang around a while though, trying hard not to be noticed and taking a peek inside, except when I was directly in front of the doorway an elderly dame just opened the door and walked out queering at my interesting pose, now frozen, looking inside. I walked the other way.

Well, the place I was then was the Union Square, a good place to hang out with friends. With artists painting potraits, all around the square. I hopped into Macy's, a high end shopping store, looking to buy a belt. The Calvin Kleins and DKNYs with their price tags made it just a frivolous visit with me rushing to the door. Duh!

Now dusk hit me sooner than I expected and it was time to take my train back to Redwood city where I stay. It was dusk. And I had planned to go to a Sushi place near my house for dinner!

Coming to my dinner - Sushi sucks (depending on which you have). Raw fish with some intoxicating sauce almost made me puke. I washed it down with some beverage. I tried oyster for starter and it was good. One thind I really loved was chicken teriyaki a dish similar to our chicken biriyani, with more chicken and more rice. The foods generally have a taste of vinegar and soy sauce, which when taken in excess is just not right for the first time. I tried using chopsticks to blend into the culture, but I found myself ordering a fork after having made enough fool of myself at the table.

So that's it from another round of updates travelling. Not to mention I'm in full awe with the city and striving not to get too attached. Until I get another time to visit the city, thought I'd pen today's experiences, first hand for those who missed...

Take care folks & have a good time. Adios!

As always, more photos here.


iblog said...

You did all this alone !! Cool!

Zero said...

and wonder what was the plight of an (Indian) vegetarian!
Went into this Chinese restaurant (beaming to my friend my liking for Chinese food and esp. the Hot and Sour soup!) to be met with a rude shock that I have actually been fond of (and used to) much-Indianized Chinese cuisine.
Incidentally, the most emotionally charged pic that I took during my visit to SFO was a tight close-up of a self-made maggi noodles. Poetic!

Girish said...

Thanks iblog. Nothing great in that..I just came here alone from my company and while I make friends who can take me around, I thought I'd explore the places myself :)

hahaha very funny zero..I too can cook only upto maggi and its my lifeline on weekdays. Btw, send post/send-in your pictures too

iblog said...

Yes I did catch the oscars, Brokeback did not quite keep upto expectations did it ! Memoirs did bag quite a lot though ...that queues it on my must-watches. :)

Mithra said...

Did you guys see Syriana? That's on My must- watch list.

And Girish? Victoria's Secret???

Want to visit Frisco.. probl'y make a trip this May, but u seem to be having a good time!

And zero, I have had some agonizing experiences with Oriental food. Someimes I have loved it, just to find out that the "vegetarian" dish has no meat, just fish sauce!!

Mithra said...

But I don't blame you, as the mannequins look tantalizing, even to straight me! ;-)

Girish said...

Mithra, lol, I like the last part :-)