I had a couple of very productive days in Seattle and San Jose, and then yesterday drove up to San Francisco. Even though I’ve been coming out to the West Coast pretty frequently the last few months, I haven’t been back to this city for some years. I love it; I could live here. And I don’t say that often.
I’m staying in the financial district, next door to the TransAmerica building, ironically on the site of a saloon in a novel I’ve been reading that concludes during the start of the Gold Rush. I wandered around North Beach yesterday, eating a sorbet in the other Washington Square, buying books at City Lights and browsing used record stores, and then, even though it’s touristy, I had dinner at the Stinking Rose. Where, as they say, “We season our garlic with food.” A colleague introduced me to the joys of Dungeness crabs. They’re a large species named after a city in Washington, generally found only on the west coast. And they are very good to eat. Especially with garlic. And very messy. They bring you a bib before you start and hot towels and half a lemon when you’re done.
Then I sat outside at a cafe across the street from a whole line of strip joints and listened to the Chinese Music Orchestra, which included Chinese instruments but also a cello, a banjo, and a hammered dulcimer. I am writing this in my hotel room, looking straight at Coit Tower, and I’m leaving for the airport soon.
You can see more crappy cell phone photos here.