A bit later in the afternoon, we headed to the Civic Center area to see the City Hall. The concierge said it's better not to walk the shortest way (through the heart of the Tenderloin), so better than walking the indirect way was taking the metro. We got down at the Civic Center stop. Here is a streetview of the area.
Here is the Asian Art Museum, just opposite the City Hall. I would have been interested to visit it but knowing my mother wouldn't be, I didn't bother.
And the City Hall itself, in all its grandeur. The gardens in front are the Civic Center gardens.
And here's the last shot of that day: this is either the Symphony Hall or the Opera Hall, both near the City Hall.
The next day, we didn't do anything new. But here's a shot of a road leading off into the gritty Tenderloin from just off Market St, meaning not the worst of sections.
And here's another.
I would seriously doubt the reputation of any of these "hotels".
Here's the outdoor facade of a building here.
And here's Golden Gate Av, the one road we walked in to the Tenderloin, to see this church.
The street scene changed rapidly from shoppers, tourists and the office-going crowd on Market St to homeless and mentally ill people, some walking about, some lying down, some on wheelchairs and one particular woman bellowing at the top of her voice to nobody in particular.
Back to Market St, here's the famous turning around of the cable car at the junction of Powell and Market, known as Hallidie Plaza.
This small memorial at one of the entrances to the Powell metro stations, right at that junction.
My mom had originally planned to include an outlet mall before we left, but seeing that schlepping 100 km with no public transport would be unfeasible, I searched for a mall in SF itself, and hey presto- there was one right on the Powell-Market junction whihc I hadn't noticed earlier- the Westfield SF centre.
It was empty in the morning. A combination of very early and weekday, I guess.
The dome of the interior was attractive.
We decided to walk all the way till the Ferry Building and back. Here is a junction on Market St with the Wells Fargo bank (nice building).
And a streetview looking on Market St.
And one looking towards SoMa:
And here's Lotta's Fountain. A ceremony takes place here at April 19 at 5.18 am every year- marking the anniversary of the deadly 1908 earthquake (which occurred at that time). In the ceremony, earthquake survivors come here in their original fashion.
I don't know what this thing is, on the tram rails on Market St.
I hope no one is missing any of this report. The forum feature that's supposed to take a person back to the last seen post is not working for me. Luckily it occurred to me to skip back a page, or I would have missed some good stuff.
That black cube butted on the back of that neo-gothic church is quite a sight!
Sorry you didn't get to see the Asian Art Museum. You all covered a lot of ground. Your mom likes to shop, doesn't she?!
We had lunch in the food court of Westfield which was packed mostly by office crowd.
My dad came back a little earlier that evening from work- he had spent the last night in Menlo Park. My mom was tired and content with the TV so the two of us went for a cable car ride at night.
This was the only cable car I hadn't taken so far. It doesn't give as much a feeling of SF's slopes as the Powell-Hyde but I recommend every tourist to take all lines.
Here's a residential street in Nob Hill.
The next morning, we, all 3 of us, took a bus which passed through the dodgy Tenderloin and the slightly dodgy adjacent district of Fillmore to reach the residential district of Western Addition.
This area seems like a nice residential area so it's surprising to hear about shootings around. But then again, it is surrounded by the least nice areas of central SF.
From this point, you have a nice view of the City Hall.
2 blocks from the bus stop was Alamo Sq park. At an elevation, this provides the best view of the "Painted Ladies"; the most famous Victorian houses for tourists in SF. These sit east of the square. You can also have great views of the Financial District.
Views from various angles, taken from the square.
The Painted Ladies themselves:
And, while exiting the square...
We took the bus back to Market St, which passed by the City Hall so my dad got to see it, then showed him a bit of Westfield and took a bus to Coit Tower, the final and my favourite viewpoint in SF. It passed by Chinatown which was busy now. Unfortunately, the bus's window was very dirty.
Later, it was boring hell as my parenst wanted to go shopping- and we bought, or rather they bought, mostly home stuff from Marshall's and Ross. Then we went to SoMa again. At this Yerba Buena Gardens was mostly occupied by office crowd, just off work.
Random streetview in SoMa.
That was the end of our SF stay. The next morning, we left to the airport. This is a streetview in the more eastern sections of SoMa, closer to South Beach.
And from the expressway, the neighbourhoods of South San Francisco.
Though it's been a few years since I've visited LA, I found it to be a sprawling, characterless place. In my opinion, there are many more interesting US cities to visit. I'd suggest adding Washington, DC and Seattle to your wish list.
I got to see Alcatraz only from the ferry, 'twas chilling enough for me. Have you seen The Birdman of Alcatraz? You should check it out if you haven't. Especially being fresh from having visited. It's a great film.
I'm wondering if City Lights Books is still in North Beach. I loved going there. A really cool old bookshop, home of many "Beat" generation poets and writers.
If you ever decide to come to NOLA let me know please! I would love to show you around.
Well, at least you know that your "real" travel years are still ahead of you. I appreciated all of the trips that I took with my parents, but boy was I happy when I finally started travelling around on my own, at my own pace, in accordance with my own interests. A little scared, too, but I got over that.
Amazing Ansh! Thanks for sharing, even though I was just there and you show many of the same places. So many different ones too that I'll have to see someday! The Mall at Market has the longest circular escalator (at least a few years ago it was the longest) and we had lunches in there as well. First few times I stayed in that area, a couple of blocks off Market and it's not the best to walk through but we were young and fearless
Thanks again you really saw a lot, just wonderful!
Wow Ansh you really have covered some ground in SF and I have really enjoyed reading your report and seeing your photos. I had no idea that SF has its own flatiron building. I had read about, but not seen , the Painted Ladies so I especially enjoyed your pic of them. And ... kudos for overcoming your claustrophobia and getting in the elevator- I really enjoyed and appreciated the photos of the views.