San Francisco in summer is cold. So cold, that I had to go out and buy some new clothes. But that is only half the story. Not for the first time in my life I was left with the option of washing some dirty clothes, or buying new. With the Australian dollar pumping right now it made sense to hit up the local Westfield (they have them here too) and grabbed me some new wears.
I'll be heading to Portland/Seattle next, so to get into the mood I grabbed a cardigan or two. If anything it'll help my aspirations of joining a grunge band. Not long after I sold my soul and went to Hot Topic, favoured hangout of America's emo & goth kids. Whatever. I walked out with a Danzig shirt which more than remasculates the whole cardigan & Hot Topic scene to begin with.
|World's shitest Porsche. Bumper is cable tied on.|
The same can not be said of Fisherman's Wharf, a place I went to for lunch. See, part of this trip has already been nostalgic from my last visit to San Francisco. So much so, that I went back into the known tourist swarm, just to get clam chowder in a sourdough bun. Just like I did last time.
It's also advantageous coming back to a place like this. Having already seen a lot of the tourist things from last time (Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz & Cable Cars) there is little desire to do all of that again. Save for Alcatraz - which is amazing - I am not at all envious of the people riding their pushbikes over the bridge or lining up to take a slow, overcrowded and expensive 10 minute cable car ride.
|The X-men stole the bridge again.|
|Ti Jean, little Jack|
After leaving their hotel I ventured past a bum who had improvised a drum kit out of buckets and anything he could find on the street (lightpoles etc). It was pretty impressive, but the start of a tough row of homelessness. I had to walk to a cinema to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World and the quickest route was right through a myriad of bums and other unfriendly night folk. After the film, the walk back took me through the same streets, past the whores and vomit piles, but this time shrouded in a veil of mist.
Watching the mist come in at night is a remarkable thing. You slowly begin to lose the top of buildings, then certain hills before you are finally walking through what is essentially the lightest rain storm in the world. You see everyone covered up in warm jackets and surrounded by mist and have to remind yourself that this is summer.
After checking out of the hostel this morning I had the whole day to kill before my 17 hour train ride to Portland. I walked down to Geary St and began to look at some of the local art galleries. The first had an exhibit on Storm Thorgerson, famous for his album covers. They didn't have my favourite series of his (Biffy Clyro's puzzle + singles) but they were showing the full shot from Only Revolutions amongst others.
I went to lunch at the Thai place from a few years back knowing that it would be a while between meals. It was typically delicious and a nice way to postpone our short relationship. After the gastronomical stuffing I decided to head up a different hill this time, looking for spots to take some photos. For the most part houses block the scenery, but it's nice to explore some parts of the city I wouldn't have otherwise seen.
I did manage to find a good view of the Golden Gate bridge, but not before I checked out the House of Days, a tiny shack that compiles images of the Bay taken every hour. The Path on the way was covered with bike riders, all struggling up the hill and crowding the look outs. It's an ironic shame for me, but I feel that there are a lot of places now where tourists are part of the area's mise-en-scène.
|You're doing it wrong.|
Song! The Cribs - Cheat on Me. Johnny Marr is the best guitar player in the world. It's a fact, so there is no need to argue about it. He lives in Portland but he plays in the English band The Cribs. Their show in Sydney at the start of the year was amazing and Johnny tore it up. And hey, it was either this or Elliott Smith for the Portland themed tune.