postcard from america

San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf “On the Pier” with views of Telegraph hill and the Coit tower, the Transamerica pyramid building and what could be 555 California Street both in the financial district and the blocks of buildings like sugar cubes strewn upon the hills…

“I loved staying down on Fisherman’s Wharf whenever I have visited San Francisco. We always stayed at the Argonaut which is a bit ‘kitsch’ but they have wine in the afternoon if you can get back for it and very decent wine too! It is also close to the Powell- Hyde line cable car, just around the corner and up the hill, and the historic street-cars that come this way. I love them all. I also loved wandering around the historic piers: people watching; seeing ferries come and go; looking out for the sea-lions and the birds; feeling the sun on my back as I sat and looked up at the city, with a salty tang in the air and the waft of sourdough and crab: deciding where to go next… “

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

20 thoughts on “postcard from america”

  1. I loved Fisherman’s Wharf the first few times I visited San Fransisco, but it so much last time. Not sure if it’s me or the place. I’d always gone there alone before but had the Big T and the boy with me on the last visit. Very different vibe.

    1. I wrote a long post about San Fran in which I described my feelings about the place. I wasn’t so thrilled with it on my last visit either.

      1. I’ve just read that post, and found myself nodding my head in agreement.
        I think in my case a very long gap between my earlier solo visits and the last in 2015 meant that both the city and I had changed.
        I first encountered begging in San Fran — then unknown in NZ — but was overwhelmed by the extent of it in 2015.
        I spent the most uncomfortable hour of my life on a bit of SOMA wasteland which the boy had his heart set on visiting because it’s a famous skateboarding spot and he desperately wanted video footage of himself skating there. It’s also a homeless encampment. Even with the Big T (all 6’ 4” of him) with us, I was really uncomfortable. And angry. Angry about being hassled, angry about being afraid, and angry at a country that wallows in excess while abandoning to poverty huge numbers of its citizens.

    1. I doubt I’ll go back to San Fran, though I am glad to have visited it several times. There are other places in the US I’d rather go to, but doubt that now too. I am really not keen on long haul flights any more.

      1. I know you aren’t Jude, I like them but I’m done with the tropics and apart from seeing my brother in New Jersey, I’ve no interest in the US – never been in fact.

        1. You really should visit your brother. The seaboard side looks fascinating with all the islands down to Cape May.

  2. Having just been there very recently (my second visit) I thoroughly enjoyed it again, although I did find the Fisherman’s Wharf area to be even more ‘touristy’ and busier than when I was there two years ago. There were street performers, buskers and artists, which I’m not sure were there last time. I noticed there were many homeless people pushing their life’s belongings around in supermarket trolleys, but I’ve seen them in other cities too, not just SF.

    1. FW was always touristy when I visited, lots of buskers etc I found that quite hard to deal with as many were obviously elderly and trying to make money. The US doesn’t seem to look after its elderly / vulnerable people very well. I didn’t like seeing pensioners sifting through rubbish bins.

      1. About three quarters of the buskers/street artists we saw were young, but there were certainly lots of older people sitting/lying on benches in the FW area. Oh yes, there was a bit of rubbish bin sifting going on too, and I agree that that is not a nice thing to see. I’m not sure what support there is for the homeless people here – I should try and find out.

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