Thursday, January 6, 2011

Loving San Francisco

What an immediately endearing city! I'm only going to tear myself away for a few minutes to share a few images and then get back out there exploring. We arrived yesterday to brilliant sunshine and arresting blue skies, checked into our nautically-themed hotel near Fishermen's Wharf and joined the crowds strolling the kitschy, carnivalesque sidewalks near the waterfront.

Even noshed on a Fishwich and Fries, fighting off the pigeons for our share. . .
Then it was hill-climbing, first Telegraph Hill and Coit tower, then there was a Russian Hill, then Nob Hill. We did think about the cable cars, but there was a long line-up, so we just exercised our legs, building up an appetite for dinner.
And exercised our eyes . . . I love the colours and the architectural details -- much to remind me of Lisbon (not least, of course, the hills and the cable cars)

Serendipitously discovered Grace Cathedral during an organ rehearsal -- magnificent! if you've never heard a pipe organ played by a superb musician -- and not a recording, but on site, in the sacred acoustics it was made for -- put it on your list for 2011. I walked the indoor labyrinth (there's also an outdoor one I'd like to walk later) there as I listened, testing out the meditative, spiritual benefits on behalf of my good friend and neighbour Carol -- I may be a convert!

The late afternoon sun on Nob Hill buildings was captivating, rich, nostalgic -- I kept catching my breath, grabbing the camera again. . . until it was time to wander into a wine bar where I foolishly convinced Paul to join me in trying a flight of reds . . . each! Then wandered up the road for a glorious Italian meal . . .
I have oodles more photos but you know how long they take to upload and then to arrange in Blogger -- today was also a successful, enjoyable day. Cable car ride, trolley ride, wonderful exhibit of Cartier-Bresson's career at the SFMOMA plus an exhibit on the science/design of wine (found the term I was looking for in evaluating a shiraz I didn't like last night -- Hamster CAGE! -- My term had been dill-pickle juice . . .) and an exhibit of the SFMOMA's 75-year collection retrospective. Dramatic Pollocks, Rauschenbergs, Rothkos, playful Lichtenstein, clean Mondrians, etc., followed by lunch in the Museum Cafe (which must be the model for the VAG cafe, surely) a wander in the Yerba Buena gardens . . .
And the all-important nap back at the hotel, just finished, so now it's time to get dressed and head out for dinner at Canteen. Early reservations, taking the cable car again, my handsome date awaits, so I'll sign off for now -- next up, tomorrow, my lunch date with Lisa!.