Built to look reminiscent of a fireman's hose nozzle, this building is dedicated to the firefighters of San Francisco. It was built in memory of Lillie Hitchcock Coit on land she had left to the city on her death in 1929.
The buildings in the foreground are Victorians that have been redone with modern siding, etc.
Lou's Fish Shack
As viewed from inside "Chipotle", the restaurant across the street.
Near Pier 39.
Segway City Tour
One of the ways to see the city (besides biking, busing, walking, or motor-tricycling) is on a Segway. I don't know why I find these Segways in a row so amusing--maybe they remind me of ducklings following a mother duck. :-)
Purple Flowering Tree
If you see this photo and know what this tree is called, please message me with the name. An hour or two of searching didn't provide me the answer. These are prevalent at this time of year (end of August.)
This ambitious delivery man was wrangling these two dollies of boxes up the sidewalk across from The Cannery, near Pier 39.
Historic Ship on the Bay
The ship in this photo was used in the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty", and is now a tourist attraction. In the background on the right, the island of Alcatraz sits.
The haze on the Bay is thanks to multiple raging forest fires through the Northwest on this very dry year.
Palace of Fine Arts
Viewing it from the street entrance.
Arch on the Golden Gate Bridge
This bridge spans a narrow section of the "Golden Gate", aka San Francisco Bay. It was thus named because of the Gold Rush of 1949, the year San Francisco exploded from a town of 300 to a city of 20,000 because of gold fever. People kept coming in to San Francisco, but no one left--so to get rid of all the ships clogging up the ports, they were sunk and covered in dirt to create the relatively flat area that now exists next to the water.
That is why "Beach Street" is now over a block inland.
There are other, longer bridges crossing the bay, but this is definitely the most famous.
According to one guide, there is enough cable in the Golden Gate Bridge to wrap around the Earth three times!
San Francisco from the water
This photo was taken from the Golden Gate Bridge. The haze is because of forest fire smoke hanging over the bay.
The Golden Gate Bridge
It was still fairly hazy from smoke this day (August 26.) But the bridge and Bay were beautiful.
Ships at port
External Fire Escape
Fire escapes were added as an afterthought to the architecture after many people were dying in fires and unable to escape. Since they weren't part of the original designs of the Victorian buildings, and the buildings were butted right up to each other with no room on the sides and back to add the escapes, they were added to the front.
After they became an "acceptable" part of the architecture of the city, many of the new constructions also designed them to be on the front of buildings to save space.
As viewed from the Cafe de la Presse. This beautiful landmark, at the entrance to Chinatown on Bush and Grant, is the entrance to the oldest Chinatown in North America (est. 1848) and the largest Chinese community outside of Asia.
This is on the corner right beside the hotel (Hotel Triton) we stayed at for 12 days on this trip.
Guarding the Dragon Gate
A matching pair of these guard the entrance to Chinatown.
Atop the Dragon Gate
Fish on the Dragon Gate
Hotel Triton facade
Viewed from the corner of Bush and Grant, in front of Starbucks.
Lobby of the Hotel Triton
Grant Avenue looking down from the corner of Bush Street.
Stephen the tour guide
This was one of our several tour guides with CitySightseeing bus tours.
Through several trips across the city from downtown and back, I was amazed that it always took the same amount of time. One driver explained that it was all the one-way streets that allow traffic to flow so smoothly. Everything is timed perfectly--lights, cable cars, etc.--to allow traffic to keep moving.
Love the colours on this Asian street.
Blue Mermaid sign
We didn't eat here, but of course I had to photograph the sign!
Oh, so much goodness to be had here...
Andrea's Fountain sign
Andrea was the name of the model the artist used to sculpt the mermaid statues.
This statue of nursing mermaids is the most photographed part of Ghirardelli Square.
They are beautiful.
As in a glass...
Might depend on your opinion of these books...
One part of one of the many lovely wall murals throughout the city.
Writing on the wall...
Talena and Katrin in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge from the North-West
Windmill in Golden Gate Park
Since Golden Gate Park was built on sand dunes, it required a great deal of soil enrichment and irrigation to turn it into the lovely green space it is today.
The irrigation is all underground, and used to be distributed by pumps powered by windmills. This is one of the few windmills still standing.
Many of the original Victorian houses are being restored and painted in bright colours. It makes some of the streets look like bakery window displays, with cupcakes all lined up in a row!
Houses with 3 or more colours of paint on them are called "Painted Ladies".
Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires
"Our Lady of Victory Church" - on Bush Street, near Grant Avenue.
Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires
This lovely church is small in comparison to some in the city, and tucked into this little nook like a beautiful, classic, diminutive hardcover book among many other taller and more modern volumes. Walking along the reverse side on the next street over I noticed that there is a French Catholic school run out of the building, also.
This was a random apartment building that we were passing by. But I loved the little decorative scrolls that reminded me of dapper little moustaches on nearly every window so much that I had to take a picture!
Pacific Coast Stock Exchange building
The Classical Roman Temple look that the front of this building mimics is typical of the many Classical Greek and Roman architectural throwbacks visible throughout the city. I didn't go in, but apparently the interior has been much changed from its original design. It currently houses Equinox Fitness. More on the history of this building here.
The two sculptures on either end of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange building are meant to represent Industry and Agriculture. I didn't know that as I was standing there gazing at the structure. The woman holding the grain reminded me of Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture whose daughter Persephone was tricked into marrying Hades, lord of the Underworld.
Demeter searched for her daughter for a year before finding her, and then struck a bargain that Persephone would stay with Demeter six months of the year on the surface and the other six months with Hades in the Underworld, which is how the Greeks explained the seasons.
The bar and walls at Credo
This hip restaurant with an open kitchen has walls covered in "I believe" quotations. The quotes come from all sorts of people, of all different beliefs, and expound on everything from the virtues (or the evils) of bacon to the sacrificial nature of love. Many of them conflict. But it is sure fun to sit there and read them!
The food here is absolutely fantastic, too.
Kitchen at Credo
The open kitchen of this restaurant is topped by a neon red sign that says "feed the people". It was fun watching the staff bustle about while waiting for our meal--and wonder if my pizza was being prepared in the wood-fired oven.
Recycled Flooring Table at Credo
I loved the pieced and lacquered tables at this restaurant. They appeared to be made of layered, reclaimed hardwood flooring pieced and nailed together into a solid slab and then finished to a high gloss. Lovely.
The sourdough starter bread was super-yummy!
Old Saint Mary's Cathedral
The Old Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, on the corner of Grant Avenue and California Street, was one of the visual rewards of a walk through Chinatown. I loved the sign beneath the clock:
"Son, observe the time and fly from evil. Ecclesiasticus 4:23" According to Wikipedia, "This sentiment was aimed at the men who frequented the surrounding brothels in the 1850s."
The brick structure survived the earthquake and fires of 1906, but not unscathed. It has been renovated and expanded a couple of times to bring it to its current form.
And no, the irony of a psychic right across the street was not lost on me.
Chinatown, Grant Ave.
Such an interesting street to look at!
Chinatown, Grant Ave.
Same street, other direction, later in the evening.
The Flying Books
This art piece, officially called "The Language of the Birds", sits on a sharply-angled corner at Columbus and Broadway. It lights up at night and is supposed to be quite beautiful. It is fairly interesting even in daylight.
I didn't get to see it at night in person. Next time I am in San Francisco, that is on my list!
The Stinking Rose restaurant
"This restaurant serves a little food with their garlic," one of our tour guides said. All the food is supposed to be fantastic, and quite literally based in garlic. They even have garlic ice cream, which we were told was "delicious!"
Another restaurant on my "wishlist" for my next trip. (It's just up the street from City Lights Booksellers, too... a great joint excursion!)
City Lights Booksellers
The most popular bookstore in San Francisco--a large store filled with tight alleys and rooms broken up by wooden shelves, every nook and cranny used to house books. Most titles only had one copy on display, so there is an immense collection of books in these walls on topics you don't always see. A booklover's paradise!
Sign in City Lights Books
A positive twist on the famous quote from Dante's Inferno. This little sign blesses all who enter City Lights Books and delve into its depths.
Descending into Heaven
Warrens and hallways and a labyrinth lined with books--City Lights Books is a booklover's paradise.
Little piece o' paradise
Cozy little bookstores: where introverts go for a good time. At City Lights Books, San Francisco.