DThe Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here.” (Billy Graham)
“Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every house a poem, every dweller within immortal. This is the whole truth.” (William Saroyan)
It’s easy to feel lost in the cool fogginess of the San Francisco Bay Area. Compounding one’s confusion, the gridlocked traffic entering and leaving along bridges and mountainside towns can further discourage one’s touristic enjoyment. In spite of these uncontrollable obstacles, the natural beauties , historical landmarks, and cultural vitalities of this region would unmistakably serve for Ruth and I as a captivating series of now moment “highs” during days 30-36 of our spring road trip. With seemingly little time to write on each action-filled day, I resigned to take a break from blogging for one week to allot more time to capture S.F. sensory stimulations enhanced by way of photography. Enjoy the following presentation as expressed in various categories of personal interest.
OPENING WEEKEND BASEBALL SERIES – ORACLE PARK
While the current San Francisco Giants presently are not performing well on the field, we relished the opportunity to purchase two affordable tickets behind home plate on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon. In fact, this slow moving pitching duel on the field seemed somewhat secondary to the historic designs of the ballpark as well as the beautiful panorama of the surrounding bay and downtown skyline from our seats.
MAKING TIME FOR S.F. COMPANIONSHIP
We enjoyed a relaxing day with our close friend Dan, who lives quietly with his two dogs at his “artsy” downtown apartment along a steep hill. Stepping curiously into his patio, I witnessed fantastic views of the distant bay and surrounding downtown skyline. We then accompanied Dan for a relaxing lunch at the popular indoor mall at the historic Ferry Building nearby Embarcadero Plaza. Strolling further along this Eastern waterfront shoreline, I gained a historically authentic sense of S.F. “then and now”.
A HISTORIC ENIGMA OF DIVERSITY AT ANGEL ISLAND
Opting to skip popular Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on this vacation, we instead hopped a short ferry ride from Tiburon harbor to remote Angel Island. From the State Park Visitor Center a rigorous uphill walk led us to the old U.S. Immigration Station. Functioning as a west coast version of N.Y.’s Ellis Island, thousands of immigrants entered the United States here from 1910-1940. Our brief tour of this facility, would offer an authentic look at the harsh treatment of Chinese families in particular, who were detained here indefinitely in cold and cramped barracks then. A closer look at walls inscribed with detainee poems of desperation provided further evidence of of this sadly racist era in America history.
CULINARY DELIGHTS FILL THE SHORELINE AIR
The open air atmosphere of food offerings along Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 41 provided a tantalizing opportunity to satisfy our sensory induced appetite to our heart’s content.
A CREATIVE IMPULSE TO FEEL JAZZ GROOVE
On the other side of the Bay at refurbished Jack London Square in Oakland, Yoshi’s provides a classy scene of live jazz. Hearing the Tommy Igoe Big Band perform brilliantly the classic hits of legendary drummer, Buddy Rich would thus provide an excitably memorable moment in our Bay Area visit.
A FITTING TIME TO FEEL SENTIMENTAL IN S.F.
My wife and I celebrated our newly joined marriage in December, 1974 at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco on Embarcadero Square. A brief revisit to this honeymoon hotel with our friend Dan would provide vivid memories to share with him of those loving times.