Monday, September 21, 2009

5 Good Reasons to Visit San Francisco with a Camera

5. Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Stumbled on this one over the weekend. Dad and I walked several SF districts after arriving by Amtrak from Denver. Tried the fish balls--once was enough, if you get my culinary drift. But the copious red colors, brilliant rich textures and sheer size of this Chinatown transported me right back to my time in Yunnan Province in SW China many years ago. And the purple eggplant here was succulent, at least my camera thought so.

4. Italian celebration in Washington Square. Lagunitas IPA and the free bottlecap pins were an added bonuses (boni for plural?). The guy who tossed pizza doughs as part of a performance stole the show--how the heck did he do that? Deep fried calamari and penne with salsiccia---multo bene!

3. Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe off of Washington Square. A quick walk up Columbus Ave brought us to this highly regarded Yelp favorite. Never had I tasted so many complex flavors in Thai food. The panang curry sauce was deep. Tastebuddies screamed for more Gai Tom Ka soup--sweet and tangy yumminess! And the green tea and coconut ice cream paired with the deep fried banana post-meal rocked. No pictures please--just concentrate on the culinary ecstasy in front of you.

2. Grace Cathedral and Coit Tower. Grace's politically liberal inner walls were way beyond my comfort zone of mixing politics with religion (a whole wall was dedicated to the United Nations and its massive logo), but the architecture was breathtaking and the stained glass reminiscent of St. Chappelle in Paris--shamwow, man! Coit Tower yielded stunning views surrendered only after steep climb up a very tall urban hill. 31 percent road grades in this town are mind-boggling. Favorite was my fisheye composition laying on my back looking straight out the top of the tower.

1. Riding our bicycles across the Golden Gate Bridge. This one should be #1 with exclamation points. 8 miles to Sausalito (named after conservative Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito? Highly unlikely in Nancy Pelosi's backyard). So stunning. Magnifique. Just plain old cool. Fog bank rolled in and turned the red giant into a gaseous nebula of fuzzy mist shrouding a riveter's dream. Will never forget that experience as long as I live. New toll station assesses a $100 fine for anyone caught without a camera here.