San Francisco

Hey there! Welcome back to The Travels!

Street Cars In San Francisco

San Francisco…the title of Scott McKenzie’s hit song with the iconic lyrics of: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…”

In July 2012, I visited San Fran during summer for a couple of days, by the means of a 17 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean which really took jet-lagging to a whole new level of lethargy. Despite the supposed summer weather that I was told to expect, San Fran’s weather was relatively cool and breezy, not to mention foggy! Staying on the 42nd floor of the Hilton gave me a brief view of the beauty of San Fran before Fog Country took over, covering the entire view.

San Fran Hilton Fog
San Fran Hilton Fog

Not to mention, the fog killed my picture date with the Golden Gate Bridge!

Golden Gate Bridge

People: generally helpful, open-minded, interesting expressions of self (roadside buskers were everywhere around Union Sq.), experienced-service could’ve been better but I’ve seen way worse.

Culture: vibrant, diverse mix of ethnic groups, a large homosexual community (host of the annual San Francisco Pride Parade), very much into the festivities.

Food: pretzel and hotdog stands were around every corner (value for money that’s for sure), portions were huge and they don’t cut corners in terms of presentation.

Compared to Singapore or Melbourne, San Fran’s BART transport system is just as good in terms of speed, efficiency and passenger load. However, the lack of cleanliness and the in-your-face vandalism is really obvious. Coming out of Union Sq station, the place was bustling and I suppose, just like any major city, people just love to crowd. On a Saturday early morning, one would fine the streets of downtown San Francisco empty, but come 10am when the stores open, you will see hordes of shoppers and tourists. Lots of street performers come out around then, trying to earn a buck from these shoppers and tourists too! Can’t let the shops have all the money, can they? The quality of the performers are really of a different standard as compared to those back in Singapore. Not that I’m looking down on the buskers in Singapore, the talent in San Fran is really abundant and I’m guessing that it’s because performing is how they really survive that makes them so good. Economic pressure in Singapore is just way too much for street performers to live off the money they get from their performances.

Places recommended:

  1. Pier 39/ Fisherman’s Wharf – a beautiful location, has tasty seafood and exceptional clam chowder! Remember to take the cable car back to the city center and take in all the views of the housing districts, the shopping districts and the steep slopes of San Francisco.
  2. Haight – Ashbury District – photos, oh photos…excellent location for them
  3. On a side note, I headed to UC Berkley for a visit – Wish I stayed there…what’s more to say?

If you’re planning to head down to San Fran anytime soon, check out what’s new here

Thanks for reading and hope to see you next week!


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