Day 1,289 of Traveling the World, San Francisco – Part 2. August 12, 2021.

Wow! This small-ish city has a LOT going on! Chinatown. The Embarcadero. North Beach. Little Italy. Fisherman’s Wharf. Pier 39. Haight Ashbury. Golden Gate Park. And so much ethnic food! We have had Thai, Italian, Egyptian, Chinese, Sudanese, Mexican, Irish, Polish, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines. And almost all of these restaurants are in walking distance! We are really enjoying the diversity and friendliness of San Francisco. The hills? Not so much. We take buses, cable cars, or Uber if hills are involved.

We have greatly enjoyed just walking the streets. We take photos of interesting signs, window contents, architecture that we like, street scenes…you name it, and if it is unusual, we like it! We traveled on the cable cars this week. Since they have been shut down for 16 months, they are “testing” the cars, and so all rides are free for the month of August. It is quite a savings, since each ride to anywhere is $8.00. Did you know that there is a network of cables under the streets of San Francisco that drag them all over the city? We learned that the last time we were here, at the Cable Car Museum. Also, the cable cars are the only National Historic Landmark that move – out of 2,500 landmarks in the US! It is fun to travel on them, creaking along the streets, and watching people take photos of the cars, and us in them!

Chinatown is a cultural wonder with terrific food. It is dotted with not only restaurants, but also Chinese bakeries, retail shops, and hotels. We went to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, located in a small alley, and free to visit. Women must shape the flat orbs into the creased fortune cookie shape as soon as they come out of the oven, while they are still flexible. We all received a free cookie to thank us for coming, but we got the flat version, not the stylized cookie version. Nonetheless, just out of the oven, the cookie was fresh and crunchy and delicious.

Molinari’s Deli in North Beach is one of the best delis in the city. You can see in the photo that it looks like an old-fashioned Italian salami and cheese purveyor, and they also make sandwiches. The Eggplant Parmesan sandwich is one of the tastiest we have ever had. Up at Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, we tried some great clam chowder and seafood. The area was pretty busy with tourists.

As always, we end with some funny posters outside a dermatology office in Chinatown! We have many more photos, so Part 3 will be coming soon.

A playful crab on the north shore between Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf
Umbrella Alley, near Ghirardelli Square, filled with street art
The building “out there” is Alcatraz! View is from the end of Pier 39.
Pier 39 crowds
A giant hot dog and a giant ice cream cone! Who could ask for anything more?
A topiary sea horse on the pier
We found this information on the fishing boats to be very interesting
This clown waving to kids has a creepy face
St. Francis, Patron Saint of the city. Carved in Paris in 1926 by Benjamin Bufano.
A metallic mermaid dress, anyone?
No use breaking in to this abandoned store, as there is…….
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Which one are you?
Women shaping the flat cookie circles into fortune cookies
We had no idea there were chocolate and flavored and x-rated fortune cookies, oh my!
Marriage proposals have been written for the inside of the cookies
Many of Chinatown’s alleys look just like this
Waverly Place, a two-block alley, has many elaborate decorated balconies
A Wishing Tree inside a Chinatown store
The Dragon Gate, entrance to Chinatown
One of the guardians of the gate
A view of the cable cars, both coming and going, on Powell Street
At Market St., the cable cars undergo a “turnaround” to head back up Powell St.
Here is a video of the cable car turnaround
View from the cable car of the Bay Bridge, a hill, houses, and power lines
View from the cable car of the Bay Bridge, a steeper hill, and office buildings
The Molinari Deli Salame clock
Inside Molinari Deli. Do you feel that we’re back in 1915? (Except for the prices!)
Yeah! Fix those faces!
And we simply MUST fix our armpits!