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.