Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Argonaut Explores..

It's been how many months now that I've lived here? Nearly four. And all this while, I've been living inside the comfortable bubble that is FIDM, Ted Baker, Safeway, and my hovel.

Well. I was reading, as I've recently begun a detox from social media and tv, and the book dates back to early 1850's gold rush here in San Francisco. Pairing that with the Walking San Francisco tour book that was so kindly given to me, I've come to realize that I live in a pretty wicked city, one that's rich and full of history.

More importantly- exploring.

San Francisco was founded by the explosion of gold discovery in 1848, shortly after the discovery of gold in Sutter Creek in Coloma, CA. From then on, San Francisco became a haven for gold thirsty Argonauts: Europeans, Americans, Russians, Mexicans, Chileans, Peruvians, Austrailians, and the Chinse. All hitched with gold fever, San Francisco boomed as a culturally diverse city.

It continues to be this day. Where I live, I'm on the cusp of North Beach (Italians), Chinatown (Chinese), and then the Financial District (Americans? Mix?) What I love about San Francisco is its metlting pot of diversity as well as the rich history that brings all of these cultures together from the start- gold.

Today, I had the day off, which is a rare one from me. And with Bilbo Baggins in my head, I thought to myself "Today, I'm going to go on an adventure!" Not wanting to go by myself at first, I reached out to my friends, but had no success. Oh well, the company of oneself is company enough!

And after a delightful breakfast out, away I went...

It's not a successful day without coffee, as I will preach always!

To begin, I walked up the steps of Peter Macchianrini..

Up the stairs and to the right, you'll arrive at this view..

For the long walk ahead, I plugged in my tunes (Passenger being a favorite for days of exploring) and began the journey..

First stop: Coit Tower. See it up there in the distance?

This may look familiar, for last month, I journeyed up here with some friends after The Nutcracker. Much different when there's daylight and no rain!

At the top of the monstrous hill (and some heavy breathing), I finally got to see what all this fuss was about: the view.

Coit Tower: "San Francisco's Legendary Little Hitchcock Colt died in 1929. Bequeathing one-third of her estate "for the purpose of adding beauty to the city I have always loved." On Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower was built during the Great Depression and dedicated in 1933.."

After riding an elevator some 210 feet up (on an 83 yr old OTIS), we were able to see the sights, a little better this time..

See that tall spiky one there? I live just a block from there...


Classic selfie. 

Nestled at the top of Telegraph Hill, I encourage all who visit San Francisco to take part in Coit Tower. And don't be the guy who drives there. Take the hike: it's much too beautiful to pass up; plus, it's rewarding to get to the top of the tower.

I do, I do, I do!

Just at the bottom of the staircase, you'll come to Levi's Plaza, where one can peruse through the historic Levi Vault and learn all about the history of the jean. Tying back into the gold story earlier, aren't I?

I should get these for Jack..

A short walk along the water and you'll soon come to Pier 39- Fisherman's Wharf.

I myself made a beeline straight for the historic Buena Vista, home of the original (and best) Irish Coffee. 

I then popped over to Ghirardelli Square for my complimentary square of chocolate.

I also found this delightful book on sale that was perfect for my adventure.

Returning right to the place where I first started...

I also made my new years deadline for San Francisco- see something new every month. Cheers to January!

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