I agreed to meet up with Chloe again to go to Coit Tower, it was her last day in SF. I looked online and it would take me just as long to walk there as it would the bus so I decided to walk. I wish google maps showed hills. Oh man I had to walk up one of the worst hills to get there, I paused a couple of times to try and get my breath back. Thankfully there was free wifi in the tower so I could message Chloe. She was a little late and I appreciated just being able to sit and regain my composure. When she did come arrive she was still a little out of breath from the hill aswell. Neither of us considered that they would charge us to go up the tower. $8 for a lift ride.
The view admittedly was pretty great. It was cloudy and it gave the city a moody kind of atmosphere. The fog wasn’t too bad either so we could see far across the city. There wasn’t much else to do so we left after 10 minutes or so. We had planned on going to the cinco de mayo festival in the mission district but it would take an hour and a half with bus travel to get there. Instead Chloe suggested we go to the Ferry Building Market.
On the way there we went past the famouc City Lights Bookshop, where the Beat generation hung out at and got there work published. There were some really cool books available but sadly, I have neither the space or the budget for them. The bookshop still operated the policy that anyone could read their books for any amount of time. So, feeling predictable I read the poem Howl by Allen Ginsburg for the first time. It was thrilling and exciting, the words racing as I drank it in. I loved it, but even today reading it felt a little contraversial so I can imagine why it had the impact it did.
We did eventually make it to the ferry market and the variety and quality of the food available was enough to make me drool thinking about it. We got fresh sandwiches from Acme Bread. They were delicious the baguette had a great crust and the cheese with the sweet chutney was a great match.
Chloe wanted ice cream and who was I to turn down ice cream. The server grumpily gave me samples of the olive oil and sour cherry. I chose the sour cherry, it was lightly spiced with whole stewed cherries in. Cherries are one of my favourite fruits, they are wonderful. Chloe had the olive oil ice cream with a rhubarb sourbet and it tasted incredible. Olive oil ice cream is fruity but savoury and immensely satisfying.
I then walked with chloe to Union Square in the direction of her hostel. They were many designer shops in this area and it made sense why she had to go so far to get cheap food and drinks. We said our goodbyes and I went into another Starbucks to use their wifi. I sat for a while trying to figure out what to do next when Jonny called on Skype. It was our first Skype call of my trip and I was really happy to see his face. We talked for a good length of time but because of the time difference it was getting late for him so we said goodbye.
I was getting hungry again and was about to leave to go to the mission district when Tim whom I’d met in Seattle messaged to see if I fancied meeting up. He agreed to meet me at Taquiera la Cumbre in about 45 minutes. The walk to the restaurant was weird as I had to walk through a very nice neighbourhood through a rougher area and then back to a nice part of the Mission with boutiques. Tim was late but he arrived just after I’d received my tacos. I shamefully admitted that I’d chosen this place because it had featured on Man vs Food. He had never heard of the show so it was no big deal. The food was very fresh and there was lots of guacamole. It felt almost healthy. We caught up on what we’d been doing in the last week since we last saw each other.
After eating we decided to look at mural alley. It was amazing, the artistry and the highly political messages behind them were great. It was good to see that it was such a popular spot as i found it enlightening as I didn’t know about housing displacements in SF. I have included some photos of my favourite murals below.
Our hostels were in a similar direction (though mine much further out) we walked back together. It was quiet through the Mission and it was cool to walk through more affluent neighbourhoods. There were yet more hills though. We happily talked about sitcoms and favourite TV shows during our journey untill we said goodbye. The final walk back alone to my hostel was great. It was quiet, mostly downhill and there was such a beautiful light as the sun was setting. It felt like I was in a magical dream being here in SF.
Though I’d discussed earlier with Chloe about SF not being what either of us expected and feeling disappointed. My feelings had begun to change, SF is not what it once was but it still has this appeal. It’s a slow burning love.