I came to San francisco about 20 years ago before I went to University – I think I was here for a couple of days…it’s such a long time ago, I don’t even remember where I stayed – I know it wasn’t on the street though! What I do remember is that it felt a lot ‘prettier’ and a lot ‘cleaner’ than it does this time around for some reason. It also seems much more ‘touristy’ than it did 20 years ago, but I suppose that is to be expected.
Today we set off to see some art in an area called ‘Mission.’ This area has a large hispanic community, and it looked and felt like one of the ‘less affluent’ areas of San Francisco. It also felt quite dangerous, so we didn’t hang about for long! The Mission area is famous for it’s wall art – brightly coloured murals painted by different artists or collectives and portraying a variety of different themes. You can take a guided tour of the 75 murals, however we decided just to walk around and see what we came across. This collection of colourful artworks really brightens up an otherwise quite ‘depressed’ looking area. Some of the pieces were really incredible and seemed quite life-like. There was no special order to any of the murals, and they seemed to be painted wherever the artists liked. As I said earlier though, it was quite a ‘scary’ feeling area and so we moved on after seeing most of the artwork.
After leaving Mission, we headed off for the Golden Gate Park. We weren’t sure what bus or what stop to get off at (San Francisco has a very comprehensive but at the same time extremely confusing transportation system!) but we miraculously made it to the Park via two buses. That’s quite good for us – because we usually either miss the buses or end up going the wrong way!!
When we arrived at the park, it looked and sounded and smelled as if some hippies were having a huge party – on closer inspection however it turned out to be some local students just ‘cutting loose’. There was some rather peculiar dancing going on mind you…
After passing through the student party, we arrived at a Japanese Tea Garden and ending up spending most of the afternoon there, just relaxing. It was a huge contrast to where we had just come from on 24th Street Mission. The Japanese garden was really quite authentic, with ancient pine trees, bonsai, a traditional stone garden, a 5 story pagoda, bamboo gardens, stepping stones, and a couple of round bridges. Seio and I had some green tea and Japanese sweets at the tea house – I think Seio really enjoyed this small ‘taste of home.’
After we left the tea house it began to rain slightly and so we decided to head off home and watch some Sunday night football – we seem to have become hooked on American Football! After Danny and Little Jack explained the rules to us, we can now follow the game quite well….we’re not quite sure which teams we support yet, but I’m sure we’ll find our favourites soon!!
There is a huge Chinese population here in San Francisco and therefore a huge amount of Chinese food available. We decided to have Chinese this evening, but couldn’t choose between a takeaway from the airport or the local all-you-can-eat place called the ‘Beijing Buffet’. We both thought that the Beijing Buffet looked slightly ‘dodgy’ and therefore went for a take out from the airport. It was lovely but once again….there was so much of it!! We both managed to eat the whole lot though…so our stomachs must be getting bigger I think!!