Friday, December 11, 2009

San Francisco - Day Two

The next morning, we decided to maintain our mapless state. We started the day by making the simple decision to turn left instead of a right.

We saw a giant bear made of plastic bag stumps at Anthropologie. We also strolled by the trolley trains. We wandered a while, did some shopping without buying anything. We had passed John's Grill earlier and decided to retrace our steps and have lunch there.

John's Grill is the definition of old school. Dashiell Hammett frequented this place and he wrote it into The Maltese Falcon. In fact, there's a plaque above the front door that claims it as where he wrote it. Possible. I don't know for sure. What I do know is that the clam chowder here was better than at the Water Grill. No joke. Also ordered the Jack Lalanne's Favorite Salad -- soooo good. Mega chunks of real crab meat throughout. A bit pricey. But worth at least one visit. Sitting there, you can imagine Sam Spade swing the door open, drop his hat on a wall hook, order a stiff drink at the bar and light his cigarette.

Afterward, we swung over to Union Square and did some actual shopping and purchasing. Sergio was a good sport. I got purple boots. Yep, purple. Pretty fabulous. I promise, pics later. Shopping was unusually tiring and we had to take a rest back at the hotel. Here, snaps of the "view" from our room. The view wasn't actually that wonderful. I've done some major zooming here. Not bad.

On the way out again, we spotted a guy test driving a fishing pole in the alleyway next to the hotel. And more art! This time inside a store front. A bunch of tubes spelled out a word I couldn't read, behind which were a series of Chinese Lion Dance heads.

The plan had been to visit the famous Starlight Room at the Sir Francis Drake hotel. Alas, it was closed for a private party -- a wedding actually. We had inadvertently walked right into their wedding party, almost bumping into the bride! So we left, deciding to come back the next day. Check out the cool doorman gear!

On the way to dinner, we saw that someone forgot their shoes under a mailbox! I hope the person had another pair. We decided to go with the recommendation of previous night's waiter, which was back at North Beach -- an authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria. Again, Sergio got to speak Italian with our real Italian waiters! In fact, just for a moment, we felt like we were in Italy. A giant group of younger people came in, all speaking Italian. The chef came out to greet them.

We spied the coolest Christmas tree on the way back to the hotel. It was so glowy. Check out the cool drawings on the fire escapes of our hotel!

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