San Francisco Archives

December 3, 2006

Go West, Young Man


After three flights, I have arrived in the Bay Area. I am staying near the airport, south of San Francisco proper, but close enough that I can drive up the 101 and be in the city in less than fifteen minutes. I paid homage to the local In-N-Out Burger and drove along the Embarcadero and around the North Beach section of town. The city is bigger than I remember it, but beautiful at night. It's a bit colder than I expected, but then again, this is not Southern California.

December 4, 2006

Exploring The Bay Area

I spent most of the day on the go, ambling around downtown (had to check out the Apple Store, of course!), driving through the Presidio, and then checking out Berkeley (first time there) and Palo Alto (I drove around the Stanford campus). I haven't been in the area since 1992, and even then was just here for a quick stop. Highways are a big deal here, but the traffic is nowhere near as overwhelming as it is in the L.A. vicinity.

December 5, 2006

Man Of Leisure

Slept in this morning, which did wonders for getting rid of the last of this cough I've had since before Thanksgiving. I drove downtown around 11:30 a.m. I tried to visit my sister, who works in the Ferry Terminal, but we did not connect. I did visit with three old friends, however: one over lunch, one mid-afternoon, and a third over dinner down in Palo Alto. It's nice to have the time to do stuff like this without the constant pressure to be somewhere.

Note to self: when heading into San Francisco during a weekday, take the BART rather than paying nearly $30 for just a couple of hours in a parking garage!

December 6, 2006

A Breakthrough For Health


New York City officially acted yesterday to ban artificial trans fats from its restaurants in a move that may have a ripple effect in communities across the country. While the usual whiners will complain that this constitutes undue government interference, I argue it's a good move for two reasons: (1) it will raise awareness of the dangers of trans fatty acids in the typical American diet; and (2) chains that operate in New York City will be forced to innovate in their ingredients and food preparation to avoid violating the ban, which may mean healthier alternatives will become available nationwide sooner rather than later.

Common Sense

Sounds like the Baker/Hamilton bipartisan commission--the Iraq Study Group--is weighing in with a (gently worded, perhaps?) rebuke of administration policy, firmly rejecting "stay the course" as an approach with any credibility. This on the heels of yesterday's testimony by Robert Gates--the nominee for Secretary of Defense--before the Senate Armed Services Committee, in which he candidly acknowledged that our Iraq policies had no hope of producing a victory. Such straight talk is long overdue. Of course, finding a sensible solution to the mess in Iraq is far easier said than done.

Daylight's End In The City By The Bay


Just got back to my hotel after parking by the beach and watching the sun slowly sink into the Pacific Ocean (at 4:51 p.m.--ugh!--but with the winter solstice not far away, the days soon will be getting longer!). After a leisurely morning, I spent most of the afternoon exploring the neighborhoods of San Francisco. It's a special city. I was once told by one who had been all over the world that the three most beautiful cities are Cape Town, Sydney, and San Francisco. Nothing I've experienced the past few days would convince me otherwise (and I've spend some enjoyable time in the other two cities, too). The proximity of the hills and the water, the spectacularly scenic views all over the city, the energy and diversity of the people, the tolerant atmosphere, the tremendous range of cultural offerings, and the mild climate are all assets.

I was thinking of spending today at Yosemite Park, but a bit of research online suggested this was not the best time of year for such a trip (some of the main park roads are already closed for the winter).

I head back into the city tonight to meet 1993 Choate Tennis captain Jason Hancock for dinner. Then I am off early in the morning across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to the Napa Valley for a 10 a.m. winery tour and tasting session at Shafer Vineyards. Tomorrow night I fly to Los Angeles, where I'll spend a couple of days before going to Anaheim for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association annual conference for athletic directors.

Mmmmmmm . . . Burmese Food!

Just got in from a meal at Burma Superstar Restaurant (on Clement Street near Fourth Street in San Francisco). The food was delicious. Given Burma's shared borders with India, China, and Thailand and its proximity to Vietnam, it's not surprising that those countries' influences were strong in the cuisine, but Burma clearly has its own distinct twist on food. This restaurant is highly recommended, though it's likely you'll have to wait for a table.

December 7, 2006

Tom Toles = Funny


Dionysian Splendor


. . . in which the blogger goes through a Sideways phase--at least for a few hours.

I visited Shafer Vineyard in Napa Valley for a tasting session, which was fun, but probably mostly lost on me. The other five visitors seemed much more attuned to the nuances of wine than I, though it was a good exercise to compare merlot with cabernet and syrah. I liked the wines I sampled, though not enough to drop $190 for the top-of-the-range bottle.

The weather was wonderful--atypical for what I'm told is usually the rainy season in wine country. I gather it's off-season for the tourist crowd, too, which made my visit more enjoyable.

July 5, 2008

Heading West II

The second segment of my trip west was also uneventful, again with an open seat next to me and a flight that arrived early. I am taking public transportation--a combination of the AirTrain, BART, and CalTrain--to the Stanford campus in Palo Alto and will have the weekend there to get settled in before my seminar starts Monday morning.

The Incomparable Natalie Dessay


I caught the San Francisco Opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor this evening in the ornate War Memorial Opera House. Though I found the third act dragged a bit, there is no doubt that Natalie Dessay, the soprano whom I saw in the spring in La Fille du RĂ©giment at the Met, is a spectacular talent.

July 14, 2008

The City By The Bay


I met my sister at the Ferry Terminal, where her office is, and she gave me a tour of the city--first on foot, then by car--before we sat down for a sushi dinner. Pictured above is the famed City Lights bookstore, ground zero for the beat generation (Kerouac, Ginsberg, et al.).

August 28, 2009

Masters Of Their Domain

I am in transit from Ashland to San Diego, stopping at the San Francisco Airport for a layover. I just picked up the new Entertainment Weekly, mostly because of the enticing cover. I remember being in Melbourne, Australia in January 1998 when it was announced Seinfeld would end its run. Glad to see the gang in being reunited on the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.


About San Francisco

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the San Francisco category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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