Around Telagraph Hill (tel-hi)

I took a tour around Telegraph Hill, logged here on the cool google-maps-pedometer. (link received from Good News for Optimists, link on right). My route was the rule of: no elevation change unless absolutely necessary, and keep to the edge of the hill. It took about 2.3 miles, and lasted about an hour. A huge factor of that time was slogging through the big Market Day in Chinatown. The neat thing about walking around Tel-Hi are the sheer cliffs of reddish rock that go right up to huge apartment buildings and historical mills. On the sheer rock you have clumps of dirt where fennel, this marjoram kind of plant, nasturtium, and blackberry grow. There’s probably poison oak in there somewhere too. I want to go back with my camera and take some photos. You have a house built righ ton the tip of an outcropping of rock, in downtown San Francisco. Kind of odd. Also, signs saying “falling rocks, no pedestrians.”

Chinatown… where I saw:
– bucket of live, flipping fish
– mesmerizing trays of half dead fish
– some large ginger-root looking bulb the size of a human head being decanted into another bucket
– an adorable kid kept yelling for his grandad, who was booking super fast in front of him.
– a really, really pushy under 4-foot elderly woman who had a technique of getting through the crowds that reminded me of skilled basketball players
– an entire fish “truck”, with iced/water chambers, and a guy in full white water gear, big fisherman’s boots (yellow galoshes). Absolutley no insignia or logo anywhere on the truck.
– a homeless woman with clear bags full of old fish and vegetables, sorting through discarded vegetables on the sidewalk.
– wanting to check out exactly where produce came from, I checked out a box of produce that said “Dole” and I’m like, wow, this isn’t small farmer stuff, it’s Dole, then I realized: it says Dole bananas, and those are grapes. And the box looked about 3-rd hand.

Dim Sum
I got the bright idea about halfway through my “surround tel-hi” hike that I wanted some dim sum for lunch. Now, there are probably two good takeout dim sum cafes every block in Chinatown. There’s one I really like, no name, only location: behind the bus stop, on Stockton, right before the Stockton Tunnel. This time I decided to just try a new one with a high “high local” count. Basically, I just peeked in and checked out each dim sum, and if enough locals were there, I went in. This time I wasn’t disappointed. They had a neat spinach rice-pancake tart, with really fresh spinach inside. The meatball dumpling wasn’t disappointing, either. Fun for 5$! Total price for 2 of everything I wanted, plus one pork bun: $3.30. I can only really eat 3 piecs of them too so it’s a precursor for dinner as well. The pan-fried spinach dumpling wasn’t so hot, though. The guy next to me ordered congee, two fried egg rolls, and a pork bun. Now, that is just a ton of food. I was kind of surprised when I saw him sit down by himself too. I can’t even polish off one order of congee. It usually languishes in my refrigerator for days.

I also picked up some fresh greens (not sure what they are, probably mustard greens). Total price: $0.35. Chinatown is still: Fun for Five Dollars!