Stairwalks of SF, The Ski Jump, Bay Cruise

I’ve had a busy leisure life apparently, because not only have I done some cool SF touristy things, but had no time to write about it!

Stairwalks of SF
My buddy (good news for optimists, on right) and her buddy, et moi, went on a “stairwalks of SF” hike on Sunday, I believe. I was ridiculed last night for not blogging about it because I guess there is some expectation in writing about walking around SF if your blog is about walking around SF. So here goes!

I trekked up Chestnut street, steep as it is for 3 huge blocks, to Hyde, then walked over to favorite cafe, nook. OK, written about nook before. I was wearing my cool heart monitor so I could tell thatI was having a good workout empirically, if not just checking with the sweat pouring down my body, and my frequent desires to “just go home and watch a dvd” instead of exercising. Anyways, metup with these two, and we decided to do the Northern part of Russian Hill. Funny because anytime someone said, “is this the north side?” “are we on the southeast corner?” etc. we would all look blankly at each other. There’s just something un-directional about SF. Most of the people I know here just think of south of market, and then the north side of the city, and those are about the only references. You say “other side of van ness” and people know what you’re talking about, or you say “down on Geary, Sunset side” or “Bayside.” I wonder if it’s because we’re a peninsula, with 2 grid systems, one at a 45degree angle to the other. Hmm. Will ponder this further.

The hills and walks of the North Russian Hill walk is neat, but it was an anticlimax for me (sorry Kathy) because this is the area I walk through to get to all points…. West?… over near the Marina. So Ada, the author of Stairwalks of San Francisco didn’t have a whole lot to tell me. I enjoyed sharing the walk with friends, though, and the hamburger at the end at the Bell Tower was very cool.

The Ski Jump

credit to: thomas hawk

I was forced out of my apartment, despite a really busy schedule, to see Johnny Moseley’s ski jump.
– there was white styrofoam compensating for the snow in about 50% of the main hump on Vallejo.
– I stood on the top of it, in the middle and the bottom and all vantages were cool.
– There were tons of reporters and TV cameras. Everyone had a camera. It was the most well-documented thing I’ve ever been at.
– They were supposedly pulling kids into the cable car that was the jump station. Some kid told me that if he waited there long enough he would get asked to jump. Sure…
– standing downt he block from the middle section was cool because you could see the person flying in between the buildings. It was like a cross-section view.
– I saw a double spin by a guy on skis, young, blond fro. For the “jeep” sponsor.
– I saw about 3 guys totally lose it on the jump part and hurt themselves.
– I saw 2 tailgate parties that were serving… champagne. Classic Pac Heights.
– lots of students in the audience.

Bay Cruise
I went on a HornBlower bay cruise for my friend’s wedding today. We went by the Bay Bridge during construction, and that was amazing. You see all of the different pilons standing there, not connected yet. Amazing number of flat platform tankers out in the bay for the construction.

I am very prone to motion sickness so spent most of the time concentrating on not getting sick. No wedding festivities, just … thinkign about not hurling. Fun!

The Golden Gate Bridge is truly beautiful, approaching it in fogged in banks, with increasingly choppy waves. The shipping tunnel there has really choppy waters. Angel Island I also never get tired of, nor Alcatraz. We were fogged in by both of those, but we did spin around to McCovey Cove, near PacBell Park. It was really calm there, and a Norwegian Cruiseline was up in dry dock. Seeing a huge cruise ship in dry dock is pretty amazing. You can kind of tell how they float when you see it like that.

Two military ships were also in harbor so tightly knit together that it looked like an uber-ship.

Two Vallejo ferries went by – catamarrans – and they are the fastest thing on the bay. really efficient.

There’s a 4-mile old pilings that go out from Berkeley Harbor. 4 miles! I guess it used to be a railroad that went out to join up with a Ferry Landing, the one (101) that headed out from Hyde St. Pier. In total ruin now, but that seems like a very efficient way of getting across the bay. Too bad it’s down.