Our hosts Esther and Adan live in Oakland, which is sort of the Brooklyn of SF. They have two children named Joachim and Jasper. Me and Joa hit it off pretty well from the get go.
We sailed over the bay to the city on a ferry, along with a couple of guys talking about Obama’s hypocrisy and blowing stuff up in general, seen in the background here.
It was a lovely crisp morning and we got a great view of the city as we chugged underneath the Bay Bridge (not the Golden Gate Bridge – that one’s red and a bit further down).
Straight off the boat was the fabled Embarcadero plaza, the site of my teenage dreams. I could not believe it. Here I am sitting on the three stair, vibing out all the out-of-towners.
Like examining ancient Egyptian ruins at the Met, the mind boggles as to the executors of these pock marks.
Just down the way, there lies the remains of Pier 7 manual pads, just as significant in their own way, in skateboarding’s slightly more recent history. Once again, I was in awe. Rosie was loving it, also.
Upon my insistence, we ventured to a non-skate-related landmark, this time the steps up Telegraph Hill, where they made the film about the parrots. Lots of steps.
The gardens are beautiful. We spotted some parrots too.
As is the view from the top.
The famed hills of SF are even steeper in the flesh.
After strolling through North Beach, drinking coffee from what seemed to be a famous place (you can always tell if they have lots of old photos on the wall) and sampling some salt water taffy, we jumped on an old cable car up the hill. These things are pretty touristy, highly enjoyable relics from the past, much like the old trams in Melbourne.
After some good old fashioned shopping, we shared a buffalo burger at Pearl’s, the Raph Burger of SF.
After a somewhat traumatic bus ride, we found ourselves at the top of the famed Haight-Ashbury area, and gathered our wits with a bit of a sit down in Golden Gate park.
Haight-Ashbury is sort of depressing, just lots of bong shops and people buying into being a so-called hippie. There were people playing music, though, which is a good thing.
Beautiful painted ladies.
We walked to a big park overlooking the city, which you may find familiar from the credits of the popular TV show Full House.
Saw a dog with two balls in his mouth. There’s a huge gay scene here.
Rosie just wouldn’t stop pointing out awesome skate spots.
We walked along a nice quiet street over to the Castro and then the Mission.
Then dropped in at 826 Valencia, the writing school/pirate supplies shop run by McSweeney’s. Rosie got mop heads dropped on her from a mop box in the rafters, then we threw them back up.
It’s a nice looking place.
The Mission was the most interesting area in a lot of ways, sort of the Smith St of SF.
We ate dinner at this Burrito place some guys in the Levi's store (which was pretty impressive) recommended to us.
This thing was incredible. It weighed more than the computer I’m typing this on.
To my amazement, it was right next to another iconic skate spot! Rosie kept going on about all the great photos she’d seen of my fave skaters on this thing.
The next morning was to be our last in America, and also September 11. We walked down to the farmer’s market. I pushed Joa in his royal carriage.
Caught up with Barack on the way down. He was campaigning up a storm, but still found time to pose for a quick snapshot with yours truly.
The markets were fun, particularly as there were free tastings of everything. Main observations: tomatoes are very sweet, as well as stone fruit. Raw milk is the new goji berry.
Flowers in your salad, just like that famous song.
Adan and Joa on the grassy knoll.
Awesome old theatre where the owner posts his lefty messages on the front instead of the names of the movies.
On our way back, there were some good hills.
And even better driveways.
For lunch, we drove to a taco truck for $1.25 tacos.
And Mexican Coca-cola.
Then even deeper into Oakland to a restaurant that specialises in Tostadas and delicious fruit drinks called Aguas Frescas.
Pretty good scene.
We ate some amazing food on this trip! I’m obsessed with Mexican food now.
Adan, Esther and Jasper, our gracious hosts. Thanks so much for having us! Actually, I believe Joa took this photo.
He definitely took this one. His primary fascination is with Lego, trucks, and general physical comedy.
Rosie, from Joa’s point of view.
Later, I managed to actually have a little skate, sampling yet another famed SF spot – the red painted curb.
Joa impressed me with his adept fire hydrant jumping skills.
Inspired, I also jumped over the hydrant (not the little bucket) without too much trouble. Rosie shot the photo a little late.
A still from another round of that classic game, ‘pretend you’re asleep then Joa jumps off the couch to wake you up’.
A still from another classic, ‘pretend you’re tidying up the room and pile everything on Joa’
The inevitable punchline!
Our last supper. We loved it here, if only we had a few more days!
The flight home was textbook. My last food photo for a while?
Ah good, it’s time to wake up.