The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Around the World (Again) San Francisco 27 Oct

Sunday 27th October 2013

We had an early breakfast and set off to the farmers market at 10:00, the market is situated on UN Plaza, what is not generally recognised is that the UN founding charter was signed in San Francisco in 1945 and that the original 50 signatories signed it in the Veterans Memorial Hall at the rear of today’s City hall, an impressive building in the heart of the government district.

The market is a true farmers market with small farmers and producers from the surrounding areas selling their products, in the main vegetables, with smattering of other farm produce such as olive oil, eggs and herbs. There is also a fish stall but this seemed to be selling a lot of frozen or defrosted fish and shell fish.

The fruit and vegetables looked first class and they are not frightened to let you sample the goods, we only looked, though we did buy bread at the only bread stall.

We then crossed the road to have a good look at the City Hall (we shall be visiting to have good look inside of this wonderful building).

Richard then took us on a tour, first to Lombard street, Richard drove down but we got out at the top and walked down to where Richard was waiting for us. The reason why this road winds back and forth is that it was originally a droving track and because the hill is so steep in this area, the drovers trail needed to wind back and forth so the animals could get to the top.

After that we drove down to the waterfront and along to the Ferry Terminal Building at the foot of Market street, this is the main artery that dissects San Francisco, starting at Embarcadero, the palm lined waterfront boulevard and climbing straight as a die through the financial district until it meets Castro, it then winds its way up the steep hills sides.

Richard had some marking and prep for his classes so he headed off and we headed into the Ferry terminal building, this was one of the buildings not destroyed in the Earthquakes of either 1906 or 1989, I remember visiting it back in 1975 and it was then used mainly as a ferry terminal building, now it is a foodies paradise, there are some wonderful eateries, food suppliers, bars and restaurants. It was unfortunately lunch time and a Sunday so the place was chocker block, I had wanted to get some seafood (I did manage a couple of oysters) but the queue for the seats was just too long.

But we did find a smashing little stall called Boccalone (motto “Tasty salted pig parts”), which made their own salumi (American Salami), coppa, sausages, etc, etc, but they also had pulled pork, we decided on a pulled pork roll, well as you know everything is big in America. We didn’t need to eat again until the evening that was for sure.

We spent a good couple of hours just looking and sampling, I have found the Americans are great at allowing, nay forcing you to free sample, everywhere is “try a piece madam” or “Sir you want to sample some of our produce”. I am sure you don’t actually have to pay for lunch, just get the free samples, just a thought, we would never dream of such a thing.

After that we got a street car (tram) not the cable car pictured above, back up town (wrong street car, wrong stop, but never mind the walk done us good) and got home and had a nap (well after all that food and all that walking we needed it).

We had arranged to go out with Richard for a Mexican meal that evening, now I am a great lover of Chilli, refried beans, guacamole, salsas,  etc etc, but I like my meal parts separate, I like to see what I am eating and taste the individual parts. Both Linda and I had ordered a prawn Burritos, now I am not running Mexican food down, but this was just too many flavours and too much in a wrap. The prawns were lovely and so was the salsa, but I could have done without the rest of the stuff, rice, lettuce, guacamole, tomato, etc etc. I do believe that is my last one this visit.

It was then back home along 20th street, this was the street that the fire that came after the great earthquake of 1906 was held (due to the water mains up here not fracturing), Richard pointed out the two differing house architectures on the either side of the street, one being pre-fire and the other being post-fire. All very interesting The pre-fire being what are called painted ladies, these are Victorian houses but have extremely intricate designs and are wonderfully painted in the “painted Lady” colours.

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