Fleet Week and North Beach
San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 16 of 31 › view all entries
You know you're used to walking up hills when you accidentally stumble upon Coit Tower. I did so while trying to find a good place to see the Blue Angels during fleet week. See, I love love love planes. And while all my friends grumble about how loud and noisy they are, I trudge down to the waterfront in search of pretty planes and loopty loops. After walking along Embarcadero for a while, I decided that a better view would be had if I went up to high ground. A few blocks later, I realized I had accidentally stumbled across Coit Tower. The veiw from the hill was pretty cool, overlooking all the ships on the water and the Bay Bridge. The top area at the very base of the tower was way to crowded, though.
In previous years, I had just watched from my roof. The aerial acrobatics are far away and tiny, but they do come swooping by really low to regroup.
After watching the planes, I walked down the hill to North Beach and went to Molinari's Delicatessen, an Italian grocery store and deli. They have fresh pastas, cheeses and sauces, and a big array of sausages, and they sell sandwhiches and sides as well. I got a big box of fresh made prociutto tortellini for $7.
The other Fleet Week tradition my friends and I have is sailor hunting. Or, at least going up to sleazy, touristy Broadway (it's like North Beach + Strip Clubs!) and heckling the cute, corn-fed, fresh-faced boys that come into town. It's not as bad as it sounds. Most of the night is usually spent trying to figure out where they are, after which we sit in a dark bar, complaining about how expensive North Beach is, and how full of douches it is on a Friday night.
Broadway is like strip club row, and people will try to steer you into one of the clubs, even if you're in a group of girls and gays. On top of that, the area gets full of club-goers and people who own cars and roll into town with SUV's and things. I think we saw 3 limos in the space of an hour. The later it gets, the more bizarre it gets, because instead of being full of douches, the area becomes full of drunk douches. Some dude tried to fight JP last year. How is that possible? JP looks like a baby seal.
I mean, they tell you not to come into my hood at night, but that's exactly how I feel about North Beach. A nice place to get tortellini in the daytime, generally avoided at night. Unless they're sailor-gawking, of course.
While there, though, stop by the Beat Museum, a little store/museum devoted to Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti and friends. It's open in the evening. Sarah and I tried to take a picture under this mural posing like Kerouac and Cassidy, but it didn't quite work out very well.