Golden Gate Park, street art and the Gay District! Oh, some Indo-mexican thrown in for good measure!

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Oh those San Francisco days! We were right in the middle of "America's waiting for Adele's new record" so literally every restaurant, bar and shop was playing her earlier songs in lead-up to her new album. We woke up around 730a that day (S and I in diff dorms) but we were so tired with the previous day that we napped it till 8a and then headed down to the 3rd floor for breakfast. By Joe that hall was crowded! I noticed that in this hostel, moreso than others, there's such a huge crowd (and perhaps early risers) that the breakfast hall is full.

Anyway, after much debating, we decided to buy a day pass on MUNI so we could get around town on bus. Question was where to go - being on our own, we had so many options.

In the spirit of 'check things off the list', the Painted Ladies. I was under the idea that Painted Ladies was just the strip of houses by Alamo Sq., but Wikipedia tells me that it's a loose term for a lot of houses in this area, apparently it's used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colours that embellish or enhance their architectural details.

So off we went to buy our pass and after checking where the Chile consulate is (which is bang in Market St.), we waited for the bus to towards Alamo Sq. For all the bad reviews MUNI receives with respect to punctuality, I have to say it didn't disappoint us. Our bus more or less came on time - and we were smack dub at Alamo Sq. roughly 30 minutes late. I have to say I enjoyed this part of SF - it's so quiet and was amazing seeing these Victorian and Edwardian houses.

I never thought of SF as having such regal houses as most of the time I've spent has been in the proper downtown area. After taking pictures at Painted Ladies in the wind, we headed back to the bus stop to continue on the same line towards Golden Gate State Park.

This park is huge. I've visited parts of it before (well, the Japanese gardens) so it was pretty cool walking through parts of it this time. The problem though was, I was ideally hoping I could spend longer just wandering around here, but S pointed out that we'd paid 17$ for the day MUNI pass so we might as well 'go around'. As a result, we didn't spend a lot of time here - we alighted at the fringe of the park and walked past the Conservatory (modelled along the styles of Kew Gardens) where it was incredibly sunny but cold.

It was nice to see so many people out and about, and joggers not being arsed about how freakishly cold it was. We walked till we hit the Science Museum and some fancy street art exhibition in the art hall across. That was where we'd walk back to the main street to catch the bus and back into town.

Dolores was another area I always wanted to explore having read about it in several books but never enough to get my mates to take me there (it is, at face value, just a more latin flavoured suburb). So we alighted by the Metro station and walked around the roads which are heavily Latin America influenced, complete with the markets, etc. I was particularly impressed with the street art - the murals, etc. And as we were hunting for one of my favourite Indian chain there ("Dosa"), we came across another restaurant that my cousins had told me tons about - Curry Up Now!, this eclectic Mexican inspired Indian fastfood restaurant famed for its inhouse atmosphere in San Francisco as well as food trucks in the South Bay (review coming up soon).

After amazing and a really relaxed lunch, we continued walking through Dolores (well, heaven knows we needed to burn the cals) which was just brilliant. Again, nothing special but as I said, I'd only driven through these roads headed somewhere else, so it was really cool to just wander around and take the beauty of the streets in. It's amazing, the spread of restaurants here. From there, we caught a bus to Castro - infamously known for being one of the earlier 'gay districts' in the world and even to this day is another breezy walk. I don't even so much think the variety and X Factor of this neighbourhood is the gayness, but it's just a very eclectic spread of shops, again. The road, a long straight hilly road is capped off at the end by the famous theatre sign.

It was past 4p - I was not so good in a mood as both Manning boys were losing to Chiefs and Patriots (Peyton was pulled out in the 3rd q, thanks to a foot injury).

It was also getting cold and dark - so after heading back to the hostel and putting on extra layers of clothes, we cashed in on our MUNI pass and caught the Cable Car all the way down to Fisherman's Wharf. It was pitch dark but no matter what time, day or night, we love coming here. We bought a piece of chocolate each at the Rocky Mountain type store there (can't remember the name), and walked around, saw the sealions , and well, headed back to the Italian district in the cold dark San Fran winter. We wanted to visit Tony's Pizza (which we did, the next day) but there was 1.5 hours wait time. We walked past other Italian restaurants but none seemed to have pizza (surprising, no?) and heaven knows we were done with pasta. So we took the bus back to the hostel and dined at a nearby Pakistani restaurant (again, because our favourite Little Delhi was full).

We really kept dinner light - not just because we were not hungry but honestly frustrated after hunting around town for the restaurants mentioned in tourist guides only to find out  they were closed, not close by or had an hour's wait time. We returned to the hostel shortly after 9p, a bit later than we had hoped. My new roommate (the 4th) had arrived - Swedish who had come to SF for an internship and found an apartment close to his work, near Alamo Sq. It was nice chatting with him, I gave him some sightseeing tips around the US and called it a night shortly after 11pm after talking to my best mate (who ironically lives in Mountain View, South Bay). Tomorrow was the visa day!

Cho says:
Thanks for the sightseeing tour of one of my favorite American cities. I was in SF twice and with the exception of Fisherman's Wharf, have never been to the places you described in this travelogue.
Posted on: Nov 28, 2015
Vikram says:
LOL! I love your sense of homo-r!
Posted on: Nov 25, 2015
vances says:
Was this blog entry left in the closet???

Posted on: Nov 25, 2015
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