Sunday, October 21, 2012

San Francisco Day Two

Day started off quite well.  I've been sleeping in a bit which has been nice.  I had placed two books on hold yesterday at the SF library and so I went over about 10:30 to pick them up.  The cool thing is you could scan them for free.  The bad part is I had to switch scanners half way through and it looks like someone came on the second scanner.  Check out the difference in the photos:
Although the book looks trashy, I don't think it is.  Apparently it's the story of a detective trying to solve an anti-gay crime in Toronto.  It's funny as the back of the book goes on about "the Bay Area" but on page one you see the word Toronto so it's no wonder no one seems to know what it's about.  I think the library has a copy as they thought it was about San Francisco and the CLGA may not have a copy as they thought it was American.
Anyway, you can't buy a copy now, they're too rare.  One library in the USA has this book, and this is the copy.

I was glad to be able to see this book and get a copy for future reading, will post here when I'm done.  
San Francisco though has a HUGE homeless problem.  Massive.  Homeless everywhere.  Most streets smell of piss. The guy at the front desk of my hotel put an X through a part of my map and said "Don't go there" and the library was in the centre of that.
While the library itself was quite nice and helpful, I was nearly jumped by a gang outside and had to run away and inside, don't use the bathroom.  I've been many places in my life and this was the worst bathroom I've ever seen.  There were people living in the stalls.  The few vacant stalls that no one lived in were a disaster, I've never seen anything worse.  So in a way I was glad to leave.  
On my way out I stopped at the 6th floor gallery where they had an exhibition on children's book artwork that was quite cool.  I liked this drawing from 1910 of a crooked man with his crooked cat:
 From there off to Chinatown.  The man at the hotel desk advised not to get on the trolley cars at the first stop, where there is usually over 100 people and a one hour wait.  This despite the fact that is costs $6 a ride!  So walk to the second stop and there's usually room for one or two people after everyone has settled in from stop one.  This has mostly served me well.  Here I am holding on:
Chinatown was okay, I like Toronto's better.
I ordered my BBQ pork and it came fancier than in Toronto but also with way more bones.  I'm not sure if this is some Chinese philosophy where everyone gets equal parts bad and good cuts to share, or if it's "give the white guy the crappy parts".
Also they gave me a fortune cookie when I left.  I was kind of offended. I come to eat their food and they give me something written in English?  But when I looked outside I saw locals taking pictures of the food through the windows while holding a pizza box so I guess that's what they have to deal with.
This is the top of Lombard Street which is the crookedest street in the world.
And this is me.  You can see Hoit Tower and the ocean in the distance so I know I'm somewhere nearby.  Even when I went down to the pier you can't really get close to the water that I could find.  I'm also trying to give a sense of the hills, they're crazy.  I have to walk down them sideways sometimes, I don't know how everyone doesn't just fall into a heap at the bottom.
I loved this house on the right with the tree.

Me trying to give a sense of the hills again, it doesn't really work in photos.  This hill goes straight up.  At the top you can kind of make out the Lombard St curving but there was smog or something.

 This is the fancy part of Chinatown which is right near my hotel.  I bought a lot of practical things like a lucky money cat and a huge fan.
 This is the outside of my hotel.
 You can see in the enlargement the "junk" is next door.

Someone's yawning.
 Trying to get the sense of hills again.  This one nearly cost me my life.  I'm going to be able to crack walnuts with my thighs by the time I leave.
 And finally, Wanda Sykes. A lot of political humour which I didn't like.  Americans are TOO focused on politics.  It did lead to a funny bit about why the trickle down economy doesn't work.
Nothing good ever "trickles".
If you're in the bathroom and see something running down the wall, you walk over and touch it, smell your fingers.
"What's that trickling down my wall?
Is that money?"
* sniffs fingers *
"No that's shit!"

I was crying laughing in some parts.  I love her black humour jokes, about Michelle Obama going to fuck somebody up.  This big guy in the front row, she was joking he was thinking he wished the woman beside him would move her arm.  "A brother could have a good time if he could move his arms."  I love it when she talks about the brothers.

No comments: