San Francisco

My trips to San Francisco are often business trips. The ultimate destination is Mountain View, and San Fran is a stop over.

But what a stop over it is. San Francisco is a great city and I love it because it’s outlandish. It has its style, and it knows that. Moving beyond its intriguing, artsy interior I also remember it as cold, windy city.

There is so much to do in San Fran that it’s likely you need about a week to stay in it.

Over the two trips I had, I would recommend the following:

  1. Staying at the Union Square and exploring its neighbouring areas
  2. Visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  3. Drinking a Bourbon near the Pier
  4. A ride across the Golden Gate Bridge
  5. A walk across Chinatown and Little Italy alleyways
  6. Walk across Fisherman’s Wharf

Union Square and neighbouring areas:

Union Square undoubtedly is the charm of San Francisco. Its lively, potentially a little unsafe, but overall so bouncy that you will love it.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel: A stay in a hotel on the Union Square, will really help you feel the vibe. I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (at the heart of Union Square) and the door butler is what added to the charm. A nice morning brunch at one of the restaurants is simply amazing!

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Interior of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel
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The Butler of  the Drake hotel escorting guests
A cable car ride across the Union is even better.

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Tenderloin: Surroundings of the Union Square where drug crimes are still prevalent

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SF War memorial and performing arts center – one of the largest in the US. Also the UN Charter was signed here in 1945
Eating Out: If you’re looking to try out seafood in the city, my recommendation is the Swan Oyster Depot. It is a no-frills restaurant, non-touristy restaurant, definitely worth the wait. Running since 1912, a few recommends are the oysters, the clam chowder, and the salmon. The catch is fresh, and the accompanying sauces, can be a little too spicy!

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Bourbon near the Pier

The Hard Water Bar in Pier 3, San Francisco is a great recommend for whiskey lovers, and for a cozy night by the San Franciscan Pier. The bar is iconic for its collection of American bourbons and ryes. What marks the difference from other bars, is the bartender ofcourse. What starts off with a conversation, as what what kind of a taste you like ends with that glass of whiskey, you never knew you liked. In my case it was a (1) 1792 Port Finnish – which brings a perfect blend of first –  raisins, second – a little smoke, and then the grand finale of a pie 🙂 and the slightly more expensive (2) A Midwinter Nights Dram – which if you dig around, will find slightly hard to obtain in the market. Its taste: Try blending a red wine with a good whiskey, with a neat finish – the answer is the Midwinter Nights Dram.

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The bartender at Hard Water – serving me the Midwinter Night Dram
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Golden Gate Bridge:

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Chinatown and Little Italy Alleys

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Chinatown – which to me seemed bigger than Singapore’s
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Italian alleys of San Fran

Fisherman’s Wharf

To a photographer, the Fisherman’s wharf is a paradise. The food aroma hanging in the air, the colours, the contrasting sights and the inviting shop signage is what really makes a stroll past the wharf so rich. I went to the wharf on a windy Sunday morning. Some images which help me tell the story of the wharf are below:

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The quieter side of the wharf..

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View of the Alcatraz prison from the wharf
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Welcome to the Fisherman’s wharf of San Fran
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What a quiet walk in the wharf on a lazy Sunday morning looks like..
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Just loved the signage
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of this one as well
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… and the history

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and lastly, the crossroads 

 

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