Scrapbook: San Francisco Treat

With my oldest son now living in the city, I really did leave my heart in San Francisco (and the Bay area in general). Come with me as I bop around for a few days of exploring and popping in on friends before attending a conference.


Shades of gray in the City by the Bay. This is the iconic Ferry Building.


Shades of gray in the City by the Bay, No. 2. This is the Bay Bridge, linking San Francisco to Oakland.


This kind of architecture seems to be unique to the region. Most label it Marina style, though there are sub-categories. We're on Monterey Boulevard, in my son's neighborhood of Sunnyside/Glen Park. 


The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S., originally built for the World’s Fair of 1894. Pagodas, stone lanterns, koi ponds, a tea house, and artfully arranged plants and trees—all designed to induce serenity. A sad chapter occurred when the family of gardeners and caretakers were placed in internment camps in 1942. Even after the war ended, they were not allowed to return.


Green and calm at the Japanese Tea Garden, in Golden Gate Park.


Nudes and dudes: My son and one of his apartment mates at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.


Luminosity: The Hudson River School gallery at the de Young museum.


Mirror, mirror, on the wall.... of the de Young museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.


Haight-Ashbury clichés captured in a store window. Last year was the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 


Clear days bring out the populace, and their dogs, to Alamo Square Park. The Transamerica Building, the Salesforce Tower (now the city’s tallest building), and the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge are all visible from this hilltop position. 


The famous Painted Ladies, a row of late 19th-century Victorian rowhouses across from Alamo Square. By definition, painted ladies are Victorian or Edwardian homes painted in three or more colors to enhance their architectural details. 


I’ve spent the last couple of days with my son and his friends. I don’t understand half of what they’re saying (they’re Stanford-educated, double-degree electrical engineers and they’ve known each other long enough they have their own jargon), but they nevertheless make me feel young and optimistic about the future. 


The wildflowers are a riot of yellow and pink on a hike above Half Moon Bay, off Highway 1 south of San Francisco.


One can only gape and stare at the sheer, gobsmacking beauty of the Pacific coast. Devil’s Slide, Pacifica, California.



A girl poses for a picture for her father (out of view) at Devil’s Slide, a picturesque promontory on the San Mateo County coast between Pacifica and Montara. Northern California.


I counted at least four coffeehouses in the heart of Glen Park, a charming neighborhood in the south of San Francisco. This one, Higher Grounds, oozes character.



A quick jaunt to Berkeley. This lightly battered silken tofu confection makes a great starter to a sushi lunch. Add dear friends, perfection.


Behind the scenes at the legendary Chez Panisse, which birthed California cuisine— characterized by the use of fresh and local ingredients. Alice Waters opened the restaurant in 1971. She wrote, “Chez Panisse began with our doing the very best we could do with French recipes and California ingredients, and has evolved into what I like to think of as a celebration of the very finest of our regional food products.” (I wish I could say I ate here, but all I did was take a picture. Next time, right, Nadia?) Berkeley, California.


Ivory tower: UC Berkeley’s landmark campanile contains not just a carillon but, somewhat weirdly, 20 tons of fossils from ancient tar pits of California—stored in cabinets on five floors and used for research and teaching.


Come with me to my room at the Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill and let me show you the view. (That’s the 1933 Coit Tower in the distance.) I’m here for Canada Media Marketplace; looking forward to seeing friends and talking about our great neighbor to the north.



Quick stop at the San Francisco Art Institute to see a Diego Rivera mural before I leave. It’s a trompe l’oeil and a mural of the making of a mural, so that scaffolding isn’t real. Very cool.



A San Francisco treat.


See you, SF! Wonderful to see friends old and new, talk Canada, hang out with my son Ned, connect with mentors, drive a stick shift in the hills and rain, eat sushi and tacos, hit Berkeley and Sonoma and San Mateo, and even bump into a couple of Canadian celebs—all in less than a week. There are so many other friends I missed seeing. Hope to catch y’all next time! #CMM2018


Photos © Norie Quintos.