Saturday, October 22, 2005

Japanese Tea Garden Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

One of the older entrances to the garden:

They've closed a lot of these doors to make only a single entrance to ensure everyone pays.
This gate is pretty heavy to open

Inside, the trees and vegetation is amazing

If only I could have a backyard as beautiful. Even if I did have one, considering my family's view of gardening, I anticipate it all being dead within a year.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Palace of Fine Arts

A location that my sister insisted we go and luckily my mom's friends drove us there.
It was so amazing how large scale the architecture was.

Now here I am posing in front of a building

Apart from these buildings there isn't anything else to see. That was the disappointing part and I'm glad we didn't bus it here - there's nothing else to see in the area.

Japantown San Francisco

We woke up early in the morning and walked along Ellis St. through Tenderlion to get to Japantown. There were a lot of suspicious people around. In this area you don't really worry about your wallet anymore. There's more important things than that. We decided it was worth the extra couple blocks and walked up to Geary St. instead and that didn't look as bad.

Here's a bridge across to one of Japantown's malls

The mall was pretty empty because it didn't open till 11am and it was 10am.
It wasn't as nice as Pacific Mall but there was a huge Japanese bookstore.

There isn't that many pictures of Japantown because there really isn't much to see. This is the best overview of Japantown we have:

A picture of random art in the mall:

And finally something we passed by but didn't go in, St. Mary's Cathedral. I hear that when the Pope visited he stayed here.

These things remind me where my donation money goes. With my donations I think I've helped them put in one door knob.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


An island prison that's been filmed in a number of movies like "The Rock" - and we haven't once visited after numerous trips to San Francisco.
So we took a day out of our trip to visit Fisherman's Wharf. We took the MUNI F-line street cars on Market St. because they were a lot cheaper at $2 per trip. The cable cars were $5 each way and the line up was long. F-line had historical street cars in use. We rode in a Milan one there and a Phily one back.
There was only one exclusive ferry service that went to Alcatraz so we took that. So much for competition. But I guess the government gets a cut to maintain Alcatraz.
When we got close, so many people took our their cameras - so did we.

Inside it looked like any old prison. I wonder if the Don Jail looks like this:

There were two cells that they set up to look like how the 2 escapees made their cell look like they were still sleeping while they escaped.

Sure you can tell it's not a real person, but when you're a guard working x number of hours it would pass for a couple of walkbys.
Certain parts of the jail were not used since the army years and thus never renovated:

Finally, they had, what they claimed to be, the most accurate scale model of Alcatraz and the island:

One of my friends tells me that they use to walk the tour group through the exact sewer tunnels the escapees travelled but we didn't get that chance. We also didn't get to visit the shower room where the SEAL team in "The Rock" was ambushed.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lombard Street

They claim Lombard St. is the most "Crookedest" Street. But is neither the crookedest street in San Francisco nor the steepest, but it is the famous. It does give you a great view of the San Francisco waterfront.

Some people didn't have cars so they took a taxi down

Luckily for us, my mom's friend drove us down the street. It's pretty weird seeing houses on both sides of the street. I know I wouldn't want to live there. It's too busy and you can only go down the street.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Walking the Streets of downtown San Francisco

We took a couple days to walk around downtown San Francisco. Our hotel, Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, was close to the intersection of Market St. and 5th St. so everything was close by from the San Francisco Shopping Center to Union Square.
Here's a picture of what I saw:

Most of the buildings were that old style look as you can see on the left. Most cars were fairly old like the one you see infront. Without snow and salt, cars last a long time.
There were so many expense brand name stores on the streets. Here's a brand many of my friends will recognize:

Paul Frank used to be so popular a few years ago. I think their money and crab are cute. Simple and good looking.
We walked a bit further up past Union Square and into China Town

It's a bit like Toronto's China town but a lot cleaner, less grocery stores, more geared to tourist with jewellery, and longer but only 1 street. There was a lot of fake gold and jade for sale. I prefer toronto pacific mall with its gadgets and stuffed toys.