Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How We Got There

Editor's Note: I was inspired to finally get around to composing this last scheduled post from our San Francisco trip by this online article, which has Shown Clover's composite then-and-now photos of the damage caused by the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. They're pretty neat. After reading this post, go check them out!

Left: Dear Husband was excited to ride on the BART, since he remembered reading about how terrific the Bay Area Rapid Transit was in one of his elementary-school textbooks. BART is celebrating 40 years. When it endangers its unionized workers, however, it is not so great.

San Francisco is a public-transit dream or nightmare, depending on your tolerance for multiple tickets, lines, maps, time tables, etc. My dread began while I started researching our hotel and how to get around town when we weren't doing conference things. There's the light rail (BART), Muni buses and subways, cable cars, and the Market Street railway (streetcars). A Germanist accustomed to user-friendly public transit, all I wanted was a comprehensive map. None was to be had. The website claimed to show all the options, but it must have been designed in about 1996 and has terribly un-user-friendly maps. Google Maps has all the stops but none of the lines indicated!

The joy continued once we were on the ground. We bought cable car tickets with a friend (who was dragging a rolling suitcase) and literally ran around Hallidie Plaza trying to figure out which stop we were supposed to be waiting at. The ride to the waterfront itself was fun, if expensive.

We took the F-Market streetcar home in order to ride along the Embarcado. It was such a great idea that about 100 other people had the same one, and we squeezed in together before finishing our day's journey on the Muni subway the last few stops. I don't have any photos of the subway, just the streetcar:

Another day we wanted to a take the bus, somewhere but because we were trying to pick it up on place in its route where it turned a corner, and we couldn't figure out which direction we were facing, we ended up missing the bus. This is one reason why I have always preferred subways. (The other is the uncertainty in strange cities about where to disembark.) DH and I did manage to successfully take two buses to the car rental place, so that was a minor triumph.

Probably the most fun we had was by car. Besides hiking in Muir Woods, the other 'bucket-list" DH had was driving down Lombard Street, the steepest street in the US of A. He fulfilled that goal in our little rental car, while I took photographs.

Lombard Street
Somewhere in Presidio Heights or Pacific Heights
This concludes the scheduled posts about our trip. There is one more coming, around Christmas, since I discovered another local poet I want to feature. For you public transit fans, here are a few more pics:

cable car
bus, electric bus, bicycle
(Hats off to bikers in SF; that and a boat are about the only
modes of transportation we didn't use to get anywhere.)

1 comment:

  1. Thks Happy Christmas to you and Michael.


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