Today was the first day of the reason we are here. Pauline got up early to get in line to attend Steve Jobs’ (lord of apple) keynote address, and because she had a combo package she had priority seating in about the 10th row. But she was ushered so quickly down the line that she didn’t get to have breakfast or lunch until 2.00pm.
I had entry to the exhibit hall but that didn’t open until 11.00am so I had a few hours to kill. I headed for the Civic Centre to take a few shots of City Hall after I had my breakfast. Outside the hall there were a lot of homeless people who appeared to be waiting for the library to open, some people doing tai chi or something on the lawns outside the building and a couple of guys throwing a football around on a side street. The civic centre is very close to the tenderloin which is one of the dodgiest neighbourhoods in San Francisco. I took my pics and then headed off, not too much is open at 8.50. In fact nothing much opens until 10.00.
Headed back to fifth st where I caught the Powell-Hyde cable car to fisherman’s wharf again. This is the most scenic cable car and passes by the cable car museum, lombard st (really crooked st) and gives great views of the bay and downtown. It was very hilly and kind of felt like a very tame rollercoaster ride. I bet the grips work their way up to this cablecar line. Right near the end some dweeb double parked his mustang right in our way so we had to sit around waiting for a few minutes until he came out. I’m not sure if they are booked for that but I got a picture of it anyway. 🙂 I also finally got to see some of the cable running in the street as it is normally hidden in a slot. They apparently replace the cable quite often.
Off the cablecar I wandered over to the Maritime Museum because I had heard it was free but when I got there at 9.40 it still wasn’t open. One of the park rangers offered me a brochure though which was nice of him, so I read that sipping on another hot chocolate from Ghiradellis nearby. By the time I had finished it I thought I’d better head back to the Moscone Centre and the exhibit hall so I hopped back on the cable car line.
The exhibit hall was full of geeks and mac evangelists wearing their “windblows” t-shirts and we all stopped to watch them unveil the big poster of the product announced in the keynote address. This turned out to be the mini ipod – an mp3 player about the size of a credit card holding 4 gb of music. Later when I went outside I noticed that everywhere I looked on every public toilet there was the advert for the mini ipod. Apple must have spent a lot of money promoting it. Once inside the exhibit hall I checked out the mini for myself, cool but not 40 gb. It was the usual type of thing, big tutorials from adobe, microsoft and of course apple, plus software, hardware and accessory companies trying to flog their wares. Saw a good price for an ipod, so hopefully Pauline will buy one tomorrow (if there are any left). I was most impressed by what they had done with some apple display monitors. The big massive movie size ones they had put on their sides and then joined together to get one big display. I also saw another screen that appeared to fold out from one into 3 for tonnes of screen space. I might take pictures tomorrow.
Explored for an hour then headed off to Haight St to become a hippy. The bus trip took a while but I went right to the end of the street (ending up near golden gate park) across the road from Amoeba Records. This was the original record store that ended up opening the branch we visited in Los Angeles. I think the LA one is set up better as a shop (probably learnt from it’s mistakes) but you can’t beat Amoeba SF for history. I mean this is the area where you had Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jeffersen Airplane, Grateful Dead and Crosby Stills and Nash plying their trade and playing free concerts in the panhandle. I wonder how many famous musicians have walked through the door of that place. I didn’t go mental in there like I did in the other store, in fact I walked out empty. Walking up the street was great because there were tonnes of interesting shops. I think they would suit Katie enormously, I’m sure she would never seen as many punk clothing items as here. Leif would enjoy it too, there were some cool recycled clothing stores although I don’t think there were any great bargains.
Stopped to eat on the corner of Haight and Ashbury so I people watched a while. I saw the requisite tourists, hippies, alternatives, street cleaners and one dude who looked like a seventies porn star but was probably only about 22. There was an excellent poster store but I didn’t get anything there either and I enjoyed taking a picture of the lady with her legs out the window. Got some thai for lunch then got back on the bus to the hotel to eat it. The interesting there about the streetcars and buses is that the back exit door isn’t controlled by the bus driver once the bus is stopped. You either step down or push the bar and the door opens. I think that is HELL COOL! (easily impressed).
After my late lunch I wandered the immediate area around our hotel which happens to be Union Square. This is where you find all the expensive stores like Macy’s, Saks fifth avenue, Tiffany’s and Nieman Marcus. They were supposedly having sales, but I guess it’s all about perspective because when I looked at a shirt it’s price was $1000 reduced to $700. No decimals missing. 🙂 Needless to say I didn’t buy anything but I looked at all the brand name designers such as Chanel, Anne Klein, Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren. I really liked a luggage bag from Victrinox (swiss army knife company). It could be a backpack, an over the shoulder or handle but it was a bit too much out of my price range.
Headed back to the hotel to wait for Pauline who came back complaining. She already knew everything they taught in the tutorial, they let them out late for lunch so they missed out on it, and they almost didn’t give her the lunch vouchers for the rest of the week. When she came back from lunch someone was sitting in her seat so she had to sit on the floor and since half the people were falling asleep she left about 20 mins early. It didn’t help her that she finally got the cold/flu she was dreading.
We tossed up going to see a movie but in the end we just had an early night and passed out asleep around 8.30pm.