Day 18 – ipod, iwalked, iate

Woke up to the sound of the guy in the room next door ringing the airport to confirm whether or not his flight was 8 hours long because that was what was written on his ticket. Yes, that is how thick the walls are in this hotel – hearing the people have sex the other day wasn’t a fluke. It made a change from “oh baby, harder baby” anyway. 🙂

We had breakfast and then headed down to the exhibit hall to see what Pauline hasn’t yet seen and the bits that I missed yesterday. There was a cool mac gaming section and they look great on the thin screens. I was given a free online game cd and also a sticker that said “MP3s are not a crime”. I was particularly impressed by the record player that lets you scratch records without a record because it connects to a pc with digital music. It even scratches the music video if it is playing at the same time. Way cool.

We then embarked on the true reason we were in the exhibit hall – the purchase of an ipod. The macmall had sold out of the 10gb and the 40gb because they were so cheap, but managed to pick up one for only $469 plus tax USD in a stand nearby. Spent some time then looking at accessories but didn’t make any more purchases. Said goodby to Pauline as she headed in to her tutorial and I went back to the hotel to charge the ipod and rip some cds to put on it. Left that to it’s own devices and I headed off to chinatown.

Apparently chinatown was designed by architects to look the way that caucasians would expect chinatown to look like. So of course it has the gate and the ornate street lights. Most of the street I went down was for tourists so it was full of t-shirt and souvenir shops but oddly they were more expensive than fisherman’s wharf. It wasn’t until the end of the street that I started seeing live chickens and stinky dried fish. The street one block down was the one used for trade to the chinese, but I wanted to see the tourist one.

At the end of the street around Broadway it turns in to little italy and north beach. I could tell instantly by the smell and the amount of pizza/pasta restaurants. The first one that peaked my interest was “The Stinking Rose” – a restaurant specializing in garlic, so I marked that down in my head for later. I wandered down the street looking for the Kerouac book store “a different light” (the first book store to sell paperbacks in america) but didn’t come across it. I noticed the sign for Coit Tower so I started heading in that direction after taking a picture of the church where Marilyn and Joe De Maggio posed out the front after getting married even though they didn’t do it there.

Got a great cardiovascular work out walking up the 5 million stairs to the tower and sculled a bottle of water once I reached the top. Purchased a ticket to go up and was glad to see it was an elevator. The view from the top was great even though it was a cloudy rainy day. I took some good pictures of Lambard St, Pier 39, the transamerica pyramid and the rest of the city. They say the tower is designed in the shape of a fire hose because the lady who donated the money and land was a big fan of the volunteer fire department. I don’t think it was that much of a stretch to see that.

Walking a different way down telegraph hill I came across a lovely garden between houses that surrounded the stairs. It was so serene and perfect with amazing views and there was a lady pruning a tree so I remarked to her that “if you live here, you are sooooo lucky”. She laughed and I kept walking. I was surprised that in the middle of all these gardens was a fire hydrant but I suppose it is really important to have one in the middle of all these houses without any real street access. There seems to be a lot of work for fire engines, they are always coming and going. They’ve breezed past at the bus station and can hear them daily from the hotel room.

At the bottom of the stairs was Levi’s Plaza and it had a display about the history of Levis. Very self congratulating but still cool to see how they evolved. Took my favourite line the f line streetcars to the Ferry building to check out the markets inside. Reminded me a lot of the James St Market in Brisbane, but they had a brilliant cheese shop and a shop just for olive oil. mmmm yummy smells. Crossed the road to the Embarcadero Centre to smell the chilli shop and look at movie times then walked back to the hotel.

Pauline returned from her course so we headed off to the stinking rose in North Beach. I had the Neon Ravioli while Pauline had the 40 clove chicken. We were given some bread to start with and smothered it with a green garlic pesto type paste that was very strong and lovely. Pauline claims it was the best meal she has had in america and although I can’t say that about mine, I really enjoyed the bread. We came out stinking though!!!

I really enjoyed my day today, there is just so much to see in San Francisco.

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