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San Francisco - Happy Sweet 16, dining, shopping, Alcatraz and more!

San Francisco - Happy Sweet 16, dining, shopping, Alcatraz and more!

Aug 31st, 2009, 02:38 PM
  #21  
 
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Sounds like you had a fantastic time in one of my favorite cities! Thanks so much for posting a report.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #22  
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Okay back again - had to go out and deal with real life. Blah.



We headed out for A16 - the first cab driver had NO idea where we were talking about - even with the doorman giving him the address - so that was sort of funny - we arrived in the second cab about 5:40 - so early and they sat us.

I had heard about the noise level but it was not bad because we were there so early I think? We sat all the way in the back - right but still inside (there is a small indoor courtyard area in the back of the restaurant.

I had the Mozzarella burrata with olive oil, sea salt and crostini - which was AMAZING. Highly recommend it if you like mozzarella, for dinner I had ocal rock cod, Penn Cove mussels and bay scallops in acqua pazza with basil - which was honestly just good - not bad in anyway but not 100% amazing. My stepdaughter had a salad which she liked and the Ricotta gnocchi in brodo with cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil which was excellent. The deserts were also very good - Bitter almond semifreddo with cornflour cake, peaches, and lemon and gelato. Excellent. Service was very good - in face other than the grumpy desk clerk at the St. Francis the service at all places we were was excellent.

We got a cab back after dinner and it had FINALLY cooled off - YES We walked around Union Square and up to China town - as I wanted her to see china town -

After she was pretty tired and so was I! We headed back to the room and curled up in our beds and watched a movie on pay per view. A fine end to a busy great day.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 03:04 PM
  #23  
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Sunday morning hit early - ohhhh yeah! We looked out the window and were delighted to see FOG - we cleaned up and headed out to have breakfast at Sears - the line was long but it moved quickly and I always love chatting it up with other folks.

Pretty sure my children think I am one of the friendliest people or just crazy :-?

Breakfast was good - they are "famous" for their pancakes which were okay - but I had the french toast and it was excellent. Again, great service.

It was almost 10:45 am by the time we were done and it was time to head out already... originally we were going to stay until late on Sunday but my stepdaughter had to be at dance at 8:00 am this morning so we made it an earlier flight.

We headed back on the BART no real issues - and just made our flight - and we were home by 2:00 pm or so.

Fun was had by all!
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #24  
yk
 
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Your mention of Burrata makes me salivate. I wish I have easy access to burrata here, but I don't. A few weeks ago, we had burrata at a neighborhood restaurant. It was simply drizzled with honey and sprinkled with roasted pistachio nuts. So simple yet so tasty! I tried reciprocating the dish at home using fresh mozzarella, but the consistency of the cheese is different.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:09 PM
  #25  
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One thing I am curious about and wanted some feedback on is the homeless situation in downtown SF.

I have traveled to some great cities in the world - hardly as many as most here - but Rome, Florence, Paris, Chicago, New York, DC, San Diego - and have never seen as many homeless nor as aggressive of homeless population.

I shared I felt unsafe walking home from the theater but that in general did not appear to be a homeless situation. In Union Square there were so many... as we walked to China Town on Sat evening - still in the day light - a homeless man whipped out his private parts and urinated right in the middle of the side walk.

I researched it a little since being home and it appears that SF has the largest homeless population if the numbers I am seeing are correct.

One article touched on the impact on tourism and I will confess it was a little overwhelming and the first time in my 5 or 6 visits the the fine city (I do LOVE SF) that I have been so aware of it.

Thoughts?
MomDDTravel is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 03:13 PM
  #26  
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yk on Aug 31, 09 at 07:05 PM

Your mention of Burrata makes me salivate. I wish I have easy access to burrata here, but I don't. A few weeks ago, we had burrata at a neighborhood restaurant. It was simply drizzled with honey and sprinkled with roasted pistachio nuts. So simple yet so tasty! I tried reciprocating the dish at home using fresh mozzarella, but the consistency of the cheese is different.
*****
How funny... I was going to try to recreate it as well!
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:19 PM
  #27  
yk
 
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Should have been "replicate", not "reciprocate". Argh! My brain is not working well right now, probably due to a burrata-deficiency.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #28  
 
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MomDD, the city mayor Newsom announced the city is "the safe heaven" for all homeless, in addition we have all kinds of programs for them, add to this rather mild climate without snow - you got a recipe for disaster.

Besides, how can you teach the tourists not to enable panhandling? I remember just a few years ago we had banners all over city "jesus would give cash, and so should you." This is wrong, even a $5 check to a charity is better then any cash to homeless.

We have a problem. We just don't have anybody to deal with it.
Dayenu is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 03:41 PM
  #29  
 
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I've loved reading your report! My dh and I are headed to SF in a week and a half. Interesting about the homeless people... we took our 10 yr old daughter to Chicago last week and were shocked at all the homeless people! Will be interesting to see how it compares to SF. Thanks for the "heads-up." My dh quickly grew tired of handing out money in chicago. Now we'll be prepared to handle it in SF.
4sharie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 03:43 PM
  #30  
 
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What do you say to someone who asks for money? We're not used to this!
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Aug 31st, 2009, 03:54 PM
  #31  
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Dayenu - interesting comment about Christ. I actually normally do give money to homeless people - following the "what you did for the least of these you did for me" thought process. Having said that I did not in SF - it was so overwhelming. When we shared with dh he blamed it on Newsom. He is not a fan. I assumed the weather, like San Diego, which has it's share - no doubt. I agree with you that the 5.00 check to charity is better then cash to homeless. What was interesting was in many cases their cheerful spirit. Yes, you do have a problem, and I have no idea what the answer is but was just curious as to the locals feelings. What I read seemed to be a mixed bag...

4Sharie - I learned quickly to ignore - and not make eye contact and move quickly and with intention. Chicago paled in comparison, honestly any other city I have been to paled. I seriously would just ignore - it does increase the problem not assist it.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:21 PM
  #32  
 
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I give money to the homeless when I'm in SF....NOT everyone for sure..LOL I'd be broke, but I do give to some of them. I can't help myself. I can't look past them like they are invisible. I know, I've heard it all but I don't care, if I feel like it, I'm giving.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:26 PM
  #33  
 
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Re the homeless - I am so torn on this. BUT, our minister who is charge of the ministry for our church and in the network for the city STRONGLY DISCOURAGES giving money. Strongly. We are known as a place to come for what you need (and the homeless do) and we are part of an organized schedule that provides meals every day for every one who wants them.

I know that in SF Glide Memorial provides 3 meals a day to the homeless - every day of the year -
http://glide.org/Meals.aspx

So, going on what I'm instructed to do "at home" and knowing that similar resources are available in SF, I don't give money.

My church is near the Fox theatre and there's usually someone asking for money as people leave the shows. When I'm asked, I shake my head and say "I can't. Rev. XXX won't let me". They immediately (very politely) back off, and I've had some immediately leave the corner and stop asking. They don't want to get in trouble either.

I park at the church lot and walk several blocks. One friend was stuck in traffic so I hid the ticket and went on to the show - alone. A man greeted me as I left the parking lot. Hours later, the same man was standing at our corner watching for me. I'm quite sure he was watching out for me for safety reasons. We greeted him as we approached and he asked how the show was. I was happy that he was looking out for me.

I don't know how strong the network of support is in other cities, but I know that in mine and SF the homeless are looked after and have access to good meals if they want them. I don't like to give money that will spent on their addictions.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:27 PM
  #34  
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crefloors - trust me I know... it is hard but seriously how do you pick? Which one is "needy" and which one isn't? It was an interesting experience as I am generally the person to open my wallet and hand it out. There was something different this time - not sure what... perhaps the peeing in the street in front of me :-?
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:29 PM
  #35  
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I don't like to give money that will spent on their addictions.
****
One had a sign that said "help me to drink" nothing like being honest?
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:29 PM
  #36  
 
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Some people won't use the homeless services for one reason or another, often because of fear and/or mental illness. I'm not throwing dollars out everywhere as I walk along my way, but under some circumstances, I'll give 'em some money. I'm too damn ornery and old to change now.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 04:31 PM
  #37  
 
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When they pee in the street in front of me is when I'd say no Dawn. LOL However, that IS one of the problems of living on the street...where do ya' go? Thank gawd I never had seen that in Paris!!!!!!! LOL
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Aug 31st, 2009, 05:06 PM
  #38  
 
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In Chicago a guy came up to us with his 10 year old son and said they were homeless and bouncing around from shelter to shelter and he asked for money. What do you do when you're standing there with your own 10 year old daughter who is holding a BIG bag of $250 worth of American Girl stuff?? But there were other times we just ignored and walked on, or said we had already given out so much money we couldn't anymore.
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Aug 31st, 2009, 05:14 PM
  #39  
 
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Wonderful trip report!

Usually, as the economy gets worse, the numbers rise, but I haven't noticed more homeless here in NYC - not yet anyway. I don't give money to panhandlers. I give to charities and one that I especially like is the Doe Fund. They hire homeless men and counsel them and give them jobs cleaning the streets. After awhile, they are ready to go 'on their own' and get better jobs. I always say hello to these guys. They're getting their dignity back and re-entering society. It's a good thing!
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Aug 31st, 2009, 05:29 PM
  #40  
 
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Oh, yes! The burrata at A16 is amazing! I don't think you can duplicate in most home kitchens.

When I was in NYC this past December, we went into one of the many wonderful cheese shops on Arthur Ave and ordered a burrata. They made it fresh for us! It was simply, to die for!

For those poor souls who have never had the pleasure --

http://www.foodhoe.com/?p=4358

Deb
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