Originally Published April 24th, 2019
It’s been several months since our trip to California & visiting the lovely city of San Francisco. Since then we’ve been on an epic road trip across the southwest which I’ll write about in time. I haven’t been happy with the way I’ve gone about writing these past couple of posts. For future travel blogs I’d like to focus more on a narrative, rather than just stating what we did and showing the photos. The main reason I do these slideshow type blogs is to showcase my photos for family and friends. It’s fun looking back on our trip and experiencing everything in photos & video form—but I’m going to work on being a better story teller from now on.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the simple video I put together at the end of this post.
Home Of The Homeless
San Francisco is known for the homeless population. I just saw a blog where someone mapped all the places where human poop was reported on the streets of San Francisco since 2011—punch line: the whole city was brown.
Looking back at our trip we did see a lot of homeless folks. Our hotel wasn’t far from the Tenderloin District—which is where a lot of homeless people live. The receptionist at the hotel advised us to stay away from Tenderloin, marking the area with an X on a map while snarling. She made a wincing face as if she had just smelled a fart.
In spite of her warnings, we bravely traversed the shady areas of town without really being bothered. We saw tents, a few individuals who were clearly mentally unstable, beggars, and cart pushers. Nobody really hassled us like they do in Chicago.
And no—we didn’t see any human street feces.
The Spontaneity Of The Streets
When people ask us what we did on our trips we usually say, “just walked around and explored the city”.
I’ll admit—we do have a strange way of traveling. We’ll have a few solid places that we’d like to see, but for the most part we just wonder the streets and see what we can find. Is there a more productive way of traveling? Creating vast lists of TDL’s and trying to squeeze in as much as possible? Hey maybe that’s how you like to travel and that’s completely fine. I love the spontaneity of simply wondering around and seeing the world from a new vantage point.
For example, when I walked out of our hotel on the 3rd day in San Fran, I had no idea I would take this photo:
“Photo of pigeons flying away while Ashley walks by” was not on my photo list. But that’s what I love about street photography—it’s unpredictable, unposed, & unplanned. If you have your eyes on and you’re paying attention to the world around you—that alone is an awesome travel experience & one that I was able to find over and over again on the San Francisco streets.
Go To California For The
The fact that it rained most of the time didn’t keep me from shooting, in fact I think it made for some interesting images. I will say that for future adventures, we will bring a studier umbrella.
The SF Cable Cars
If you find yourself in SF—spend a day riding around on the cable cars. It’s a cheap & unique way to experience the city. Yes it’s loud, crowded, and slow—but we had a lot of fun.
Lombard street is a definite tourist destination for SF travelers. You can see in the video how many people were around—doing fancy dances and recording themselves for various vlogs and who knows what. Its a curvy brick street with beautiful views and was a stop on our cable car route.
One place we planned to visit on our last day was Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39. Another tourist traveled area but we stumbled upon some hot fresh fish and saw the famous sea lions of pier 39.
Coffee, Carbs, Coffee, Repeat
Whenever we travel there’s a steady flow of espresso, carbs, espresso, carbs etc. We visited the same coffee place twice in two days—the same coffee place that shooed me away for taking photos. We met an older couple there, locals, that tipped us off to a nearby Pizza joint. The best pizza ever! Garlic Clam—the rest is history. Oh yeah, we may have had a pastry or two.
Mission District Pie
On our first day in SF, another couple recommended that we try the Mission District Pie, so late on our last day we took an Uber and tried a slice. Side note: The Uber ride was insane—Carlos could really drive! Ashley had a slice of Pear Blueberry and I settled for a Chocolate Cream. This was after having a burrito at a packed eatery just a few minutes away.
The one regret I have about SF was that we didn’t spend more time in the Mission District. I bet it would have been just as interesting as China town during the day. Unfortunately it was dark by the time we got there—and raining heavily. Our umbrella had found a home in our hotel trash can.
San Francisco was great and I’m sure we’ll make our way back there again. There’s always so much to see in a big city and no matter how long you’re there, you can never fit everything in. I felt like we had a successful trip, both in experience and photos. It was my first time testing out the Fuji X100F—amazing. Also it was my first time making videos while traveling. I used my new Canon M50 with the kit lens. If you ever get the opportunity to visit California—I would definitely recommend checking out SF. Duh.
Check out the video: