Day 35 (2016-09-30): San Francisco
Whizzing down Folsom St. with the bike commuters I keep a quick pace without all my bags and their added weight. It’s not that I try to go fast, it’s just my natural speed. Riding here is way better than Seattle – bike lanes abound and there are a ton of people on bikes. Plus, it looks like they’re mostly out of the “bike-lash” phase here. Most drivers, while sometimes having the stereotypical California aggressiveness (mostly a SoCal thing), have been exceptionally friendly and respectful. Honestly, this is the safest I’ve felt riding an urban area since Denmark and by far the safest I’ve felt on this trip.
Did I mention HOW AMAZINGLY GREAT it feels to shed the weight and just ride my bike? The pedals spinning, the wheels whirring, my legs in their most natural state. I love riding my bike! Sure, I complain sometimes about riding because I ride in any weather, all types of terrain, and for almost all my transportation needs. So yeah, sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But I absolutely love it. Transporting myself with my own energy, feeling completely free and unhindered, quick and strong as I want to be. Yesterday mom asked me about money and stuff and I told her the main factor determining how long I travel for is how long until I don’t want to bike anymore. “So, never?” she says. Ha!
After flying down Folsom St. I slowed to a easy pace and cruised along the Embarcadero as I made my way to Pier 33 and the Alcatraz Ferry. I usually try to distance myself as much as possible from tourists because tourism is often so superficial – see this, selfie with that, spend lots of money, and go home having done nothing to learn from your experience. I knew Alcatraz would be touristy but I really wanted to go see this legendary penitentiary. Unfortunately, it was not all I had hoped it would be. The audio tour is pretty cool but not terribly engaging. While they do a pretty good job telling you about one specific escape attempt the rest are left for you to read small blurbs in a pamphlet. The island and buildings are closed off in may places and I did not feel like there was much to do except wander around. To be fair, I was getting hangry. But I spent $35 for a meh experience whereas the Academy of Science cost $30 and totally engaged me for over 3 hours.
Hanger is real. Feeling my stomach grumbled sent me to Tony’s Pizza in North Beach. This is the place that Sam, the guy I met at the Giants game, said is some of the best pizza in the city. Originally he recommended I go to Golden Boy Pizza instead, since Tony’s is more of a sit-down type place. So I was surprised when I saw Tony’s Slice House adjacent to the main restaurant. I ordered a square, deep slice of combo (sausage and many veggies) and sat on their streetery to eat. Still hungry, I went around the corner and ordered a combo slice from Golden Boy. It was almost exactly the same – square, deep,and combo sausage and veggies. I saw “square” and “deep” because it was clearly distinguished from the New York Style with thin, crisp crust but was absolutely not the amazingly deep Chicago Style that makes it obviously where the pie part of “pizza pie” comes from.
The verdict? Well, I should say the Slice House is probably not the best way to experience Tony’s Pizza. With all the old Italian men in suits standing around and fancy women in even fancier dresses on their arms (it’s Friday at lunch by the way) sitting down must be the way to do it. But the pizza from the Slice House could not compete with Golden Boy’s. The sausage at Tony’s was tastier than a Golden Boy but the overall taste went to Golden Boy. Also, I spent almost $6.50 with tax for a slice at Tony’s. Golden Boy’s menu said $4.25. And that’s all I paid – tax included. Folks, We have a winner! (sadly, the photo did not take).
I took the long way home (read: Kevin only glances at the route then gets a little lost and climbs unnecessary hills but sees a new part of the city) and stopped at West Portal to meet Hilari and her friends for a Friday beer. It was Hilari, Aria, and I for the most part and we had some fun conversations about all kinds of things. they’re both English major, booky people and they lost me on some of their arguments about old dead white men. It was a lot of fun though. And speaking of old (thankfully not dead) white men I chatted with a gentleman from south of Half Moon Bay while getting a second beer. He overheard me talking about my trip and chatted with me all about the cost of living in California, the varied weather along the coast, and his “not too long ago’ memories of Seattle and Portland from 1996. Cute old man. Thanks for the dinner recommendation. If you’re ever in Half Moon Bay check out Mezzaluna, an Italian restaurant that is supposedly very good. Apparently the Old Princeton Landing Public House & Grill is a good spot too. I know where I’ll be going soon…
Not much else happened tonight except I cooked. I LOVE MY BIKE. And I love to cook. But not as much as I love to eat.