San Francisco

by on December 26, 2011

The next day, after visiting Alcatraz, I took a walk around the streets of San Francisco to enjoy the sights.  I always like to stay at different hotels when I’m there because they are always so unique and fun!  This time I stayed at an old French style hotel called Warwick.  Just look at that canopy headboard thing…. I was scared to lay under it….

 The view from my hotel room window.

First stop was breakfast at this amazing little crepes place called Honey honey cafe and crepery.  Amazinggggggggg crepes, you MUST go!  Then I started my walk about the city.  

Union square.   I had to take a walk through the Macy’s here.  It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen!!!   They have all sorts of specialty lines that are not carried in other Macy’s.

 Workers protesting the Hotel Frank for unfair working conditions.  You could hear the beat of their drums and the unified chant for blocks.

After walking and shopping I grabbed a cup of coffee at a little café.  There was a lady sitting next to my friend and I and she overheard us talking about our love affair with coffee. “ If you love coffee” she said, “you have to try out the two local coffee rosters in town.  It’s kinda a thing here, like Starbucks in Seattle.  They are Ritual and Blue Bottle and they started the ‘Coffee Wars’ of San Francisco!”  I was so excited to be let in on the local competition!  The lady gave us directions to the competitors and said they were both in walking distance, so off we went! 

We went to Blue Bottle first.  Down a small ally like street we found their garage door opening and table set up.  These folks were hustling coffee right out the back of their roasterie, now that’s some local coffee!  I told the staff how we were visiting and just got the scoop on the roasterie wars.  They were very friendly and picked out two roasts they thought I would like.  They said by all means go try Ritual out and even gave use directions again.  “No worries, we are the best, you’ll see” they said with confidence.  Ok then BB lets run on over to Ritual and see if your right! 

When I got to Ritual I was immediately hit with the stark differents between the two brands. BB was a little, hippy, down home production, in an ally. Ritual was a large kiosk type structure centered in a fair like vending cart mecca.  They were hard to miss with their signature bright red covering the whole back wall of the structure.  The staff and customers were hipsters not hippies.  They gladly obliged to my taste test comparison and sold me a pound of their Costa Rica blend.  I had to whip out the camera when I saw how they rang people up.  No cash here, Ritual has an iPad as a register and a little attachment to swipe credit or debit cards!!!!!   I was enamored.

You sign with your finger not a pin.  (Also see the creative use of scrabble tiles as signs for the pastries!  Love it!)

I asked a tone of questions about this magic way of paying.  Apparently you can by this “attachment”” at any apple store, the credit card transaction is a FREE app., and this allows you to take credit any place and have it deposited into your account.  Think about the potential?  All those stores that don’t take credit or have a minim purchase because of credit card fees… no more.  Don’t have cash and you want that ones in a lifetime find at a garage sale? “No problem” says the mom selling here kids old toys, “let me grab my iPad”!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This little piece of technology can allow small businesses and person to person exchanges a whole new leave of ease and visibility to taxes.  That’s right.  If we move towards a cashless society (paying by iPad, not a CASH register) then garage sales just became a reportable income…. but I’m sure you were all reporting your cash any way, right?

Here is my coffee haul for the day.  Do you notice one other interesting thing about red, cashless friends?  There logo is very reminiscent of something…..

After I visited the coffee wars I popped into the local designer and consignment shops in the area.  When I ran across a bag with this label I was cracking up!!!  Shepard Fairey is the “artist” responsible for the OBEY line.  He also is he artist that created the red and blue Obama poster.  He has now launched a line called propaganda….

I don’t think I need to say any more.  As I was cracking up the girl that worked at the store said “If you think that is funny you should check out the cartoon in the latest VICE magazine its brilliant, there by the door, take one.”  So I did and this is what she was referring to.

Lol!!!!!  Great!  Ok on I go this time on a hunt for dinner.

The first place I dipped into I was talked into eating oysters for the first time!  You can see how scared I am!

They were actually great!  I love them, who knew???

Now back out on the street to walk to a Thai place that a waitress told me was good.

I don’t remember the name of the restaurant.  Doesn’t matter, it wasn’t that good.  I asked for my food Thai hot and it was not even close.  I hate it when people recommend “authentic” food and they have no idea what that food is supposed to taste like!   Anyway I tried frog legs and that was another first for me!  They had such little meat on them.  I think I would like a much fatter frog!

 Look at those twiggy little legs, hardly worth the effort for the greasy, fishy tasting meat.  Not my fav 🙁

 After dinner I took a leisurely walk back to my car and stared my drive home.  You never fail to see something interesting every time you walk around this city, look at this hotel with scandalous windows!!  I know where I’m staying next time!

 

San Fran you always are full of interesting people and places.  In two days I was in a prison on a rock out in the ocean, watched a protest, found a communist coffee company, and ran across satire of a propaganda artist in a day and age when most people don’t even know what that means.  Thanks for the thought provoking weekend!  Oh and in case you were wondering Blue Bottle is #1 in my book, outstanding coffee!!!!

Love,

Foxy “the San Francisco kid”

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