If you’re going to San Francisco (I)

First of all, here’s a song to put you in the mood…

San Francisco has…something. It’s an awesome place. I know, i know, that’s not exactly big news. I guess everybody knows that in a way – but it’s true, i tell you. Being there felt like being in a novel (like this one or this one), or in a movie. I was so excited!

(Oh Steve. I love you so)

It’s a big city, but it somehow feels friendly, relaxed and intimate. It’s an artsy and open-minded place, and it has such character! We walked around its hilly neighborhoods and we couldn’t get enough of this strange mix of victorian elegance and hippie coolness.

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We spent most of our time in North Beach, San Francisco’s little Italy, famous for its good italian food and its connection to the beatnik culture. We visited the legendary City Lights Bookshop,

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had an espresso at the first espresso place on the west coast,

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and drinks at the infamous Vesuvio (Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac used to hang out there!)

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We went to Castro and the Mission, two of the coolest neighborhoods ever – Castro is the center of the gay community, with lovely victorian houses, funky shops and bars with names like Moby Dick (subtle!)

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and Mission is the vibrant colourful hub of the hispanic community, famous for its street art and excellent mexican food:

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(We had the best.burritos.ever there, but i can’t for the life of me remember the name of the place…)

We spent the night at another pretty groovy neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury, a hippie place if there ever was one, filled with thrift shops, record stores, and awesome dive bars like Aub Zam Zam that make you feel like this song (great cocktails! Also, i got carded there. How cute is that :-) ).

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We stayed that the Red Victorian B&B, a sort of hippie temple that describes itself as a peace center. The rooms are pretty basic but sort of fun, though there are some pretty questionable decor choices – like these two lovely ladies, lounging in the hall outside our room:

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and this slightly creepy display that is certainly an eloquent symbolism of some sort (though i can’t say of what exactly):

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We got the “Summer of Love” room, complete with wall-to-wall mirrors, tie-dye everything, Grateful Dead posters and, of course, a lava lamp:

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Think: this song.

It was strange and fun. Our first day in San Francisco was awesome! But more awesomeness was still to come our way. I fell asleep in the glow of the lava light, looking forward to another day of exploring. :-)

Tell us what you think!

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