Welcome to San Francisco! I’m glad you could make it. Where are we? This is Midtown Terrace, a little neighborhood that nobody really knows about, so when people ask where I live, usually it’s just easier to say Twin Peaks. You’re lucky you’re here today—the weather is unusually pleasant. You may want to take a sweater anyway, though, because knowing San Francisco, it’ll probably get chilly later. Microclimates, my mom says.
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Oh, but here comes the 36! It only comes every half hour, so we’d better catch it. We have a full day ahead of us. We’ll take this down to Forest Hill Station, and then head inbound. (And if we’re as lucky with the MUNI as you are with the weather, the wait shouldn’t be too long.) Sorry, I know this station looks a little shady, but Forest Hill is one of the smaller ones—other stations like Van Ness and Powell are really nice. All the busses that go inbound through Forest Hill go to all the inbound stations, so we can get on any bus—K, M, or L, because that’s my mother’s initials! Here we are.
Don’t worry. I know San Francisco like the back of my hand; I’ve lived here all my life! The city is split up into many districts, and each is vastly different from the rest. For instance, the city is most famous for the colorful characters of the Castro district, but my favorite hangout is Irving Street, where 9th-12th Avenue is higher-end, whereas 19th-25th is crowded with little Chinese shops, and some small Japanese and Korean restaurants interspersed in between. But since you only have one day here, I’ll take you to the place with the most going on—the Embarcadero.
Alright, let’s get off here. We’ll walk a bit that way—the real joy of San Francisco is that everything is within walking distance, but that also means there’s not a lot of parking. I’m glad you came on a Saturday, because that’s when the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is up. There’s actually a lot of farmers market in San Francisco throughout the week—along with the Castro, we’re also known for being environment junkies—but I think this one’s the best. We’ll walk slowly, so you can take a look around. Don’t forget to try the free samples!
From here, we’ll walk to Pier 39. It’s a long walk, but don’t worry—it’s right along the bay, and on a nice day like this, there’s a lot to see.
It’s noon now, so how about we check out the sea lions, and then we can grab a bite for lunch. As long as we’re here, we may as well get clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. There are plenty of places that make it, but Boudin’s is the most well-known. I’ll let you choose. As soon as we finish eating, let’s walk along the rest of Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can buy some souvenirs.
Don’t spend too much, though, because after this we can either walk or catch a bus over to downtown. Downtown’s nice for high-end shoppers, but I actually want to take you to Chinatown, which is right next door. (In fact, since San Francisco’s only seven by seven miles, practically everything is right next door.) You can get all the cheaper souvenirs there, and I’ll even show you all my favorite hidden food places—Eastern Bakery, Bread of Life, Sweethearts…
I’m glad you liked that! Chinatown’s another of my favorite hangouts. Now we’ll walk up to California Street and catch a cable car down to Powell Station. In a few years, though, due to all the traffic here, they’re going to build a MUNI station just for Chinatown, and we won’t have to take this roundabout way home.
Finally, if it’s not dark when we get back, you can drop off your stuff at the house, and then we can walk up to Twin Peaks for the very best view of the city. From there, you can see all the places we went to today, and where I’ll have to take you next time. After all, there’s still the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, the Legion of Honor, Alcatraz, Washerwomen’s Bay, Japantown, Angel Island…
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