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Thursday, April 30, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, HERE I COME

I will soon board United to San Francisco, my second favorite city.  I have a full day tomorrow in the City, and normally would have had lunch at Tadich Grill.  However, I've long wanted to dine at  Chez Panisse, which is an easy BART ride into the Downtown Berkeley Station. I called, and they said they could squeeze me into their cafe at 1:30.

Hard to believe that restaurant has been around for 41 years.   Founder Alice Waters (below) is credited, with Wolfgang Puck, to have invented California Cuisine.  In 2001 Gourmet magazine named Chez Panisse the Best Restaurant in America. Actually, I'm to dine in their cafe, which serves their lunch.  It now looks different because there was a serious fire two years ago.


I first visited San Francisco in 1958, 57 years ago.  My brother drove me  34 miles south to the Stanford Campus in Palo Alto, and the first sign I saw indicated that this was Leland Stanford Junior University.  My first thought was that I must have applied to a junior college.  Mind you, I was coming from McKinley High School in Honolulu, which might not have ever sent a newly graduated senior to this institution, and I guess I was not a great example, for I don't know of anyone who followed me there.  Note the German motto:  Die Luft Der Freiheit Weht.  Why German and what does it mean?  The story is obscure, but that term means "The Winds of Freedom are Blowing."

Honolulu is bigger than San Francisco:  68 square miles to 47 square miles.  Actually, the City and County of Honolulu is the whole island of Oahu with an area of 2,127 square miles.  The Frisco population is slightly more than 850,00, while Oahu has slightly less than a million people.  However, more than 8.5 million live in the combined statistical Bay Area.

The Mercer Quality of Life 2015 Survey has San Francisco as the highest rated American city, at #27, with Honolulu the second, at #36.  Chicago is #43 while Seattle and New York City are #44.  #1 is Vienna

Honolulu was settled by Polynesians in the 11th century.  The first foreigner sailed into Honolulu Harbor in 1794.  King Kamehameha III made Honolulu the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1845.

San Francisco, named after St. Francis of Assisi, was founded in 1776.  The Gold Rush of 1849 brought growth, but three fourths of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire.  Here, again is Jeanette MacDonald.  Towards the end of My Ultimate Global Adventure two years ago, I stayed in the home of David Kyle at Sea Ranch north of San Francisco, where the San Andreas Fault crosses into the Pacific Ocean, as shown in the photo to the left, which is his backyard.

I bring this topic up because at the end of May a film called San Andreas will premiere.  Rotten Tomatoes shows a 97% audience wanting to see this film rating.


Speaking of movies, Iris, a documentary, just opened nationwide, except Hawaii.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it two 100% ratings.  I don't remember any movie getting this combined perfection.  Who is Iris?  Let me just say this is all about the nine decades of Iris Apfel.

Tomorrow, return for my lunch at Chez Panisse, then, on to Napa for Kenji's Golf Safari.

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Tropical Cyclone Quang is at 120 MPH, but should weaken and strike mostly desolate northwest Australia.


The search continues for Malaysian Air 370 in this general area of the Indian Ocean:


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1 comment:

Ji Yeon said...

Thanks for sharing, nice post!

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