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Thursday, September 1, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #23--Wining and Dining in San Francisco

While my entire trip thus far has been mostly wining and dining, and nothing much else, my San Francisco meals have been tertiary to the people involved.  I'm now at the Westin St. Francis, and enjoyed another mini-class reunion, plus a discussion session on the Blue Revolution.  The St. Francis is located across the street from Union Square, which has two large hearts (St. Francis in background), with cable cars trundling up and down Powell.  Many decades ago these rides were kind of free.  Today, there is always a long line to get on at Market and Powell, and single ride ticket costs $7.

The current count is up to 131 hearts, inspired by Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart in San Francisco.  These are similar to the CowParade art now found around the world.

First of all, though, the wining part occurred in the wine tasting room of Chateau Montelena in this hotel, the only such opportunity of any winery in the City.  Remember the movie Bottle Shock?  The movie came out in 2008 of that monumental Judgement of Paris in 1976 when foundering Chateau Montelena indeed shocked the wine world by prevailing in the Chardonnay competition.  Each of the two submitted bottles (vintage 1973) could have been bought for $7.  Lesser known was that Stags Leap 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon also won.  Thirty years later, the same type of competition occurred, and California won again!

Further, Bo Barrett, played by Chris Pine (better known now as James Kirk in Star Trek), the son of winery owner Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman), was an unambitious surfer dude, who against his father's wishes, submitted those bottles, and now serves as the chief winemaker for the company.    They're in the above photo.  The person who actually created that Chardonnay was Mike Grgich, who refused to be part of the film, and went on to found Grgich Hills Cellars.

So, anyway, I had to taste the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, then went on to two Cabernets:

It was three years ago that we gathered at Kathy's home in Napa Valley.  Yesterday, we (from left:  Kathy, Bill, Sue and Jim) had lunch near the Ferry Building at la mar, a Peruvian restaurant:

Jim was my freshman roommate, Bill lived next door and he married classmate Sue, with Jim and I being part of the ceremonies just before we graduated from Stanford.  Here is a recent photo to the left of Jim and Kathy, who with a couple of others, will be visiting Hawaii in January.  You can see what they looked like more than half a century ago by clicking on this.  

We ordered their favorite appetizers, and they turned out to be all raw.  I had a gigantic tuna belly:

The fish was terrific, and the rice dish that came with it might have been even better.  Many of you have been to Nobu's, who at the age of 24 went from Japan to Peru to open a Japanese restaurant.  Nobu Matsuhisa's style is Peruvian fusion with Japanese.

I then walked through the Ferry Building shopping area on my way back to BART, and bought a truffle item:

My Blue Bar Pigeon at the entrance of the Embarcadero Station.

Today I met with a team from the Bay Area interested in the Blue Revolution at Daily Grill, located across the street from the St. Francis.  We discussed how they might want to proceed on building a plantship.  They are in part involved with the Seasteading Institute, and envision the Blue Revolution as an ideal focus for resources, profit and environmental enhancement.

Above, Mike, Jeff, Charlie, John and Tim.  Mike worked on the Freedom Ship concept.  For the record, I had a Capellini Pomodoro with a Prosecco.  Good reason for forgetting to take a photo, as the dish was voluminous but lacking in character.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Hermine will make landfall just east of Talahasee, making her the first real Florida hurricane in eleven years:

It is looking like Tropical Storm Madeline has moved sufficiently south as not to significantly affect Hawaii:

However, Hurricane Lester at 110 MPH, will weaken a bit, but appears to be leaning closer south towards the Hawaii Islands. 

Looks like Honolulu will be impacted on Saturday, and I return from San Francisco just time on Friday to take precautions.


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