Monday, February 18, 2008

Home is Where the Heart Is!

And my heart belongs to San Francisco. I tend to talk a lot about work and dating and crafting that I don't really talk too much about the city that I love. I don't live in SF proper anymore and I've been missing it a lot lately but I live close enough to make multiple trips in a week if I'd like. Just this weekend, I made two trips to run errands and visit with friends. Today was a federal holiday so I had the day off from work. Woohoo! Gotta love 3-day weekends! So I decided to take advantage of the easy parking and head to North Beach with a friend. North Beach is the "Little Italy" of San Francisco and it's my favorite neighborhood. It's lively and fun; has great coffee shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment and makes for great people watching. But besides the gastro-delights of the neighborhood, there are amazing views. One of my favorite things to do here is to drag my lazy tush up to Coit Tower and go down the Filbert Steps. So today I decided to take my camera along so I could share this walk through my eyes!

Filbert Street...walking up the steep grade to get up to Coit Tower. The street gets so steep towards the top that there are little stairs etched into the cement so you aren't so angled trying to get up there.

Coit Tower (not the Leaning Tower of Pisa...I suck at pictures)

Whew...made it up to the top of Filbert Street. I turned around and wow...look at the view! Far in the distance you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.

Along the walkway near Coit Tower, you see an amazing Financial District shot that includes the Transamerica Building. This was a daytime shot but with the lighting, it looks like dusk.

Filbert Street and Telegraph Hill. This is the juncture to head down the infamous Filbert Steps.

As I go down the steps, I turn around to show how the steps are engulfed by gardens, trees and lots of greenery. It always seems so cut off from the rest of the city.

And along the stairway path, there are cottages and bungalows that look like this one. Isn't it cute?! How do people get their groceries up or down all the stairs? I still don't understand. I don't think you could pay movers enough to get furniture to one of these little homes. And my friends complain about my third floor walk-up! But it sure is a lovely setting.

And we get to the very bottom of the Filbert steps across from Levi Plaza. I turned around and here is a shot of the scary part of the Filbert Steps. The stairs are so steep here that I always fear I'll trip and slide all the way down. Yep, this is me living on the edge! We feel good but I'm not crazy enough to turn around and head back up as my friend suggests so we go out to the Embarcadero with the intention of walking to Broadway. As we walk, we come across this plaque imbedded into the cement.

Apparently, way back in the Gold Rush days, shops were on floating ships out in the Embarcadero. As that era passed, the ships were buried under landfill and built upon and that area is now the Embarcadero. I was born and raised in San Francisco and never knew that! So I learned something new today. We kept walking and my friend dragged me up another steep stairway and I saw this abandoned on the sidewalk. In the city, people will dump their junk on the sidewalk because one person's junk is almost always someone else's treasure. This hadn't found a home yet though but it was well worth a picture.

"Don't watch me watch tv" What?!?!

We finally made it to my favorite coffee shop in North Beach, Cafe Greco and just sat, talked and people watched. This is always a challenge because right across the street is Stella Pastry.

See! Stella Pastry and I always have to test my willpower. I have no willpower when it comes to pastry. OMG and their stuff is soooooo good. My favorite is their Sicilian Cannoli. If you live in SF and have never had a sicilian cannoli from Stella Pastry...what are you waiting for?! It is sinful and decadent and omg, so good. Obviously, I went to Stella and got my cannoli and it made me very happy but then I feel bad because I may as well just slather the filling onto my hips as that is where it will stay until I can workout enough for it to melt away. But you know what, I don't care because if there's anything worth extra time at the gym, it's anything at this little italian bakery. YUM!
And that was my fun-filled day in the city. I so love 3-day weekends. I wish they came around all the time!


Lien said...

Gawd, I so miss cannoli and pignoles from Stella. And coffee beans from Graffeo! We have yet to find good coffee here. A real let down...

Thanks for the post. I nice little memory for me...

Anonymous said...

wow..what a clear day in the city! That was a nice post :) I so love SF.

Ann Marie said...

You need to put that picture of the FiDi up on Shutterfly so I can order an enlargement --- it's an awesome pic!

My heart will definitely always be San Franciscan, no matter how long I live in the *ugh* Inland Empire.

Carol R said...

Jut think of all those lbs you lost climbing up and down all those steep roads and steps - better than a workout at the gym! Great post and pics.

Barbeeque4 said...

I just love Stella!!! I haven't gotten over there in so long, such a trip from Noe Valley. :)

Now I need a cannoli!!!!!! (like a hole in the head) :)