Published on April 7th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Your Heart Will Stay
It is very true – you do leave your heart in San Francisco.
Mine’s been left there quite a few times over the years. It waits patiently for my return.
The city grabs you from the first sight of the famous rust-coloured bridge.
The bay peeps at you from many of San Francisco’s famous landmarks as you trawl the city’s cafes, bars, restaurants and iconic sights.
Cosy bookshops, expansive gardens, endless restaurants, lively coffee shops, buzzing bars and a friendly gay culture all make it a vibrant city. Its Chinatown is one of the most lively in the world.
First-time visitors should be warned – it can be very chilly in the height of summer.
The sun may be shining, the sky blue, but the wind will cut through to your bones like sharp knives.
However, if you get caught as we did, thick tourist jackets are available on every corner at Fisherman’s Wharf for just a few dollars and will keep the cold out even if it means you have to proclaim your love for San Francisco all over your chest.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will meet all your cultural expectations. Some of the modern abstract art and sculptures may leave you bewildered, but when you are before the glorious works of Matisse, Picasso, Diego, Frida Kahlo and Duchamp, you will be enthralled. The museum building itself is an attraction, an architectural delight of patterned and textured brickwork with a 38-metre cylindrical skylight at the top funnelling the light right down to the first-floor court.
It’s hard to fit everything in on your San Francisco visit, but taking a tram ride should be mandatory, and you’ll marvel as you trundle up the steep hills.
Walking the curves of Lombard St and strolling Nob Hill among the opulent hotels are another couple of must-do’s.
Food is an essential element of the city. You’ll be confused by the choices. We loved a place called Lefty O’Doul’s, a San Francisco institution where huge jugs of beer are dispensed by jolly barmen and food of gigantic portions is served by rosy-cheeked chefs while a straw-hatted man plays the piano.
Perhaps the simplest and best food treat is the clam chowder served in a sour dough bread roll. You’ll find it at many of the bakeries, and strolling the lovely streets with this big clam beauty in your hand will ensure you leave your heart in San Francisco.