SAN FRANCISCO, CA
our hearts there, though we were off to a less than enthusiastic start--in
part because our hotel choice, the marvelous Beresford Arms in the Union
Square district, put us in regular contact with the obvious class issues
in the city. The gap between the wealthy, who shop in Union Square,
and the poor, addicted, and angry who inhabit the Tenderloin next door,
and whose "border" was only a block away from our hotel, made
for something less than a holiday atmosphere in our neighborhood. A
few days' exploring, however, gave us a more balanced view. Besides
the great high-ceilinged rooms and magnificent lobby, the best thing
about the hotel was the daily free afternoon wine and cheese events.
However, next time we'd probably stay in North Beach (Little Italy):
the sidewalk cafes and good restaurants make that area seem a lot like
New York's West Village. The Marina district also seemed very pleasant.
Highlights of our stay included Halloween in the Castro (see separate
slideshow), a terrific Dim Sum lunch, a long walk around Chinatown (the
$299 sale on giant phalluses didn't really tempt us), the obligatory
visit to the Haight, and lots of ethnic food of real variety. Indeed,
our favorite area for the whole trip could be defined by a circle with
SF at its center and extending to Point Arena (north), Sonoma (east),
and Big Sur (south). This cliche preference loses none of its accuracy
for being a cliche. We'll want to go back as often as we can.
Copyright© 2002 - Darrell Taylor