Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 11, 2012. A Quick Blow Through San Francisco. And When I Say Blow I Mean It.

Mr. Hawthorne wanted to go over the Golden Gate Bridge,
so we're in San Francisco.

San Francisco, I tell you.
And Mr. Hawthorne NEVER stopped.

This is a man who has found every damn China Mac Buffet
in every freakin' Bumpkinville town
across the United States 
and we're in SAN FRIGGINCISCO.
Do I get decent Chinese?

Just let me show you my
exciting pictures of San Francisco.
All shot from the comfort of our vehicle.
Here's a blimp.

Here's a big ship.

Here's the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco.
Here's another blimp.
Two blimps in one day.
Be still my heart!

Here's a big cruise ship with the blimp in the background.

Oh look!
Here's a big-ass bow and arrow.
I guess it's art.

Here's the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco.

Yup, I got a picture of this bridge
but not the Golden Gate Bridge.
But as Mr. Hawthorne said,
"Everybody's seen pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge."

More exciting pictures from San Freakinciso:
Here's a blurred blimp
since my autofocus was focusing on the fence.

We're going through town
and as he passes these little side streets,
I was able to snap off a picture of Alcatraz.
Just barely.

More of my titillating photographs of San Francisco:
The Beautiful People exercising in a park.

Bitch in the background doing leg lifts.
I'm sure she has a callipygian rear.

That's my word of the day.
Mr. Hawthorne wanted me to use it in a sentence.
Not a problem, Mr. Hawthorne:
"We're in San Friggincisco,
and you can kiss my callipygian ass!"

More photographs of San Francisco.
Here's an expensive yacht.

Oh look.
It's the Golden Gate Bridge!
Taken through the windshield.

There are pull-offs - Vista Points - at either end of the bridge,
so one can ... well, pull off,
and admire the vista and shoot pictures of the bridge.
Does Mr. Hawthorne pull off?

Might as well give you some facts about the bridge.
You're certainly not going to get any proper photographs of it.

I'm sure everyone wants to know
how the bridge got its name.
The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay
from the Pacific Ocean.
It is generally accepted that the strait
was named "Chrysopylae,"
or "Golden Gate," by Captain John C. Fremont,
topographical Engineer of the U. S. Army circa 1846,
because it reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul
named Chrysoceras, or Golden Horn.
The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted
orange vermilion, deemed "International Orange."
Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive color
because it blends well with the span's natural setting
and the warm colors of the land masses,
it is distinct from the cool blue colors of the sea and sky,
and it provides enhanced visibility for passing ships.

Just in case you want to replicate this color at home,
paint stores can mix it with this formula:
Cyan:  0%
Magenta:  69%
Yellow:  100%
Black:  6%

Currently, the paint is supplied by Sherwin Williams,
and is made to match the International Orange color formula.
The closest color available off-the-shelf
from Sherwin Williams is "Fireweed," 
color code 6328.

More photographs:
An island.

A hill dotted with homes.

I had to listen to Mr. Hawthorne
 complaining the entire time about how he could never 
live in a place like this, the traffic is horrible,
there's nowhere to park,  how do people live like this,

Nobody's asking you to live here.
Just stop the damn car so I can shoot some pictures
and maybe go to ... I don't know ...
a CHINESE restaurant?????
only the largest Chinatown outside of Asia??!!!!??

What the hell is this man NOT thinking?

That could be Alcatraz.
We don't need to go there
since he's seen it in movies.

This could be any bridge in Anytown, USA.

We crossed the bridge into Sausalito.
Sausalito is Spanish for "little willow."
It is described in my AAA Tourbook as a 
"charming bayside town in Marin County,
across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
Upscale boutiques, art galleries, gift shops,
and open-air cafes line Bridgeway, the main street,
encouraging visitors to linger for a while to shop
or possibly stop for lunch or a glass of wine.
The town resembles a Mediterranean village,
with residential areas climbing the hillsides ..."

I immediately hate this place.

And you do NOT want to be driving an Avalanche
through this place. 
Thankfully, there was no oncoming traffic,
since I don't know what we would have done.
The streets are that narrow.
And it's nothing but hairpin curves on steep hills.
On some turns,
Mr. Hawthorne actually had to back up the truck
to maneuver some of the curves.

Mr. Hawthorne decides to eat here.
In Sausalito.


Somebody shoot me now.

Oh wait a minute.
This is Marin County
and it's been in the news lately.
Marin County is the fifth wealthiest county
in the United States,
 with an average income per person of $91,483. 
 It is also the home of George Lucas,
creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
Mr. Lucas has long wanted to build
a massive 270,000 square foot
state-of-the-art studio complex
on his Marin County property for the past 25 years,
but has been foiled by his neighbors.
The movie studio would have a day care center,
restaurant, gym, and a 200-car garage,
and would create 600 new jobs.
Lucas had planned to hide the attractive building
in a valley, preserving 95% of the natural land,
and spend over $50 million dollars to restore
a stream to its natural state.
Lucas has been thwarted by his neighbors
every step of the way.

Here's an artist's rendering of the proposed cutting-edge
digital media production facility.
Plans include 51,000 square feet of film stages,
27,918 square feet of screening rooms,
a 4381-square-foot cafe,
a 1151-square-foot kitchen
19 units providing 11,228 square feet of guest quarters,
a general store, and a gym.
Outside, excavated material would be used to build a knoll
hiding the project from neighbors,
and plans included nine bridges spanning creeks,
as well as a cave to age casks of wine from Lucas' vineyards.
The building would be on top of underground parking
for over 200 cars.
The entire project would be largely hidden from view,
especially as landscaping matures.
Lucas' neighbors have rejected this project
every step of the way.
While most municipalities in America
would roll out the red carpet for a development
expected to generate six-figure salaries
and bring in $300 million worth of economic activity,
the resistance of homeowners in Marin County
is a vivid reminder that some people are not struggling
in this economy.

The local homeowners association
 has been such a thorn in Lucas' side
that he's finally decided
 to abandon the studio construction project entirely,
issuing this statement:
"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners
in Lucas Valley has convinced us that,
 even if we were to spend more time
and acquire the necessary approvals,
we would not be able to maintain
a constructive relationship
with our neighbors."

That said, what is George Lucas going to do
with his property now that he's tired of his
rich neighbors and their NIMBY
(Not In My Back Yard) stink?
Mr. Lucas skillfully outmaneuvered the stubborness
of his wealthy neighbors by striking back in a show of
Ju-Jitsu, the ancient Japanese art of using an
attacker's force to defeat that opponent.
Lucas now wants to transform the property
into low-income housing, offering this official statement:
“We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough.  Marin is a bedroom community that is committed to building subdivisions, not business….  We plan to sell the Grady property expecting that the land will revert back to its original use for residential housing. We hope to find a developer who will be interested in low income housing since it is scarce in Marin. If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit.”

So Lucas is working with the Marin Community Foundation
to construct affordable housing for either
low-income families or seniors living on small, fixed incomes.

Kudos, Mr. Lucas!

 "If there's one thing rich people
 will hate more than having movie magic
 made in their backyard, it's poor people moving in."

 Well played, Mr. Lucas.
Now if you could only build a Church of the First Jedi Order ...

I'm all for anything that pisses off a homeowner's association.
May the force be with you.

Oh my.
I've run on, haven't I?

Back to Sausalito.

Mr. Hawthorne pulls into the first place he sees.
And it's on Bridgeway.
It advertises crabs and prime ribs.

Nice flowers outside the restaurant.

Chemicals known to the state of California
to cause cancer or birth defects
or other reproductive harm 
may be present in foods or beverages sold
or served here.

Well, crap.
Just serve me up a heapin' plate o' carcinogens, please.
Nice view of the harbor.

First off, this is not my kind of place.
Too chi chi for me.
 Mr. Hawthorne saw this place
and, for some reason, decided to pull in.
Do not ask me why.

Everybody is drinking either wine or champagne
or cocktails in the middle of the day.
Most of the women had on huge floppy hats,
oversized sunglasses,
 and long flowy and billowy dresses,
and looked like they'd just blown in from the Kentucky Derby.

I was wearing my florescent pink
Piggly Wiggly T-shirt,
a treasured gift from XKT,
so I fit right in.

and here's the menu.

You could smell the money here.

I must say, the bread was delicious.
I ate on this for several days.

Mr. Hawthorne had the butter lettuce salad
with cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds
and a bleu cheese vinaigrette,
with undercooked, still slightly translucent, shrimp
for $15.00.
The dressing emulsion separated within minutes
after being in the hot sun.

I decided against the "lite" cut of Prime Rib
for $29.95,
and instead ordered a cup of crab chowder
and a small salad for $12.95.

I could taste a fish stock base,
but there wasn't much crab.
Just the teaspoon on top.
I've had much better.

I'm hating California prices.

Salad was tiny.
Bleu cheese dressing was mediocre.
The tea was horrible.
Worst tea I've ever tasted.
There was some flavor in it
that I just couldn't place.
It's an artificial flavoring I've tasted before and abhored.

And forget about getting my five pieces of lemons, please.
Ain't gonna happen.
Waiter apparently couldn't count above two.

Color me ripped off and under-impressed.

The bread was very good though.

And THAT, my friends,
concludes my "visit" to San Francisco.

Thank you, Mr. Hawthorne,
for my whirlwind tour of San Francisco
and what could have been culinary nirvana.

Instead, it SUCKED!



Lea said...

If you both arrive home alive and unharmed I will be incredibly impressed ; )

The George Lucus stuff was quite funny.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mr. Hawthorne now takes his clip out of his gun when he goes to sleep, Lea. And he tries to sleep with one eye open, but it's hard to do after a couple bottles of wine.

Anonymous said...

You were about 85 miles from my town, Rosie and not far at all from Monterey and Pacific Grove that I mentioned earlier. Great food in those places, I swear! It is unfortunate that Mr. H would not stop in S.F. You would not have been disappointed except for the prices. And maybe the panhandlers.

Anonymous said...

Should of dropped him off in The Castro wearing a Naugahyde Thong

Marilyn said...

What was Mr. H thinking? Poor, poor, Rosie. Even the menu was pretentious. "Wiches?" Really?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Next time, NMOAC. And I will consult with you.

Mar, at least they didn't call them "sammies."

Anony, his thong is pleather. That would work, wouldn't it?

Unknown said...

Technically, the orange airship is a Zeppelin (rigid frame). NASA rented it to look for meteorites that landed about 25 milestone my east in the Sierra foothills, and it was cruising around here (Sacramento) during the same week.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

zarchasmpgmr, I read about the meteor. Thanks for correcting me about the zeppelin and for your information about NASA and the meteorites. I appreciate it.

SweetPhyl said...

The horror! Mr. Hawthorne deserves a hearty slap across the back o' his head for depriving you of the culinary adventure of a meal in San Francisco. Julia Child will surely ^&*( up his karma for that one. *weeping silently in a corner for Rosie's loss"

Unknown said...

What the heck did Autocorrect do? 25 miles to my east. :)

It was a fun time for extraterrestrial phenomena. I drove 30 miles up I-80 to get in the path of annularity for last Sunday's eclipse.

BTW, I'm transitfan on TWoP. There's no way to change the user name over there, alas.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Heh. Zarchasmpgmr, I was wondering about the milestones. (I hate autocorrect.) I was in Tuba City, AZ for the eclipse. Really didn't see much there.

And BTW, Before I was Rosie, I used to be SeventhHell on TWoP until I got banned for some horribly egregious error. ;)