Days 5 & 6 - Art and Alcatraz

Trip Start Mar 13, 2013
1
5
17
Trip End Apr 13, 2013


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Where I stayed
Glen Park
What I did
Alcatraz San Francisco
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, March 18, 2013

Today the three of us got off the BART at the stop after Glen Park, 24th & Mission. We'd decided to walk the section of Mission Shell and I had missed on Thursday, knowing there was heaps more art to see. It was a lovely day and San Francisco was out doing it's Sunday thing.

Because I'd forgotten my note-book - it was probably sitting right next to my International Driver's License at home - we didn't see Balmy Alley because I forgot about it, but the art we did see had a profound affect on me - I laughed, I cried, I empathised, I grieved. Clarion Alley was something else. At the end of the day I was left with the reminder that everything is impermanent, even beauty; and that's ok. 

There are a lot of pics of the art of the street, and I haven't posted all I took....despite this feast of artistic outpourings, I still have not seen any Frida or Diego Rivera. One day I would love to travel just to find street art and music. Now that would be something...

From Embarcadero we caught 2 cable cars, which saw us alight at the Wharf. We wandered and shopped a bit until it got too chilly for me, so I left Shell and Rich there and headed back to Glen park for food and music.

At the pub they had put on a meal of corned beef, cabbage with bacon and mash in a large bain-marie and I was immediately welcomed and sent out to the back room with a plate. Whilst eating I sat at the only table with Caroline and Dolan; Caroline a teacher at the Uni and Dolan a professor and author - both very interesting and interested in Australian Indigenous people and their languages. Dolan has written several books about the people Indigenous to the California area. When the music started they said goodbye and left.

Unfortunately I have no pics of this night, which began with an Irish guitarist who sung the original version of Waltzing Matilda, after which the whole bar sang a chorus of the Aussie version - it was a special moment. He was followed by a young woman with the voice of an angel, then a latinish band who was made up of some of the most talented musos I've heard for a loooong time - they rocked the house; if you weren't dancing you were probably dead. I learned the reason for Christian's grace - he's a dancer! I couldn't take my eyes off he and his dance partner, they were fantastic.

Because I took photos I didn't concern myself with remembering the names of the acts, however those photos are lost, probably in a dump somewhere in Chicago after my bag was stolen. More about that later.

I was invited for dinner by a lovely guy, Fred, however cancelled the following day when I realised that I just wasn't going to fit it in along with everything else. Had I thought I could have invited him to dine with us.....this whole day and night was was one of the highlights of my trip - the people in this bar were of mixed age and friendly, and the music was just awesome. Art and music - what could possibly go wrong?

Next day I slept in before taking a bus to join Shell & Rich at the Painted Ladies, then presenting ourselves at Pier 33 for the Alcatraz evening tour. This is similiar to the day tour in that you have the use of headphones and a device with narratives from four different inmates and four guards. Where it differs is that you approach the island differently by sailing all around it before docking; you have the choice of three different informative talks; the hospital wing is open, and you get to hear the clanging shut of the cell doors. AND you get the lights of the city. I loved it.
FYI: whenever you hear doors clang shut after Darth Vader leaves a room - it's Alcatraz.


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