Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fisherman's Wharf of San Francisco


Contnuing on our work/vacation trip to San Francisco that I have blogged about the past few days here and here, it's time to hop on the Powell-Hyde cable car line to take a ride to Fisherman's Wharf. Notice the way the cable car has to be turned around manually on a turntable to make a return trip. It is then pushed onto the running cables beneath the street, which move at 9.5 miles per hour constant speed. To read a brief explanation as to how cable cars work visit this page of San Francisco's Cable Car Museum web site. The Powell-Hyde line turnaround the "Freidel Klussmann Memorial Turnaround" in honor of the woman who saved the cable cars, as they were almost made obsolete in 1947 and taken out of commission until she created a public campaign showing that the cable cars value to San Francisco was far greater than their operational cost. (all photos will enlarge when clicked on once, and then again)


The cable car driver is responsible for braking the car and warning people who hang off the sides to avoid obstacles coming their way. He also rings the iconic cable car bell bell, signaling a stop. There are many more modern means of transportation in San Francisco, so the cable cars are definitely mainly a tourist attraction.  A brief history of why they were invented according to the Cable Car Museum's website:
"Andrew Smith Hallidie tested the first cable car at 4 o'clock in the morning, August 2nd, 1873, on Clay Street, in San Francisco. His idea for a steam engine powered - cable driven - rail system was conceived in 1869, after witnessing horses being whipped while they struggled on the wet cobblestones to pull a horsecar up Jackson Street. As the story goes, the horses slipped and were dragged to their death."

I hope this photo collage gives you some idea of the thrilling sights you pass as you ride on a cable car. The first sight of the bright blue San Francisco Bay as the cable car goes over the crest of a hill is so beautiful it will take your breath away! The cable car that was after the one I rode, had a crew of cartoon characters riding on it which made me smile. You can see their photo in the lower left square.

The Buena Vista cafe is located just to the left of the Powell-Hyde Cable Car's last stop in Fisherman's Wharf, and it has become a favorite stop for my husband and I as we love their famous Irish Coffee and have to have one every time we visit San Francisco! I blogged about this previously on this post.


There is a lot of showmanship that goes on at the Buena Vista bar as a multitude of hot sweetened coffees are lined up and the barista pours the whiskey from up high quickly into each glass, and then tops them off with lightly whipped cream. As fast as he can line them up and make them, another round is soon begun. Somehow my photos came together in almost perfect order for this collage! The recipe is here. The Buena Vista serves as many as 2,000 of these famous Irish Coffees each day! They also have other beverage selections and a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.  San Francisco's weather can be quite cool, in fact there is the famous quote associated to Mark Twain that states: " The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  While we were there the temperatures were in the 50's to 70's, so a nice hot Irish coffee can be a welcomed treat!


Now we walked down to Fisherman's Wharf where most of the boats berthed there belong to a third generation of fishing craft piloted by descendants of the fishermen who made their livelihoods on the waters of San Francisco Bay for many generations. It has now become a very crowded tourist stop, but again it should not be missed, if possible, on a trip to San Francisco.


There are many tourist souvenir shops in the wharf area, along with seafood restaurants and vendors selling the delicious Dungeness crab of San Francisco. 
 

You can buy one steamed to take home or find them served in paper cups as fresh-cooked crab meat cocktails, or offered in many other forms, such as soup and crab salad.



Another wonderful business located in Fishermans Wharf is the famous Boudin Bread Baker's Hall. There you can watch their famous sourdough bread being made as you look through a 30 foot observation window. The smell of baking bread in the area is intoxicating! The Boudin family have been baking their artisan bread in San Francisco since 1849.


Of course one of the main attractions in Fisherman's Wharf are the seals that sleep on the docks on Pier 39.

According to the Pier 39 website: "The seal started arriving in droves, taking over the docks in January 1990 shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. At first they numbered from 10-50, but due to a plentiful herring supply, available dock space and the marina’s protected environment, the population grew to more than 300 within a few months. Each winter, the population can increase up to 900 sea lions, most of which are male. During the summer months, the sea lions migrate south to the Channel Islands for breeding season, but in recent years a small group stays year-round at PIER 39's K-Dock."


They are very amusing to watch! Most of them will be sleeping soundly but a few will be barking and fighting for a better position on the dock, and every now and then the weaker seal will get pushed into the water by the stronger seal. The Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito monitors the seals and tries to ensure their health and safety. The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary research hospital and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals – primarily elephant seals, harbor seals, and California sea lions.


My husband dined earlier in the week with a business associate at Alioto's Restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf and enjoyed it very much, so he treated me for dinner there when we began our vacation. Alioto’s is among the oldest restaurant on the Wharf, and was founded in 1925. The restaurant is still owned and operated by direct descendants of the original Alioto family.  We ordered their "Original Seafood Sausage," which was filled with prawns, shrimp and scallops, and served with a tomato basil, lemon butter caper sauce, and we also enjoyed a "Cold Seafood Salad," consisting of calamari, octopus and shrimp, marinated in olive oil, house made white wine vinegar and toscanelli beans. We shared their specialty, "Nonna Rose’s Famous Crab Cioppino," that also had clams, mussels and shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce. The waiter told us Cioppino was invented by the Alioto's. This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco, now known as Fishermans Wharf, in the 1930s. Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day's catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf with Dungeness crab as the main ingredient. Needless to say each dish was very flavorful and the perfect way to end a day spent at Fisherman's Wharf!

I hope you'll join me in my next blog post as I'll show you what I did in San Francisco while my husband was at work for a few days.

I'm joining in on Jenny Matlock's blog Alphabe Thursday's Rainbow Summer School event -- this week's colr is indigo!  The photos of the water in the bay and the dishes of Alioto's had shades of the beautiful dark blue indigo in them!




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46 comments:

Joe's blog said...

You have a cool camera... ;-)

PERMANENT POSIES said...

My husband and I love San Francisco and we have done everything you mentioned. You are far from home, aren't you? Great indigo post!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

My husband and I were on vacation in Northern California for two weeks. It began as a business trip for him and I tagged along as I love that area. We also visited the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park. It was a wonderful vacation!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Your wonderful post and pictures have brought back so many memories.
One can't help but leave part of their heart in San Francisco, can they? I am enjoying seeing the city through your eyes and lens. Thank you so much!

pam said...

When we took our daughters there about 6 years ago many of the smaller vessels had netting and other stuff covering their boats trying to keep the seals off...
I don't remember Aliotos...looks wonderful. Great pictures Pat...makes me want to go back.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I am hoping to make a trip here sometime in the next two years and your cable car photos make the idea even more thrilling.
Thanks!

Melanie said...

OO my mouth is watering! Love seafood.

There used to be trans in Southport but they went out of favour. Unfortunately no one did anything about it. In Blackpool further up the coast they have reinstated them for the tourists.

Thanks for the tour Pat.

Francisca said...

Pass me an Irish Coffee, please... and the pasta would go well too! Nice to visit SF again through your lens... it's such a great city, isn't it... and full of indigo!

RNSANE said...

Oh, Pat, I see that you were here -and I am so sad that we didn't get together. Your pictures of the wharf and all the good things to do and eat are spectacular and, how wonderful, you had beautiful sunny skies and great weather. I'm so glad you got up to Napa and,
also, Yosemite...two equally spectacular places. I do wish I could have met you...that would have been so wonderful for me.

Tracy said...

Would LOVE to ride that cable car! There are trollies in Oslo still over here. LOVE all the seafood. Lately I'm a lapsed vegetarian... I don't eat meat, but I've been eating some fish still since winter... my bad! Your posts are so exciting, Pat--they are really an adventure! :o) ((HUGS))

Nora Johnson said...

Love San Francisco and yes, have done everything you mentioned too - wonderful!

Terrific post & shots as always!

Lola & Nora:)

My name is PJ. said...

SUCH GREAT SHOTS, PAT! I feel like I'm back there again!!

Kat said...

What a wonderful tour Pat. The photos are gorgeous. I've been running like a chicken with my head cut off lately, and just got to catch up on your trip. What a wonderful vacation! I loved your tour of Chinatown. And Fisherman's wharf looks like so much fun, especially the seal watching. Glad you are back safe and sound. Kat

Mary said...

What a fabulous post...I feel like I was there! We've visited SF briefly for a weekend about 10 years ago, I needed you as a tour guide! I've always found those seals comical, sleeping in piles, those floating docks listing under their weight. Beautiful pics, thanks for sharing :-)

Vee said...

I just had to take a closer look at the making of Irish coffee...hmmm. Hadn't realized how cook SF could be...you got out of NYC at just the right time to avoid some of the heat. Sad story behind the reason for cable cars.

Donna said...

Oh, Pat, looking at all your photos makes me want to go back! I love San Francisco.

Hugs,
Donna

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I'm leaving tomorrow night for San Francisco and the the northern California coast. Thanks for giving me a preview!

YEAAAAAA....

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm reliving my recent trips to San Francisco through your beautiful photos. We ate at Alioto's too, and had breakfast at Boudin's a couple of times. S.F. is a fabulous city.

Oliag said...

...right now I'm wishing that my husband had to travel for work:)

Love the crab and turtle breads!

Willow said...

I can't count how many cable cars I rode as a kid. What fun memories! Alioto's is a great place (more wonderful memories). Because my son is in Palo Alto, I keep the weather bug up for Stanford and always notice that the Bay Area, especially the west side of the bay, is much cooler than Los Angeles. Mark Twain was so right!

Linda said...

Great photos of San Francisco...will you be able to get to any other sites. You would love the Napa-Sonoma area if you can get there. It is beautiful country. We go up there at least once a year as that's where my husband's brother lives. Enjoy your trip!

Cherry Chick said...

Pat,
Seeing your posts have brought back wonderful memories. I'm so happy for you being able to join your husband. Thanks for sharing with us all.
´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´
♥•.*.Thank you.*.•♥
♥•.*.from Vicki.*.•♥
¸.•*´(¸.•*´♥´*•.¸)´*•.¸

Sue said...

You've got some terrific photos here. And SF is one of my favorite places.

=)

Sarah said...

Pat, wonderful shots of San Francisco. NY, Paris, and San Francisco are three of my favorites. I love the hills of San Francisco and the beautiful curved glass in many of the windows of the Victorian buildings. I've been on that cable car many times. We've eaten at Alioto's too. Dungenesscrab is the best! Thank you for taking us along on this exciting trip and sharing all the informative details. Glad you got to go along on this trip. ~ Sarah

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat,
I was at Alioto's in the seventy's. I remember well, because we met friends there. I was getting ready to order the big crabs, they talked me into
Abolone. It was awful, like rubber.

yvonne

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I couldn't visit there.....I would never want to go home! What a gorgeous place. I'm putting San Fran in my vacation folder.
Outstanding photos as always.
Sam

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I enjoyed my visit to your working vacation. The bear bread is so cute.

Riet said...

Hi Pat. Thank you for taking me again through San Francisco. I knowmit is usually much colder there than 100 miles more inward. WE found that out. Great pictures you made and I Love Irish coffee. LOvely on a cold day.

Kathleen said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time! I can almost smell that bread baking!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

oh pat....i was so excited to read all of this.
s.f. is one of my most favorite places. i attended cooking school there at Tante Maries right off of Little Italy. I love staying there at The Washington Square Inn...

amoung other places. i bet you made it to The Ferry Building too...

love walking Chinatown...Fisherman's Wharf...

you were close to me...about 3 hours south of S.F.

loved all of this....

kary
xxx

Claudia said...

The crab made my heart skip a beat. The cioppino dinner must be had. In the early 80's I stayed with my sister and temped. I bought a weekly pass for the cable cars and rode them to work. Don't know if they still do that.

Annalisa said...

What a wonderful place!!!!
I would love to visit there!Oh the Irish coffee looks delicious!

Wonderful!
love,
Annalisa

PEA said...

Hello dear Pat:-)

I've been so out of the blogging loop lately due to a very busy and crazy summer but things seem to be settling down now so I have more time for the computer. Woohoo! lol

I've heard how beautiful San Francisco is but your photos REALLY show it!! The cable cars must be so fun to ride on...I found out that my hometown had cable cars at one time before I was born. Unfortunately the tracks have all been paved over now.

I would like one of those Irish Coffee's and a teddy bear bread please:-) My oh my, look at all that seafood as well...shrimps are my favourite!

As usual, I'm oohing and aahing over all of your photos:-) xoxo

mrs. c said...

You are so kind, your photos are out of this world good! You and I like to learn everything when we travel that is why I LOVE to read your blog. Thanks for reminding me why l adore San Francisco!

mrs. c said...

You are so kind, your photos are out of this world good! You and I like to learn everything when we travel that is why I LOVE to read your blog. Thanks for reminding me why l adore San Francisco!

mrs. c said...

You are so kind, your photos are out of this world good! You and I like to learn everything when we travel that is why I LOVE to read your blog. Thanks for reminding me why l adore San Francisco!

Jo said...

I have to say i just love love love these little vicarious trips and adventures i take with you ... You are the best virtual tour guide around!!!

Jingle said...

fabulous shot.

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

I am ready to head to San Francisco. What a beautiful and fun city!! I know you have had a wonderful trip. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely pictures. Love & blessings from NC!

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat!! Now I want to got San Francisco and leave my heart there!! How fantastic.

If Mr Hallidie were around now I'd give him a big hug for saving those poor horses!! Yay!! Oh but those hills are very very steep.

I didn't know that there were two types - the earlier cable cars and the electric streetcar. My goodness! Good for Ms Klussman for saving such an iconic symbol of San Francisco!

Irish coffees. Wow. I've never seen them made in a long row like this and just as well as I'd be having one after the other! LOL! Thank you for the link to the recipe. You know, I might try to make one myself - I didn;t think it would be that simple - well it looks simple! :-) I shall definitely try it though - why not!!

The pier 39 seals. Oh wow. I can just see a little baby in your pic still with its baby white fur - oh they're adorable and my first stop if I ever go there! What an amazing sight.

A very close second are those bread teddy bears! LOL! Oh those seafood bread too - look at that alligator (crocodile?) one!! I;d not be able to eat them cos they're all so cute!!

Thank you so so so so so much for sharing these fabulous scenes from an equally fab city!! I'm so glad you and hubby had a fantastic time!! And how better to end it that with a sumptious seafood dining experience.

Have a lovely Friday!!!

Take care
x

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, Wonderful recap of the area! The pictures of everything from the food (love those breads!) and the sea lions and seals are great! You really made me want to plan a trip there.
♥, Susan

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

What a great trip you must have had...I went back and caught up
on your trip. I've never thought about visiting San Francisco, but you've made it sound so intersting and exciting. I'd love to see the seals and eat in Chinatown. And a trolley ride too. How could I forget? I know my legs would be aching...everything is flat, flat, flat here.

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, I have been in San Francisco three times, once for my niece's wedding. It is beautiful there. I rode the cable car, walked all over Fisherman's Wharf and loved seeing the seals. We ate in China Town and ate Dungeness crab. (not in China town) which sadly put me in the hospital because I am allergic to shell fish. Up to then I was able to eat crab. The Dr. said it could have been in the same pot that lobster had been boiled. I will never know but crab meat is no longer in my diet. HA! I am sorry to say, I did not have the infamous Irish coffee.

I love your post Pat. It really shows the wonderful parts of San Francisco. Did you go to Muir Woods? An awesome place.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.
Hugs, Jeanne

Just a little something from Judy said...

Thank you! Thank you! I have never been to San Francisco, and now thanks to you, your ability to capture beauty via camera and your skill in documenting, I feel like I have had a visit early on this Saturday morning. I loved it! What a lovely place to visit whether it is for pleasure or business. I learned so much.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I've so enjoyed your posts on San Francisco...Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. I feel like I was right back there once again. Love that place!

Jenny said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely post for Rainbow Summer School.

This just took me away from our wicked hot Phoenix Sunday to a wonderful place where beautiful views, delicious smells, tasty treasts AND amazing sites abound.

Thank you Pat.

You always take my breath away.

A+