Friday, October 05, 2007

san francisco

"Is everyone in San Franciso Jewish?" I asked the people driving me back to where I'm staying in Oakland.


I ask that question because I am simply astounded at the amount of food and restaurants all over the place. Food I've never seen before - cookies from Australia, polenta for breakfast, egg burritos with spinach, blackbeans and salsa. Today I had a serrano stuffed with Mexican cheese. I asked the Spanish woman if it was spicy.

"No, you don't have to worry. It eeesant spicee."

Never trust the Spanish when they say "it eeesant spicee." It was very spicy.

Even in pitstops on the road they sold organic coffee and organic salad.

Needless to say, I'm quite impressed with their food selections.

San Francisco is lovely and I didn't suffer jetlag at all. On Tuesday evening my friends from the Rolling Stones email list took me out for Mexican food, where I had a cheese enchilada and a mochito drink. By the evening's end my speech was slurring and it was tough for me to keep my eyes open - I hadn't slept properly in 30 hours.

By the next morning my hosts directed me on the local transportation. It was easy for me to maneuver. And why shouldn't it be? Everything's in English. I told everyone I came in contact with that I'm from Jerusalem. I like to see their reactions.

I went to Alcatraz which was fascinating for me, especially because they have this audio tour which isn't like any other with boring narratives. Basically, the criminals and guards at Alcatraz come to life in this fabulous audio tour, complete with sound effects of cell gates slamming shut and tough guy talk coming from the prisoners. Even the prison riots seemed so real, as they directed you throughout the prison.

I wandered around afterwards in Fisherman's Wharf just taking it all in, eating a red snapper taco - which was heavenly - at a seaside place called Dantes. Not expensive either. I took in the Del Monte Cannery where the had lovely American Indian crafts.

I forgot to mention that the day I arrived I sauntered over to Long's Pharmacy which was many aisles long. I bought a shitload of crazy things to take back home, - gifts for my girls and a lambswool duster and organic cough lozenges!

But getting back to the present - there were the expected street crazies who made me laugh. And the old trolleys came alive and took us back to the Federal building. I walked all the way up market street, but I think I enjoy the quaint places better than the modern San Francisco stores. You won't get me in Macy's.

Today I took a rather pricey bus tour to Monterrey and Carmel - 2 1/2 hours south of San Francisco. We had a bus driver who said he was Italian, but spoke with a Spanish accent whose name was Efram. Or in Hebrew it would be Ephraim, one of the 12 tribes. We actually spoke about it, - he doesn't have any idea why his dad named him Efram, but perhaps he's one of the "lost Jews" who were forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition. But these days I'm thinking everyone with a Spanish accent might be a lost Jew.

I got to get ready for camp tomorrow. We are going to be in the Sierra Mountains. And it's cold there. And there are bears there too. ugh. Unless he's Smokey the Bear, I'm not thrilled about meeting any of these animals. So - I gotta go back. Will report after camp, I'm sure I'll be computerless until then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"San Francisco is lovely"?

No, it isn't. It's a Hell Hole.

Are you saying we should blame this on Jews?