mardi 17 août 2010

San Francisco trip part two

On our second day in SF, we booked a really great tour of the city and Muir Forest (the Redwoods). We spent half the day touring around in Elie's Green Dream tour bus, which uses bio-fuel. It was super entertaining and he had lots of awesome local info, like SF is one of the greenest cities in terms of fuel used (many buses use electricity, bio-fuel) and stores a certain size and larger have to use paper bags, no plastic. The redwoods were a breathtaking stop, the forest is a peaceful, quiet refuge from the city. Unfortunately we only got to spend 40 minutes there, we would have stayed longer.

Unfortunately it was really foggy that day (as it was most days) so the Golden Gate was half-obscured. Still amazing though!!

We couldn't believe how tall some of the trees were :D

One of the city's famous streetcars. We didnt get to ride one (though we rode a cable-car, somewhat less theatric)

It doesn't look like it but the hill we had to climb during the tour was insanely steep. It had 3 levels, and we were almost out of breath after the 1st one!!

At the top of the hill was the "world's crookedest street" which is in fact the 2nd, not the 1st. Still really crazy though!!

We loved these trees, they looked like they were made with cookie-cutters!!

We stopped in Haight-Ashbury on the tour for a bit, they have all these awesome Victorian-Edwardian houses, and really silly shops. We spent half a day there later in the week.

The very famous "postcard row", a block of Victorian houses that feature in a lot of movies and sitcoms if I'm not mistaken, and as the name implies, on many postcards and souvenirs. One of them was for sale at around 5 million $. o__o

Then we visited the Castro area, their "gay village". Its a really nice neighborhood, less threatening than the main downtown area we were staying in. Again a lot of funny shops, with some obvious "themes" going on.

I thought this was a winner painting, I just had to have a shot with it XD

Innah found some rather risqué ads on the telephone posts. These were pretty typical of the area, as were sex shops. There were 3 in a row at one point, kinda reminded me of Ste. Catherine's!

To top everything off, Elie raffled off some tickets to a local show and gave us discount cards to some of his friend's businesses. Innah guessed right on one of his trivia questions and we won them! At first we weren't sure about it since the show was a "Didgeridoo concert", but it turned out to be one of the most fantastic shows either of us had been to. It was experimental, intimate (small-ish venue, it was a jazz club called Yoshi's) and I had some delicious berry tea, steeped in a pot that lasted the entire performance. Truly an amazing 2nd day!!

This guy, Ondrej Smeykal, was doing all kinds of space-surreal sounds, at certain points almost sounded like electronica!! I enjoyed his music the most.


Innah and Nicole's amazing SAN FRANCISCO trip part 1

One day this summer I randomly said to Innah, "man I want to go to California! We should go this summer!!" but I was only half-serious about it, being pretty broke and trying to save up for school. About a week or so later her dad said, well if you want to go you can stay at Innah's uncle's. I was immediately all over the idea and we started looking for cheap tickets and we decided we would stay in San Francisco for a week, at the beginning of August. A few weeks passed and Innah's uncle told us he would be out of town, so we wouldn't be able to stay anymore. At first we were kind of disappointed, thinking we'd have to throw out our plans, but (I forget who got the idea) we decided to look up hostels and stay in the city instead of staying in San Jose at her uncles. This proved to be one of the best changes as it is a 50 mile drive from his house!! We forgot to take photos of the hostel but it was super awesome, almost like staying in a hotel. We got a private room all nights except for one, it was tidy and had a super cool atmosphere, and the building itself was a sight to see.

I really wish we took photos of the interior and our room, it was a pretty cool place.

Other than the flights, everything could not have gone better. Air Canada and United pretty much dropped the ball on us, both ways our flights were delayed. We waited 2 hours in Trueau airport when they told us our fight would arrive 2 hours late, resulting in us missing our connection to SF. Then on the way back our flight was 30 minutes late to leave, and we only had 30 minutes at Vancouver's airport to pick up our luggage, go through customs, then re-check our bags. It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences. We missed our flight back home, and the only one available was an 11:45pm flight. It was just 3:30pm, and I was like HELL NO. We marched around the airport to customer service, and after heckling with the lady at the desk she got us vouchers to stay in a nice hotel in Vancouver. Kind of stressful but a nice extra day for the trip (we got to stay at the Radisson and we ventured downtown for some Japanese food). Going back to our departure, we decided to stay at Innahs and took the flight to SF the next morning. Fortunately it was a direct flight so we got there in 6 hours. Also the fun thing was that we left at 8:20 am and got there at 11:30 their time, so we enjoyed the extra hours of our first day by walking to Union Square (the main area of downtown with the posh stores) and Chinatown, which didn't feel as big as I'd read as it was one street that stretched on for a while, instead of a few interconnected streets. But it didn't disappoint, we got lots of cool photos, visited a few neat stores and ate some delish chinese fare:

One of the cool odds-and-ends stores in Chinatown

I got to see a few sweet graffitis, this one was pretty cool although not the best. I still like the photo anyways.

Innah and I thought this was pretty crazy and awesome!!

The colours of some of the buildings are super crazy, our eyes almost exploded o__o kinda felt like we were in Miyazaki's Spirited Away!!

Blog restart..

Man I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've updated this thing!! As you can imagine, loads have happened since then. Long story short: I finished my 1st semester of 3rd year at Sheridan college, took a semester off, painted and drew my ass off to prepare for the Beaconsfield art exhibition which got cancelled due to rain *bawwww*, then participated in an arts + crafts fair in Montreal-Ouest, sold a painting there, got approached by the same person to show my work in her cafe (pending for September, I will update when it happens), went to SAN FRANCISCO for the first time for a week with my awesome pal Innah, and now I am getting ready to go see SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD for a second time.