We took a brief trip to San Francisco early this month. Katie has a graduate student who was presenting at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) December meeting. We left Tucson during the afternoon of Wednesday, December 5th, and arrived at SFO after dark and just behind the last of the heavy rains that week. We took the BART into downtown and walked up the hill to our hotel. We actually had a great view from our room (a bit different than the usual city view of adjacent brick walls). The photo below was taken
from the room, looking down on the Christmas tree in Union Square Park and ice skaters to its left. In the background is the large Macy's store, where we had a late dinner at one of celebrity Chef Hubert Keller's Burger Bars - an interesting but noisy place.
On Thursday, I walked the streets of San Francisco, sort of like Karl Malden, but in search of bookstores to investigate. Did have some success - more on that later. Katie and her student spent the day at the AGU meetings down at the Convention Center. We had dinner in a nice Italian restaurant on Sutter Street, Cesario's. It has mixed online reviews, but we were lucky and had a very good dinner there. On Friday morning morning I returned to a bookstore, while Katie finished attending another session at the AGU.
We then met Katie's sister, Lisa, and her husband Jim, and took a cab over to the Old Ft. Mason area. Great views on the sunny day we had - below is a panoramic photo I grabbed from the internet. The Ft. is now under the care of the National Park Service and is home to restaurants, museums, and stores, as well as a great Friends of the Library bookstore. We had reservations at a well-known, vegetarian restaurant - Greens. Details about this wonderful restaurant are at their website - http://www.greensrestaurant.com/
This was the third time we'd gone to the restaurant and it is one of our San Francisco favorites. While we were eating, a seal popped up next to the pier to take a look at what was happening. I shot the photo of
him/her right from my chair in the restaurant - picking up some artifacts from the window. I also got a restricted shot of a large cargo ship (below) steaming into the Bay after a long trip across the Pacific. It is
loaded with hundreds of truck-sized shipping containers, undoubtedly filled with cheap goods from China that are headed to WalMart stores across the country. So it goes. After we finished our visit to Ft. Mason, Lisa and Jim headed off to do some shopping before heading back to Davis. Katie and I took a taxi back to downtown and then the BART back to SFO for an evening flight home.
The bookstore that I visited at length during this trip was the Argonaut Book Shop at 786 Sutter Street.
Above shows the store from across the street - will be hard to see when those newly planted trees mature. Photo below shows an interior shot that captured owner Robert D. Haines, Jr., sitting at his desk back there on the left side. The store was founded in 1941 by Robert D. Haines, and was a founding member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Bob has run the store for the last 40 years. I have visited here each time we've been in San Francisco and spent hours browsing the shelves, always finding a few .
items that are too tempting to leave behind. Angela C. Haines and Aaron C. Haines have joined their father in the business, becoming third-generation booksellers. Details concerning the Argonaut are at:
Some of the items that returned to Tucson with us are shown here. Above are two books concerning the "Apache Kid," who evolved from a trusted Army scout into a hated and hunted outlaw. I hope that some of my customers who study Southwest history may find these titles of interest. Below is a Steinbeck-related item. It is actually a beautifully produced brochure advising of The Yolla Bolly Press' publication of a special, limited edition of Steinbeck's Zapata. Wish that I had one of the limited editions to show, but the brochure is a rare and interesting item itself. So, that's a brief summary of our quick, end-of-the year trip.