Old Gold Mountain – My Street Experience

by | February 26, 2019 |

Old Gold Mountain is the name for San Francisco in Chinese, seen in the title image. As mentioned in the previous post, gold was discovered in California in the 1840s.

This is my walking-around-the-city blog. It’s my kind of tourism: wandering around to see what I can see.

My street experience falls into four categories.

Old Gold Mountain: The Crimson Hour

Old Gold Mountain is the title of Part I of my second time-slip romance, The Crimson Hour. The story takes place in San Francisco – Bucharest, Romania – and Hong Kong of the 1890s and 1990s.

I’ve been to San Francisco quite a number of times. I used my experiences one of those times to depict the city my hero and heroine, Hanes Reynolds and Eloise Popescu, move through. Eloise, by the way, has been a screw-up her whole life. What she sets in motion in The Crimson Hour is the last, massive entry she makes in her screw-up-a-log.

Old Gold Mountain: China Town

Here’s what I saw this time around when I laced up for an early morning walking tour.

San Francisco takes its Chinese heritage seriously. Around the corner from China Town on Union Square is Saks Fifth Avenue. They have their windows all done up for Chinese New Year.

Old Gold Mountain

Happy Lunar New Year

February 5 began the Year of the Pig.

Chinese New Year is recognized all over the city:

Old Gold Mountain

I got to the Grant Avenue gate:

Old Gold Mountain

And arrived at the corner of Grant and California:

Old Gold Mountain

Chinese lanterns and Chinese street lamps are everywhere:

Old Gold Mountain

Here’s a China Town glimpse of the Transamerica Building:

Old Gold Mountain

Speaking of which ….

Old Gold Mountain: Glimpses

The fun of walking around such a hilly city as San Francisco is that you get glimpses of the tourist attractions I put on my Top Ten last Friday – and some I didn’t.

Golden Gate Bridge

From the top of Lombard Street:

Old Gold Mountain

Going to cross it on my way to Mill Valley, Marin County to visit my niece

Old Gold Mountain

Up close:

Old Gold Mountain

The giant Ghiradelli Square sign: reverse angle

Old Gold Mountain

Downtown seen from Nob Hill:

Old Gold Mountain

Note the street sign: steep grade!

Here’s a glimpse of Coit Tower seen from the Ferry Building:

Old Gold Mountain

Coit Tower sits atop Telegraph Hill. Its famous for being famous, I guess

Turn around and there’s the Ferry Building:

Old Gold Mountain

Then there’s inside the Ferry Building:

Old Gold Mountain

It’s chock full of boutiques and restaurants selling mostly food and almost everything else

Ferries do leave from the docks out back.

As I walked around I glimpsed the island of Alcatraz:

Old Gold Mountain

Alcatraz was infamous for the notorious federal prison of the same name that existed there from 1934 – 1963. The word alcatraz is a Spanish borrowing from Arabic meaning ‘pelican.’

Here’s the view outside my hotel window:

Old Gold Mountain

Across the street from 761 Post Street

Houses in San Francisco are distinctive.

On a hill:

Old Gold Mountain

On the level:

Old Gold Mountain

Old Gold Mountain: New ChinaTown

One restaurant recommended to me by several people is Burma Superstar on Clement.

Old Gold Mountain

It was too mobbed for me to get it, so I didn’t have any Burmese cuisine. However I did discover this part of town that is the new China Town.

Old Gold Mountain

Hardly China here with The Blue Danube Coffee House and the Vietnamese restaurant. Neither is the Mexican place I ate at a few doors down from Burma Superstar

Old Gold Mountain: Who can afford it?

I paid for my hotel on points, ate breakfast out a couple of times, and splurged liberally on Lyft. Otherwise, I didn’t really experience the cost of living in San Francisco. However, I’ve long heard that it is super expensive.

High Prices: The Sublime

I took this photo of a house for sale on California Street so I could look up its sale price.

Old Gold Mountain

I was unable to find this particular listing at Vanguard Properties, so I cannot say how many millions it costs, but it’s surely more than one

High Prices: The Ridiculous

Here’s the receipt for the nail file I bought in San Francisco:

Old Gold Mountain

$6.49?! I didn’t look at the price before buying it and almost didn’t believe my ears when the cashier rang it up.

Here’s what 50₵ more buys you at the Harris Teeter in Durham, NC:

Old Gold Mountain

I couldn’t find an individual nail file. My guess is it would cost under $2

Hey, it’s not about the money – or maybe it is. The more desirable place to live, the more expensive. Simple fact of life.

I was totally happy I spent the weekend in San Francisco.

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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen

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