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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Trolley rides and more

I have been in the San Francisco bay area for 9 years and I have not taken the trolley ride! Blasphemy cried the wife, who has recently taken some kind of resolution on correcting my past misteps!

So off we went on a family outing (with the cousin family) to SFO this morning, and took the trolley ride from Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square and back.

The entire day was spent in Union square, watching artwork on display, watching passers by, having the occasional shiver, buying contrabrand Compact Flash cards for throwaway prices, chasing kids through crowds and waiting in one loooooooong line to get back in that trolley! "Thank god for cars. No wonder we never do this!" was the unanimous verdict of the adults in the group. The kids as usual, disagreed.

Here is the trip in pictures !

This picture was taken while we waited in the fog for the trolley ride to begin.

When the trolley starts from Beach street, it almost feels like a roller coaster ride with Alcatraz zooming away from you!

No wonder, the kids loved the ride and thought this could be a routine form of transportation.

There was a woman following our trolley in her car! I cannot imagine driving on these steep roads, that too with a cell phone in one hand. High time the city of San Francisco put a notice as you enter which says "Do not try driving like this at home. All drivers are professions in a closed course" or something to that effect!

The art work on display.

Here is the chasing kids part! Of course you get to see only one kid out of four. I am sure Balaji will post photos of his two.

Now why do you see only baby's photos recently ? Well, Jr. is a big girl now and she went in to the cosmetic stores to check out stuff. I can only take pictures of the kid that hangs out with me. No, I take that back. I do not take pictures of the little one because she is stuck with me. She is a delight and challenge to photograph! Always on the move and always testing the camera's ability to adjust focus in the last nanosecond...

Did I mention the long wait for the return trolley ? Well, here is the line (circle describes it better) around the terminal. Have you seen a railway track that ends like this? This is the first time I saw this system. The little trolley comes and stands at the end, the dudes pull a lever and the tram rotates 180 degrees! It is then pushed back to the return line. The way they had engineered this was very very interesting.

Not to waste time while waiting, I captured a few shots of the tall buildings on either side.

The gray facades were a little on the gloomy side, but the sharp lines were eye catching.

The rows of balconys and..

the rows of fire escapes reminded me of Philadelphia. I used to live in a building with fire escape ladders, a long time ago...

Finally after many a photograph, we got into our return trolley..

The street pigeons were violent! Started wondering if this had anything to do with the local environment at Union Square.

One interesting and irritating item on the tour was this "join Jesus or burn in Hell" slogan shouting guy at Union square. He somehow managed to get a real loud speaker and was screaming about the "born again Christian" movement and went on and on about burning in hell, gays, lesbians, morality, etc. etc. to the point that he was downright offensive. I know we have freedom of speech but we have the right to denounce other religions, sexual preference with a loud speaker in a public place? Now that was a surprise!

A bunch of gay and lesbian folk (who are not that hard to find in SFO) gave him the finger, went up close and video taped him. A lesbian couple even kissed below his make shift podium (overturned bucket) and took pictures. Pretty soon the Jesus dude's supporters who were holding other "born again" placards came and stood near him and the onlookers (aka innocent bystanders) started worrying that it might evolve into a brawl. The heat was still on as we departed Union Square! We could have had lunch at the "Gaylord" restaurant in Ghirardeli square to exaggerate the irony, but decided that ice cream and hot chocolate was enough before driving back home!

Do not know what other places I have failed to visit over the years. I am sure I will find out soon, and so will you!


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:13 PM, Blogger visithra wrote...

ooh i love the shot of baby in front of the heart shaped baloon???

lol u sound jealous complaining about jr ;p lol

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

i meant to search for this before but forgot - here is it was done in india long ago!

- s.b.


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