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Solo San Francisco Recap: Day 6 (The Final Day)

September 18, 2010

San Francisco and I part company this afternoon when my flight leaves at 1:30. I really can’t believe it’s over….or is it?

Day 6

4:30 am I’m up–is my body already trying to readjust to East Coast time? At any rate, this gives me extra time to make sure I’ve packed everything. After packing and re-packing and readjusting my bags, everything finally fits. It’s still early and I realize: hey, I’ve still got a few hours in this town. I grab my jacket and head out the door.

6:45 am It’s an overcast morning. The sky is cool and gray overhead as I wait for the bus to take me up to Alamo Square. The ride isn’t long and soon I’m there. Far away from the tourist droves of Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, the park is a welcome surprise. Small, green hills rise toward the park’s center while dog owners let their tamed pets run wild and free. It’s quiet still and I’m loving this. I’m loving it even more because it’s not the park I’ve come to see; I’ve come for the iconic and colorful Victorian homes stacked against each other on the rising hill—the Painted Ladies. It’s certainly not an “ooh, ahh” moment when I see them, but it’s a pleasure nonetheless.

Man's best friend, Alamo Square, and the city beyond...

Shortly afterward, I hop a bus to take me to Divisadero Street; I walk down Divisadero to Haight Street, and then take another bus up Haight to Lyon Street. It’s just a neighborhood, so why am I here? To pay homage to a scrappy, big-voiced blues-rocker who died way too soon: Janis Joplin. I walk down Lyon and it’s not what I’m expecting. The neighborhood is completely gentrified and the houses seem a little too white-picket-fence, but I continue to the house numbered 112. I’m shocked to find there’s no physical evidence that Janis Joplin ever lived here: no sign, no plaque, nothing. If she ever lived here, there’s no trace of it, in the house or in the neighborhood. If Janis ever was here, she’s not here anymore. I take out my mp3 player anyway. It’s only right that I’m listening to her music while I stand on this ground. (Imagine my disbelief when I find out later that my guidebook has reprinted a common error—Janis lived at 122 Lyon Street, not 112. I feel sheepish.)

9:00 am I’m back at the Ferry Building eating a chocolate croissant and drinking hot chocolate at Peet’s Coffee & Tea. After finishing my meal I walk around looking for local gifts for my friends and colleagues, settling on some Scharffen Berger chocolates and then purchasing some maple walnut and chocolate almond fudge from a market vendor outside. I grab the F line streetcar towards 3rd Street and Mission because I’m determined to use the final voucher in my CityPass booklet for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I’m excited because I appreciate modern art so imagine my disappointment when I approach the door and the museum hasn’t opened yet and won’t open until 11 am, precisely when I need to leave for the airport. Bummer.

Tuesday morning farmer's market at the Ferry Building

10:30 am Back at the Mosser, I give my room one last once over—I’m thisclose to leaving my pajamas under the pillows—and close the door behind me. It’s an odd wistful feeling; the room was my home for five days, and I almost feel like I’m leaving a friend behind. However, it’s best when cutting ties to do it quickly. I go downstairs to the front desk and unceremoniously check out. Minutes later, I’m walking toward the BART station at 4th and Market and as I descend into the subterranean world, it’s like a symbolic death. I’m leaving the physical San Francisco behind, but the memories I’m taking with me are immortal.

The BART to SFO. Farewell San Francisco!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2010 11:41 am

    I love your blog 🙂
    I so happen to live in the SF area now it was super cool to read about your experience.
    In July I went to St. John and traveled the BVI.
    You’ve got a fan in me 🙂

    • October 22, 2010 12:04 pm

      Thanks so much! I loved, loved, loved San Francisco and I would definitely go back again sometime!

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