Dating from Willie Brown, Jr.'s days as mayor, there are newspaper stands all over San Francisco sidewalks but not very many published papers anymore, which gives criers of doom handy spots to post their warnings.
I grew up in coastal Southern California which was a paradisical natural wonder until it was paved and reconfigured for car culture.
In a conscious rejection of that culture, I decided to never get a driver's license and travel via public transportation instead, which has led to many interesting adventures and social encounters with strangers.
A favorite public transport is ferryboats on San Francisco Bay, which are finally increasing after decades of stagnation, with new destinations and new docks.
Last month I took a weekend trip to Vallejo, the first in 15 years (click here for an account
The ferryboat back then was slow and small, taking 90 minutes, while the current vessel is huge, and only takes an hour. Also, in what constitutes a minor miracle, the ride is cheaper than it was fifteen years ago.
Vallejo was looking better since that last visit when the city had just declared bankruptcy after its public safety unions tipped the municipal budget over the edge (click here for a 2008 article
The place is still funky and affordable by Bay Area standards and downtown near the ferry terminal no longer feels spookily deserted.
There is even a sweet, small brewpub and a coffee shop at the Transit Center where you can sit outside and watch the world go by.
The views on this passage are wondrous, including Mount Tamalpais from 90 different angles...
...the Richmond Bridge...
...and the Golden Gate Bridge framing an avian feeding frenzy.
That's a trip I must do some day next summer. Thanks.
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