Tag Archives: urban vacations

Buskers by the Wharf

It has to be love…

The attention span and focus of their audience is minimal. Most passersby are looking for lunch.Or the next ferry to Alcatraz.  Street performers, or buskers, must relish the act of performing enough to ignore being ignored. Exposing a bit of soul-felt art in hopes of an answering smile, a bit of applause and hopefully, a dollar bill or two… This is not for the faint of heart or those desiring a steady income.

Street performance is encouraged along San Francisco’s Wharf waterfront. The Fisherman’s Wharf Street Performer Program regulates twelve designated performance locations in the public access Port area in recognition of the cultural contribution of such open air shows.  Miming, street dancing, instrumental performances and even operatic arias are but a few of the offerings one might wander past on a trek along the Embarcadero. The eclectic and energetic ambiance fits San Francisco -with her fluctuating temperatures, inclined streets and varied cultural pockets, very well.

Updated from February 1, 2010.

San Francisco Things To Do

There are numerous hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf, such as the stylish Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Argonaut Hotel, both within a couple blocks of all the action.

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The Embarcadero

Embarcadero

A palm-lined boulevard stirred by the clanging of cable cars and a steady breeze…

flag

“The Embarcadero” is the rather grand moniker of the roadway lining San Francisco’s eastern waterfront.  It begins below the Oakland Bay Bridge, winds past the old Ferry Building, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, finally ending at Pier 45.

alcatraz2

Along the way, one has views of many San Francisco landmarks including Coit Tower and Alcatraz Island.  The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) can be easily accessed at the Embarcardero Station southeast of the Ferry Building.

It’s an easy reference point:  wander west in San Francisco and eventually you’ll land on the Embarcadero.   Further still?  Wear a swimsuit.

eastern

San Francisco Things To Do

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GoCar Go!

GoCar

I guess it’s easier than riding a horse.  It parks compactly within the space of a motorcycle and isn’t likely to kick up its rear and send you spinning up, out and then down to the dirt (I’ve inserted a personal memory there).

GoCar going

The GoCar actually seems like an entertaining way to do a city tour at your own pace.  With built-in GPS navigation and a number of route options, the bright yellow two-seaters were hard to miss on San Francisco’s streets.  Occasionally one of the “talking cars” would approach from behind and broadcast an interesting data bit relevant to where I was currently walking.  They are new and novel enough to catch the attention of passersby, and the tours proceed as fast or slow as you care to go.  The GoCar’s GPS system routes drivers around the steepest hills where a passenger’s additional weight would make it a no-GoCar.

The last time I visited San Francisco we rented audio headsets to tour Alcatraz, a more fluid option than constantly stopping to read through a brochure.  This is the same principle -only you don’t even have to move your feet.

*Also available in Miami, Barcelona and Lisbon with rental rates that vary by location.

and a number of route options,

San Francisco Things To Do

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