(A World-Class City)
One's 40th birthday comes
around only once in life (well, DUH ...) and, in celebration of
mine, I flew with a friend to San Francisco to party and feast
and take in the sites.
I had spent a month one day in
San Francisco, back in 1978, when I took a Greyhound bus from the
Language Institute in Monterey so that I could buy a
stereo receiver, and was accosted by every conceivable sort
of whacko. I witnessed a street fight between "Reborn
Christians" from the Union Mission and Hare Krishnas, who
hurled religious books and obscenities at each other while
several hundred Japanese tourists took photographs and could not
wait to get back on the plane and show everyone back home what
Americans were REALLY like. It gave me a
less-than-favorable impression of the city, one which, I am happy
to say, was completely changed by this visit.
Sy's good friends Roscoe and
Wendy, owners of the acclaimed Rivoli
Restaurant in Berkeley, were kind
enough to put up with us for four days. If you should ever be in
Berkeley, please make a point of visiting their restaurant. We
had dinner one night at Chez Pannise, a legendary restaurant in Berkeley, which was very
good, but the next night we ate at Rivoli, and it blew Chez
Panisse out of the water. It was the best meal I have ever eaten,
and I have eaten many.
As much as I love Atlanta, I
must admit that it is a cow town compared to San Francisco.
It is simply one of the most beautiful cities I have ever
seen. Following is some of what I saw: