I’ve just returned from a two week trip to the United States, accompanied by my friend Joe. The first week we got a taste of what it’s like to be a ‘San Franciscan’…
San Francisco Chinatown is apparently the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. We went back for a few visits; it has a great atmosphere.
We took a boat trip from San Francisco Bay, which took us out under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge took around four years to complete and cost more than $35 million, but it was completed ahead of schedule and even under budget. It’s not until you’re up close that you understand just how vast the bridge really is. It’s an outstanding structure.
Previous to it being the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island was a military fortification and later a military prison. In 1969, it was even occupied for almost two years by a group of Native Americans.
We stumbled across the Musée Mécanique when walking across Fisherman’s Warf. The museum is supposedly one of the world’s largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines. If you have a terrible fear of clowns or dolls I don't recommend visiting; there are some rather creepy fortune-telling machines lurking there.
Being film fanatics, we even squeezed in two film locations: Steiner Street, to visit the house of Mrs Doubtfire (oddly at the exact same address as mentioned in the film), and Sister Act’s St. Katherine’s Parish (really St. Paul’s Catholic Church).