Taking Public Transportation In Style In ‘The City’
Everyone knows about the cable cars in San Francisco, of course. I take them when I visit fro a few of reasons: I don’t have to walk up certain hills, I can get from Fisherman’s Wharf or even the Marina District to downtown fairly quickly and easily and – most of all – I like hanging out over the side while hanging onto the pole.
That’s a true “I’m in San Francisco” experience if you ask me. You simply can’t get that anywhere else in the world.
But I also enjoy riding the street cars.
Most tourists don’t even know what the street cars are, but you should because they are a great way to move along the waterfront and their classic style always takes me back mentally in time.
They are a 1950s design and I often picture myself living in that era, taking one of these cars to work while wearing a black suit with a super-thin tie, a long overcoat and a fedora on my head and a newspaper rolled up under my sleeve.
The street cars run along the Embarcadero from the ferry building to Pier 39. I always get off at Pier 23, a favorite locals’ afternoon – and especially Sunday afternoons – restaurant and watering hole. It’s a San Francisco institution.
The street cars stop literally right in front of Pier 23. Being from Los Angeles and having public transportation take you directly to a destination is something so foreign and cool to me I get tickles up my spine just thinking about it.
I can then take it back to downtown or onto Pier 39, where I can grab a Cable Car Cocktail by he fireplace at Fog Harbor Fish House or for Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista. At which point, I could get take a cable car up one of those famous San Francisco hills (Hyde Street) and walk down curvy Lombard Street.
So in a half a day, using these two modes of classic transportation, I can truly experience San Francisco’s culture as well as a couple of its classic watering holes and drinks.