I've had a good wander around san fran i ...

Trip Start Aug 08, 2002
Trip End Feb 01, 2004

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, October 10, 2002

I've had a good wander around San Fran. I still haven't seen all the Golden Gate Bridge, it's been fogged over both times I've been to look at it.

It's quite amazing how many films have been shot in San Fran. I went to the main library yesterday and realised it was in a Nicholas Cage film (city of angels, I think). I went to the library to have a look in the Lonely Planet guide book for San Fran. In there was a bit about the Panama Pacific Expo, which SF hosted, and a fantastic building called "The Palace of the Arts."

Imagine, if you will, a roman structure, still standing. At the centre a large, round gazibo (it's the only way I can think to describe it) about 150 ft high. Off that branch two covered walk ways. Both have roman columns. I had to go see it.

It's the last remaining structure of the Expo, which was in 1915 if I remember correctly. It's set in a beautiful landscaped park, with a little pond. It's fantastic. It's like going to Rome and seeing some of the buildings there, one the same scale definitely. Not quite as impressive as it's molded from concrete and was built 85 years ago, rather than carved from marble and 2000 years ago, but hey.

On the way over to see it, I was passing the end of a road, and looked to stare down the hill (and there are plenty in SF). I stopped in my stride, something didn't look quite right. There was a large fountain of water spewing up from the pavement. It reminded me of when you see cars in american movie smashing over a fire hydrant. That's because it was, previously at least, a fire hyrdant. A furniture loan company was unloading furniture at the top of the hill when the brakes on the lorry failed and it started off downhill. When I saw it, it had come to rest about 40 yards down, on the pavement on the opposite side. It had flattened one tree, and was balanced on another that was under it, which had stopped it smashing into the side of a few houses (stopped it by about 3 inches). The front of the lorry was a mess, and there was god knows how much water spewing down underneath it.

Finally, the fire brigade turned up and switched off the hydrant (collecting the sheared off one as well. Then left it for a tow truck to come. Two police cars turned up to have a look, and a city truck turned up to pick up the debris (even though the tow truck wasn't in sight even when I'd left). A news crew turned up to join a crowd of astonished onlookers who were taking photographs. There was also (for some strange reason I have yet to fathom) an art class who started drawing the scene! I swear I don't invite these things, or go looking, they just happen to me.

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