Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC) .

Today’s travel notes

A few days ago, me and the TC climbed up to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill and saw the frescoes on the walls of the tower.

Later the same day, we had tea at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. This little restaurant introduced fortune cookies to the United States. There’s even a claim that fortune cookies were invented by Makoto Hagiwara, caretaker of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.

The fortune cookies and the frescoes are at opposite ends of town, so why write about them in one blog post? Purely for the sake of the alliteration. I could claim a philosophical juxtaposition of commerce and art, or of kitch and realism. But no, it’s the allure of the alliteration. That’s assonance, man.

Travel tip

Treat yourself to a chocolate. If you’ve never had a Hershie Bar, they’re worth trying.

The book I’m in

Managing Writers, A Real World Guide to Managing Technical Documentation, by Richard L. Hamilton.

This bookworm is munching on the feast of quotable bits in this book. Here’s an appetiser from the section on “The Elements of Technical Writing”:

“Schedules are the closest thing to a ‘black art’ that you are likely to deal with as a documentation manager. The good news is that as a documentation manager, you will rarely set schedules; the bad news is that you will rarely set schedules.”

Tantalising? The explanation’s in the book.

The photos

Me with a fortune cookie in the Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

My fortune cookie says “You are next in line for promotion in your firm”. Look out, all worms, here I come!

Did you know that the origin of the fortune cookie is in some dispute? Some claim that Makoto Hagiwara, caretaker of the Japanese Tea Garden, created them. Others say that they were invented in Japan but the Tea Garden introduced fortune cookies into the United States:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Hopping over to the frescoes, here’s part of a wall inside Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, San Francisco:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Coit Tower was built in 1933 with money donated by Lillie Hitchcock Coit. Artists painted the frescoes and were paid as part of the Federal Government’s New Deal to help artists during the Great Depression.

Beautiful, huh? Yes, but take a closer look:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

The grimmer side of life is there in the painting too. A man has been run over by a car. Also, look closely in the first picture and you’ll see that someone is picking the pocket of the man in a white coat checking his watch.

Worried about imminent invasion by E.T. and his buddies? No need. The UFO Response Team is out in force, spotted here at the top of Haight near Golden Gate Park:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

And so it’s farewell to fair San Francisco. (Can’t resist that alliteration today.) Here’s me on Baker Beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background:

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Fortune cookies and frescoes in San Francisco

Me and the TC are off to Seattle. Where it rains.

That’s all for today dudes.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Did you realise that the UFO vehicle is being followed by a yellow UFO vehicle driven by some helmeted alien?

  2. Aargh, surrounded. This worm had noticed the aliens in the big black SUV heading on a collision course with our heroes. But I totally missed the sneaky yellow three-wheeler. Well spotted, Rhonda girl.


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