Golden Gate Bridge – a worm’s eye view

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can 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

Me and the TC were in San Francisco over the weekend. We took a stroll under the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.

My impressions? Bleak, booming, bulky, brrr.

The book I’m in

Search for the Star Stones, by André Norton. A paperback volume combining two books: The Zero Stone, and Uncharted Stars. This worm loves a good Sci Fi yarn!

Travel tip

Always have warm clothing with you when in San Francisco, even in summer time.

The photos

Me (the most recognisable, most photographed bookworm in the world) under the most beautiful, most photographed bridge in the world:

Golden Gate Bridge - a worm's eye view

There were other people under the bridge that day:

Golden Gate Bridge - a worm's eye view

Watch the video to hear the booming of the wind and traffic overhead. You can almost feel the breeze pushing that chilly fog around:

That’s all for today, folks.

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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.

World Famous Bushman 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

Me and the TC have been in San Francisco for a couple of days now. Yesterday we encountered the World Famous Bushman. When he’s not lurking behind a bush, he goes by the name of David Johnson.

My impressions? This Bushman dude knows where it’s at. Dollars roll in.

Photos and a video below.

Travel tip

Oscar Wilde is said to have said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It’s neither summer nor winter here right now, but it is cold. And very windy. I tremble in trepidation whenever the TC waves me around in search of the perfect photographic pose. If you happen to spot me blowing willy-nilly through the Californian streets, please catch me and put me into a good book.

Recommended restaurant

On the Bridge restaurant in Japan Town presents food yoshoku style. That’s western food but with a Japanese influence, as eaten by the people of Japan. The restaurant itself is energetic and cheerful in yellow and green with touches of pink, orange and blue. Garfield and other more cuddly toys watch over you as you eat. Anime rules. “Beware the attack chef.”

The book I’m in

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson.

Yep, still the same book. The TC has not had much time for reading recently. This makes for a restful life for me, except when I’m hauled out for the occasional celebrity photo shoot.

The photos

Peg has been making a perfect pest of herself over the last couple of days, because she wants everyone to know she’s here too. So, to pacify Peg, here’s me and Peg perched on the TC’s pouch:

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

Now that’s Peg out of the way, let’s move on to the World Famous Bushman. Your typical tourist does not even notice this bush:

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

Yikes, lookee here — the horror, the horror:

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

The World Famous Bushman skulks behind his branches on Fisherman’s Wharf. Every now and then, he leaps out and scares the unsuspecting passers-by. Funnily enough, they don’t even notice the circle of other tourists around the Bushman, waiting with drawn cameras to film the scare.

Would you believe that the TC paid him $5 for a photograph and a gag? From the comfort of my book buried in her bag, I heard her engage him in conversation. Uh-oh, thinks me, here we go. He asked her where she came from.

“South Africa.”

“Oh,” says the World Famous Bushman, “then you know what a real bushman is!”

That’s when she handed over the $5. Bushman dude, you rock!

Here’s a short video of the Bushman in action:

While we’re in the area, here’s a picture of Alcatraz taken from Fisherman’s Wharf just behind the Bushman:

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

We had a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, also near Fisherman’s Wharf:

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

World Famous Bushman in San Francisco

That’s all for today dudes.