27 July, 2006

California Conservation

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 5:39 pm, 27 July 2006.

Before I leave San Francisco on the blog, I wanted to point out something quite prominent in the city (although I don’t really know whether it’s the same across the US). California’s Yosemite was the second national park in the States, and was first defended by John Muir (he made this pledge from Inspiration Point), who is highly commemorated here as a pioneer of conservationism in SF area. (more…)

A Big Park

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 5:38 pm, 27 July 2006.

In Australia we pride ourselves in things like the Big Pinapple. Here there are also lots of Big things. I went to the Big Hole last week, more grandly known as the Grand Canyon. This week, in one day, I saw a Big Rock (El Capitan—a Big Climb if that’s your thing), a Big Waterfall (the 800m Yosemite Falls) and a grove of Big Trees (Grand Sequoias), all within the Big Park of Yosemite in California’s northeast. (more…)

I want to ride my bicycle

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 4:57 pm, 27 July 2006.

the bikeGolden Gate BridgeYes, I combatted a long-term fear and had a wonderful day on Monday by riding around San Francisco on a bicycle. Everyone had been saying it’s the thing to do and bicycle rentals were littered around the city. I had liked the idea of joining the masses pedalling down the streets, only that I had never cycled on a street (only footpaths), and had never used gears. Having been in San Francisco for 5 days and not having seen its main feature attraction, the Golden Gate bridge, I knew that walking or cycling across it was a must, but gathering the courage to actually climb on a vehicle that would only fall over if I didn’t push it was a little beyond me. (more…)

26 July, 2006


Filed under: USA by Joel @ 7:37 pm, 26 July 2006.

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. I decided to go to the Asian Art Museum in the afternoon, although if I was cleverer I would’ve asked around and gone to the more exciting Museum of Modern Art or de Young Museum. San Francisco certainly likes its art. (more…)

24 July, 2006

Frum by the bay

Filed under: Jewish community,USA by Joel @ 3:19 pm, 24 July 2006.

On Wednesday morning in Vegas, I printed out a list of Bay Area synagogues, and looked up some maps to show me that I only had a few options approaching downtown San Francisco. So I called “Young Israel San Francisco” (I guess “young” sort of appealed) first from Vegas, and later from a public telephone in Oakland airport. In three 50c phonecalls from the airport to a woman who answered with “Hebrew Academy”, I had arranged a place to stay, eat and pray on shabbat, and public transport there. I thought that was pretty good-going.

Still, when I arrived on the doorstep of Rabbi Lipner a little late (public transport instructions didn’t match reality too closely) at 6:30pm on Friday afternoon, I didn’t know what to expect, nor what anyone answering the door should expect of the hairy youth on their doorstep carrying three large bags. (more…)


Filed under: USA by Joel @ 3:19 pm, 24 July 2006.

Mural in Coit TowerBay Bridge1933-4 were recurring themes in my walk around San Francisco on Thursday. It was this depression era that brought about San Francisco’s famous suspended bridges (the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge). It was a major time in the history of Levi Strauss Company as it occupied all its many workers in producing their classic riveted jeans. It was the year when the Coit Tower was built and its walls decorated. Although the city was founded on a North Californian goldrush in the 19th century, it this year commemorates the centenary of its collapse under earthquake and fire in 1906. The city has grown to its beautiful and lively self, since, coated with trams and tourists (at least this time of year).

Over 7 hours I wandered 14 miles around the San Francisco bay from south to north. By the end all I wanted was a felafel and a beer. But I still uploaded photos for my dedicated fans. (more…)

21 July, 2006

My heart in San Francisco

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 1:47 pm, 21 July 2006.

Clouds on the return to CaliforniaWednesday afternoon the plane finally took off from Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. An hour and a half later we landed in Oakland, CA, which is west of Downtown San Francisco, where I’d reserved a hostel room for the night. (more…)

20 July, 2006

Message me!

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 12:46 pm, 20 July 2006.

Well, you could call me too, but I have to pay when you call me because the American phone system is silly. Still, my number while in the USA is:

+1-415-248-6111 (Note, 25 Dec. 2006: this number is now invalid. Do not try to call me on it. When I am in Canada, call me on +1-514-659-4506)


Escape from Nevada

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 3:21 am, 20 July 2006.

I know now what to answer that guy who yesterday asked where to propose to a girlfriend. Over the communication system of a helicopter descending into the Grand Canyon would be a highly adequate option. (more…)

18 July, 2006

Change plans?

Filed under: USA by Joel @ 8:33 pm, 18 July 2006.

I thought I would share a couple of potential changes in plan and ask for anyone’s opinion on them: (more…)

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