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We like to think of Peterman’s Eye as an old fashioned interactive community newspaper (if there is such a thing) focused on travel and curiosities. Talk with us about today’s post. Tell us about the places you’ve been. Or take a trip using J. Peterman’s exclusive travel services (coming soon). Read more...

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I'm all about business this morning, but I know enough to have things wrapped up by lunch time.

It's Dungeness crab season in Northern California, and there's no better way to enjoy the sweet, succulent meat of the critters than a Crab Louie from Swan Oyster Depot.

Yes, we have to wait, and they don't take credit cards. But who said perfection had to be convenient, too?

After that, we succumb to one of my guilty travel delights: Coit Tower. Sure, it's a tourist magnet. But the views really are sensational. The celebrate-the-people murals inside are as fine as Diego Rivera knockoffs get. And after hearing about the background personality behind the monument, the symbolism is fairly breathtaking.

We do a little tasting and provisioning next at the Plump Jack wine shop, pausing outside to admire the new memorial to Allen Ginsberg and the inaugural reading of "Howl."

Somebody mentions books next, and we're briefly paralyzed by an abundance of choices. The historical charm of City Lights Books? The solemn splendor of William Stout? The bracing eclecticism of Green Apple?

The cheapskate side wins out and we spend a satisfied hour grazing at the Friends of the Library store in Fort Mason, keeping up our energy with a pastry from Greens.

We end the day at one of my favorite corners of San Francisco subculture, the expat French scene around Belden Place. After a few hours of moules frites, Côtes du Rhône and abundant secondhand smoke, I nearly have to check my passport to make sure we haven't switched countries.

Makes me wonder: Is one of the hallmarks of a great city its ability to embrace foreign cultures?

J. Peterman


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28 Members’ Opinions
January 04, 2013 1:22 AM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

I hope no one left the cake out in the rain.....

January 04, 2013 2:17 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

twocents~ and anybody else from the Village thinking of visiting England, I'd be so delighted to meet you and do some touristy adventures, rather different to those decribed by our wonderful MrP, but I'm sure I could give you something to write home about.
Dungeness Crabs - sound better your side of the water. In England, Dungeness is a bleak costal place in the SouthEast that would serve as a film location for the opening chapter of "Great Expectations" It is dominated by a huge, sinister-looking power station.

January 04, 2013 8:48 AM
Me_and_dave 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Andy said...

Oh Hazel.....I wish.

I don't know about Dungeness crab, we here in Maryland know ALL about the blue crab.

January 04, 2013 9:28 AM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Marypjb said...

We don't have crab, but we do have Rocky Mountain oysters here on the high plains of Colorado. 

January 04, 2013 9:38 AM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Crab meat isn't my favorite, I find it stringy and not worth the work, but I'll eat just about anything. I remember my first trip to San Francisco many years ago. I went to The Cliff House with my brother.  I ordered a Dungeness crab sandwich and some Anchor Steam Ale. After all, I was in San Francisco!  I was apalled that my brother ordered a cheeseburger and a Budweiser.  (This is the same brother who would serve the cheap wine at Christmas!) No imagination at all!

January 04, 2013 10:26 AM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

Best food in Canton, GA = crab cakes at The Downtown Kitchen! FYI.

Never had Dungeness crab or the French foodie delights in San Francisco, but did have a great fried fish sandwich lunch on the Wharf once years ago. Once visited a friend who lived in SF, and saw the tower, bridge, waterfront, some quaint artsy areas, ChinaTown. No crab, but lots of good wines (Wente for one.)

Oh, Hazel, how I wish I could take you up on your offer to give the guided tour! It is not the 7 hour flight to London, or the inconvenience of the TSA patdowns, but the sheer cost of the whole thing that now prevents my being there. The next time I have $3,000 I don't know what to do with, you may get a call from me on your doorstep. (I have only been to London once, Stratford-on-Avon, Canterbury, but never your neighborhood. It is on my Bucket List.)

My bronchitis is hanging on. Now, I know at least a dozen folks who have it....yuck. Daughter came down with it Tuesday. Hope you don't get it. Going out to breakfast, but don't think Cracker Barrel has Dungeness crab. I'll check.

January 04, 2013 11:04 AM
10041_445991248814972_692962064_n Com-100Com-300First-comHr-1 The Giraffe said...

Moose - so much for the flu shot.  This broncitis runs rampant here in Annapolis.  My husband has been down with it for over a week - on anti-biotics because of his lung situation - it lingers.  Everyone we know is unavailable because of this.  Take care of yourself.
San Francisco -ah Mr. P - thank you for this.  My favorite place.  Dungeness crab is wonderful and Swan's is just a treat.  Our son lives in SF so I feel blessed.   

January 04, 2013 11:55 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

I'm good at bronchitis too - coughing up stuff you could use to stick down floor tiles. Which does not prevent me from being tempted by MrP's reference to second hand smoke in the French quarter. A pack of Gauloise is on the shopping list. That should make me cough better. I have a bowl of gloop on the kitchen worktop to make what I call Jambocheese crepes. (Ham n' cheese) quick, easy and saisfying. I'll see what veg are in the freezer, mange-tout peas or runner beans from my Welsh garden would be nice.

January 04, 2013 12:35 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

Oooohhh! Bergdoph Goodman store shoes from the 1930's on my TV now - it's an antiques and collectiibles show.

January 04, 2013 12:44 PM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Crab cakes for dinner tonight, "Chef Bert" at the helm of "The Crusty Crab" (name of kitchen pirated from Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon).....aaarrrggghhh!!!

January 04, 2013 1:51 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

GIRAFFE:   Next time you are in San Francisco, make a point to dine at the, Tsar Nicouli Cafe ..... Great Food, and the Finest Wine Cellar in the Country ... Since Fisherman's Wharf burned, years ago, the Cafe has been my only reason to go to Frisco ....... Worth the Wait, and worth the  bordering on outrageous Prices .......

January 04, 2013 2:20 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Ivan, I'm sorry to say but it looks like Tsar Nicouli Cafe is closed...

January 04, 2013 3:13 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Carol said...

Mr.P has wondered if embracing foreign cultures is the hallmark of a great city.  At first I'm tempted to say yes!  I've seen too many cities that are just ordinary white bread interest, no zing and no foreign cultures in evidence.  But then I think of what has happened to so many European cities....foreign has taken over and squooshed out original.   Foreign culture has been impacting cities since even before Crusades, altho' most of us think that's when it really happened.  Rome had a tremendous mix of foreign cultures, as well as leaving it's mark on so many other cultures.  Istanbul in its heyday was a mingling of very diverse populations.  Even the Babylonians and other ancient peoples had foreign cultures since prisoners of war were moved all over the empires and thereby brought elements of their cultures into their new situation.  Think of Jews and their several diasporas taking their rich culture into many new cities and leaving a mark.  Yes, Mr. P, I guess I really do agree that the hallmark of a great city is the influence of foreign cultures!

January 04, 2013 3:21 PM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Carol,  your comments are thought-provoking.  Go to London today,  and soon you realize that the traditional British resident is an endangered species.  Scotland Yard needs interpeters for literally dozens of languages just to be capacitated to do its job,  which is foundational upon communication.  Then there's Paris,  some would say choked with what we in America would call illegal immigrants,  creating great stress on infrastructure.  Rome?  Lots of rural Italians have flocked to the city,  based upon the mistaken assumption that it was the land of milk & honey when it comes to opportunities.   But all of that notwithstanding, every milkshake still needs flavoring.....and I don't know if I'd prefer it any other way.

January 04, 2013 3:27 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

I think you are right MissCarol, except when the culture is
exporting and the cities are absorbing an overabundance of McDonalds, KFCs and WalMarts.  My hunch is that our biggest
impact on foreign cities and cultures is made by blue jeans and the young ladies that wear them.

January 04, 2013 3:30 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

ChefDeb?????????????????????? Where are you?

January 04, 2013 4:10 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

She's on FB, paolos!

January 04, 2013 4:40 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

and yesterday, blue jeans were shredded to make loft insulation. I love blue jeans and wear them most of the time, but in really cold weather I have great "Craghopper" trousers with an insulated lining that keep my creaky knees from seizing up entirely.

January 04, 2013 4:42 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

I MARJORIE:       RATS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Too Good to be True ....... Only place I found in Frisco that I really liked ....... Been several years since I was there ... I had ask'd the Little Fruiter who owned the place to let me know if they moved or had some Big Do coming up, but he was predictably undependable .......  An absolute shud .......

January 04, 2013 4:51 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

Time to Wish Y'all a Great Weekend, and a Safe Trip to Monday ......
I Wish Y'all Lotsa Family, Friends, Good Food, Good Wine, and an abundance of whatever makes you happy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Relax and forget about work, cuz it will still be there Monday morning ....... Be Safe and Be Well ......
I Wish You a Sabbath of Peace, of Joy, and of Good Rest !!!
"O Gracious and Compassionate God, Whose Mercies Never Fail
and Whose Lovingkindness Never Ceases, We Trust in You Forever ..."
May Our Rest Be Pleasing Unto Him Who Has Brought Us Out This Far ...
Blessings Upon You All .......

January 04, 2013 5:01 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Miss Hazel ~ I don't recognize FB as reality. 
I'm just happy she didn't slip on the ice and break a tailbone.


Thank you for the end of the week send off, IVAN.

January 04, 2013 5:20 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

Ivan~ My Friday nite is complete. Blessings returned to you. Somewhere in the Bible it says "Cast your bread upon the waters and it will return unto you after many days" my Dad's take on this was "Who needs soggy bread?" So I send my blessings back in some waterproof form. Be well.
paolos~ Our Chef is OK.

January 04, 2013 7:19 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Thank you Ivan, we need all the blessings we can get right now.  The bronchitis has hit hard here, both of us have it, we had to go to the hospital for another issue entirely (antibiotics don't work on this) - and we were put in a waiting room for 90 minutes with various and assorted little germs aka children, coming and going and wanting to play blocks and other dirty germy plastic toys with us.  How do you say no to a strange little child (plural) in a waiting room when it was their very variety of human being who gave this horrible cold to you in the first place (my grandchildren).  We couldn't so we moved around the room, but the kids followed us.  If we get a new version of this I will go seek and find aforementioned children and sneeze on them or something.  I can't remember how it feels to feel good.  I know Moose has it - anybody else?  All I've heard is "drink lots of fluids."  I have but fluids don't do it.  Ugh.  Time for an aspirin or whatever we've got on hand.  Have a good night, oh ye well ones.

January 04, 2013 7:21 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

And they are now saying, as always, that the flu shot they have this year doesn't do anything for this particular flu.  I'm glad I stopped  bothering with that a long time ago.  You get stuck, and I get side effects, and I still get sick.   

January 04, 2013 7:43 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

Hey Park, i'm in the same boat as you....rowing upstream in this plague boat we seem to be stuck in. I just polished off this last round of antiniotics, the Z pack, and I'm still barely able to hol my head up without getting dizzy. I think my ribs are inverted and my sinuses feel like a toxic dump site.

Other than that i feel just swell. I hope all of us get well soon. Especially you.

January 04, 2013 7:45 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

Meanwhile, back under the front porch 'till this passes.

Peace out.

January 04, 2013 9:19 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Oh poor PL.  You know, that Z pack never has ever done anything for me.  i get tired of being handed it, and then having to go to the doctor's again, for a "real" prescription for stuff that just might work.  All that said, I haven't taken anything, I'm just suffering semi silently, with intermittent moaning and whining.  The Plague.  That's what it is.  It's the plague.  I bet it's spreading like this all over the country because people travelled for the holidays and carried the bug around with them and now the whole country's got it.  Either that or I could come up with a few conspiracy theories but I think I won't.  It hurts the head.  I'm going back under my porch now too.  I don't know if my cell phone works under there but if it did I'd call you and we could sneeze together.  Stay warm and drink plenty of fluids.  You don't want to dry up you know.  gah.. i'm off to bed....

January 05, 2013 12:01 AM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

Park, PL, Hazel - Any others who have this dread disease....The flu shots only cover a few kinds of viruses or flu, and there are hundreds....Apparently, we got the "Hang on Long" variety. Still coughing and feeling weary. Follow Park's advice with the water, stay hydrated, stay out of crowds, and rest as much as you can. Nothing seems to faze this "plague," so guess we'll just endure and wait. Night all!

Honor Roll

still thinking about today...

Yesterday's Discussion

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is full of surprises: from the latest green architecture to old stones gathering moss.


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