Sunday, June 10, 2018

Road Trip 2018 Day 8: Cannery Row (Monterey) and San Francisco

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“[Cannery Row's] inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing.”  Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
6/12/18: Updated with links. More to come.

 Monterey

Real-life Inspo for "Wide Eyed Ida"
Monterey is one of the most sacred places in my mind. Even pulling into the parking lot of Monterey Surf Inn at about 11 p.m. last night, I felt a sense of ease like I was home and just belonged. I also felt a lot of emotion swell inside me. I'm still not where I'd like to be in terms of clarity about life goals and what success will look like for me or how to achieve it. Also, when I'm in Monterey, I know it's temporary. I'm going to have to leave Monterey.

We began our Monterey adventure with brunch at Rosine's on Alvarado Street where we both ordered Monterey Omelets--delicious omelets filled with ham and covered in jack cheese and green onions. I also treated myself to a mimosa and coffee.

After brunch, we took the trolley from our parking lot to Cannery Row. I needed to pick up a new hat because I thought I lost my mom's white hat in San Diego (as it turns out, it was just in the back seat.)  Hat acquired: we moved on to interpretive signs along the row and engaged the help of a local newspaper article for a self-guided walking tour of Cannery Row. Thanks to that article, we found the original site of one of the houses of "ill repute" from Cannery Row. We also found a statue dedicated to the real woman the character Wide Eyed Ida was based on.

Sign Beside Doc's Backyard
Doc's lab still stands as well. In fact, free tours are available every 2nd Saturday. Time slots do fill up quickly though, so if this is something you want to do, plan for it. You can view Doc's backyard through the fence behind it and interpretive signs provide additional background information.

The bars and restaurants up and down the row were overwhelmed that Saturday and the same could be said for Fisherman's Wharf. If you plan a visit, you may want to look into doing it on a Thursday or Friday instead if you mainly want to walk around and take pictures. Also, even for the first week of June, it was cold and windy. Long sleeves, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a hat that stays on are essentials.

San Francisco

Traffic and roads between Monterey and San Francisco are crazy. The 101 randomly ends in spots and resumes after short breaks. Most of the time, this is a minor issue, but sometimes, it means being dumped off and having to awkwardly merge left into some high-speed traffic.

We were meeting a fellow writer at an event called Writers With Drinks in the Make-Out Room (more on this event to follow) and decided to visit Zeitgeist on Valencia for burgers and drinks. This punk rock loving spot is popular with the locals. They offer a decent selection of beer, billiards, pinball, a biergarten in the back and a large dark bar. Prices for food and drink are reasonable and the staff are great. The only downside is it is loud there and seating is in short supply. Also, it's cash only and that's a bit annoying.

We met my friend at the Makeout Room where the bar is also cash only. Initially, it was quieter, but that changed after the series of speakers--all of whom had books available for purchase outside the men's room. One reader, adult film star Joanna Angel, shared an excerpt from Night Shift, a choose your own adventure erotica book in which her main character worried about the streets near the sex toy shop she worked in having a high number of pedestrian fatalities. She said she often worried about running into someone she knew there. I think she was worried about them running into her, and with good reason.

I'm passing out, but I'll post pictures soon.