Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I want to go to there

Courtesy the beautiful and generous Michelle Richmond, here’s a nice piece on Associated Content, “Five books that make me want to travel to San Francisco.” They include Richmond’s own novel The Year of Fog as well as the Zuni Cafe Cookbook and the classic coffee table collection of pictures of Victorian houses, Painted Ladies.

1930s era SF ‘wonderful creations’ include Alcatraz?

I missed this LA Times travel piece when it came out a month ago — a nice little writeup on how many San Francisco landmarks were built during the Great Depression of the 1930s, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower to the Opera House. Here is a beautiful photo gallery.

Other newspapers are still reprinting the piece: for example the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, whose website today highlights one curious 1930s San Francisco landmark: Alcatraz, which opened in 1934. Their headline says Wonderful creations emerged during the hard times of the ’30s, with a picture of Alcatraz right underneath. Somehow I doubt the copy editor who wrote that headline has been to Alcatraz.

Anyway, the piece nicely totes up the number of Diego Rivera murals in the city, including the one at the San Francisco Stock Exchange (“What were the stockbrokers thinking?”) — and the one at City College.

The train to Portland and back

Hidden in recent stimulus bills were $$$ not only for the California bullet train but also funding for the Coast Starlight, Amtrak’s long-distance passenger train between Seattle and Los Angeles. The Coast Starlight passes through the Bay Area via Sacramento, Davis, Martinez, Emeryville, Oakland, San Jose, and thereby southward. (map)

I just returned from a weekend jaunt to Portland and back on the Coast Starlight, and it was a smooth, convenient ride coming and going. The highlight had to be the snowy portion over the Cascades in Oregon yesterday between Eugene and Klamath Falls, with endless vistas of Ponderosa Pine trees covered with thick gobs of snow that had fallen that morning. (Just like in this picture.) Neither the loudmouthed cowboys in the dome car nor a weird family of 20 with matching customized aqua-blue t-shirts were able to spoil the ride.

Hero pilot lives in Danville

Chesley "Sully" SullenbergerThe airline pilot who successfully ditched the disabled US Air flight in the Hudson River today, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, lives in the East Bay suburb of Danville. Read all about him in his hometown paper, the Danville Weekly.

Sullenberger, a former Air Force fighter pilot, is being widely acclaimed as a hero for steering the disabled plane away from residential areas and to a safe crash-landing in the river a few miles from its takeoff point at LaGuardia airport in Queens. One hundred and fifty passengers and crew escaped with no serious injuries.

NY Times visits Haight

In another of the curious takes by East Coasters, the New York Times visits the Haight and finds, yes, hippies. The writer, one Dan White (!), has been doing “American Journeys” pieces for the NYT for several months, finding “quirkiness” in Seattle and, predictably, “unspoiled” parts of New Mexico and Hawaii.

Just once I’d like a travel writer to visit our “unspoiled” Excelsior district.

New daily flights from SFO to India via Shanghai

If your job has been outsourced to Mumbai and you want to go retain it in India, there’s a new option for you…

SFO will soon have Jet Airways as a new tenant, becoming the first Indian airline to fly from San Francisco to Mumbai and only the second airline worldwide to fly nonstop from San Francisco to Shanghai. The airline which also has codesharing with American Airlines, will begin SFO flights in May, and previously launched daily service from New York’s JFK and Newark airports, as well as Toronto within the past year.

The airline, which won an award for ‘Best Full Service Airline in India’ for the year 2007, touts it’s luxury class offerings ranging from First Class suites with private closets, dining tables for two, and 23″ flat-screens. The Premiere business class features “pods” with 73″-long totally flat beds. Even the Economy seats supposedly divy up more legroom than average and all customers can fiddle with hi-tech personal entertainment systems, complete with 200+ movies, games and Bose noise-canceling headphones.
A Business Class Pod
The Indian airline which was founded in 1993, also runs flights to and from Brussels, London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and Doha.

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