Last day in California, blogging from a little cafe in the Fillmore area of San Francisco.
Silicon Valley is dead boring, I ran away from it on Friday afternoon, but I like the big city up here. Went to Berkeley (slightly disappointing), done the sightseeing thing downtown (Fisherman's Wharf, Russian Hill, Alamo Square, Chinatown, built-in-Milan cablecars, etc) which wasn't fantastic, much better just to walk around up&down the hills, Lower Haight, Octavia, Fulton, to get a feeling for the lovely (upscale) 'hoods.
Got lucky and landed in JapanTown on the first saturday of Cherry-Blossom Festival, so the entire district was all tarted up and in full swing (including long queues for the International Asian Film Festival), I really enjoyed it (but the hyashi-chuka was average).
It can be as seductive as NYC at times, even though the character is very different; NYC feels like the place where you go "to be the best", while you come to SF "to be yourself" or "to find what's next". It looks like a fundamentally mexican/asian city, rather than white, and this is fantastic. Whereas Santa Clara/Silicon Valley is such a whitey, middle-class, boring place, it's no wonder that waves of geeks are escaping to SF-SOMA (South-Of-MArket-street) and commute from there.
Been to the scenic SF Giants stadium (ahh, one day I have to see a live match) which was recently built on reclaimed land facing the bay and it's gorgeous. I still didn't see the western area, Golden Gate Park etc, but hey, you have to keep something for the next visit!