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San Francisco San Francisco

24th August 2010

A Night at the Baseball Game

AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants Baseball Stadium      (please use scroll bar)

    The morning for me was spent getting the van valetted for sale. Car washes in San Francisco were as rare as hen's teeth. Land was at a premium, so normal garages did not possess car washes. I had to drive across the city to find one. It was not a drive through service, or a wash-it-yourself setup like the one I had used in Moab. This was an assembly line of people processing a convoy of vehicles, similar to a production line. There were many vehicles being processed, and their owners could spend their money in the shop associated with the service, and/or sit at the tables set up outside. The team did a decent job on the van.
    Meanwhile, Dan had run out of clean clothes, so he had disappeared to the launderette for an hour or so.
    When I got back to the hotel with a gleaming van, I received a call from an Australian lad, Alex, who was interested in the van. He would like to have a look at it and give it a test drive. Since he was over the other side of town, to save time I drove over there, and took him for a drive before letting him loose behind the wheel.
    Alex and his pal were intending to travel down the coast and into Mexico, indulging in their passion for surfing on the way. Selling to a traveler, such as Alex, would be easier for me since there would be no reason for changing the licence plates, which had tags on valid until July 2011.
    Along the way, I filled Alex in on the process he needed to follow to buy the van. He had another one to inspect later on in the day, so we parted on the promise that he'd get back.
    I had a few more enquiries about the van, one of which I could not understand at all, it sounded like a Chinaman who had just got off a boat. My policy was whoever made me the best offer, and produced cash only, would be the new owner.
    Dan had ordered a couple of tickets for the baseball game that evening. We needed to collect the tickets in advance, so we drove across to the AT&T Park, the home ground for the San Francisco Giants. On the way I made a detour around by City Hall to give Dan a chance to admire the architecture and take a few photos.
    There was nowhere to park in the vicinity of the baseball ground, so I dropped Dan off, and just made repetitive circuits around the area while he was queuing. Whilst in the queue, Dan noticed a father and young son further along the line, and perhaps due to the heat or dehydration, the boy fainted. The emergency services rapidly appeared in the form of a fire engine, which administered a glass of water to the lad. How absurd for an engine, which would normally be employed to deliver a constant stream of water to extinguish a fire, be used to supply a glass of water to a boy. But perhaps I was wrong to think that, maybe emergency services over here multitask.
    With the tickets in our pockets, I drove across to Alamo Square for Dan to examine the Victorian architecture and seize an opportunity to photograph the "Painted Ladies". We then dumped the van at the hotel and headed up Lombard Street so that Dan could see and walk down the famous Crooked Street. Then it was aim for the baseball stadium using a combination of trolley and underground trains.
    The stadium was amazing, in a spectacular setting by the bay. Two sides were highly terraced, and the other two on the bay side were just a single terrace high, thus affording stupendous views across the bay. The ground could hold 46,000 fans, and was amply equipped with eating and drinking facilities. The wide screen video display board would have dwarfed most cinema screens.
Game in Progress
Fading Light at the Stadium
Giants Hero: Willie Mayes
    The game was against Cincinnati Reds, the middle game of a three day series. Unlike the American football we had seen at San Diego, we could actually follow this game. It was free flowing too, not the start-stop action of football. We enjoyed the game tremendously, and were delighted with the Giants win over the Reds, 16-5. Yesterday's game was also another high-scoring win for the Giants. Apparently we caught them on a good run, and it was a fast moving game; some were painfully slow. The shift from evening to night was magical, with all the lights both inside and outside the stadium coming on, and a full moon rising up over the bay.
    Similar to the football game, spectators seemed to drift in and out during the game, and at the end the stadium was half full. The game lasted just over 3 hours and was highly entertaining.
    Towards the end of the game, hundreds of seagulls started wheeling around the ground. I thought perhaps a fishing boat had just tied up near the stadium. However, when the game ended and the stadium emptied, I realised the truth. All along the seated rows of the terraces, discarded food cartons lay, most still having food inside them. The gulls were settling down on the terraces and enjoying a veritable feast.
    We headed out to the underground, but when it came to catching the trolley train, there were none; most public transport ceased at 11pm. We faced a long walk or a cab journey; the latter won and we asked to be dropped off at Fisherman's Wharf so that we could grab some food. We were dropped off only to discover that all food establishments seemed to close there before 11pm. We managed to find a 24x7 pizza place to grab a quick bite before heading for some kip.
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Uploaded from Francisco Bay Inn, 1501 Lombard Street, San Francisco CA on 30/08/10 at 01:30

Last updated 30.8.2010