#15 San Francisco: San Francisco Cable Car "Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!"

I didn’t mean to gloat about the Giants winning the World Series, but…“Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!” Yeah, baby! That’s the sound of the San Francisco Cable Cars honoring the World Champion San Francisco Giants. 

WS Champ Giants Parade @
Market & Powell
It is difficult to write about one’s hometown without sounding cliché. My wanderlust has yet to prove the truth to the cliché, “the grass is greener on the other side or anywhere else.” I may have been to many places that have taken my breath away, but upon my return, I have always found a renewed appreciation for the San Francisco Bay Area. Of course, it is not difficult to embrace the joy of living in San Francisco. San Francisco has so much to offer - its beautiful topography and mild climate; diverse neighborhood of North Beach, Chinatown, Castro, Haight-Ashbury, the Fillmore, the Marina, the Richmond and Sunset Districts, Nob Hill, Mission Dolores; arts and culture through its museums– the Museum of Modern Art, De Young, Legion of Honor, Asian Art Museum and Exploratorium; the iconic tourist spots in the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli and Union Squares; and of course its diverse and award-winning cuisines. Despite these wonderful sites, it's surprising to see that only the Cable Car made it to Patricia Schultz's list of “1000 Places to see..."

 
I did, however, realize the truth about a certain cliché recently when I watched the World Series and heard Tony Bennett sing. Tony Bennett is, of course, associated with San Francisco’s best cliché, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Although he did not sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” during the World Series, it was hard not to be reminded of the song lyrics. It occurred to me that the song consists of 3 phrases only and more of a serenade to the cable cars. 
"I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars"

Powell BART, Cable Car Turnaround
& Flood Building
As a San Francisco Bay Area resident, I take a lot of its diverse culture and stunning sites for granted. This is especially true with the cable cars. Additionally our family business, located at the foot of the Powell-Hyde cable car turn-around, allow me to see the many tourists waiting-in-line to ride the cable cars. So I see the cable cars more of a tourist attraction. Looking back, "the little cable cars that climb halfway to the stars" brought fond memories back, specially the graduation party at Mark Hopkins Hotel in Nob Hill. My schoolmate who was so afraid of driving uphill could not stop shaking. Unfortunately, she was the only one who had a driver license, so we had to abandon the car. The cable car came to our rescue that we were able to reach the top of Nob Hill and made it to our graduation party. Another fond memory was riding the cable car California line to go to work many years ago. The cable car would stop in California and Powell streets crossing for a few minutes that we got to enjoy the most breathtaking view of the Bay Bridge and the bay before going to work.

 The beautiful thing about the San Francisco Cable Car is that it is completely authentic and still runs the same way it did way back then. It is the only transportation system listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the NRHP, “it is the only remaining permanently operational manually-operated cable car system in the world.”

 Today, the cable car system is part of the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) and operates on three routes:*

1) The Powell-Mason line begins at the Powell/ Market turntable, and the line runs from there up and over Nob Hill and down to Bay Street at Fisherman's Wharf.

2) The Powell-Hyde line also begins at the Powell Market turntable and runs over Nob and Russian hills before ending at Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square
3) The California Street line runs East-West from the Financial District, through Chinatown, over Nob Hill and stops at Van Ness Avenue.


Additional information about the San Francisco Cable Cars can be found on:
http://www.sfcablecar.com/


*Source: http://www.sfcablecar.com/routes.html

Comments

  1. I love San Francisco and its diverse culture, love taking the cable car and shop at China Town, where you can get a hearty meal for $5.00
    soup, two dishes and rice.

    ReplyDelete

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