Twenty some odd years ago, we went to the "Fog City Diner" in San Francisco with Neil Patterson, on the publication of Larry's first text book. It was fun then, and even more fun this time, as we were actually able to remember the name and find it! We took the "Bart" from the airport to downtown and experienced this rocking, screeching mode of subway transport and then found our way along the Embarcadero with it's many piers to the eatery at the foot of the hill we were to climb in search of the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill.
I can usually lure Larry along with the promise of food at one end or other of the process, and this was no exception. After a typical "diner" lunch....which included the tastiest chocolate milkshakes in the world, we proceeded to climb the most stairs we've seen since the Eiffel Tower, in hope of seeing feral birds, or at least a cool drink at the Coit Tower which looms over this part of the city. As I'm urging Larry further and further upward, he is less and less convinced of my insistence that one more set of stairs will surely reveal parrots. The following is a picture from the video and the man who started my obsession. There were no parrots that day. Laurence was not amused. This is my picture at what I am sure is just above the same spot...no parrots.If you have not seen this documentary, do yourself a favour and find it some time. It's so wonderful and the flock does still exist and does come back to telegraph hill, but not right when we were there "Not right now!".... I myself will be renting a copy very soon to prove to Larry that there was a really valid reason for this stair climb! The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
By the time we got to the top by the Coit Tower, with a "bird's eye" view of Alcatraz, Larry was firmly planted by a substantial concrete wall and not budging (that could be a very bad pun if you're into birds...budgies...budging...forget it). I toured the perimeter of the hill which gives you a 360 degree view of SF. There is a giant statue of Christopher Columbus, which Larry from his "perch" decried historically incorrect, it should have been Balboa. All Balboa got was a street. (My old Folk Art buddies will appreciate the 1930's art deco frescos in this building)
What goes up must come down. This is an even more hysterically funny process than the going up, AND there are corner stores that sell lemonade. The way the streets are paved and the cars parking on a terrifying slant, is a little too incredible for the likes of the vertically challenged!We had a big party to attend in the evening, so had to leave the city once again. No parrots sighted.