The Fairer Sex And the City Of San Francisco


When love is lost, there is solace in chocolate.

Three Ways To See The City By The Bay

Sex and San Francisco go together like Ellen and Portia. Sex has been a much larger part of the city’s history than in other places on the planet; many hundreds of thousands of flower children, gay women, gay men, and other alternative types came to San Francisco in the period between 1945 and 1975 (and beyond, of course) enhancing the city as one of the most progressive in the world and establishing it as a bastion of lesbian rights.

Get cosy around the fireplace

Women of power have always been part of San Francisco lore, though not necessarily as we expected. Just off Union Square is Maiden’s Lane; the numerous streets named after women in San Francisco’s central business district are signs, literally, of a past where women were as rare as goldstrikes and thus exerted a surprising degree of power in a man’s world, improbable as that sounds. With a huge imbalance of the sexes during the Gold Rush, men who got rich looked to spend their money on good times, and those who found empty hands where the nuggets were supposed to be sought solace the same way; ladies of the night made fortunes of their own.

Go Work Another Street…This One’s Taken, Honey

This bit of historical information comes from an extremely insightful tour called Cruisin’ The Castro, led by the company’s effervescent owner, Kathy Amendola. Kathy is passionate about her city, and though much of the tour focuses on the very colorful lesbian and gay history of The Castro area, Cruisin’ The Castro is not just for gay people and not just about The Castro. Did you know that most of central San Francisco is located in the crater of a volcano? That’s why, when standing in The Castro, there are hills in every direction; these are the edges of the volcanic rim. The Castro is one of the sunniest neighborhoods in San Francisco; the chilling fog that rolls across the rest of the city rarely descends from the hills into The Castro, which is one reason why the female exodus from The Castro to The Mission has not encompasses every lesbian in San Francisco. Yet.

Joie de Danse makes a statement in the JW Marriott hotel

San Francisco has always been one of the most attractive destinations for travelers from the Asia-Pacific region. Kathy says Australians constitute her second-biggest market, right after the Brits and just ahead of the Kiwis. All that Anglo repression is paying off for Ms. Amendola, as entrepreneurial as she is entertaining.

JW Marriott’s stylish rooms have undergone an update.

San Francisco, long a hotbed of creativity and expression, offers other fun tours to see the city from new perspectives. The Electric Tour Company‘s Segway Tours provides visitors the chance to enjoy the breeze of a convertible without the car; step up, lean forward and you’re off! Located right by Fisherman’s Wharf, the Electric Tour Company’s office is the departure point for the day’s outings, which take riders far and wide by offering different types of tours. A training session is given before departure so that you know your right from your left. Riders new to the Segway experience can enjoy the tour around the Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach areas, with time for a stop at one of the many bakeries and ice cream shops in this part of town as a mid-tour pick-me-up. More advanced riders can take on the challenge of San Francisco’s fabled hills. Segways themselves are not at all difficult to maneuver; in fact, if you know how to stand up without falling over, you can handle a Segway with no problem.

Kathy Amendola, out and proud and a wonderful guide to The Castro.

The tours, which generally last a bit more than two hours, are led by experienced Segway tour leaders who provide a interesting commentary (via walkie-talkie) as you ‘drive’ by the sights. Night tours and tours of beautiful Sausalito (located across the Golden Gate Bridge) are also available. Segway tours are very popular for girls’ days out and it is not unusual to find yourself on an all-female tour, especially if you are traveling with friends who make up the entire group.

For chocolate lovers seeking solace in the absence of human ones, there are the tours of Gourmet Walks. Female-owned and operated, Gourmet Walks offers tours of San Francisco’s best chocolate shops; with ample samples and a knowledgeable tour guide, the stories and nuanced differences among San Francisco’s many chocolate shops are revealed in a relaxed stroll punctuated with frequent stops for hits of the substance in question. There are some well-known international brands included along the way, but it is the local stars less well known outside the area that bring the tour to life.

images:  Robert La Bua

 

Michael Recchiuti chocolates would tempt even a supermodel to eat something.
Segways Rule!
The Castro Theatre is San Francisco’s most beloved cinema.
This one’s a trolley, not a cablecar.

 

Source = WoRLdviews: R.L.B

Comments are closed.