Laurel? Can you explain what is going on?
Did you really just say “attending the DIC in San Francisco?”
Um, yes, I did. It’s an acronym for the Design Influencer’s Conference. (DIC)
DIC was formerly DBC; or, Design Blogger’s Conference.
Apparently, the powers that be decided a couple of years ago to change the name.
As the conference is not really about “blogging,” I don’t entirely disagree.
What I disagree with is that I feel that the conference should be about blogging.
However, nobody asked me. So, DIC, it is.
And, since I have a lot of gorgeosity to share with you, I won’t bother you (too much longer) with my elderly brand of sophomoric behavior.
Oh, dear… I JUST installed Grammarly. And, I have the highest score possible for “confused.”
Of course, it’s confused. There is no such word as DIC.
However, that didn’t stop us naturally jovial designers from having a bit of fun, which I’ll get to in a sec.
Some of you may recall that I lived in the San Francisco bay area (Palo Alto) back in 1973-75.
If you are interested in more about that time, please check out my post about a crazy bay window story.
However, I also spent a lot of time in San Francisco during that time. And, then, I spent a fair amount of time in SF on subsequent visits to see my brother and, sister Holly. She lived in San Francisco for about 12 years.
However, I haven’t been back since 1986.
So, I arrived in San Francisco two days early to settle in and see some of the city.
Arriving early, from New York, I grabbed an Uber and was taking in the much-changed landscape of south San Francisco. It is so much more built up now.
Also, I was also jovially texting with friends about our impending trip to the DIC.
And, then, I saw it; a building I had never seen before.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, especially considering the topic of our texts.
Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo.
Nor, can I resist self-editing myself from hashtagging it #DICpic.
And, I just know that someone is going to crap all over me for saying dicpic.
Yes, yes. Thank you for that. I’m sure you mean well in trying to change my behavior. However, you’re wasting your precious time. At 64, I’m firmly set in my inappropriate ways.
Plus, I’m only reporting what I see.
I didn’t name the conference DIC. And, I didn’t design that building, either. Surely, they (whoever “they” is) realize that it resembles a GIANT erect penis?
Oh well… But, just wait until you see how pretty it is when it’s all lit up at night!
Better move on, because I have dozens of images I took to share with you of San Francisco.
Okay, I snapped at least a couple hundred images. But, dang, I forgot to take one of the hotel I stayed at.
Usually, I just stay where the conference is. But, with taxes, the Grand Hyatt was $350 a night. And, for a sterile-looking room, at that. So, I got on the world wide web and found this gem, just around the corner.
And, for less than half the price, too!
If there’s a shower cap; I recommend it. But, the bed was super comfy and there were lots of other thoughtful touches, as well.
The Chancellor was built in 1915, on Powell St.; just around the corner from Union Square. At the time, it was the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.
View of the Chancellor Hotel From Union Square as it looks today.
Chancellor Hotel on Union Square – San Francisco
Union Square Park is on the left. And, yes, that is the Powell Street cable car that stops right in front of the hotel.
I got the images above and below, by using the street view on Google Maps.
The Chancellor Hotel is in the distance, in this 61 yr old image. It looks a tad grungy here, But, today, the Union Square area is like the 5th Avenue of San Francisco. It is full of luxury shops and hotels.
Friday evening I hung out with my dear friend Claire Jefford and her assistant Stacy.
And, on Saturday, while working on my blog post, another dear friend Deborah VonDonop showed up.
Deborah, who lives in Greenwich, CT is a homey, for me. So, it was fun to hang out with her. We had a great time last June at this exquisite garden tour in Greenwich, CT.
So, Deborah and I headed out on foot and our first stop was
Nordstrom. haha. Yes, Nordy’s in San Francisco. Uhhh… I know. But, we wanted to look at the shoes and it was only a few blocks away.
However, me hungry. And, so we found a local who guided us to the nearest Thai place.
And THEN, we looked at shoes. I mean. First things first!
Ummmm… Laurel? You flew to San Francisco and then went to Nordy’s to look at shoes?
Yes, that’s right. But, that’s not all we did. We only spent about 30 minutes looking around and then went up Market Street on our way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
And, we started walking down Market Street that’s filled with more luxury and many beautiful old buildings. And, yes, that is a homeless man. There are thousands of them. It’s definitely a big problem in San Francisco.
I think this one is my favorite building. It is built in the Beaux-Arts style. This makes sense since much of San Francisco was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. And, Beaux-Arts was all the rage. Thank God!
A detail shot. Fabulous building!
More Classical Architecture.
The Wells Fargo Bank Building
No explanation required here.
After we walked a few blocks, we realized that we were still a mile and a half away from Fisherman’s Wharf. And so, we ubered it down to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Our driver dropped us off in front of the Chowder Hut. I took this photo later on which I’ll explain in a sec.
To the left is where you can get boat tours to Alcatraz Island.
I found the area a mix of gorgeous and tacky. I don’t remember any tackiness 45 years ago, however.
Fine Art & Decor? I’m having my doubts.
However, the water and bay are beautiful.
This, of course, is Alcatraz island, out in the middle of the bay.
We wandered around a while longer and then we noticed some people dining with a much higher vantage point.
This place, Alioto’s. I am sure that it’s been there forever.
So, of course, we just had to climb up there to see if we could get some spectacular wharf shots.
Honesty is always the best policy in these cases. The worst that would happen is we would get thrown out. Fortunately, we were greeted warmly by a tall, handsome manager. I told him that I have an interior design blog and would love to snap a few photos for my blog. Without hesitation, he said, “Of course.”
And, so I quickly took a few, trying not to disturb any guests.
In the background, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.
Alioto’s, of course, is known for its seafood.
Are you looking at me?
I’m sure the fish is very tasty and fresh. ;]
After we took shots of the wharf, the manager told us that we were welcome to step outside to see the view on the other side.
So, so nice, he was! And, so we did.
And wow! I like this even better, ignoring the slightly scuzzy looking shops in the foreground. But, look at that magnificent view of Russian Hill. More about that, soon.
This is also when I took the photo of the Chowder Hut.
After we climbed down, we said thank you and goodbye. And, then continued our walk around the area.
We walked over to the Cannery. I remember it as being this really cool shopping area. But, mostly it appears to have turned into a college. This old brick building is part of the complex.
Adjacent to it is a lovely park.
We did not go into Ghirardelli Square. But, I do remember that sign from decades past.
Love this shot I captured with the guy on a bike and the misty bridge in the background. Just lucky!
After that, we decided to venture away from the wharf. At that point, I don’t think we had a destination in mind.
However, soon, we realized that we were going up a hill.
Yes, it was Russian Hill. And now, we began to get some seriously spectacular views of the San Francisco bay.
Sorry about the Portosan.
We also passed many fascinating architectural features. How crazy wild is that door!
We even had a gorgeous view of Telegraph Hill. At the apex is Coit Tower. In the background, you can faintly make out the Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco to Oakland.
Similar view, just a different vantage point.
We kept climbing up and up and now, we began to see some houses too!
Like this stunning Tudor Style Home
This one’s for sale!
At the top of this hill, Deborah and I took a selfie.
And, I also shot a video. Oh man, do I sound dumb, or what? haha
And, then, continuing our walk, I asked Deborah if she had ever seen Lombard Street?
You know, the legendary “crookedest street in the world.”
I remember being driven down it when I was a teenager. Lombard Street is a very long street, but only this one part is crooked.
Deb indicated that she knew of it, but had never seen it. So, I google mapped it and discovered that we were only .4 of a mile away.
What Google, in passive-aggressive fashion didn’t tell me, was that it was .4 of a mile– ALL uphill!!!
The crooked part starts at the top of Russian Hill. No, wait. Let’s change that to Russian Mountain.
But, we did it. And, boy was it worth it.
Spectacular views from up here.
The water is pretty nice too. ;]
I told you it was worth it!
I guess if you live on Lombard Street, you have to be prepared for a steady stream of tourists walking right in front of your home. It’s part of the gig.
And, of course, cars, too. But, with a posted speed of 5 miles per hour. They are merely coasting down the hill. Yes, the road is only one way. And, that way is down the hill.
We, of course, walked down.
We did it!
Then, we walked a couple more blocks and ubered it back to the hotel and took a rest.
Well, Deb did, I guess. I had to get my renovation blog post out. Yes, I did it. I don’t know how I did it, but I did.
The conference began on Sunday, but on Monday, guess what Laurel did?
After my very early 7:30 AM mentoring session and a couple more hours, I played hooky.
Why? Well, to get my hair done, of course!
However, it was THE most stunning day. And, since I was a little early, (for a change) I was able to get some more wonderful shots near the Union Square area.
So many beautiful buildings! Love that classical architecture!
Blue and white porcelain Chinoiserie at Gump’s. And bejeweled with what looks to be sapphires!
San Francisco Starbucks
Another Beaux-Arts beauty!
Do you see the Greek key pattern near the top of the building?
The conference ended in the early afternoon on Tuesday. And, so I went out with other friends for a long walk down to the Embarcadero.
This is an area that borders the bay.
Here we had gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge. And, the modern buildings downtown.
Yes, I took this image with my I-phone 10. But, doesn’t it almost look computer-generated? I just had to snap a pic of that crazy architecture. I have no idea how one designs OR builds such a building. Pretty cool!
And, now, I’m going to leave you with some spectacular images of San Francisco that I found on Unsplash.
If you don’t know Unsplash, it’s an online source of totally copyright-free images you can help yourself to use. All they ask is to give attribution. Well, of course!
Aerial view of Lombard Street – wowza!!! by @noodlenelson on Unsplash
via @noodlenelson on Unsplash San Francisco Bay Bridge and boat harbor.
@utsav911 – Lombard St. on Unsplash
@ajb on unsplash
@alexsorto via Unsplash
@fdelgado on Unsplash
California Street, San Francisco via @reza565 on Unsplash
And, below, one last image of the San Francisco skyline at night and found on Google Images.
San Francisco downtown skyline at night, taken from Coit Tower Image by Andrew Rettman
Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip to San Francisco. The city has changed a lot since I lived in Palo Alto. And, of course, there’s so much that I didn’t get to see. But, I had a great time and would love to go back someday soon.