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Day 160-204, 18Dec08 – 31Jan09: San Francisco. Part 4: Critical mass, Ivana’s B-day party and friends

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under California, North America, Trip reports, USA

Critical Mass

Though my knee was still painful, I could cycle slowly again. It was time to move on, and leave our new home for new adventures down the road. We invited our new friends for a dinner in a cosy Lebanese bar to celebrate our departure and Ivana’s b-day the next day. But first we had some other cycling to do!

San Francisco is the birthplace of the Critical Mass. It is a monthly event where hundreds, maybe thousands of cyclists group together and ride through the city, reclaiming the streets from the cars that have no other choice that to wait until all the cyclists have passed :)

Critical Mass, SF Critical Mass, SF

It is a great event and I urge everybody to join the Critical Masses, in SF or elsewhere. It is not just to make a firm statement, but also a great way to see the city, without being bothered by cars and red lights.

Besides, it is a big party with all types of cyclists, music and general fun. It was Ivana’s best B-day present and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

Saying goodbye on Ivana’s B-day

We had to hurry back though as we had a party appointment! Adriana had picked the nice place with relaxed people and Lebanese snacks as well as fruity hookahs and even a belly dancer!

We had a great time and though many people could not make it to the the last minute invite, we were happy to spend some of our last hours in SF with our new friends.

Ivana and AdrianaLiving life on the edge in SF

Ivanas B-day party in SFHarry enjoying the tipping (2)

BrianMitch and Kourtney

New and old friends, thank you for making San Francisco our home

Ivana, Mitch and Harry as with most places, it is not the Golden Gate or any other famous landmark that makes SF special. It is the never-ending stream of friendly, helpful and generous people.

We met many new friends, some of them (Mitch, Adriana, Gerard, Kourtney & Brian, Fiona & Jeremy, Kim & Nate & Jessica & Mikelanjelo) are listed on the “1000 Americans” category, others whom we did not capture with our cameras we owe just as much.

We could write full page stories about each of them, but for now here are some simple thank you’s

  • Couchsurfing in Oakland (2)Thanks to Kristan& Rhasaan for opening their house in Oakland and showing us Berkeley as well.
  • Thanks to Jan and Wandralee for opening their house and giving us time to relax and re-organize. Jan is off to to the ride from SF to LA for Aids, she is a brave and strong woman!
  • Muchas Gracias to Barbara & Ramiro, who invited us for a wonderful dinner in their new home twice! Ramiro never forgets his roots and makes great empanadas.
  • Thanks to Yaffa and her roommate, who shared their house with us for a few nights.

We even met some old friends again, some we had met earlier on the trip, others we had met many years ago.

  • Colie is the coolest chick we know, she is just great, and it was wonderful to spend New Years Eve with her in snowy Truckee!
  • Alison was busy as ever, still it was great to see her briefly, the 4th continent we met on! Thanks for letting us borrow your car, we would have missed Colie & Yosemite otherwise!
  • Many thanks to Bradley & Saskia, it was great to see you again after nearly 10 years! Thanks for letting us guard your great house, twice!
  • We saw Louise again and this time she brought her husband Brian as well as her kids, it was great to see them; thanks for the great Thai lunch!
  • Barry dropped by for some lunch, just before he started his bike trip across the US, heading for Florida. Meanwhile he has returned, read his reports here.

Thank you all, more than words can express, for making San Francisco a special place for us.

Ivana in Yosemite with friend Gerard and Brian

Mitch and Kourtnet Well, this fur not rubz itself!

Next report: on the road again, off to LA! how will the knees hold out with the Devils’ Slide, Big Sur and many more challenges ahead? Tune in next time, same channel, unreliable time 😉

Downtown San Francisco

1000 Americans: Mitch Aidelbaum, San Francisco

December 30, 2008 by  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Mitch in Belgium beer cafe Maximum Mitch, as he likes to call himself is an IT-er with a passion for photography, or maybe a photographer with a passion for IT is more accurate as he loves to shoot and edit more than anything.

He has shot some great series in San Francisco, see his photostream here on flickr or visit his website http://www.aidelbaum.com/.

He shoots great weddings as well as travel, but his speciality is portraits and events and if you hang out with Mitch (he is a well-visited CouchSurfing Host as well), you get to know San Francisco through his eyes!

Thanks Mitch!