L.A. to The Bay…January 12, 2019

Thanks to econo bus services like Flixbus and Megabus, turnaround trips from L.A. to The Bay have been possible for me. As a freelance writer for Stadium Journey who has provided news and reviews of venues from SoCal to NoCal, these budget friendly busses do come in handy. However, every now and then I do like to travel by rail.

Last year, I was able to travel to The Bay a total of four times, reviewing both the homes of baseball’s Giants and Athletics, as well as Haas Pavilion, the college basketball home of the Cal Golden Bears.

My first L.A. to The Bay trip for 2019 will take me to the campus of the University of San Francisco, where I will be doing a review of War Memorial Gym…College basketball home of the USF Dons. But first, the journey toward The Bay…

20190112_083231Up the Grapevine, Saturday, January 12

Prior to my departure from L.A. just after 7AM, we had been rained upon heavily. As we made our way up I-5 toward The Grapevine the clouds would follow but the rain would hold off. After a little over 3 hours, our rest stop would find us in Avenal. Our choice of eats was very limited as our stop only had one gas station and one of two choices for eats…Little Cesar’s and this…

20190112_103536The nice thing about El Sabroso is that it’s a convenient 24-hour stop for those drivers along the outskirts of I-5. As for my machaca burrito…

20190112_102159Meh…But what do you expect from your typical rest stop eatery…

20190112_103523The sun is starting to peak through…

20190112_102955Waiting patiently for our driver so we can hit the road…

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After arriving to The City just past 2, with a little over 4 hours to kill I decide to walk around and take some pics of the construction of the Golden State Warriors new home over at nearby Mission Bay as well as the changes around the Giants yard… Time to change that sign…

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The future home of the Golden State Warriors, the Chase Center, located in Mission Bay down the street from the Jints, ahem, Giants playground…

After taking some pics of the construction progress of The Chase Center, it’s time to take a walk up 3rd Street…

20190112_152852(0)From the Lefty O’Doul Bridge. New board coming…

20190112_1532233rd and King…

20190112_153357Oracle Park. Oracle won the naming rights earlier in the week. In the meantime, AT&T Park signs are still up…

20190112_153813No need to change the name of our beloved classic yard, right Blue Dog?

20190112_153702Hey Sammy, that’s 4 names in 20 years already….

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One last pic before they take down the AT&T sign. Hey, I got my SF on…Forever Hella Faithful, right? Did I just say, Hella?

After a quick stop to my hotel, I head toward The Haight for a quick bite before heading to the USF campus. In the past I would have just done an immediate turnaround back to L.A. but these days I just don’t have the energy to do late night bus rides anymore…

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Something about this corner that happened in some Summer of ’67 that draws tourists here…

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USF. A Jesuit college just a few blocks north of The Haight…

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War Memorial Gym, aka The Hilltop. Tonight’s game features the USF Dons against the number 5 ranked team in the country, Gonzaga. Whenever I think of Gonzaga hoops moments taking place in The Bay, these sights and sounds, and the voice of Gus Johnson comes to mind…

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The Hilltop is your old-school gym. When filled to the rafters, as it was on this evening, The Hilltop can have that classic intimate charm. 

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The Dons would put up a great fight on this Saturday evening but the ‘Zags would pull away late. USF could be one of those sleeper teams that could wear a glass slipper come March if they can continue their strong season and show a stronger presence come conference tourney time…

20190112_211735Gonzaga comes out on top…

20190112_212808 USF Glory…

20190112_213815Postgame autographs…

20190112_212241Kickin’ it with Don Francisco…

20190112_213056 My standard postgame shot from halfcourt…

Drei’s Bites…Slice House Haight by Tony Gemignani vs Escape From NY Pizza

Prior to the game I went over to Slice House Pizza. After the game I went back to The Haight, this time to Escape From New York Pizza. After some previous Yelp searches, I decided i’d cruise through these two and do a comparison…

20190112_172025The Purple Haze, Slice House Haight…

My first slice for the night was the Purple Haze. Topped off with Mozzarella, Pancetta, Rosemary, Pesto, Feta, Oregano, Romano, Garlic Oil and the featured Purple Potato this slice managers to fit all these ingredients nicely while also being nicely presented. 

20190112_220308You Say Potato, Escape From NY Pizza…

My postgame appetite would bring me to Escape From NY Pizza for a slice of the You Say Potato. This slice would be topped off with Roasted Potatoes & Roasted Garlic Cloves over Pesto Sauce. Oh does Drei love him some garlic. 

So, between the two, which slice comes out the winner?

The Purple Haze does a nice job of putting all those ingredients together while at the same time not having any one topping be to overly dominant

You Say Potato has a nice concept and I can never have enough garlic. But unlike the thinly sliced purple potatoes on The Purple Haze, the potatoes on my slice of You Say Potato are just to thick. Even with the cloves and pesto, my potato slice probably could have used more flavor. So the winner…THE PURPLE HAZE

More on these two eateries soon…

Back to L.A., Sunday, January 13

Before heading back to L.A. I head toward the Castro for my morning bite at Orphan Andy’s for some Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. This is probably the first time I set foot into this 24-hour diner while the sun was up…

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20190113_084511My happy breakfast…

Across the street from Orphan Andy’s is this newly painted mural of Harvey Milk…

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Between the rival cities, L.A. and S.F. have their fair share of attractive murals. Here’s one of Robin Williams on Market Street…

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Allright, time to head to Oak-Town to catch my ride back to L.A. 

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Somewhere by those cranes a new ballyard will be in place for the Oakland A’s…Hopefully

20190113_101615.jpgThe ride across the Bay Bridge…

20190113_111118Down 101. Hey, I don’t see Candlestick Park anywhere…

Of course, one last rest stop before heading to L.A. This time, our rest stop takes us to Kettleman City in front of this…

20190113_152959Now we can never go wrong with an In N Out as our pit stop…

20190113_151755Oh yeah, a 3×3 with extra onions…

20190113_152043With fries, Extra Well. I always ask for them extra will. I love that crispiness that gives my fries that hot off the fryer, potato chip texture…

Well, that wraps up my first L.A. to The Bay adventure for 2019. Next one will come next month as I make my way toward Palo Alto. What will come about on my next L.A. to The Bay adventure?

20190112_152951That hella vibe I get when I visit The Bay…I’m almost to that point where every other Hella word I say is gonna Hella turn out to be…Hella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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