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Saturday, July 30th, 2005

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I went up to San Francisco today. I *definitely* need to visit the City more often. I was heading to a coin show but just wandering along Market Street was a lot more fun than I expected. I enjoy big city architecture, and I enjoy watching crowds and people. I think that's why I like NYC so much. Most of the time I've spent in the City, I've been in Golden Gate Park or the Presidio or playing in some overnight puzzle-solving scavenger hunt. Today was my first shot at being a tourist in the southeast part of the City. It was pretty awesome.

I followed a friend's tip and drove only as far as Milbrae (I live in Mountain View), parking there and taking BART the rest of the way. This, rather than driving the whole way up, adds probably 25 minutes to the one-way trip (70 vs. 45 minutes), but it's worth it. Parking is ample, safe, and free in Milbrae, and there's no headache of driving in the City itself. Heading back in the afternoon, I was grateful for the chance to sit and stare for 20 minutes before driving the rest of the way home. I walked all afternoon (mostly inside the coin show bourse) and would have been weary to drive without a break after my sojourn.

The coin show as pretty cool, too. I went for the bourse, wanting to buy, among other things, at 1868 two-cent piece for my collection. The bourse was huge - many hundreds of vendors, easily two to three times larger than the Santa Clara show typically is. One huge banner identified the "budget" area: coins $499 and less. I wandered these aisles and found my two-cent piece. Joy! I picked up at one end and then swept the room. I found a couple of three cent nickels and a three cent silver piece. One of the nickels was *really* nice - MS63 and with a very nice shine in the open areas of the coin. Later, after my budget and feet were exhausted, I visited the exhibition on the second floor (of Moscone West - the show really was big!) and got to meet the designer of the Califorinia quarter reverse. Neat! I youngish guy (around 30) with wife and daughter. The person who sold me the really nice nickel was a friend of theirs and apparently had been instrumental in insisting that he (the would-be designer) submit a quarter design. The designer was selling California quarters on cards with information about the design, for $5 each (for charity - the California Historical Society, maybe?). I bought two and got them autographed and personalized, neat! The wife of the designer wanted to see a Google business card with the logo so I gave her mine. Heh, fun.

I stumbled across a Van Husen "factory store" near Moscone so I did a bit of impulse shopping, to buy some new shirts (if you work where I do - can you spot my new shirts?). I headed back to BART, easily navigated the station (having had _so_ much experience), and found my car as expected in Milbrae. As I was leaving the coin show, the line to get a badge (required even for the bourse) was about 60 people deep! When I showed up, at 11a, it was only about 3 people deep. Glad I got there early! Heading home, the drive isn't so bad if it's just from Milbrae. I'll have to do this BART trick into the city more often!

Current Mood: content

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