Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

A saloon, a globe and a park – a spot of the old Barbary Coast

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The Saloon

The Saloon

Walking in front of “Old Ship Saloon”, you would have never guessed it. Looks like any other brick building surrounded by many other buildings. But this saloon was originally on a ship. How did the ship get here? How did the saloon get here? Well?

Located a few blocks from Embarcadero, at the junction of Pacific and Battery, this saloon is part of the infamous red light district of old San Francisco called the Barbary Coast.  In those days, most of what is now Embarcadero was the SF Bay. Yes, Embarcadero is indeed built on landfill! Gold Rush era brought a lot of people to San Francisco’s port and their ships were often abandoned. An enterprising person, may not have been a gentleman, took over a ship called Arkansas, cut a door through the hull and this saloon was born. Eventually, when the landfill locked the ship in, the ship was replaced by this brick building that you currently see. Pretty cool, eh?

The Globe

The Globe

Why should you go there now? Apart from the fact that it is a touch of old San Francisco, the saloon is very popular, and the ambiance great.  And Globe, the restaurant next door is said to be “the” restaurant for the city chefs – food is good and is served till after midnight. On my last visit to Globe, a few years ago, I ate quite a bit. The carrots on my plate that came with the pork were the best I have eaten so far – perfectly cooked, flavored with unctuousness of pork with a touch of brandy perhaps. And, I remember their apple tart all too well. So good was the tart that I had ordered another one.

The park

The park

Now the park at Sydney G. Walton Square. It is a hop away from the saloon, at Front and Jackson, covering an entire block. Surrounded by these low lying red colored apartments on three sides, it is a nice spot to relax. And people do. On weekdays, men and women working in the tall buildings of the Financial District, come down here during their lunch hours, loosen up their ties and enjoy the sun.  Here, you will also find an assortment of art work, cherry blossoms in early spring and in the afternoons, the chattering parrots of Telegraph Hill. Also, note a gate. Now covered with ivy, it is gate of an old loading dock of a fruit and veg store that stood at this old spot.

For more of our explorations of San Francisco, with photos, maps, walking tours, click here.

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Written by Som

June 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm

One Response

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  1. […] A touch of nostalgia – on the old Barbary coast (more) […]


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