When the bells of cars rang out outside the window facing the street in the early morning, the curtain of a city trip was about to open. The sun in California is the brightest I’ve ever seen. The sun here always reveals its chest unintentionally. The dazzling sunlight leaves us nowhere to hide. The strong light pushes the entire city to our eyes with a high-saturation color appearance, so that we can carefully look at it in three dimensions.
San Francisco is a hilly peninsula on the west coast of the United States; as a mountain city, the most outstanding thing is her slope. In the movie “Dream of Space”, the scene of the city’s gradual collapse is taken here. All cars are parked sideways on the slope, or parked on the side of the road with the lateral resistance of rudder tires, and if you want to ride a bike in the city center, you still need to have the courage to think carefully.
If you want to fully understand the essence of this city, then hop on the Big Bus, climb to the second floor while listening to the explanations, and look around. Under the action of sunlight and wind, your vision will be integrated into the narrow alleys of the evergreen streets. A glimpse of people’s lives will appear in it. In my opinion, the essence of this route is not the bustling and bustling Union Square, nor the grandeur of the Victorian building of the City Hall, but that it runs through Haight-Ashbury, which is what gave birth to “Beat Generation” and the cultural mecca of hippies.
In 1967, a huge hippie art performance was held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This famous event known as the “Summer of Love” is still a hotly debated topic. Half a century ago, the rebellion of hippies against traditional culture had a huge impact on the ideas and cognitions of later generations in the United States and the entire world. With the love and peace of the younger generation of the “Batteries”, this summer will make the entire city into a utopian world.
Today, on the streets of High Street, Victorian 3-storey small buildings are lined up on a steep slope. There are many record stores, vintage second-hand shops and other various novelty shops. The graffiti and decoration on the wall are exquisite. Absolutely. A restaurant called Burger Urge features a huge burger and fries sticking out of the wall, and the second floor is a mural of the “Summer of Love” in 1967. The guitarist is “The Grateful Dead” ) One of the band members, he was once known as the “God’s Guitarist” in San Francisco, and the band became famous for the “Summer of Love” event. In those years, the bands that were also sought after by the hippies were “Jefferson Airplane”, “The Who”, etc. They set the precedent for psychedelic rock. The peace-loving hippies used the avant-garde new culture to tear off the conservatives ’clothing through rock music; they tried to get rid of the physical control of the American orthodox society at the time and opposed the Vietnam War. The works reflected the deep exploration of the self and the complete spiritual liberation. Pursuit.
With the use of war dividends, the economy and society of the United States achieved rapid development after the war. The rich income of blue-collar workers and farmers allowed them to afford large villas in the suburbs and leapt to a well-off life. Most students have access to school, and many have been trained by the country to become technical elites. However, the results of their research have been used on the battlefield and turned into shells dumped in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. Therefore, the excellent life after the war left the younger generation of Americans confused, brewing a heated and angry anti-war sentiment, and the hippie movement erupted under such an opportunity.
In 1957, the world’s first artificial satellite launched by the Soviet Union forced the United States to invest heavily in space, and the originally quiet and peaceful Santa Clara Valley in the south of the San Francisco Bay Area suddenly turned into a large construction site where bulldozers and excavators were busy day and night. A number of government-backed companies and research institutes were founded, and the predecessor of Silicon Valley was born here.
Few thought at the time that a high-tech revolution was about to sweep in with hurricane momentum. In the 1960s, computers were not only expensive but also huge. They were mainly used in government and military projects. They had little to do with ordinary people, and IBM monopolized the industry. More than 30 years later, the personal computer industry suddenly emerged. This also needs to thank the hippies movement at the time, which gave scientific and technological innovation and the driving force for the development of the Silicon Valley industry.
Steve Jobs was deeply influenced by the hippies’ spirit of sharing. In the 1970s, the invention of integrated circuits brought computer science into a brand-new era. While devoting himself to researching technology, Jobs did not forget the ideals of the Datong community and went to the famous hippie commune “Great Unification Farm” to open up opportunities with his peers. Apples were planted in the orchard, so many years later when starting a new company, Jobs did not hesitate to name it “Apple”.
The Exploratorium of San Francisco was founded under the driving force of such a hippie movement. The museum is located at Pier 15 of San Francisco’s Inland River, and was founded by famous physicist Frank Oppenheimer in 1969. At first, while teaching at the university, Professor Oppenheimer developed an “experiment library” to inspire students to discover physical phenomena in experiments. Over time, he hoped that more people would understand these phenomena, so the exploration museum came into being. Oppenheimer was the first curator of the museum. He himself produced some interesting models. These exhibits have generated the desire and confidence of the public to encourage people to discover and explore the world with their own abilities.
The Discovery Museum is a particularly fun stop on a city trip. On a small bridge connecting Piers 15 and 17, artist Nakagu Fuko uses high-pressure nozzles to atomize the treated water. Visitors walking on the bridge will suddenly be exposed to heavy fog, as if immersed in a fantasy wonderland It’s the same here. San Francisco’s unique hilly area is surrounded by water on three sides and has high humidity. In summer, it is often affected by subtropical high pressures and forms a natural wonder of the “fog locked golden gate”. The artist’s urban public art works are a natural combination of natural phenomena and artistic perceptions tailored to local conditions, and people who come and visit are happy to stop and experience here.
Unlike other museums, here you can follow your curiosity to discover and explore novel worlds. Several major areas in the museum cover aspects of ecosystems, natural phenomena, human perception, and technological innovation. There are hundreds of model installations for people to try. Looking forward, the items such as bicycle wheel gyroscopes, cloud circles, colored shadows, projection boxes, etc. are all very artistic and interactive. There are adults and children in the exhibition hall who are enjoying themselves. In addition to trying out these interesting installations, visitors can also participate in interest groups, make exhibits by themselves, and inspire their creative potential. The museum provides in-depth courses to help different people understand the rich and wide world through unique perspectives.
Creativity and vitality can be felt everywhere in this city, and many artists have also created immortal works here. As the second largest museum of modern art in the United States, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art brings together a large number of works by outstanding artists from all over the world. Taking a dip in the gallery of art can bring insightful tasters to harvest.
The seven-story exhibition space displays various exhibits such as paintings, photography, installations, and sculptures. Among them was the painting “A Woman in a Hat” by French “Fauvism” master Henri Matisse. Fauvism is a painting style that once prevailed in France. It was named after the autumn art salon in Paris in 1905. At the time, a group of avant-garde artists led by the painter Matisse shocked four new works, including one literary and artistic. The small bronze statue of the Revival style was unexpectedly likened by a magazine reporter to “Donatello in a cage of beasts”, hence the name “Fauvism”, and “The Woman in the Hat” was Marty One of the masterpieces of the Beastist period. In addition, the work of Frida Kahlo, a miserable but talented Mexican female painter, is also on display on the second floor.
Not only are there many world-renowned modern art masterpieces, of course, American contemporary art works will not be absent. Among the exhibits of Pop Art pioneer Andy Warhol, the most famous of them are his self-portrait, Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline triptych. Andy Warhol is not only an artist, but also a successful commercial designer. He used a banana picture to design the album cover for the famous “The Velvet Undergruond” band. In March 2019, Beijing Today Art Museum held an exhibition entitled “The Art of Love: A Traveler’s Diary”, which displayed many precious photos of Andy Warhol in China. The travel story of the masters of art in China exactly confirms the spirit of fraternity advocated by the hippies.
The Big bus line runs through Golden Gate Park, San Francisco’s city park. Right next to the special zone, it was also the place where the “Summer of Love” was held. At that time, 100,000 visitors came from all over the United States to participate in this music event. In this “city oasis”, there are several leisure places with unique characteristics: The Japanese tea garden is the oldest existing Japanese garden in the United States. It was originally built for the California World Expo in 1894. It is small but exquisite; The De Young Museum houses some of the world’s finest works of art; from here you cross another fountain plaza, opposite the California Academy of Sciences.
The California Science Museum houses a planetarium, an aquarium, a rainforest greenhouse, and a natural history museum with a wavy roof. Entering the Science Museum, a giant dinosaur fossil stands in the middle of the 4-story hall. The staff explained to us that the main purpose of many exhibitions here is to explain the sustainable development of life in a scientific way.
Entering the 4th floor greenhouse, the high air humidity in the room immediately moisturizes the tight skin. Circling up the outer circle of the entire building, there are parrots, butterflies and a variety of amphibians in the dense tropical rain forest. Some unique species multiply in such a small environment. The museum uses living exhibitions to prove to us that the world does not only have human beings to live on. The huge biological chain is the foundation on which human beings depend, and also needs human protection.
“Prison in Prison”
Alcatraz Island is a legendary island. It is commonly known as The Rock, with an area of less than 0.08 square kilometers. It is located in the San Francisco Bay, 3 kilometers away from Fisherman’s Wharf. Just stand on the island Overlooking the bustling scene of the city. Because it is located in northern California with high latitudes, San Francisco is known as “the coldest winter is San Francisco’s summer”-even in the hottest summer, the temperature of the San Francisco Bay Ocean Current is only a dozen degrees, which makes this island even more It looks cold.
From 1934 to 1963, Alcatraz Island was a federal prison in the United States. This island, known as “Prison in Prison”, once held a lot of imprisoned felons, and many other prisons sent prisoners here for punishment. Because of its geographical isolation and extremely strict management system, this prison has become a place of confinement that makes criminals frightened. There are too many legendary stories on the island. Many movies use this as a location, and there are many movies based on real people and real things.
The day we visited the island, the sun was dazzling early in the morning, and the body temperature was about ten degrees. Board the earliest ferry, Alcatraz Cruise, to Alcatraz Island in ten minutes. I climbed to the port on the second deck and looked far away. As the ferry gradually got off shore, San Francisco’s urban appearance showed the overall outline; on the other side, you can clearly see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island forming a beautiful picture. The closer to the center of the sea, the colder the sea wind penetrated into the bone marrow. Many people rushed to take pictures at the bow of the boat, but ran back to the cabin within a few minutes and shivered. The lighthouse gradually became clear. The Golden Gate Bridge slowly hid behind the island, and the pier immediately appeared. After landing, a mottled beige building reads “Welcome to Alcatraz Island”.
The external environment of the prison is managed by someone who looks more careful than the maintenance of other parks. As we walked down the road past the living quarters and a burnt building, the once-creepy Federal Prison appeared. The prison has a total of 336 rooms and 42 confinement rooms. Before the deactivation, it averaged 260 prisoners a year. At its peak, it held a maximum of 302 people. Their average sentence was about 5 years. The dilapidated building has not been specially rebuilt, basically retaining the original appearance of the prison, which is exactly the same as the scene we see in film and television dramas. The wall was peeling off everywhere, and the light was very dim. Walking in the middle, it seemed that the sound of dragging an iron chain to close the gate came from the ear.
There was only one bed in each room in the prison, a toilet and a small sink, and nothing else. Although this building has long become a tourist attraction, tourists walk freely in the aisles, but the three-story iron windows that stand out from the sky under the direct light of the narrow skylights still make the cage building look eerie. Under the strict discipline of the prison, prisoners have very little free time for activities and socializing. Some people play baseball in the windy playground, while others will walk freely on the rooftop and look at the small The bustling life of San Francisco off the island. Most prisoners let out two and a half hours a day for two days a week on Saturdays and Sundays, while those punished had only one hour a week. For the prisoner, whenever he sees the drunken city on the other side in only a few hours of free time, perhaps he only has remorse and torment in his heart.
There is an eye-catching statement on Alcatraz Island, “If you break the law, then the prison waiting for you will be, and if you break the law again in prison, then the Alcatraz Island is waiting for you.”
At that time, the famous American gang leader, the murderous Chicago “Godfather” Capone, was also detained here. In the 1920s, Capone followed his parents to immigrate from Naples, Italy, to New York. Because of his poor family background, Capone ran errands for the gangsters at the age of 14 and was appreciated by the leader. He gradually became the top gangster in Chicago. He had a huge profit by selling private alcohol during the prohibition of alcohol in the United States, which caused contradictions with other gangs. After the killing of the gangsters, Carpenter went to the spotlight and accepted an exclusive interview with Hollywood writers. He suddenly became a star.
Capone’s gangster murders shocked the nation. Hoover, then president of the United States, finally issued an order to eliminate the evil forces led by Capone. However, even after he was in prison, Capone was able to bribe the warden and still live a luxurious life. The Chief Justice learned that Capone was not isolated from other criminals, and he was transferred to the heavily regulated Alcatraz Island. Inspired by this well-known American cartoonist Chester Gould, the demise of the Capone gangster was created into a detective story and became a well-known work in the United States.
Another legendary character in the “guest” in prison is Robert Franklin Stroud. This talented “Birdman” has been in school for 3 years and then left home because of his father’s alcoholism. The cruelty of his life made him suffer. In January 1909, Stroud was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for killing a bartender who rude his girlfriend. In prison he gradually realized that only mastering knowledge can change life, so he studied hard and completed courses in astronomy, physics and other subjects with excellent grades. Unfortunately, Stroud always seemed to accompany him. In 1916, he clashed with the jailer again, stabbed him to death, and was sentenced to death. Stroud’s mother went around to save his life and even sent a petition to the president’s desk. As a result of her efforts, Stroud was finally sentenced to life imprisonment 8 days before the original execution.
While in captivity, several birds broke into Stroud’s life. After a heavy rain, he found a birdhouse in the prison courtyard, which contained three injured birds. He began to raise canaries carefully in prison, and even became an expert in treating bird septicemia, and completed a research monograph, Canary Diseases.
A doctor described that, “Stroud is a genius. If he is not studying birds in prison but studying humans, then he is definitely a scientist.”
Although Stroud’s bird research was approved by experts, it was not welcomed by prison management. In 1942, the prison transferred him to Alcatraz. He was then held in solitary confinement for 6 years and 11 years in Alcatraz prison hospital. He was not transferred to the Missouri prison hospital until 1959, and died 4 years later. For the 17 years he spent on Alcatraz, he still kept reading and writing habits. The legendary experience of his life was also adapted by the director John Frankheimer into the popular movie “The Birdkeeper of Alcatel” in 1962. The reputation of Alcatraz Federal Prison is known to ordinary people. Credit.
Someone will definitely ask, have any prisoners escaped from Alcatraz? Of course, in order to get rid of absolute imprisonment, how could no one try to escape. According to official figures: During the establishment of a federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 36 people tried to escape, and 14 of them tried to escape alone. Of the 36 people, 23 were arrested, 6 were shot dead, 2 jumped into the sea, and the bodies of 5 people appeared on the beach near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Legendary is the brothers Frank Morris, John Angelin and Clarence Angelin who disappeared completely after their escape. The talents of these three people in crime and escape from prison are top-notch. They used the collected old spoons, coins, nail clippers and other small parts to make excavation tools. They used the time of the accordion every day to dig vents. These people were soaking in the library to check materials, and when others were sleeping late at night, they dug aisles in their compartments and covered the air vents with wet newspapers. After a year, they finally opened the way to the outside world and glued the stolen life jacket and tape to form a rubber boat. They even cleverly made dummy heads in the bed to create illusions, making the patrolling guards think they were sleeping. By the time the guards found out, they had long disappeared into the misty sea of San Francisco Bay, breaking the myth that Alcatraz Island has never been able to escape successfully.
I felt relieved to see the whole prison. The Alcatraz Island now looks like a sack cut by sharp blades, and the traces of years are scattered around. Some elderly people who have been released from prison serve as instructors again, counting the youth and the souls who have been imprisoned.
Leaving Alcatraz Island, watching a group of fat sea lions fighting on the deck on the lively Pier 39, behind them are a number of cruise ships heading for Alcatraz Island. This bustling street is so different from Alcatraz Island. “If you are free, everything can be thrown away.” Only in that situation can you feel more real.
Lake Tahoe-Utopia in Reality
The faces of people hurrying from the streets are not difficult to see the pace of life in San Francisco, but the tight nerves also need a relaxing environment on the weekends. The Lake Tahoe area, located in Northern California, only a 3-hour drive from San Francisco, is a particularly good place. Lake Tahoe is about 1,900 meters above sea level. Although it is at the same latitude as San Francisco, the temperature is much lower. The 8-month snow season here is a paradise for ski lovers, and our visit was at the end of October, with golden eyes in late autumn, giving the illusion of “walking into the movie scene”.
Early the next morning, we met with guide Mike, and saw that he was fully armed, and suggested that we also bring hats, gloves and sunglasses to keep warm. We did not expect in advance that the temperature of Lake Tahoe had dropped below zero this time, and it was a bit of a surprise. At the moment of going out, a cold wind struck, and everyone immediately shivered. Mike looks like a capable uncle. He is not only a guide here, but also a ski instructor. His body and mental state are very good. He should pay attention to exercise on weekdays. So when we learned that he was already a rarity, we were all surprised to know what to say.
Mike took us around the paradise town and then led us towards the national park on the mountain. The rock at the entrance is carved with “Van Sickle Bi-State Park”-this is the interstate park, and the road here clearly marks the dividing line between California and Nevada. We walked into a towering pine forest, and the ground was covered with huge pine cones, but the seeds inside were gone. It should have been eaten by the furry elves in the forest. At this moment, the golden yellow thatch and leaves glowed with golden light in the scattered places of the sun, and the temperature of the physical feeling was no longer as low as when they were just out. Mike led us along a path to the top of the mountain. I saw the gentle slope of the mountain road. The 70-year-old man was striding forward in front of him, but the young man behind was panting, which made me feel ashamed. Ten minutes later, we turned over the granite rocks and reached the top of the mountain. An open pine forest appeared in front of us. At the end of the line of sight is the deep blue of Lake Tahoe, and the mountains in the distance connect the lake and the sky. I took a deep breath and calmed down. I couldn’t help but feel that this was “the utopia in reality.”
After lunch, we set off to the lake when the sun was fine. Although you can’t drive straight in, the scenery is simply beautiful: the yellow thatch becomes a bit romantic against the water pond and the blue sky. Like Van Gogh’s paintings, the strong colors and vigorous lines attract the attention. The endless orange-yellow thatch, red-yellow trees, towering pine forests and winding roads by the lake seem extraordinarily unrestrained and free-standing under the pure blue sky without a cloud.
Crossing the pine forest barrier, the icy lake gradually emerged. There were several wooden benches and tables on the beach, and we found a bench to sit down, facing a calm lake, and basking in the sun. There is always such a place around Lake Tahoe for people to relax. Some people take their dogs for a walk along the lake, some people go fishing on the boat, and some young people are performing with hula hoop in the distance. Cyclists from A wooden path runs along the beach, and a boat floats in the middle of the lake in the distance … just staying freely like time has frozen.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, with a circumference of about 116 kilometers. Although the snow season is long here, the lake never freezes, and you can clearly see the small fish swimming in it from the bottom of the water. This is a good place to escape the heat in the summer, and many people come to stay in a log cabin by the lake for a few days. Water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing can be performed in summer, and skiing can be performed in winter. People can experience a wealth of holiday life in the boundless beauty, so it is also known as the “San Francisco Back Garden”.
Mike told us the story of California’s gold rush. In 1848, a carpenter named Michelle inspected the waterway and found gold glittering spots in the water, so he launched a small piece of golden metal into the water. He judged it to be gold by instinct, and told the owner of the sawmill that the boss kept him secret and prepared to go for gold himself. However, where there is an impenetrable wall, the news of gold spreads wildly, and a large number of laborers lay down their work and join the gold rush army. The news gradually spread throughout the United States, even as far as South America, Europe and China across the ocean. The massive gold rush caused rapid development in all aspects of San Francisco and the entire western region, and the construction of highways and railways that connect the major arteries of the US economy. But Michelle, who found gold, was still impoverished and spent an ordinary life in a humble little house.
Mike also told us that initially there were only a few cabins by the lake. With the excavation of a nearby silver mine, more and more businessmen passed here, so there were facilities such as post stations, which over time also promoted the development of the surrounding tourism industry. After listening to Mike’s story, I suddenly thought that the sparkle in the lake might not be water waves, but gold!
Leaving the lake, there is a nearby dock Zephyr Cove where you can take a cruise ship. Take a Dixie cruise to the center of the lake. The lake water changes from blue to emerald green; a fall on the water is extraordinarily beautiful. The cruise ship bypassed the green waters of the Emerald Bay, and the snowy mountains gradually disappeared in the light with the white waves rolled up at the stern. An old couple sitting on the deck recalled the story of time-this should be the best of Lake Tahoe It looks like it!
Other recommended places in San Francisco
The San Francisco Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in Golden Gate Park. Although it has gained the limelight from the Japanese tea garden and the California Science Museum, this botanical garden is not inferior at all. More than 9,000 kinds of plants quietly grow in this mysterious garden. Admission is free before 9am. In the summer season, the Grand Lawn Central will hold a “Flower Piano Concert”. There are more than 20 pianos under the big trees and flowers in the park for the public and musicians to play. It is a grand event of nature and music.
City Light Bookstore
It is the home of the “Bad Generation”, located between North America’s largest Chinatown and the “Little Italy”. It enjoys a high reputation among the few independent bookstores today, and is also a cultural pioneer of hippies. He once published the poem “Howling” for the poet Ginsburg, and in honor of the author Jack Kerouac of On the Road, the renovated street next to the bookstore was named “Kerouac Street”.
Recommended book: On the Road
This book is the famous work of Jack Kerouac, the representative of the “lost generation” in the United States in the 1960s. It describes the empty and confused life of a group of young anti-war hippies at that time. This group of young people living in huge contradictions resolutely abandoned the “orthodox” culture in pursuit of love and freedom, and their stories still have enlightening significance.
Inland River Pier 39 is a good place for eating, drinking, and fun. Many restaurants with excellent reputations gather here, as well as playgrounds, talk shows and other projects to participate in.
Market inside ferry building
This is the favorite market for locals. There are many unique foods and wines. Before taking the ferry home from work, come here for a meal or purchase ingredients. With the CityPass you can ride the Dangdang for free and go up and down the steep slopes of San Francisco. It’s a special experience to hear the crisp ringtones passing through the hustle and bustle of the city.
Omni San Francisco Hotel
Located in the heart of California Avenue, it has an excellent location. Chinatown, Union Square and River Trade Terminal are all within a 10-minute walk. It is a luxury and low-key standard American hotel.
BEI San Francisco Hotel
The artistic temperament of this BEI hotel in San Francisco is in line with the aesthetic concept of open space. The Beijing BEI Hotel, which opened in China at the same time, was renovated on the basis of the original Zhaolong Hotel.
In and Out: This well-known online celebrity restaurant offers basic set menus such as burger fries. The hidden menu is to replace the bread in the burger with lettuce, so that high-calorie foods can be instantly converted into a healthy meal. Try it.
Fighting for Life Island
This well-known film starring Nicholas Cage is basically set on Alcatraz Island, and tells the story of the special forces rescued a group of hostages held in Alcatraz by rebels.
Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
The spacious room combines living room, bedroom and bar counter. The fireplace at the entrance can bring warmth to the residents in winter, and the forest scenery outside the window is refreshing.