Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Bus Report #962

When was the last time you rode a cable car, dear readers?

If you're anything like me, it has been quite a long time. I used to love walking down to the turnaround on California Street and riding up to Polk, but I haven't done that in forever.

And I don't think I've ever been on the main Powell line other than my first Christmas in San Francisco, when my roommates and I got booted off the cable car because we'd run to catch it and had jumped on while it was moving. We deserved it, but how else were three tipsy ladies going to get to the Tonga Room that night? Walking? Heh.

The other night I had dinner with C. over in Nob Hill. He'd taken a cable car to meet me and I decided it was time I went on one again, so after dinner we caught a Hyde Street car and rode to the end of the line.

You forget how the car moves up and down the hills, the grip latching onto the constantly moving cables, the way the gripman staffs the back of the car, the conductor ringing the bells. In between talking to the gripman, C. pointed out the smell of the wood and the grease of the brakes - something almost piney. Something warm.

At night there aren't a lot of riders. There were the usual tourists, sure, but also local people. An elderly woman in a smart coat, carrying her groceries. People on their way to supper, or home from work. The city is so quiet, it is strange. We kept catching views of the Bay Bridge lights all the way down by the water front. At the top of one hill, we were so high up I could not see the street below.

Get out one afternoon or evening soon, everyone, and catch a cable car. Your Clipper monthly pass works on the cable cars, so you have no excuses.

Check back in here and tell me about your cable car experience. I'll accept past excellent cable car stories, too.

If enough people write in, I'll raffle off a small but fun prize. You've got until March 15 to enter the raffle.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry! Too expensive for the locals.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Aw! If you have a monthly pass you can ride the cable cars, for no additional fare.
But you are right, the cash fare is almost as steep as some of our hills.

Thanks for reading!

1:50 PM  
Blogger haleon said...

Many years ago I was riding the Powell car home and it was packed! I was at the rear end and I hate crowds so I turned my back on the car and just looked out behind us. There were people crammed all together and some guy was pushed up against me. After a while I looked behind me wondering why it was still so crowded. Only to find that it WASN'T but the guy was still pressed against me. He looked sheepish and I had to laugh as I told him to move along.

I don't live in the city anymore and I miss it everyday.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh my, Haleon, that's quite a story. Glad you could laugh it off!
Thanks for reading!

1:44 PM  
Blogger dani said...

The California line during the holidays is great - seeing the financial district all decked out for the holidays is a treat.

I used to take the cable car up the hill to work all the time... early in the mornings, it is QUIET and a pleasant ride... if I had to catch it later in the day, I would just walk up one stop to avoid the ridiculous queue.

Alas, now I live in the land of the N-Judah where the train doesn't show up so often that I stopped getting a monthly pass because it is faster and more reliable to walk 30+ blocks then wait for an overpacked train.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Dani, I completely agree. The FiDi decorations are great. And I like when they put garlands on the F Market cars and the cable cars, too.

I hear you on the N Judah disfunction. Such a shame. Do you ever take the N express bus? I see it all the time but have never been on it.

10:18 AM  

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