I don’t like revolving doors – I never have and I never will. I call them the glass carousel of fear because there’s always that possibility you’ll get clipped on the Achilles if you don’t get out quick enough. I did a few slow laps this morning after rush hour just to test the
theory, but the receptionist looked like she was going to get out her own revolver if I didn’t leave, so I had to abort mission. What I do know is that if the person behind you is in a rush, you’re forced to go at their speed. A tardy businessman almost made me knock my head on the wall of my compartment yesterday, and then I got spat out while he exited neatly, straightening his tie.
To their credit the National Park Service haven’t let anybody jazz up Alcatraz, or turn it into a theme park, or anything like that, so you get a fairly accurate picture of what life would have been like for the prisoners. The island is really picturesque – stark, but picturesque, and the view of SF is particularly pretty – especially at sunset – so I imagine it must have been frustrating to be stuck inside for the majority of the day.
There’s nothing I enjoy quite as much as breaking arbitrary rules. I didn’t even want to take anything off Alcatraz until they said I couldn’t, so really, they’ve only themselves to blame. I was semi walking up with a group, but I just started falling a few steps behind to find a suitable rock. A girl waited, but I told her to go on without me – she looked like she’d sing if we got caught – and I did the cough, drop the phone, pick up rock along with phone routine. It was totally wasted because everyone had gone inside, but I felt like Al would’ve been proud.
Post-penitentiary I had a fantastic sleep, which is unusual considering I d just become a hardened criminal, and woke up ready to take on the Golden Gate. I hired a bike and rode to Sausalito – a beautiful town on the other side of the bridge, almost opposite central SF -for lunch. Thus sated, I caught the ferry home and rode for over an hour to get to Golden Gate park which shouldn’t be Golden anything because it’s about as far away from the
bridge as you can get, but it was stunning, and there was so much to do and see – botanical gardens, Japanese tea houses, sculptures, museums etc. I even witnessed a huge group of hippies rebelling against accurate pitch. It sounded like they were on a three square brownies a day diet – not grandma’s recipe. (Unless grandma is next to you on the bongos.)
I’m off to town now in search of a fancy cocktail with a girl from the hostel. She’s just come back from a friend’s wedding in Vegas – she appreciates the irony so we’ll get along fine.