AT LARGE IN THE FAIRMONT
WITH AN IPHONE
It is an icon of 20th Century history in San Francisco. Built after the turn of the century, it survived the 1906 earthquake and fire and prevailed as a symbol of the new San Francisco and evolved over the years to become one of the world's leading historic hotels.
I roamed around with an iPhone breathing in the history of a place that hosted meetings that established the United Nations, where Tony Bennett first sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," where every president since Taft has stayed, where world leaders convene, where show business greats perform, and the setting for several movies and television series.
These are just quick photo notes, dark, shaky, soft focus and all, that will go into my writing file "scene bank." Please consider these "working notes", shot on the quick simply to capture a mood or moment that I can later conjure in my writing. Here's a quick look, starting with a view of the Bay and Alcatraz from our room.
The Grand Ball Room where history has been written.
The roof garden where secrets have been shared.
THEN, THERE IS THE TONGA
Opened in 1947, the Tonga Room is a premiere Tiki motif
that has entertained and fed generations for 65 years.
It remains a popular spot for tourists and devotees.
This room is near capacity or with waiting lines most nights.
The Island Boys, the most recent of entertainers who perform on a moving boat on what was the hotel's original pool. The evening is complete with several thunderstorms and rain showers each evening. Here kitsch meets history.