Wednesday, April 29, 2015


most of the day was spent on angel island. actually, angel island was the reason this trip came to fruition. my sister visited a month ago and i thought, "i want to go, i'll just plan a trip up north."

to reach the island, you have to take a ferry from either tiburon or san francisco. we decided to enter through tiburon, a little coastal/railroad town. fun fact: angel island used to be connected to san francisco, but became an island when the glaciers melted during the ice age.

good latte, but philadelphia's cafe olle is still da best.

the island is ran by cal parks and has two important histories. 1) it had military presence from the civil war to world war ii. to add, ships entering through the west were searched for diseases and illnesses and sailors were quarantined on the island. during the twentieth century, part of the island was 2) an immigration station. people coming from asia, the middle east, and some european countries were processed at angel island. the island was known as the ellis island of the west. this was really why i was interested in visiting.

the visitors' center

alcatraz with its own cloud. straight out of a scooby-doo where are you? episode.

we circled the entire island, which was much bigger than i had thought. all together, that was 6 miles with lots of inclines. i was very sore.

one of the coolest things about the island is how there are really no fences keeping you away from the main artifacts on the island, the buildings. most of the buildings are boarded up, but you can still approach. some of the buildings (located at fort mcdowell) are from the early twentieth century and you can enter them. only the infrastructure is left, but it is really cool; reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse.

camp reynolds (west garrisons), c. 1863, was established out of fear that confederate soldiers would invade san francisco during the civil war. it was used as a detention/discharge camp until the early 1900s.

camp reynolds housing

fort mcdowell (east garrisons) replaced camp reynolds and was used as a recruit depot and discharge camp. the fort was very active during wwi and ii. after wwii the fort closed, but currently park rangers live on site in the old homes. the old guard house has a museum, but unfortunately it was closed due to short staffing :(

the old mess hall.

also on site is a museum on the role the island played in immigration. the museum is located in the old detention building, which also housed pows during wwii. i was happy to learn that the museum is transparent about its dark past. asians, particularly chinese were segregated and treated harsher than other nationalities. the station was also a place where people were forced to give up certain parts of their culture and assimilate. the one fact that i realized was the irony of how ellis island is treated like a mecca in american history. it is a national park with high tourism and much more funding, while angel island is a state park (which is still great but has it's limitations, i.e. funding), has less tourism, and less funding. both sites are so important in telling the history of the united states' diversity, but both do not have equal recognition.

some chinese immigrants would etch poems into the walls. not so fun fact: the paint has lead.

we had lunch on the island. the island has some fancy park food. pictured is a caesar salad with a twist (i don't know what the twist was), a cuban sandwich, and potato salad.

after taking the ferry back to tiburon and driving to sausalito, we stayed at the hostel for a bit and then returned to downtown for dinner. we ate at aurora's, an italian restaurant.

i had a pizza with prosciutto and parmesan.

an of course no italian meal is complete without tiramisu.

now for a song. i have recommended so many songs from glen hansard, but here is another one: "renata." enjoy!

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