Views, more views, and a night on the town

San Francisco for Less: Day Two

Gallery and boutique browsing took up the rest of our afternoon. One stop we couldn't miss was City Lights Bookstore. Founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin, this literary landmark is where Beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg gathered to spark a literary and cultural revolution.

Dinner was another discovery: Down the semiseedy strip of Broadway, the Helmand is an elegant, white-tablecloth Afghan restaurant with an outstanding menu and moderate prices. Cost for homemade pasta with ground beef, cardamom-spiced rice, a salad, and appetizer was $41.

Afterward, we took another long walk (though in retrospect we'd recommend a cab, about $12) to see a quintessentially San Francisco production. The Audium sound-sculpture performance off Van Ness Avenue has been running for 27 years, but the show―an abstract melange of hundreds of recorded sounds played in varying rhythms, tones, and volumes from 169 speakers―was born of the Beat era. Sitting in the dark with a bunch of strangers was somewhat claustrophobic, but the tones eventually induced a dreamlike state. Tickets for two: $24. DAY TWO BUDGET
$149 in pocket

Hiking Telegraph Hill for views and murals at Coit Tower: FREE

Late pain au chocolat and scrambled egg breakfast at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market: $7 ($142 remaining)

1917 poem by Guenivieve Taggard: To sit together and drink the blue ocean/And eat the sun like a fruit: FREE

Opera and focaccia pizzas at Caffe Trieste:
$7 ($135 remaining)

Meet the Beats―poets, that is―on the shelves of City Lights Bookstore: FREE

Afghan dinner at Helmand, $41, followed by sound sculpture performance at the Audium:
$24 ($70 remaining)

Page