After returning from Europe not long ago, I had another traveling opportunity to visit San Francisco, California. I wanted to do as much as possible in the short time that I was there. I only had three full days. Anything magic related was definitely on the list.
On the first day I visited Pier 39. This is a popular tourist attraction built on a San Francisco Bay pier. There were many shops, restaurants, rides, and also Houdini's Magic Shop.
At the end of the pier, there was a stage set up for scheduled street performances. These entertainers had to audition in order to perform there. In this picture, Bob Besmehn is putting on an awesome show. He had a very polished performance!
Next on the to do list was to visit Alcatraz Island. If you ever visit San Francisco, I highly recommend it. The National Park Service did an excellent job showing what it was like to be one of America's most infamous criminals held there in the mid 1900's.
I was most impressed by the three inmates who managed to escape and were never seen again. Their success or failure crossing the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay remains a mystery today, and they are still on the US Marshals wanted list. The tour shows you how they did it and the trickery involved. They were true escape artists. Perhaps that's why I was so intrigued!
Here is a picture of San Francisco, from Alcatraz Island. As you could imagine, it would be quite the swim.
The next day I rented a car and drove to Pacifica State Beach for my first surfing lesson. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of surfing. This sport is way harder than it looks. Even with some skateboarding and snowboarding experience, I was only able to get up a handful of times. This car, however, I had no problem driving.
On my way back from surfing I stopped at another magic store in San Francisco, called Misdirections Magic Shop. This was an impressive store. The owner was very knowledgeable, and there seemed to be an infinite selection of magic. I was like a kid in a candy store. I spent 3 hours in there and was excited to bring home some new material to perform.
On my final day I decided to go busking just outside of Pier 39. Luckily, San Francisco has very relaxed laws on street performing. I was happy to get out there and perform in another city.
On my final night I checked out Jay Alexander's show at the Marrakech Magic Theater. This guy put on an awesome mentalism show, and it was a pleasure to meet him.
My visit to San Francisco came to an end all too quickly. I could have easily spent an additional week there and have it booked solid with things to do. I hope to return someday soon. Until then, I think I have a few more magical adventures lined up. Stay tuned!