there, there, there's no there there

The first time I visited San Francisco, in the late 1970s, I found it uninspiring as cities go. Ditto the second time I went, in 1990. That time, the famous Gertrude Stein’s line came to mind. There is no there there. I loved my friends’ house in Bernal Heights and the morning fog and earthquake talk, but there was still no there there for me. (That line appears in Stein’s Everybody’s Autobiography, and was about Oakland, her hometown: “What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.")

I wouldn’t get a handle on San Francisco until my third visit. It was 2000. The dot.com boom had forced out many of the edgier types; this meant fewer wackos and better signage. But I liked it. There was finally a there there. I would love to visit again. Several dear friends live there in the there there of there. On that note, here’s a sweeps for airfare to San Francisco and three nights at The Fairmont San Francisco.

To enter, click HERE. Deadline: October 31.

P.S. I was clicking around the Fairmont San Francisco’s site and found this package. I love travel history. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This hotel has one of the most fascinating histories I've ever encountered. For a fuller sense of that, click to the hotel’s version HERE.

A Walk Through Time Package
Celebrate the remarkable history of The Fairmont San Francisco. From its anticipated opening during the Great Earthquake of 1906 to the drafting of the Charter for the United Nations and the debut of ''I Left my Heart in San Francisco'' by Tony Bennett, the history of San Francisco comes alive at The Fairmont San Francisco.