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Fisherman's Wharf

Although San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf was built around commercial fishing, most people think of it in terms of the kitschy tourist attractions which exist today -- oddball museums, chain restaurants,  souvenir shops, and street artists and performers, such as Michael Lee (right), who does impersonations. When Michael started talking to us, my niece kept walking, eyes focused straight ahead of her,  trying to ignore him, but I made her stop and be social.  Michael likes to drink coffee in North Beach on his days off, and has lived in Germany, where he has a son.
I actually buy dungeness crab live off the boats at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, but no wharf visit is complete without a stroll past the crab pots on Pier 47. Dungeness crab is slightly sweet, delicious eaten plain.  I usually serve it in cioppino, an Italian-style fish stew, with sourdough bread.  We saw these guys piled up after being boiled, waiting to be someone's dinner.