Monday, August 6, 2007

Admire the view from the top of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

This is a pretty spectacular, if under-appreciated, view. From the vantage point of a glass "skyway" 48 stories above the street, you'll find clear lines of sight due south--the South Bay, the Mission and Daly City--and, even better, north--the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Angel's Island, Marin and beyond. Maybe the best part about the whole deal, however, is the sense of scale you get of the Transamerica Pyramid and how it towers over most everything around it.

But this view doesn't come easily. Where you're going isn't public space, meaning that you've got to evade a couple lines of people who are paid, in part, to keep people like you out. You've basically got two options here: pay whatever exorbitant price they charge to stay the night or pretend that you paid whatever exorbitant price they charge to stay the night.

(Additional options do exist. For example, somehow obtain a uniform and impersonate an employee of the hotel, actually get a job there, falsify the necessary credentials and permits and then visit the hotel in the guise of a building inspector, etc.)

But assuming that you usually favor the cheapest and least-complicated options in life, put on your sternest businesswoman's face and your most sensible pair of pumps and just stride through the smallish lobby to the bank of elevators in back, ignoring any welcoming comments directed at you. Go to the elevator and take it all the way to the top. Once there, head towards the the glass-walled section of hallway, taking care to avoid making any suspicious and/or obviously déclassé moves that might alert someone to the fact that you don't belong.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, also known as 345 California Center, is located at 222 Sansome Street. It is notable for a number of reasons: 1) It is the third-tallest building in San Francisco; 2) It is the tallest mid-block building in San Francisco; 3) It is perhaps the only distinctly Chinese-looking tall building in the San Francisco skyline--my opinion. (For a while I thought that it bore a subtle resemblance to the Bank of China tower in Hong Kong--maybe it's the antennae--but I'm not so sure anymore.)


Anonymous said...

what a great idea for a blog. Hope you go well past 101.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help in this question, I too consider, that the easier, the better …