September 12, 2004


I left my house this morning wiping away grey cloud from my glasses. I was making yet another attempt to visit Angel Island and it looked like the whole thing might be spoiled by bad weather. But I biked out and met up with mbostock and together we hit the Embarcadero where we saw one of the laps of San Francisco Grand Prix come screaming by.

Those guys were flying ... especially the one guy who had somehow latched himself to a support vehichle and was being carried along as a crew member dangled out a passenger window to repair the bike's back wheel. Seriously. It was quite something to see but it was still fairly bleak weatherwise and we had yet to get to Fisherman's Wharf, our departure point and Home of All Things Indecent in San Francisco.

But we boarded the ferry and a short hour later (the ferry first went to Alcatraz and then to Tiburon) we exited the clouds and deboated on the sunny shores of Ayala Cove.

There are two bikeable roads that encircle Angel Island - the 5 mile Perimeter Road and the 3 mile Fire Road. We trekked up to the higher Fire Road, and despite being an lung busting climb, it was well worth it. As we rode along, we had amazing views of the Bay, both bridges, the City and Marin.

Additionally, the abandoned immigration buildings are spooky cool. And, I believe, my family once past through them when they first arrived in the New World from Poland (via Tokyo).

Tuckered out, Mike and I ferried home having biked the heck outta that island. Hopefully, I'll figure out how to make it back for some camping one day in the future.


goldman said...

It would be cool to find out if the fam actually did pass through there. Actually, it would be awesome to know anything concrete about their trip here.

I mean, they were a bunch of Polish jews and they came through Tokyo. I doubt they knew much about Asia - Tokyo in the 1910's must've seemed like an alternate universe.

Too bad they didn't have blogs.

goldman said...

Is there someone at your multi-lingual school who could do a translation of the letter? It would be cool to scan the letter and post a translation somewhere.

Lane Collins said...

Check out this site:

It even involves the phrase "immigration station foundation".

goldman said...

Cool! From there I found a link to a way to search the immigration records, but wasn't able to turn up anything just yet.

Maybe my Mom knows the name of the boat or the names they may have entered with.