Bouchercon 2010 – Day 1

Bouchercon may very well be the world’s biggest convention dedicated exclusively to the written word mystery genre. Authors, readers, librarians, editors agents, publishers … people attend from all aspects of the business. It’s a moveable feast — last year it was held in Indianapolis, next year in St. Louis. But this year, the convention is being held for the third time in San Francisco

Although the convention has been running for 41 years, since Bouchercon 1 in Santa Monica, this is my first year attending. And yes, the fact that the location is San Francisco certainly had something to do with deciding to come. I’ve never been to San Fran, and I’m really enjoying it.

Left Toronto early Tuesday morning, Oct. 12 via Virgin America and got in a little sight seeing that afternoon. Hopped on a world-famous little cable car for the ride down California Avenue, through Chinatown and Nob Hill. It’s a noisy kind of ride as you rattle along, and the cars are surprisingly open .. you’d think in this day of safety and rules and regulations they would been long retired. But great fun.


Some of the seating is very open. Hang on!


The convention hotel is the Hyatt Regency, and I am disappointed in it. It’s expensive and wi-fi is not included. Not in the rooms, not even in common areas. All hotels should realize that customers expect this, the same way we expect soap in the bathroom. And you should see the stains on the carpet! Do you really want to? All right. Take a look for yourself.


Some of the carpet stains at the $250/night Hyatt Regency


Anyway, back to my wanderings. So next I set off to see the Ferry Terminal. This structure was built to serve the port of San Francisco but in 2003 underwent massive renovations to become a beautiful, functional space that serves as a market and gathering place. There are delightful shops and restaurants. Stores sell tea, flavoured designer olive oils, baked goods, and much more. The sky was a cloudless blue, the temperature hovered around 80 … just a beautiful day.


The clock tower in the Ferry Terminal chimes like Big Ben


And then the jet lag caught up with me and I went to sleep very early. But I am starting to get a sense of San Francisco as a very livable city and am beginning to understand why everyone raves about it. Next time, I’ll tell you about how I had lunch with an old boyfriend from about 30 years ago at John’s Grill, the restaurant where Sam Spade ordered his chop done quickly.


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