Of all the years we’ve been traveling to San Francisco, I don’t think any of us have ever visited Alcatraz. Not even Luis, and he is from here! We had some time to spare before our SF shop’s anniversary party, so Luis, Van Styles, the Horndawg, and I field-tripped out to The Rock, which acted as a federal prison for 30 years (1933-1963). There’s an anonymous quote on the wall as you enter the facility, which reads, “Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz.”
I always found it strange that such a dark and tortured place is now visited by over a million tourists a year. I watched kindergarteners skipping through D-block, families gathering for their Christmas photos around prison toilets, and couples holding hands around grenade-explosion scars. Pretty much everything I knew about Alcatraz was what I got from watching that Sean Connery / Nic Cage movie, so it was actually super interesting to hear secrets of the island, like the 1962 escape and that your favorite rapper probably got his name from an Alcatraz inmate (Machine Gun Kelly, Capone, Birdman, Scarface). Anyways, next time you’re in SF, it’s just a 15 minute boat ride from the city.