Jul. 13th, 2009

e_juliana: (sf rising)
I've read more than one book on San Francisco wherein someone remarks upon the strangeness of imposing such a strict (for values of 'strict' that include 16 different grids) grid on such hilly terrain - cities in Europe and South America have worked with the hills, wending the streets around in order to avoid having to cut steps into the sidewalks. Not so for San Francisco. This does afford one some truly breathtaking views of the City at the top of one of the many hills. San Francisco even occasionally stacks hill upon hill - one reaches the glorious summit for which one has labored, huffing and puffing, up a 10% or greater grade, only to be confronted with a downward slope for a block or so and then an even greater ascent.

This morning, I started running west towards the Pacific. This took me up some of the afore-mentioned stacked hills, into the Presidio. The Presidio is one of the places where I can forget both space and time - coming down one of the paths through the eucalyptus and conifers, the view is of old brick buildings nestled in a wooded valley. If you are able to practice selective blindness and ignore the motor vehicles, you could believe you are back in the mid-1800s. I just love the peacefulness of the woods, the few moments of time of feeling truly alone with the wildlife. I even turned my iPod off.

My section of San Francisco isn't particularly green - the overall lack of *green* in the city was one of the strikes against it a long time ago. One of my favorite things about MSP was the fact that I could, if I wanted to, walk or run somewhere that was close to wilderness/away from motor vehicles. I could, for a second, think that I was no longer in a city, just a decently populated stretch of trees. (Being a city person in my bones, I get nervous if I'm away from civilization for longer than a second.) The Presidio, and specifically the path into and through Tennessee Hollow lets that happen for a bit.

After my run in the woods, I turned up into the Main Post and from there to Chrissy Field, where I saw a three-masted and a two-masted ship being accompanied through the Golden Gate and into the Bay by a ship spraying water from its three cannons. I decided to "chase" them by running along the beach, and as I drew near, I could hear the sailors singing. It was a nice warm-up for the Festival of Sail and Parade of Tall Ships next week. I don't plan on going on any of the ships, but I do love watching them come into the Gate. For being a city that is famously only 7 by 7, San Francisco always has something wondrous up its sleeve.

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e_juliana

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