Lost in San Francisco

Volume 6, Issue 34; 10 Jun 2003

A mostly aimless wander through San Francisco with a few appropriately touristy shots.

Somehow the great cities of America have taken their places in a mythology that shapes their destiny: Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips Cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco.

Joe Flower

On Sunday afternoon, I found myself lost in San Francisco. Well, not lost exactly, but wandering with little aim. Starting from the hotel, I wandered through Chinatown, adding an image to my collection of statuary:

Statuary at the Gate to Chinatown
Statuary at the Gate to Chinatown

then over the hills and eventually down to Washington Square park. Beyond the small cluster of men and women practicing something that looked like Tai Chi with swords (actually Google suggests that maybe it was Tai Chi with swords), a much larger group had brought there dogs into the park for a little socialization. Anyone that doesn't smile at puppies playing together isn't really looking.

On a sunny day, I think I would have visited Coit Tower again. Deb and I had a wonderful time the day we visited.

Beyond Washington Square park, I made the touristy pilgrimage up Lombard Street. Although the locals tell me the spring bloom has peaked, it's still plenty impressive to a New Englander.

Resplendent Blossoms
Resplendent Blossoms
Lombard Street in the Distance
Lombard Street in the Distance
Coit Tower
Coit Tower

Whenever I consider Lombard Street (the “crookedest street in the world” for those not in the know), I wonder if it's a complete failure. The street does not look particularly steeper than its neighbors, some of which are very steep indeed, so I am left wondering if its crooked design was not intended to discourage traffic. I imagine the original occupants conceiving the street's narrow, winding path as a way of assuring privacy, unaware that the design would become a landmark attraction.

Whatever the motivation, its path winds through a series of terraced gardens with some quite interesting flowers.

Flowers on Lombard Street
Flowers on Lombard Street

Beyond Lombard, no trip to San Francisco would be complete without finding a vantage point to view the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge

And finally, a random shop window on my stroll back to the hotel.

Tattoo You?
Tattoo You?