Sunday, September 27, 2009

09/27/09: 7 miles in Outer Sunset

Yay! I finally had a free afternoon to walk!  It was the perfect Sunday to stroll past the beach and through the Outer Sunset district.  The sun was bright, the air clear but there was enough of a cool breeze to make the experience really swell.  Since the streets are so square and consistant in this area, I decided to just snake in an organized fashion from Judah down to Noriega starting as far west as possible.


I decided to take the N-Judah Muni all the way to Ocean Beach...and so did a few patrons of the Fulsom Street Fair.

First stop off the Muni was Ocean Beach.  It is not that easy walking on the loose sand in sneakers.  I made it about halfway to the water before turning back.  Despite best efforts, I still got sand in my shoes.

There is a great walking path that parallels the Great Highway along Ocean Beach.  I want to walk the entire length some day.  For now, I only got to walk it for a few blocks before heading inland on Noriega for the first lap back north.

Welcome to the Outer Sunset where every street looks pretty much like the above.  The fun of walking is that you see the uniqueness of what from a distance looks like a row of little boxes.

For instance, some people like potted plants...

...while other people like to paint their houses with bright colors.

Totally sweet mural inside someones porch on La Playa.

I asked this homeowner the name of his flowering tree and he said, "feces."  I think something was lost in translation.

Every few blocks I also came across these fun stenciled pictures in the sidewalk.

In some neighborhoods in San Francisco it truly is challenging to remember what country you are in.

Yes, that's dirt.

This is a very pet-friendly neighborhood.

The cat disagrees.

Sprinkled in among the houses are churches, schools and restaurants.

My favorite school in this neighborhood is the Francis Scott Key Elementary.  Look at that architecture! 

Plus it has a neat mural on the back wall facing the playground.

The biggest school in the neighborhood is Holy Name school and convent.  I happened to be in the area at 6pm when the bells chimed a series of hymns.  Very cool.

My legs were really starting to burn by mile six, but I'm glad I stuck it out the full seven miles.  Go me!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Walking for Allison This Week :(

My office is prepping for trial so I was chained to my desk until the wee hours of the night all week and couldn't, despite my very best efforts, sneak out for even a short walk.  Boo!  I'm trying to get some stuff done around the house this morning so I can get walking later this weekend.  Here's hoping.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a picture I took yesterday while driving through Marin for work. It's from the south face of Seminary Ridge in Mill Valley.  Check out that fog! 

Friday, September 18, 2009

09/16/09: 2 miles through Nob Hill

You may be asking why I'm only doing two miles today. Well, first of all, I stood on my feet most of the day at work and they were sore BEFORE I started walking. And secondly, Nob Hill is steep. Two miles is plenty.

I started out on the Elephant and Castle Pub by my office. I love the interior of this place. It just seems like a place where everybody knows your name (are you thrilled I just got that song stuck in your head?!). They also have good iced tea.

To see really big redwood trees, you have to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods. However, to see baby redwood trees, you can just go to the Transamerica building. Not sure what the long-term plan is when the trees grow to be as tall as the building, but for now they are very nice to look at.

Yep. The vertigo is setting in.

I'm a big fan of the Pony Express but how many members could this association possibly have?  I need to look into this...

This is a very fancy plaque in the sidewalk that everyone in front of me just stepped on as they crossed hte street.  No respect, I tell ya.

It's true.  There are in fact beautiful things in the store.

I love the paper lanterns strung across Grant Street.

Wait.  Do I get a fourth choice?!

Laundry day.

This is the Chinese Historical Museum at 956 Clay Street.  The door is pretty but it really is a hole in the wall, making it easy to miss.  I'd like to stop in and check it out sometime.

Geez, buddy.  We get it...

View looking south from the top of Nob Hill at the corner of California and Jones Streets.

I got brave and went to the front door of the Masonic Temple.  The huge seeing eye in the window creeped me out.  So that was the end of that exploratory mission.  Editor's Note: I think there is a cosmic power controlling this particular refuses to center like the others.  Wierd.

You know it's a steep sidewalk when they have to put steps in it.

A federal administration building you guess...ERR!  It's the Ritz Carlton on Stockton.

Keeping Union Square classy.

Ack!  My namesake looks like a total dive!  Dang.  Why couldn't my name be Ritz Carlton?...

My treacherous journey ended at the King of Thai Noodle House where I got the duck panang.  Brace yourself for the ingredients:  duck, pineapple, tomato and peppers in the red curry sauce.  I thought for sure the pineapple/tomato combo would be a deal breaker but honestly, the dish tasted awesome.

09/11/09: 4 miles through South Beach

Another great day for a walk. I decided to head south on The Embarcadero toward the AT&T Park to see what was shaking on a game night.

First stop: The Ferry Building. Built in 1898, the building was the entry point to the city for commuters from the East Bay and Marin until the bridges were built in the 1930s. Ferries still operate out of the pier but now the inside houses gourmet food stalls. It's a fun place to go sample fancy treats.

I am madly in love with Scharffen Berger chocolate and love that they have a stall so close to my office. Too close, my husband says.

The view of the Bay Bridge from the Ferry Building is pretty perfect.  Thank you, sailboat for completing the look.  Interesting fact about the Bay Bridge:  while it's not the most famous of our bridges (apparently gold is a cooler color than gray...), it is the most traveled - over 250,000 vehicles cross it every day.  Seriously.

Boulevard Restaurant ( is one of the fanciest and tastiest places in town.  They make this really fantastic crab salad that rocked my world.

Ignore the trolley wires.  The oversized bow and arrow marks Mile 1.

In case you forgot what road I was walking down...

I though the harbor by Pier 45 was great.  Well, the South Bay Harbor is ten times better.  It's super serene despite being directly behind the AT&T Park. 

Sigh...I would have loved to actually ride on one of these boats.  But, alas, I can only look...

Take me out to the [Giants vs. Dodgers] ballgame!  The crowds were starting to form as I wandered around.  An inter-state rivalry brings out some seriously vocal fans.

Score!  I got free chocolate.  It's no Scharffen Berger, but it is Luxe.

The Yerba Buena park marks mile 3.  I added some ground by walking the long way through the park pathways - mostly because I wanted to see what the giant flowers were all about.

The MLK, Jr. waterfalls are very nice.

The giant flowers aren't just pretty, they are functional as well!  They are solar powered wi-fi flowers provided by Toyota.  How fun. 

You may be able to spot a trend - I love churches.  This one is the Saint Patricks Church north of Yerba Buena park. It has a lot of character. Plus it has good bones - it was built in 1851, and survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes.

He's no James Bond, but this doorway does mark mile 4 of my walk so that's my cue to hop BART and head home.