Saturday, October 31, 2009

10 miles in Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights

Drum roll, please...I did a ten mile walk! Dang.  It was hard too.  I thought the neighborhood was more level than it turned out to be.  Those hills are doozies!  The view was great though.

I should clarify - what I could see through the fog was great.  The fog actually made the experience interesting.  Since it's Halloween today, the fog made creepy decorations look even creepier.


I guess I should address the obvious - the houses in Presidio Heights are big.

Alright, they're HUGE.

Of all of them, I kind of like this one the best.  It's got a Charles Dickens charm about it.

This neighborhood abuts the Presidio which is a huge park area with winding paths, beaches and sports fields.


Aside from the houses being large, the yards are very well manicured.

I'm a sucker for roses.

This neighborhood has gained a reputation for giving good candy at Halloween so most houses in the area have great decorations for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy.

I love this sidewalk cemetary.

I could have lived without this one.  Eek.

This one too...

There are some great schools tucked into this neighborhood. 

Surprisingly low profile...

Well, except for this one.

I'm a big fan of sidewalk chalk.  "RIP Donald Duck."

Why, yes I do.

5.5 miles in Fisherman's Wharf

Today was another stunner.  The air was crisp and the sun was shining.  Too bad the sun sets at 7pm this time of year, leaving less than two hours of daylight for walking after work.  I wanted to do at least five miles so I designed my route to end up walking through Chinatown after sundown.


My walk started outside my office, of course, so I thought I would show you the lovely decorations out there.  I can't wait for Christmas, they do a really nice job with lights.

I've decided I really like the walk north on Sansome.  It's much like Battery (it's one street over)- quiet with a lot of old brick.  A sign on one corner read, "Northeast Waterfront Historic District."


To the west of Sansome is Telegraph Hill on which Coit Tower and houses perch for the best views in town.  I am pretty sure that the stack of buildings in this picture are all one house.

Between Sansome and Battery to the east is Levi's Plaza which is a really great spot to wander, jog, read, etc.  Go inside the Levi's lobby some time, they have a blue jeans museum in there.

They have a cool waterfall outside too.

One of my walks (when I'm feeling strong and adventurous) will be to the top of Telegraph Hill at which point I will find out what the heck this thing is.  I seriously hope it's a business and not the home of a man named Julius.

Sansome eventually ends at The Embarcadero (most streets on the east side of town do).  The sun was starting to set which made the view of the bay really fantastic.

As I approached Pier 39, I got sooooo excited that there was a store with my name on it.  

Stupid E ruined it. :(

Up to this point, the sign for Pier 23 has been my favorite.  Now, I think I've got a new favorite.   This one just has so much more going on.

I've seen the battleship from a distance before but didn't know I could go on a tour! thing to add to my list.

This little memorial chapel is right at the end of the wharf.  I happened to be walking past at the strike of 6pm when the bells chimed.  Very nice.

I love the taste of crab but the visuals and smells of them being prepared in front of Allioto's are real doozies.

The wharf area is so strange.  It's a mix of Americana tourism with neon, tshirts and knicknacks and cold war-era municipal departments.  This is the "Pre-Aeration and Sedimentation Building."  I'm pretty sure I don't want to see what's inside that building.

A very informative parking garage.

A very political sidewalk.

On the way back to BART, I cut through North Beach to walk down Grant through Chinatown.  North Beach likes Halloween.

The Stinking Rose restaurant in North Beach gets the prize for most creative (and ironic) window decorations.

This was very cool.  I heard the band as I walked around this building.  The saxaphone is a most curious Chinese instrument.

Of all the shops on Grant Street, I like this one the best.  It is very classy in there, with tons of gorgeous fabrics.

I love Cuban food so was excited to see this place is on Kearny.  Not sure why it's closed on a Friday night.  I'm guessing it's just a lunch place.  Also adding this to my list!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

4 miles in the Tenderloin and Mission

You may not know this but a lot of artists live and work in San Francisco. Every year, they hold open galleries across town over a series of four weekends in October.  For more info on this event, check out the website: There are hundreds of galleries to tour so it's impossible to see everything but it is totally worth walking through a few in an afternoon.  There are clusters of galleries in particular neighborhoods and then there are a few that stand alone in neighborhoods you would never suspect were artsy. 

My brother and I decided to drive into the Candlestick Point area to tour a warehouse that was converted into studios.  Very cool and unlikely considering the neighborhood.  My favorite artist in this studio was Carolyn Wang.  She made SUPER amazing glass art with ink transfers and pine cones and stuff.  Loved it. 

We couldn't take pictures of the art in the galleries but we did of this gem that was hanging in the hallway.

We then took BART up to the Civic Center (Tenderloin) area to check out a cluster of galleries which then led us up to Nob Hill where we explored the inside of Grace Cathedral.  My favorite artists from this group were: Michael Szabo's fountains and metal work (, Andrzej Karwacki's screenprinting (, and Georgia Storti's paintings (

On the way up Powell Street, I found another Barbary Cost Trail marker.  I still haven't researched how these things work.  I suppose one day I could just walk the trail and look at all of the markers in one walk.  It's kind of fun spotting them randomly around town though.

On our trek to the Grace Cathedral, we passed the Mark Hopkins and Fairmont and roamed around inside each for a few minutes.  This is a fun door in the lobby of the Mark Hopkins.

And that's not even an's a Hydrox.  :(

We decided to take Taylor from California all the way to Market.  It went from classy to scary within three blocks.  This gem of a hostel was tucked into an alley off Taylor.

The neighborhood is pretty dicy but its redeeming value is that the Warfield is in it.  We saw a band unloading as we walked by but didn't know which one they were.  Brush with fame and don't even know who they are...

On the way home on BART, my brother (who recently moved to the area) wanted to know what the Mission looked like so we decided to hop out at the 24th Street station and take a quick loop around the neighborhood.  We saw all sorts of fabulous things but I don't want to use this post to show Mission pictures since I will be spending a lot more time in that area on future walks.  For now, you'll just have to enjoy this wonder:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1.8 miles in Yerba Buena

I know, I know...1.8 miles is really pathetic.  I think that's the average distance people walk inside a mall while shopping.  The problem is that the weather turned really lame this evening.  As I was walking, the sky turned gray and the temp dropped at least ten degrees which made it so uncomfy to walk without a jacket that I had to hop the train to head home early.  Sigh...

I cut through the financial district down New Montgomery to Harrison and then looped back up 3rd Street.  The financial district is pretty classy but a few alleys of grodiness are tucked in there.

Ooh, this one is really interesting.  Well, not as interesting as the donut statue from yesterday, but close...

I like this one - a headless giant.  Right?

The neighborhood gets funkier as you walk south of Market Street...

The streets have weirder names down there too.

The one really cool thing on Harrison and 3rd - Whole Foods!

Third Street is actually really awesome.  The Yerba Buena center, Moscone Center, Metreon, SFMOMA, shopping and dining are all down this street. 

There is even a History of California Pioneers museum.  This one is going to the top of my to-do list.

I would have been completely confused if they hadn't told me.

I hate to say it, but these trees and they gray skies made it look and feel just like Ohio.  :(

Ohio doesn't have a Yerba Buena carousel, though.

The fog is just getting rediculous.  I'm throwing in the towel on this walk.