Monday, November 23, 2009

8.3 miles in Noe Valley



Noe Valley is west of the Mission and south of the Castro.  It's one of the neatest neighborhoods I've seen so far.  Seriously, I would live here in an instant. 

[As an aside regarding the logistics of my walk, I tried so hard to plan a course that was on flat land but when I got to the neighborhood I realized I did not succeed.  I should have thought a little harder about how an area gets the name 'valley'...it is a low area between two or more hills.  So, my walk ended up being something like the inside of a half pipe.  Up one side, then down and up the other side and then down.  Hardcore hill workout. :( ]



The houses are fairly uniform in size and upkeep.  Although each one has its own unique identity.



Most have fresh coats of paint on them to really make them pop.



This one wins the "most colors of paint" award.



This one wins the "most Hawaiian door" award...



...and these houses win the "most number of steps to the front door" award.




Oh, and this one wins "best patio furniture" award.




Automobiles are in this contest too.  This one wins for best paint job.



This one wins for most attitude.



This house does not love the renaming of Army Street to 'Cesar Chavez Street.'



Make OJ, not war.



There is a darling stretch of 24th Street between Dolores and Sanchez that is lined with cafes and shops.  On Saturday they had a farmer's market down one of the alleys.  LOVE IT.



This is a great toy store.



The crosswalks are very informative.



I can only wonder how long that shoe has been stuck in that window well.  Any ideas?



This isn't actually in Noe Valley.. I took this picture from my car while heading home.  I just thought I would share it with you because I love those big retro 76 signs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

1 mile in Mission Dolores



1 mile.  I know... I am planning on taking a long walk this weekend and frankly, I didn't have much time last night.  So, this is all I could do.




This is not in the Mission at all.  It's above the Mongomery BART station which I used to get to the Mission. It's hard to see in this picture, but look closely:  there are two McDonald's on the same block.  This picture is cursed (probably by Burger King) and not centering.  Sorry.



Alright, the Burger King curse is affecting this entire post.  No picture centering from here on out.  Okay, back on track: the childrens' cowboy boots ARE in the Mission and I think they are adorable. 



These are wedding dresses.  My favorite is the teal blue one with the cut-out midrift.  So demure and traditional...



Another fantastic mural.  I'm not going to confirm or deny that there was an insane amount of pot smoke pouring out of this building.  



Why?



My new favorite sidewalk stencil.



It really doesn't get much more San Francisco than this.



This, my friends, is a gas station that sees the glass half full.

Monday, November 16, 2009

3 miles in Mission Dolores



The Mission neighborhood is so large it's broken down into smaller areas.  Tonight I walked through the Mission Dolores which is between - brace yourself - Dolores and Mission streets. 



Foreign language lesson:  'mission' apparently means 'mural' in Spanish.



This one was fun.





But to be honest, I liked this one the best.  The scratching pen/ink illustration style rocks. Love it!





This neighborhood has so much more to offer than just the vibrant huge murals on the walls...the sidewalks offer all sorts of poetry and illustrations of their own.  I'm not gonna lie, this one is pretty heavy.



Eesh...


Ooh, this is the coolest homeless sock I've ever seen.  A toddler size, no less.




The Mission neighborhoods are known for corner groceries with barrels of produce on the sidewalk...



...and hipster thrift shops, with hipster pricing.  Check out the tag on that used sweater.



No, your eyes are not deceiving you - there really are animal horns, a sword, eagle paintings and greeting cards in the same store front.  MAGNIFICENT.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

3.5 miles on Telegraph Hill



Tonight I just meandered where the wind took me and it took me to the top of Telegraph Hill.  I am so pumped that I climbed the hill and didn't feel like barfing at the top.  I was a bit winded but not like I was two months ago.  This is progress!

 

As I was leaving my office, I ran over to Justin Herman Plaza to see how the ice rink is coming along.  It opens tomorrow and will stay open until January 3rd!




I wonder if the Desperate Housewives are hanging out inside there.




You know the hill is starting to get steep when they have to tell you how to park your car.





This picture fails to do justice to the view from the top.  The hill is covered in houses so it's hard to get a clear view from the street level.  Of course, there is one important trip to take when I'm feeling really spunky - and that is to the top of Coit Tower that protrudes hundreds of feet from the top of Telegraph Hill.  The view from there is fan-freakin-tastic. 




On the way down the hill, I got hit by these wafts of a-mazing baked dough smell.  The smell got stronger as I approached this place.  And while I accept my celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, this was one of those rare times when I really wanted to punch gluten in the face.  I WANT THIS PIZZA. Sigh...

 

Instead of letting the gluten get me down, I focused on the other really cool stuff in the neighborhood.  I spent a few minutes perusing Lola and fell madly in love.  Really cute baby clothes and nifty gifts.  If you want unique cupcake papers, this is the place to go!




This place needs more inventory.




Ooh! If you are ever in the market for paper wedding cakes (?!?), this is the place to go!




And if you are in the market for a lapdance, THIS is the place to go.




My heart skips a beat when I see holiday stationary.  Aaah, I'm in love.




Um,  apparently Local 2 is not happy with the Palace Hotel.

3.2 miles on Russian Hill



I got a bug in my bonnet to walk down the squiggly part of Lombard last night.  The trick is that to go down the squiggly part, I had to walk up the hill behind it first.  Pretty intense but only a small part of the walk.  Going to, I cut through North Beach and coming back, I cut through Chinatown.


Oooh!  They were having an open house and I almost got up the courage to go inside.  But, I had places to be so I just walked on.



So romantic.




So, I'm not going to say that the squiggly part of Lombard was disappointing to walk down...I'm just going to say that the effect is lost going 3 miles an hour.  This is definitely much better in a car.  Also, it's much better in the daytime when you can actually see what's going on.  That said, I did it and I'm crossing it off my list.




Tell me if I'm wrong, but is this the longest street name ever?




Chinatown likes hanging food on display.



While I'm not fond of hanging death, the ducks are growing on me.



Oh, come on!  Too far.  Too far.  Inappropriate.



Again, so romantic.




Yes, it still has a dial tone.