Thursday, May 27, 2010

4.3 miles in Sunnyside

This is what we'll call  a "gap filler" walk, which explains the totally random course I took.  To keep with the theme of random gap-filling, these pictures have nothing to do with each other either.  Sorry.

I thought I had seen ever kind of church in town, but I missed one.

I can't say I've ever seen a bar which emphasizes 7up as the selling point.

I'm picturing the budget spreadsheet pleading to a video camera with gunmen standing in the background.

Ooh! There is one common bond about the houses in this neighborhood - elaborate gardens.

Quite a few of the houses had really beautiful gardens.

Back to random:  Have you seen that movie, You, Me and Dupree?  I admit it was a really terrible movie.  However, I LOVED the house in the movie.  Do you remember it?  It was kind of a blue color but had a similar shape to this red craftsman.

That's all, folks.  Have a swell day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

6 miles in Glen Park/Miraloma

 An astute reader noted that my Bernal Heights map looks like a cave drawing of an anteater.  I think that this one looks like a vacuum cleaner.  What do you think it looks like?

While you ponder that, let's get on with the walk.  O'Shaugnessy Blvd. runs through Glen Canyon and offers a very different perspective of San Francisco - a woodsy one.

The canyon looks like fun to explore.  It also looks like a place where snakes live.

At the western edge of the canyon, there is a school.

The School of the Arts (, to be precise.  Admission to this high school is by audition only.  The arts include creative writing, film, theater, fine arts, music, vocal and dance.

There is another "school" of art at nearby Miraloma Elementary.  Students here participate in the scrap garden (a fence covered in scraps).

They are actually kind of cool.

And here are two graduates of some sort of art school.

Here's another alumni!

As I got to this park, it occurred to me that this entire walk has been really generic.  Meaning, there is nothing about this neighborhood that screams SAN FRANCISCO.  The street and park names were no help.  I figured if anything were going to feel like San Francisco, it would be the views.  So I went on a hunt for good views...


I found this secret path out to a ledge that offers a nice panorama (if you ask nicely, I'll tell you where it is).

But while the view is lovely, it is still generic.  (From this angle, you can see Excelsior/Daly City)

If you turn and look to the north, all you can see are the backs of houses in Diamond Heights.

And down off of Mangels Ave., you get this nice sweeping view to the south (of City College and Ingleside), but again, it's oddly ambiguous.  That isn't a bad thing.  This neighborhood just sort of feels like plain old, Nowheresville, America.  And that's okay once in awhile.

No, this rose did not smell like anything at all.

Okay, did you think about what the map looks like to you?  Let me know!

Friday, May 21, 2010

3.7 miles in Bernal Heights

I'm going to say this right away: this walk kinda sucked for the following reasons: 1) I fell down; and 2) I got rained on.  I'm fine and it's not the neighborhood's fault. I pulled some muscles in my right arm and embarrassed myself.  I had an umbrella in my bag so I finished the walk without getting totally soaked. 

Just to get your bearings, this neighborhood is the north face of Bernal Heights.  I walked the south face in December.

There is something really quaint about this neighborhood...and I think it's because Precita Park runs through the middle.

There is also something really funky about this neighborhood...and I think this van is responsible.

There are murals all over the place.  This school has the largest.

Wait, what are they teaching at this school?

You see this kind of thing all over this area.  Love it!

I suffered up all the steep streets to get the great view I know is up there.

But there was that rain thing... :(

Eh, who needs a view of the skyline when you can see this awesomeness parked right next to the sidewalk?

I will leave you with this blue jay to admire.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

4.3 miles in Cole Valley

I know I've said this before about other neighborhoods, but seriously, I would move to this neighborhood in a heartbeat.  Cole Valley is FANTASTIC!

The microhood that has the amazing houses is Ashbury Terrace.

Every house is painted and maintained with care.


Ahh!  This is my dreamhouse in Ashbury Terrace.

Okay.  In order to have a valley, you have to have some hills.  So the top of the eastern hill of the valley is called Buena Vista Park.  It's a beautiful park with wide, paved paths.

As you make your way west down the hill and into the valley, you cross Cole Street, hence the name.  Cole Street is darling.

The cross-streets, Carl and Parnassus, are also darling.

As you head west on Parnassus Street, you will creep up another hill and arrive at the UCSF Medical Center.  A very fine hospital, indeed.

17th Street is a main vein out of Cole Valley.  If you head east, you end up in the Castro.  At some point, you pass through the streets with planetary names.  This one made me think of the movie, E.T.  Does that joke ever get old?

Have a great day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

6 miles in Lower Haight/Duboce Triangle

I liked this walk because it gives such a precise "San Francisco" experience.  Dare I suggest that these two neighborhoods really make up the heart of San Francisco?

On this walk, I saw painted houses...

and triangular houses...

a great discovery...

a gorgeous park...

trendy clothing stores...

a pot store (which has one of the neatest websites I've ever seen - check it out:

a different kind of pot store...

a gluten store...

a famous ice cream stand...

and clever sidewalk graffiti.