Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2.6 miles in the Central Richmond

Are you getting tired of the Richmond District yet? I hope not because I kinda like my orderly approach to completing this neighborhood.  The sun is starting to set earlier now and I had to work late tonight so we're going to entitle this walk, "The Richmond After Dark."  OoooOOOOohhh.

Yep.  This is the Richmond after the sun sets.  Wild, eh?

Aside from a few shops and restaurants, the streets are pretty dark.
 A few points of interest are:

1) the Star movie theater,

2) the pizzaria on California and 23rd (glutenous smells of awesome were wafting out the door at me, making me soooo hungry),

and 3) Pho Garden, where I had to stop because I was soooo hungry.

Pho Garden is home to the Pho Challenge.  This picture doesn't do the scale justice.  I maxed out about 1/2 through my "small" order of pho.  The challenge bowl (in the background) is realistically six times the size of my bowl, maybe even bigger.  That said, there is a whole wall of poloroids of Pho Champions.  I can't comprehend consuming that much broth in one sitting.

This, my friends, is the Video Cafe.  It looks pretty amazing.  The movies appear to be as outdated as the chrome-rimmed tables.  I sorta want to try eating here some time.  Who's in?

And this may have just become my new favorite sidewalk stenciling. 

That's all for now.  Have a great night!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

4.5 miles in Central Richmond

The Richmond District never ceases to amaze me.

Yes, it is mostly consumed by rowhouses.

BUT, some of the rowhouses are interesting...
PLUS, there is so much more!

For starters, there are three very larged houses of worship.
There's the Russian Holy Virgin Cathedral,

the Congregation Chevra Thilim,

and St. Monica's Catholic Church.

There is also the Cafe Enchanted where I bought
a most tasty cup of spicy chai.

And the Sewing Workshop that must be doing gangbuster business right now because everyone I know has recently purchased a sewing machine.  Sewing is the new knitting, apparently.  Check this place out if you want to learn how to sew.

Let's see...what else was there?  Oh, yeah.  Sponge Bob...

...and my little friend who I met on my Central Richmond walk back in February!  Looks like he's moved down the sidewalk a little.

And it looks like there's a new Sara to forget.

See - wasn't that a fun neighborhood?!
That's all for now.  Have a great day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4.7 miles in Parkside

I think it's important that you know I got befuddled and started this walk on THE WRONG STREET.  Dang it.  I hate when I do that.  I was supposed to start walking on Santiago, but instead started on Ulloa, which wouldn't have been a big deal except that it meant I had to walk on Wawona.  AGAIN.  Luckily, I love Wawona and don't feel too bad for wasting a mile rewalking it.

When I walk, I look for themes in each neighborhood.
So when I saw THIS...

...and THIS...

...and THIS, I thought this was going to be a bird themed walk.

But then I saw THIS...

...and THIS...

...and THIS, and decided it was maybe more of a dog themed walk. 

(Side note:  At what point is the 'no pooping' sign more
obnoxious than an actual pile of poo?)

But then again, there were an unusual number of
yard ornaments like this one...

...and this one, so maybe yard ornamentation is the theme.  Hm...

It's hard to say.  But what I do know is that this neighborhood has a very understated style that I like.  If I'm not careful, I might just walk it a third time. Ha!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 miles in Excelsior

This, my friends, is the Excelsior neighborhood:

It's congested with pedestrians and smells of fried chicken and donuts.  None of which are bad things (in fact, the smell of donuts rocks my world), but it's probably best to take this neighborhood in small doses.  Two miles at a time is plenty.

Sam (my sister-in-law) and her son came along for the walk.

It was an especially gray evening.

But, the houses did a nice job of adding pizazz.

My favorite part of the walk was spotting all the short buses.

The baby liked the ornate yard sculptures.

And Sam thought the GIGANTIC sunflowers were amazing!

We all agreed this yard looked like the most fun...

...that this was the coolest short bus...

...and that this place smelled the best.  MmmmMMMmm...donuts! 
Too bad they are glutenous. 

Stupid gluten.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

5.2 miles on San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain is NOT in San Francisco.  So this walk does not count toward my city miles.  I don't care, though - it was fun!

So my friend, Mai (who is training for the Nike Women's Marathon, btw) and I decided to explore San Bruno Mountain.  It's a national park just south of San Francisco, in San Mateo County.

Here's a rediculous picture of Mai and I with a trail map.

Saddle Trail is the widest, flattest trail in the park.

It also has the greatest views of downtown.  You know what else is great? My hair in the wind.

As the trail curls south into Old Guadalupe Trail, not only does it becomes more wooded and less windy...

...but it is loaded with wild blackberries!

I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to eat them.  But we did...and they were AWESOME!

My favorite trail is called Bog Trail.  Mai and I weren't sure what a bog was, so I just googled it:  A bog or mire is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material--usually mosses, but also lichens in Arctic climates.

I don't know about acidic peat, but there was some water...

...and very unusual plant life.

Oh, and more blackberries.

When we got back to the parking lot, we decided to keep exploring and try a few more trails.  So we headed south and decided to try Summit Loop, Dairy Ravine and Eucalyptus Loop.

I was a little disappointed there were no horses on our trail.

The views to the south are totally different from the north.  But, as you can see, the fog was starting to roll in.


By the time we got to the summit, the scene was epic.   The fog made the walk back to the car a little disorienting too, but we made it.  What a fun hike!