Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Winter 2012 Stats and the Method to My Mapness

WINTER2012: 14.5 miles
SINCE I STARTED: 589 miles

I didn't take many walks this winter, but I did knock out a few more miles in the Sunset, Richmond, Hayes Valley and Bernal Heights.  All were great walks.

Someone asked me a while back how I track my walks on my master maps like the one above. Here's the secret: it's kind of low-fi.  I just use Photoshop to draw my courses in manually. About a year (and several hundred miles) into this project, I discovered a bunch of nifty walk-tracking websites that use gps in your smartphone to keep precise record of your every step. But at the time I didn't actually own a smart phone and once I did, I didn't want to change horses mid-walk, so opted to continue my manual method.

To create a simple walking maps like this one:

I use the website gmap-pedometer.com, which is a very basic course-tracking website but gets the job done as far as I'm concerned. It offers a terrain view so I can tell if my course is headed straight up a mountain or not.  I have been very happy with ceremoniously printing each paper map to hold in my hand as I walk. Of course, like I say, there are a bunch of fancy websites out there that use gps in your phone to track your walks and save the tree by allowing you to just follow the course on your phone.

For fun, here are a few of my master maps from the beginning through today.

September 2009
April 2010
January 2011
March 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

2.3 miles in Hayes Valley

 I never get tired of Hayes Valley.  I've been through this neighborhood several times and always find new things to fall in love with.

 For instance, this house.  Why are the windows and doors down the dead center of the house like that?  My mind is reeling with the possible floor plans inside.

The murals in this neighborhood rival those in the Mission.

This is the crown jewel.  The nightmare-inducing crown jewel.
Yes, that's me. (Sans baby weight. Whoot!)

You know what else I never tire of? Sidewalk stencils.

While in the hood, we decided to try the little carnival-themed restaurant, Straw on Octavia and Oak for dinner.  And I'm so glad we did!  This place is FUN!

Besides having a great gluten free menu and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, the prices are reasonable, the mixed drinks are yummy, and they have crazy dishes like a burger with a bun fashioned out of glazed donuts.  The carnival theme is well executed in the details and the wait staff is friendly. 
Am I coming back to Straw again?  Absolutely!