Streets of San Francisco
Sunday May 3,2015
Another glorious sunny day in San Francisco. A cold wind was blowing when I left my hotel to walk west along Geary Street to visit the site of the Cliff House and Sutro Baths. It ended up being close to 10k away, walking over undulating street scape through changing neighbourhoods. The Pacific Ocean here must be really cold as a the headwind was chilly as I got closer to the beach. The green brown colour of the water and the grey sand were really uninviting. And then the sad sight of the ruins of the once glamorous Sutro Baths and the Cliff house added to the gloom. I was pleased to get on a bus back to down-town to get out of the wind.
Monday May 4th, 2015
My last day in San Francisco which is also the day before the Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) celebrations. I have not heard of this holiday, which is not surprising as it is largely a Mexican holiday celebrating the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 (thank you Wikipedia). After and early morning hunt for a strong coffee, I walked over towards the Mission district. I walked from Powell Street, along Market St through the Civic Center and then onto Alamo Park and Buena Vista Park. Great city views from Alamo Park and the surrounding historic housing were a highlight. Even though the sky was grey with a fog that was forming droplets at near ground level. It was cold again, around 11 degrees. Buena Vista Park did not offer views and was quite thickly forested. i avoided going through as there were quite a few broken people about near the entrance off Duboce Street. From corner of Haigh and Market streets I walked the length of Valencia Street to 24th in the Mission district. Stopped for lunch twice, once at a terrific empenade place and then at a bakery cooperative called Arizmendi Panaderia and Pizzeria. Here I had possibly the best pizza I have tasted in a long long time. It had a beautiful crust, crispy on the base and airy dough. It was topped with zucchini, onion, ricotta and parsely and lemon pesto. As soon as bit into it I knew it was special. Ate it really slow so I could savour the flavour. Really looking forward to trying to recreate it. I went back to the server and told her how delicious the pizza tasted. She said she will make sure to tell the guy who made it. With happy stomach I ventured back to town along the crowded and bustling Mission Street. Amazing the changes in the neighbourhood. From the hip boutique strip along Valencia to much stronger Latino and Mexican presence along Mission St and towards the end of my walk on Mission St, more broken people hanging around the medicinal drug dispensaries. Almost five hours of walking and I feel like I’ve traveled the world.