Gingerbread Mansions

I went downtown to check out the sugar castle at the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel. The ingredient quantities alone are something to marvel at. There are dueling giant gingerbread mansions around town so you can have various Hansel & Gretel moments like myself. Luckily, my house isn’t edible, otherwise I might not have a roof over my head.

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Lands End Hike

Lands End is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Legion of Honor. After seeing the Matisse exhibit, I went for hike along the coastal trail. There is a hidden labyrinth at the edge of Eagle Point that over looks the Pacific Ocean, Mile Rock Beach, and the mouth of the much sailed Golden Gate. The bridge disappears and reappears through the foliage throughout the trail, saying hello and goodbye again. Once I reached Eagle Point, I could have perched myself on a rock bird-like and sat for hours. Instead, I continued along the coast, past Baker Beach, through Seacliff to a coffee shop whose table very much reminded me of the labyrinth. What an adventure day!

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Fort Point- Hitchcock’s Vertigo

After walking to the Wave Organ, I started my decent into the fog towards Fort Point. I just started reading The Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock by François Truffaut which inspired my walk to one of the filming locations in Vertigo. The Hitchcockesque fog added an element of suspense as I walked through Crissy Field past the Marco Di Suvero steel structures to Fort Point. The fog was so thick, I couldn’t see the bridge, just a lone bay swimmer right where Jimmy Stewart saves Kim Novak  in Vertigo. The fog gently parted ways and the Golden Gate Bridge slowly emerged as I left. I stopped in the Warming Hut to get warm, read, and write in my journal. It was a magical day spent walking, seeing, and reflecting.
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The Wave Organ

The Wave Organ is the perfect place to venture to if you’re in search of peace and quiet. It’s not complete without a stop at the Dynamo Donut kiosk. I grabbed a cappuccino and wandered to the end of the jetty where the tide makes wave music. It was a magically part fog/part sun day. To the east was sun, to the west towards the Golden Gate Bridge was a film noir like fog. After taking in the calm, I had no choice but to continue my self-lead city walk into the blanket of fog.
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Musée Mécanique

After walking to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, I continued my self lead city walk to Musée Mécanique in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s pretty much the only reason for someone who lives here to go to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Admission is free to see this impressive collection of antique coin operated machines dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Many of the machines were acquired from Playland amusement park on Ocean Beach. Oh how I wish I could have gone to Playland, The Cliff House and Sutro Baths in their heyday! A gal can dream.  Luckily, you can live vicariously through playing the arcade games. Most of them are only a quarter for one play.

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A Ferris Wheel made entirely of toothpicks!
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If only I could be a Radio Artist.
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disproportionate me with three heads.

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Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

If you find yourself wandering the streets through Chinatown, make a stop at the Golden Gate Cookie Factory. It’s tucked away down a non-descript alley. A hidden street I probably would have never walked down without a destination. I followed the smell of vanilla wafers into the small factory. After watching the process, you can buy a bag of fortune cookies (chocolate, almond, or vanilla) for $1. They ask for $.50 a photo so I only got one! It was worth it. I took my fortune cookies to Aquatic Park, to sit and enjoy the sea.

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Greetings From The City of Roses

Hello from Portland! I’ll be exploring the city and will report back. See you next week!

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Image from here

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Dirty Harry and Mt. Davidson Cross

Dirty Harry was my inspiration for my latest city walk. San Francisco plays a significant role in the film. Seeing the city in the 70s pre Transamerica Pyramid skyline, where the main chase scene relies on pay phones and MUNI is priceless!  The scene at  the Mt. Davidson cross is at the pinnacle of the chase so I went to see it in person. It was a 7 mile walk roundtrip and worth it. Although, I did mildly scare myself hiking through trees, while the fog was rolling in, with no one around since the film is about a serial killer on the loose.

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Exploring the Portola Neighborhood on the way to Mt. Davidson
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Views from the top.
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The cross was erected to honor of lives of those killed in the Armenian genocide.
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From Dirty Harry’s perspective.
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Starting the descent toward the tiny houses.

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Sewart City Slides

One of my favorite things to do is explore San Francisco by foot, most likely stopping for coffee midway to my destination. I’ve gone on many self-lead city walks as of late, exploring different neighborhoods, seeking out old school San Francisco establishments and walking as far as my two feet will take me.  I’ve heard about the Sewart Street Slides for children and adults alike, but it only took me 10 years to finally slid down one. Note to self: slide down more slides!  You can learn more about the story of the slides, community involvement and the struggle to preserve open space here. It’s a nice walk up very steep hills but as a San Franciscan resident, you know there is a reward once you make it to the top: a great view! Kite Hill is just around the corner with amazing views of the cityscape and most likely cute dogs. Appropriately named Kite Hill due to the high winds, so next time I will definitely bring my pocket kite.

IMG_1791 View from the community gardens just above the slides.
IMG_1794Kite Hill facing southwest

IMG_1795Kite Hill facing northeast

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Ready to slide!
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There’s a stash of cardboard at the bottom if you have a need for speed.

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