Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walking to Work

I thought today I'd share some of the sights I take in on my walks to work. Depending on the route I take, I can see all sorts of beautiful things, which makes the trip go by quickly for as long as it is.

A view of Japantown (known as J-town by locals)

St. Mary's Cathedral, aka the giant washing machine agitator and the site of the 
famous (or perhaps infamous) "two o'clock titty"

 Colorful paper lanterns in Chinatown. Normally I try to avoid Chinatown, 
but it's wonderfully peaceful in the morning before the tourists come out.

 The art deco-styled Pacific Stock Exchange downtown

The awesome Transamerica building, which looms over 
much of the area around where I work

The best views, not surprisingly, tend to come along with a fair amount of hill climbing, so if I'm in a hurry or am lacking energy (read: hungover) I can go through the considerably less scenic (though not without their charms) Little Saigon and Tenderloineighborhoods. I can also cut through a "new" neighborhood (which is really just the realtors' way of repackaging an old neighborhood to make it sound more appealing) called the TenderNob, but I refuse to acknowledge that this neighborhood actually exists. I mean think about it. As if the name Tenderloin wasn't bad enough already.

 A pretty park I often cut through where I can watch dogs playing 
and people doing their morning exercise. That's City Hall in the distance.

 An urban garden tucked in between some buildings in the Western Addition area.

A "parklet" on Powell Street near Union Square. 
Who needs parking spaces, anyway?

 Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. 
This is also visible from the windows of my office.

 Lotta's Fountain on Market Street. This was the meeting place 
for survivors after the 1909 earthquake.

 The Ferry Building isn't on my commute route, but it's where my coworkers and I often go for lunch. 
That's one of the "F" line streetcars out front. Not to be confused with cable cars, 
these are classic streetcars from all over the world that have been restored 
and which go up and down Market Street from the Castro to the Embarcadero. 
And take a really fucking long time doing it. 
Not a good transportation option if you're pressed for time.

The view from the Ferry Building isn't half bad, eh? 
This is easily my favorite lunch spot when the weather is good.

 If I'm in the mood for some steep hill climbing (and by "steep" I mean some of the streets have 
staircases instead of sidewalks) I can check out beautiful Grace Cathedral at the top of Nob Hill 
on my walk to or from work. If I'm lucky I might also spot the Brown Twins while I'm 
in the neighborhood; I've seen them twice already on my walks.

 The views from Nob Hill aren't too shabby either

 Looking into downtown from Nob Hill. Note the cable car; the tracks that they run on 
make a lot of noise because the cables run on a continuous loop underneath them. 
It's a little disconcerting if you don't know what it is.

 A different view into downtown from the north side of Nob Hill, 
with the Bay Bridge off in the distance.

I've actually taken to carrying my camera with me at all times because I see so many great things in my travels. I'll undoubtedly have more to share with you another time, but I hope you've enjoyed this mini-tour of San Francisco, or at least a 3-mile slice of it. I'll leave you with one more great view:

They look like angels when they're sleeping, don't they?


Clothes Karma said...

You are fortunate to have such a fabulous work commute! I was just in San Francisco this past spring and fell in love...well, except for when my husband and I unknowingly walked through The Tenderloin. Ouch.


Unknown said...

Wow, this was a wonderful post! I had no idea San Francisco was so beautiful in so many places! It makes me really want to visit now!

Patti said...

Wow, what a fabulous commute! This is part of what I love about city life - just taking a walk can be like visiting a museum. Love the pic of thwo little angels too.

Jude said...

What?! They don't always look like angles? Thanks for the pics of SF; I really enjoyed them.

Susan B said...

SF is such an amazing city. Thanks for sharing the fabulous sights with us. Someday we hope to live back in the Bay Area....

Cel said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing! The idea of streets so steep they need staircases seems pretty crazy to me. How on earth are there houses on these streets? Where do people park?! Ye gads.

cwhf said...

This post makes me miss living in SF so much. Gems everywhere. Thanks for sharing.

I will say the F tended to be the route I got harassed the most on (I'd take it back from the farmer's market on Saturday morning). So annoying.

Franca said...

I really want to go visit SF now!

Shybiker said...

I fell in love with your city when I visited it a decade ago on my honeymoon. I can't want to go back. Your photos remind me of its appeal.

Shelley said...

Great photos - and good on you for walking to work! The closest I ever got to that was public transport, which was a new way of life after growing up in Oklahoma City where it takes a 2 hour bus ride to cover a 20 minute car drive. I've been to SF once, but think I need to go again...
BTW - do you wear different shoes when walking to save your 'fashion' shoes? I always wanted to do that, but had trouble with trouser lengths. Then again, I believe you wear lots of dresses. Any tips about trousers?

LPC said...

I've been enjoying San Francisco so much. It's become much more vibrant in the past few years. I walk from a different direction, but end up not too far from you. So much fun.

ReaderRita said...

I really believe that San Francisco is the most beautiful American city. Just stunning.
And I really love the view of sofa-snoozing canines. I wish they could just learn to relax.
(At one point or another, mine usually ends up on her back with her feet in the air, like a dead bug or Mighty Mouse in flying pose...)

Sheila said...

That was fantastic! I loved SF the one time I visited - we walked everywhere and I recognize many of those sights (and I remember those steps in the steep streets!).

Your dogs are lovely - and yes, such angels while sleeping! My Vizzini is napping on my lap right now. :)

Karmen said...

I love your posts about SF. I'm visiting in april 2012 from Europe. So any tips on must see places are welcome. Thanks Karmen

Audi said...

Celynne: On the really steep streets people have to park perpendicular to the curb; it feels like your car is going to roll over but somehow it doesn't. The houses are just cut into the hillsides I suppose; I hadn't really thought about that part. But the steep streets all have houses on them; those are the best views!

ReaderRita: Spencer does the dead bug pose too! So cute!
Shelley: I've been struggling with the shoe issue; what I've done so far is to wear shoes that are comfortable enough to walk the 3 miles in, and if those aren't the shoes for the outfit I pack a different pair and change at work.

LPC: We must have lunch sometime!!

Karmen: I've been meaning to do some more SF visitors guides, so stay tuned. In the meantime check out this post on shopping: http://geekthreads.blogspot.com/2011/07/san-francisco-travel-guide-part-1.html

Amanda said...

The staircase steep street thing freaks me out a little.

Love the photo tour of your walk!

And your dogs are adorable. They look so peaceful.

Anonymous said...

Chinatown! I bought my Lucky Cat in one of those shops and luckily it survived the plane ride home. Went to San Fran back in 2006 and it's a beautiful city. I fondly remember the awesome vintage shops in Haight-Ashbury area. Some of the vintage lingerie was to die for (with prices to match! haha). Thanks for sharing these pics! :-)


Jamie said...

What a great post! I visited SF in May with my best friend, and we had an amazing time in your wonderful city. Thanks for rekindling some fond vacation memories. :)

Eyeliah said...

Thank you for showing us your walk to work, it's very scenic!