The Walking City

Living in a metropolitan hub is both magnificent and pungent. As I step outside our apartment building most mornings, I immediately sense the hectic pedestrian rush and funky city smells. The streets of San Fran are not as friendly as Seattle or Portland. Seemingly everyone needs to be somewhere five minutes ago. If you don’t know the art of speed walking, you soon assimilate or instead risk your well-being. And because spring in San Fran sees fewer rainy days than the PNW, the ubiquitous urine whiffs are nearly painful. Without consistent rainfall, the odor builds and follows you everywhere. This is a busy, smelly city. What metropolis isn’t? You get what you ask for! Even though San Fran is my first big city home, I am not exaggerating the smell of urine. Time we get used to it.

All that aside, San Fran is uniquely beautiful and awesome. Dad reminds me of his past San Fran visits and appreciates the city most for being an exceptional walking city. After a month here and plenty of wandering in all directions, that sounds like an understatement. San Fran is surrounded by water on the west, north and east sides. Hills exist in all directions and challenge anyone walking more than 500 feet, while also creating stunning urban views. Moreover, the incredible Victorian architecture scattered throughout the city only adds to the beauty. No complaints here.

My favorite part of town stretches along the water from AT&T Park to the Golden Gate Bridge. Almost an eight mile walk, many San Fran landmarks are included: the Embarcadero, Pier 39,  Fisherman’s WarfGhirardelli SquareFort MasonCrissy Field, the Presidio of San Francisco, and the ever-iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

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Embarcadero Station

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Pier 14

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Pier 7

They Bay Bridge conveniently connects San Francisco and Oakland, which is just across the bay.

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Pier 41

Alcatraz is barely visible, sitting out in the bay just to the right of the second lamp post. Erinn eagerly looks forward to a night tour of the prison.  Yikes.

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Pier 39

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Love Bug at Fisherman’s Wharf

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Window box succulents in Chinatown

Erinn’s favorite picture to date, shot about a week ago after our first visit to Coit Tower. I love how she caught the Victorian row homes in the window’s reflection.

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Russian Hill

This last shot was taken in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Facing westward, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance. Lombard Street, the famous San Fran attraction, is only a couple blocks away.

Our time in the Bay Area is quickly running out, but we are not slowing down! What an experience it has been to date. Even though we very much miss our PNW family and friends, we are thankful for this grand opportunity to travel and experience San Fran. I will soon share additional city exploration, stories, and photos, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, and more. Also, if you know of any Bay Area musts, let us know! We welcome new ideas.