Saturday, May 05, 2007

buena vista park

I'm not sure if I can keep up this much walking for the whole time I'm in San Francisco - I think I must be walking five or six miles a day, minimum, at this rate, and about 40% of that must be up steep, steep hills - agh. I'm sitting writing this in the Red Vic Peace Cafe ("where good food and good people meet") on Upper Haight St, and although I'm superficially stopping to update my blog, I'm really just giving my aching legs a break.

This morning I set off from Union Square and walked through Tenderloin and past the Civic Centre and up Lower Haight, stopping for breakfast and a read of a British paper at a lovely Irish cafe. Then I climbed, extremely slowly in the baking sun, up to the higher end of the road and to the opening to Buena Vista Park. The problem with visiting somewhere so hilly is that every corner provides another climb and the knowledge that that climb would yield a better view than the one currently available.

So I resolved to climb a few flights of the steep path upward, through a dense forest of rich smelling cyprus, pine and eucalyptus trees which stretch up infinitely towards the sky. The first level behove a glimpse of far away skyscrapers. The second a patch of blue in the far off bay. Climbing become harder and conversely became a compulsion, so I drove onward, after a while ignoring the view and tramping upward. Soon I became aware that I had scaled a considerable height and a bright patch up ahead told me that I was approaching the first high-up clearing. I walked towards it, keeping my eyes on the ground, and finally fell to an exhausted rest on a wooden step. I looked up, finally, having resisted so long, and was greeted by a stunning panorama of the city; buildings tall and short, straight roads straddling hills, and the rust red Golden Gate bridge over the water. To my left, the Pacific ocean. It was amazing.
Knowing that the view could not be bettered, I ploughed upwards anyway, reaching a grass clearing occupied by furiously happy dogs. I lay on the grass and stared at the grey green trees, allowing the animals to run rings around me.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Hey J!
Hope you're enjoying yourself-
Go Here!

It's a great little bar- Friendly, good humored staff (The barmaid joined straight in when we asked for crack- it's a long story) & an incredible cocktail list

Plus it's just across from the red light district, so you can drunkenly stumble over the road at the end of the night, buy some 'reading' material, then go back to your hotel room and indulge in some alcohol-blunted ownism until you have a moment of ashamed clarity & realise how lonley & afraid you feel- That's what I did! Weeeeeeeeee! ;-)