I'm hoping that posts featuring photos in and around San Francisco will turn into somewhat of a series on this blog. I've lived in the city for almost a year and I regret that I haven't taken advantage of the great photographic opportunities so close to home. I think part of this is my own aversion to looking like a tourist in my own city, but that's really something I should just get over. That being said, here are a bunch of touristy photos of San Francisco.
As a gift for my birthday last year, my parents bought me tickets for the Red & White Fleet's Bay Cruise. It's not something I would have bought myself, since it's sort of a cheesy tourist thing (it takes off from Fisherman's Wharf, the worst tourist trap in the city). But we went in the off-season, avoided the crowds, and pretty much had the whole ferry to ourselves.
The best thing about the Bay Cruise is that it takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge. It does other things, like go near Alcatraz and Angel Island, but really it's all about the bridge. There was an on board audio tour, which was informative, despite the fact that it was a little over-performed. The lady on the recording kept waxing poetic about things we were likely seeing: "Look to your left, see any smoke? Once Native American tribes lived on those shores. Two hundred years ago the smoke from their campfires would have wafted over these waters." Sorry lady, no smoke. I had a hard time buying into the nostalgia.
But there was nothing corny about the views. Somewhere along the way I turned the lady off and enjoyed the day. We got lucky with the weather. No fog, no wind, and a calm bay.
These are the Moraga Steps. Far from the tourist-laden shores of Pier 39, these steps are the result of a project put together by the local neighborhood in this part of the city (Golden Gate Heights/Inner Sunset). Contributions from the local residents and a generous offering from the city of San Francisco itself helped fund the work.
The names of donors and local families can be found scattered on various tiles throughout the mosaic.
The steps lead up to Grand View Park, which as the name suggests, has one of the best views in the whole city. From the top of the hill at Grand View you can see downtown to the Transamerica Pyramid, north to USF, the Presidio, and the Golden Gate Bridge, and west to all of San Francisco's outer lands. On the day we were there it was particularly clear and we could see all the way north to Point Reyes, where Sir Francis Drake made landfall after inadvertently sailing past the Golden Gate on his way up the coast.
Of all the mosaic patterns I liked this one (The Moon) the best.
But Beth preferred the sun.
The Bay Cruise was fun and it was interesting to be able to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge; but I think it's the smaller, lesser-known parts of the city, like the Moraga Steps, that make San Francisco great. Hopefully there will be more San Francisco photos to come.