Wanderings

I’ve always believed that noodling around was as much for my mind and soul as for my body. Not one important decision in my life has been made sitting at a desk, it’s always been with wings on my heals.

Wandering is an art form and it takes practice to let go even for just a short while. That said, little else makes folks so tense as being told “Okay, go relax now”. Start wandering from Point A to Point B by taking a left instead of a right turn or overshoot by a block or two and double back. Give yourself permission to “waste” the extra 2, 3, or 30 minutes it takes to meander a bit. This is a walking experience which allows one to notice the sunlight reflected on windows and shadows on the sidewalk. Observe the trees, cars, buildings and people, and let yourself feel. You are connecting to yourself and the outside world. If it all seems a bit frivolous – so be it – the world will keep spinning whether you enjoy the ride or not.

 

Roman Payne wrote, “A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander”. Let's wander.

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May 24, 2018

Quiet maybe not be the adjective that comes to mind when you think of the Mission district in San Francisco, but that’s what I find when I go. The area I’m referring to is just steps away from the loud and congested intersection of 24th and Mission, and a world away from the hip scene of the Valencia corridor. It is officially known as Calle 24, the Latino Cultural District.

To me it is the heart of the Mission, the area surrou...

February 26, 2018

Anticipating a recent noodle around the neighborhood of West Portal felt like a first date with an old school chum. We’re friends-of-friends. After a number of years, I took the streetcar to West Portal Avenue. The sun was shining, and I was both excited and nervous at the same time. What if it wasn’t like I remembered it? What if it doesn’t look the same? But when I looked down the street I saw the back-lit outline of the Man...

February 14, 2018

With a double whammy of the stomach flu and head cold, my noodling around was limited to photo file adventures for two weeks. I poured through hundreds of photos of mostly San Francisco, with pictorial forays to Portugal, Rhode Island, South Carolina and various Bay Area sites. Among the predominantly architectural views, blurred action shots and the occasional inside-my-purse snap, were a large number of photos of items found...

January 25, 2018

The splendid San Francisco Ferry Building is the epicenter of sensory delights housed in a beautifully rehabilitated historic building, perched on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, and with gorgeous views all around. In short - all my favorite things. If they added a petting zoo I’d be in heaven.

To fully appreciate this dynamic public market, it’s important to understand that this grand dame of late-nineteenth century Bay Are...

January 18, 2018

Sometimes I forget I live near the beach. Whether in RI or in SF, I get so caught up in buildings and patterns of development, and the stories behind it all that I forget there is an edge nearby. A threshold to another place. For me a walk on the beach is like sorbet between courses of a 12-course meal. It’s a cleansing of my palette-brain.

When I do go to the beach, I usually go in winter. The east coast beaches burn my skin i...

January 11, 2018

There are a number of neighborhoods in San Francisco that I just haven’t gotten around to exploring. I’ve driven or ridden through all of San Francisco but I’ve not walked every inch. About 3 months ago, I was walking along Divisadero Street for the hundredth-billion time and thought “what’s down that street”, and spontaneously took myself on a twirl through NOPA. Now, let me just say how much I dislike neighborhood acronyms e...

December 30, 2017

I find that making New Year’s Day plans can be overwhelming when one is a single, middle-aged woman. It seems like all the good brunch places are packed with beautiful but hungover couples and preoccupied, young families. I just don’t feel like I fit in. I usually don’t even make a plan. I just walk around until I get hungry, then eat a gluten-free pizza with a spoonful of peas and call it dinner. My not making a plan and foll...

December 14, 2017

One of these days I’m going to get arrested. It’s just a matter of time. My friend Ellen will have to come bail me out. As we leave the San Francisco police station we’ll barely suppress our laughter and then we’ll go for frozen yogurt so I can tell her the whole story. The inevitable crime will technically be for loitering but the real reason will be that I’m nosey. I love to see inside people’s homes. I don’t care about what...

December 8, 2017

For holiday music, I am a “Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city…” kinda girl. Even listening to my favorite holiday tune “The Christmas Song” [you know, chestnuts roasting on an open fire…]  I visualize occurring in a beautifully restored Victorian style home right here in the middle of San Francisco.

But downtown San Francisco during the holidays can be too crowded for me. It’s a conundrum: I love the ho...

November 2, 2017

Most all of us are suckers for a comeback: the phoenix rising from the ashes, the underdog, the against-all-odds, inspirational story. That’s why I love hanging out in Hayes Valley. It’s the poster child for post-natural disaster recovery. It’s also not perfect, but I want real, not perfection.

I was not living in San Francisco when the 1989 earthquake hit or watch the recovery efforts afterward, but I did witness the revitaliz...

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