Wednesday, August 5, 2009

There and Back Again

I will definitely give San Francisco an A for style. I am not a huge city person, as you have probably gathered from previous posts, so I generally do not have much to say that is positive about a place as large as San Francisco. The thing is, in spite of the bumper to bumper traffic, the choking pollution, and the roaring noise of the street, San Francisco still somehow managed to stay on my list of places that I enjoyed.

I think that a large part of the reason why I like San Francisco is that people here make an effort to make their city look nice. The air is polluted, but the streets are clean, the houses are packed onto the street like sardines, but they are all attractive, with bright paint and detailed masonry. There is a beautiful park on the north shore of the city. The park is a large circle with a crescent shaped lake on one side which is mirrored by a crescent shaped building on the opposing side. At the center of the park is a massive dome, like a gazebo for giants, with two great arms extending to the north and the south. These arms are a series of 80 ft (maybe?) columns supporting stone arches reminiscent of the aqueducts of Rome.

The crescent shaped building houses the Exploratorium, a single massive room filled with displays and interactive exhibits that allow visitors, mostly children, to learn about all kinds of things including sound, light, kinetics, genetics, and geology.

Only a short drive west from the park is the legendary Golden Gate Bridge. There are really no words to describe the bridge except massive and imposing. It took me close to an hour to walk across the bridge, long enough for the weather to change from sunny to billowing fog, and definitely long enough for me to be glad that I had thought to bring a jacket. I did not remember how cold the north really is, even in summer.

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