Top 10 Reasons I Love Walking in San Francisco

I walked to my audition today. Canadian Beer Commercial Casting (ooh, i hope i get it!). I had enough time to either catch the bus, drive, or walk. I did my googling of time and discovered:

Driving, 9 minutes in heavy traffic + 20 minutes allotted to find a perfect parking spot downtown, making use the Secret (Oh, thank you! I’m so thankful for my perfect parking spot x ???). Gas money+meter money.

photo

F-train along the Embarcadero, 23 minutes + 8 minutes waiting time + 2 minutes walking. $2

969988130_0936791cf9_z

Walking. 1.7 miles, 33 minutes. $0

martin-curtis-walking-across-san-francisco-oakland-bay-bridge-san-francisco-california-usa

It is a nice day today in the Bay, and I thought, dang, I’ll walk it. Same time budget, maybe a little more physical energy spent, but walking in San Francisco on a sunny day has it’s way of reminding you why you love walking in San Francisco. Here’s my top 10 for today.

10. It’s free. Unlike the ‘free’ library, where one can check out 40 books for free but just make a tiny little 2 week mistake and forget to renew said 40 books that one has overzealously checked out and one ends up owing the library $80+ , walking is truly free. It costs nothing but calories. And for someone using their Friday to go to an audition and then put the finishing touches on getting a theatre show ready to tech tonight, balling on a budget is no joke. Variety Show Deathmatch Tickets on sale here. Because a little friendly competition never hurt anybody, right? Which brings me to…

9. Racing the 30 bus down Columbus. I live near Fisherman’s Wharf, and the 30 bus is one of the most reliable buses in the City, especially during the day, BUT even if I only have a 3 minute head start (the bus stop near my house lets me know when I can expect the next MUNI), I can usually make it 8 or 10 blocks before it catches up to me. And if I make it 8 or 10 blocks, I’m usually halfway there already and choose to save my solid 2 singles. Which brings me to…

showgirls-028. DIFFERENT PLACES!! Like Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls, San Francisco is from so many different places. The strict dichotomy between Little Italy and Chinatown, which splits around Columbus and Broadway (coincidentally the main hub of strip clubs in the city), reminds me that I live in a truly international city. And as the Duck tour guides constantly remind me as their ad nauseam tourist cargo quacks away, San Francisco houses (one of) the largest Chinatowns in North America. Which brings me to…

TAICHI02lorez-7004507. Tai Chi. All along Columbus, and especially in Washington Square Park, there are groups of people dance-meditating/tai chi-ing/arms swinging/faces alert, doing a dance they all know by heart. Witnessing the groups of usually older folks engaging in this practice is fun and informative. My favorite today was a man going solo at a bus stop while tourists tried not to gawk. Which brings me to…

8. Old Money Italian Dudes in Little Italy. I don’t know how they made their money, but they are spending it looking like they’ve got all they need in coffee shop psuedo-mobster meetings in Little Italy. My favorite sight today was two gray-haired gentlemen, each of whom looked like they would’ve killed it in The Godfather, putting their mafia plans on hold for a moment to crane their necks as a girl dressed to the nines strutted down the crowded street, the two men eventually breaking their hard-won gaze and nodding in agreement that “this is the life” before resuming their plot of how to teach of Jimmy the Foot a lesson he’ll never forget. Which brings me to…

6. Layering. Never forget to layer in San Francisco. The weather can be unpredictable depending on which neighborhood you are in, and even on a sunny day, some areas can be cold and windy and/or foggy. There is something refreshing about knowing exactly what the weather will be like, in that, you need to wear layers 350 days of the year regardless of the weather. If you are going more than 15 minutes away from home and don’t want to get stuck in a newly rolled-in fog wearing a thin tank top and shorts and then curse yourself for not packing a hoodie, it’s a good idea to layer. I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that about 10 minutes into any walk that gets me farther away from the Bay breeze, I will get to shed my outermost shell. Which brings me to…

1671427-slide-nfc-5_0

4. Fitness. This is a friggin fit city, and walking transport is a solid reminder that there are many ways to enjoy a sunny afternoon, including but not limited to: running, jogging, skateboarding, bicycling, utilizing the cities new free fitness stops (pictured above), and even rollerblading for folks who don’t mind rollerblading jokes. Outside exists, is significantly freer than joining a gym (see # 10), and people seem to be happy doing it, especially on a sunny day.  Which brings me to…

3. Sweating. Just good-old fashioned sweating. Getting that blood moving and the body awake and alive. This is not just a San Francisco thing, but I do love being able to work up a good walk-sweat by keeping a quick pace (I did the 1.7 miles in just under 22 minutes, so while I wasn’t trucking it, I have worked up quite the tolerance for hills since moving here nearly 4 years ago. Which brings me to…

2. Tourists. I know locals love to hate tourists. They are annoying, they are in the way, they are really freaked out by hills, they stop in the middle of the road to take photographs, they think waiting in line for 2+ hours and paying $6 for a one-way trolley ride is an ideal way to spend the afternoon etc etc etc. BUT they are yet another reminder that I live in an international destination city, not to mention my daily encounters with some of the most jaw-dropping urban views offered anywhere on our fine planet. Which brings me to…

IMG_38741. San Francisco. The city itself carries such a rich history, and people walking down the street seem to breathe it in and out. Passing City Lights Book Store, the Beat Museum and Vesuvio Bar in North Beach and imagining Kerouac or Ginsberg grabbing a pint and fleshing out the mojo for their next big story, San Francisco’s vibrant source of inspiration calls out to the next generation of life enthusiasts. The cool breeze of the Bay brings fresh news from the sea, blows through the alleyways, and invigorates the population. It’s a place I’m happy to walk through, and proud to call home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s