Tag Archives: gardens

A Walking Tour of San Francisco.

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An Urban Jewel

 

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I recently returned from a visit to San Francisco where I was treated to a wonderful walking  tour provided by two of my sons who live and work in the city.   In advance of my visit, I requested that we walk as much as possible so as to see the city at street level and also to get exercise which would allow me to sample the many fine culinary offerings of the city without regret.

Never have I climbed so many stairs and navigated such steep inclines for hours at a time, but it was worth every step.  Thankfully, the weather cooperated and I able to the traverse 25 to 30 miles through many vibrant and varied neighborhoods that make up this urban jewel known as the City by the Bay.

The brief video below is of the killer-view my kids wake up to everyday… taken from the Bernal Heights neighborhood overlooking the Noe Valley with Sutro Tower on the horizon.

In a city where space is in scarce supply, front porches and entryways become gardens with a plethora of beautiful displays of cultivation of every kind, too numerous to count or photograph, each as lovely as the next, giving added dimension to the meaning of San Francisco Pride and a personal understanding to the sweet sentiments of the City’s signature song, I left My Heart in San Francisco. 

Thanks guys for being so patient with all the stops for photos and for sharing your beautiful city with me!

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Pacific Spring

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Pacific Spring

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.”

 

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I grew up on the Pacific shore bathed in a swirling mélange of earthy aromas, briny sea mist, beach kelp, weathered driftwood, live crab boiling in pots on creosote soaked docks, and the smell of prolonged dampness that permeated every living thing.  Brightly colored nasturtiums, seemingly the only flower that survived in the sandy soil, sprung up ubiquitously in yards and planters.  An ambitious gardener might have daffodils and calla lilies struggling in a border strip around a scrubby patch of grass, but that was the extent of coastal cultivation in a landscape where skunk cabbage, Scotch broom, salal and moss held sway over the land.

Our regular excursions to “the Valley” to visit relatives were like incredible journeys, visitations to an enchanting world replete with verdant fields and flowering trees and plants and flowers of every sort and variety that filled the air with a soul caressing redolence which gently lingered in the stillness of the valley air. The tidy patchwork of farm fields, symmetry of tree lined streets and ordered planning of nature expressed in the multitude of fastidiously tended gardens resonated deep within me giving way to a life-long appreciation of the capacity of nature, to influence and enhance human experience.