Entries tagged with “Urban Adventures”.


Last weekend a little bit of summer snuck its way into February here in San Francisco. To take best advantage of the sun and the three-day weekend, we set a theme for ourselves: a long walk to a different neighborhood each day where we would get ice cream at one of the city’s many fancy ice cream shops.

We kicked things off on Saturday with a walk down to Dogpatch, a neighborhood just a bit south of the baseball stadium and very much in transition over the last few years. Dogpatch has been one of our favorite areas for longer weekend runs as it’s usually quiet on weekend mornings, plus there are nice views and breezes along the Bay and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and food shops. (more…)

Took a stroll through the eucalyptus and pine scrub of the Presidio after work today.

Chancing upon a patch of sun-ripened, summer sweet blackberries is more than enough reward for the quick pace up the hill. The patch has been picked over in spots easy to reach from the trail. I’m not the only one who can’t resist berries right off the vine.

But if you know where to look behind the branches and under the leaves, there are ripe, juicy berries waiting still.

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Sometimes, on a sunny early spring day, when life has been crazy and stressful, you just need to sit. and soak up the sun. and feel the grass under your fingers. and breathe the salt air as the ocean tumbles its way past the Golden Gate and into the Bay.

Sometimes it’s worth a drive across the city for the smell of Eucalyptus trees as they rustle in the wind.

To sit beneath steel girders reaching out and up and through, slicing the blue, blue sky into manageable triangles, parallelograms, and polygons less easily described.

Where the knowing, confined mind sees “art” and either admires or dismisses: what value can we find in jumbled steel? But the young, not bound into these rigid expectations, look, and wonder, and conclude: a giant structure on which to play.

diSuvero

And who doesn’t yearn to climb these beams? Is that not the power of their artistry? Not a simulation of motion, but an invitation to engage, to move, to climb, to soar.

While the young ones dash and tumble, we are content to sit, with red-painted steel a presence above and behind us, looking towards another, grander monolith of red-painted steel and the tossing, foam-tipped chasm it traverses.

The sun is bright, but the wind is biting. We huddle down into sweaters suddenly inadequate for the deceptive, mercurial breeze.

If we were children running and shouting in the long grass, we would not feel the cold. If we were birds leaping from trees along the water’s edge, we would welcome the gusts and swells of the wind.

But we are earth-bound, sedentary, confined on this day. And the brightness of the sky, the power of the water, the damp succor of the grass—it anchors us as the wind swoops and dives, but it does not keep us warm.

Mark di Suvero exhibition at Crissy Field, part of SFMOMA On the Go

We don’t really get winter weather around here.

As much as Bay Area natives may complain about the cold, dreary winters, they’re full of sh$t and don’t know what they’re talking about.

With no snow and temperatures that stay in the very reasonable 50s, sometimes it’s tough to feel the festive holiday spirit.

But San Franciscans are resourceful! If there’s no snow to create a snowman, well, we’ll make our snowmen out of something else.

Case in point: Veggie Snowman
Spotted following the farmers’ market near T-Bell’s office.

veggie-snowman

Happy holidays from the CityGirls. Wishing you a joyous and hike-filled new year!

 

We did our favorite walking tour of the city with our friend Signorina when she came to visit with her boy.

bridge-view

At the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, we sampled some pork deliciousness in the form of Chicharrones, 4505 Meats’ light-as-air, salty and sweet “pig candy.”

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Our friend S was dog-sitting for the weekend, and we joined her and her two charges for a romp at Fort Funston.

beach

The dogs were ever so excited to go to the beach. They practically bowled us over when we showed up at their house and would not sit still the whole car ride to Fort Funston. In fact, when we hit the coast and turned on to the Great Highway, both dogs started whining like the whole world was on fire. But no, they were just that excited.

down-to-the-beach

Fort Funston, for those who haven’t been, is THE doggy beach in San Francisco and it was teeming with pups on this sunny holiday. There were dogs chasing balls on the bluffs, dogs slurping water from the numerous doggy bowls that surrounded each water fountain, dogs sniffing each others’ butts… it was quite the canine social scene.

We made our way down onto the beach itself, and the two puppers could no longer contain themselves they were so excited. The little pup insisted we throw the ball for her, while the larger pup beelined for the water.

pupper-on-the-move

We picked up a couple doggy friends along the way, including a corgi who was just as excited to play fetch as the little pup. The larger pup, who isn’t really that large, decided he only wanted to hang with the big dogs (even though they were twice his size).

good-dog

After all the fun and games, we took home two tired pups.

One was completely sand-logged from running into the waves and then rolling around in the sand and both were oh so happy and exhausted.

 

A wander through the city with a stair climb to Coit Tower

We had family in town who wanted to see some of the city, so we took a walking tour down the Embarcadero and up to Coit Tower.

20130525_stairs_first-set

Now, to get to Coit Tower from the Embarcadero, especially if you want to avoid the craziness of Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 (always a good idea),  you have to go up some stairs. A lot of stairs.

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Our good friend TheSailor spent the month of July sailing from Hawai’i to California aboard the tall ship Robert C. Seamans.

Today, the ship sailed into San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. We packed a picnic and some warm clothes and went to watch the ship come in.

sailing-ship

 

Such a fancy, pretty ship. Just don’t run into the bridge now! (Yes, it’s foggy, but not that foggy.)

sailing-ship-2

The hiking book: None needed. This is a pretty highly-trafficked urban walking path.
The distance: 6 miles
The CityGirls rating: 6

We were back in our old stomping grounds this weekend with a walk around Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.

We used to live not too far from these lakes, and they were our go-to destination for getting some fresh air and a bit of nature. Our favorite running route was to circumnavigate Lake of the Isles, and Lake Calhoun was always a good choice for a lunchtime walk.

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The hiking book: Excellently detailed blog post by a local named Bill Choisser
The distance: 3 miles + a bit to get ice cream
The CityGirls rating: 4

It was an exploring San Francisco sort of weekend for T-Bell. Went to check out the views from Twin Peaks, the highest viewpoint in the city.

Now, the typical way to do Twin Peaks is to drive up to very nearly the top, then meander a bit around the figure eight that encircles each of the Peaks. But I found a blog post from a long-time San Franciscan with directions to walk all the way up to the top from the Muni station at Castro and Market.

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