Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gold Rush

I was feeling a little tired after my 6 miles yesterday but I decided to hit the streets again! I mixed it up a bit, though. I went East instead of West. Game changer?

I started with an easy one. The Mint! It's "easy" because my apartment is pretty close to Mint Hill and more on top of it so not too hard of a walk. But it was cool to be consciously walking to it because it gave me a chance to take a closer look. I've walked past it plenty of times, enjoyed it's namesake karaoke joint, but this time up close it looked scary, cold, and serious with all the security. It's weird that it's in the middle of the city.
From the east side view you get a nice look of Buena Vista Park, and I also got a quick snap of this surveyor. Maybe he is surveying the hills as well?
Then I headed on down to Soma to check out a hill I've never knew had a name, Rincon Hill. At the apex of this hill stands Rincon One building. Not the best view as far as hills go (as seen below) but....
I'm sure the people who live in this building have an awesome view.
What hills will be next!?!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Get up there!

So technically I did walk up 3 hills yesterday but today is the official day for the hills project. Yesterdays hills were when I came up with the idea ;) Today, I decided to call the official beginning of the hills project and tackle two of my favorite hills and one unofficial hill.

I started with Alamo Square Heights. In my 5 and half years in San Francisco, Alamo has always been a short walk away so I decided to start with a hill that is almost like home. Of course with the holiday season the tourists numbers are high so I wasn't surprised to see the swarm of people looking out at the painted ladies and posing for overly posed pictures. I decided to take a picture of the less popular side of this hill which I think is still beautiful.

From Alamo I walked up Grove and meandered over to Fulton to pass St. Ignatius Church to make my way into Golden Gate Park. I've only lived in the 94117 area but I never get tired of it. If you haven't let yourself get lost in Golden Gate Park, stop what you are doing and just take any path into nowhere inside this magical place. You will eventually find your way out to a field and you may even find a group of people meditating or dancing or really just about anything. You may even find the two hills I tackled: Hippie Hill and Strawberry Hill.

Hippie Hill is not a legitimate hill of San Francisco, but I think it should be. It's more of a mole hill but it is part of a long, rich, smoky history of San Francisco.

After a little drum circle action I made my way to my final hill just above Stow Lake. I decided to enter Strawberry Hill from behind the Japanese Tea Gardens. I don't think I'm alone when I say how much I love Strawberry Hill. When you find it, even when you aren't the only one there, you feel like you came upon on a secret. You have your choice of stairs or a windy path to get to the top, and when you do you reach the sandy top you are reminded of the soil that lives beneath this amazing park and most of this side of the city.

(NOTE FOR THE PHOTO BELOW: I do not know this couple but I liked them and the view so decided to include them.)

So far I'm walking to and from all of the hills. I'm getting a good amount of steps in. I think this walk I got 14k-15k steps. But more than anything, I'm already getting a thrill out of this project. It feels good to have a focus and nothing beats views of this city from up on top of a hill. I'm again reminded of how lucky I am to live here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How many hills are there in San Francisco?

Today I walked to the top of Corona Heights in San Francisco. It's a red rock, mostly treeless, hill formation just above Castro and just below Buena Vista Park. When you are about to hit the top of hill there is a silly little sign of a man with a walking stick with the words "Summit" under his feet. Corona Heights is not a strenuous walk but when I was sitting on the summit admiring this gorgeous town I did have a little feeling of joy and excitement and I liked falling in love with this city all over again.

While I was up there enjoying the view I noticed all the other hills around me and figured I probably haven't been up most of them and that was sillier than a Summit sign on top of a tiny hill. Which leads me to the purpose of this blog.

I have decided that this year I will walk to all the hills in San Francisco. Through some research, there are 47 named hills in San Francisco. The map at the bottom gives you some sense of where the main ones are.

So far since sitting on Corona, I've marked off 5 hills out of 47, and got in one "unnamed" one. I don't think this will take the whole year unless I'm incredibly lazy. To keep track, I'll be using this handy spreadsheet.