In my previous blog post, I mentioned that the key to a lasting relationship is falling in love with the same person over and over again. It didn’t apply to the romantic type in the said post, and neither will it in the one I’m currently composing. I’ve always professed my unending love for San Francisco, a city that constantly pulls me back through the years and even though I could have spent my money for a city that I’ve never visited, every trip to this one felt like coming home and a vacation at the same time.
Here are a couple of reasons why it remains my favorite.
Embarcadero is essential. It’s a waterfront that spreads into a wide industrial area including the famous Fisherman’s Wharf, Ferry Building, Pier 39 and AT&T Park where you’d find a deep diversity of people. From local fitness buffs to college students to friendly kababayans, it didn’t run out of things that fascinate me. Combine that with the calm breeze, the intimacy between you and the sky, the ocean rush far different from beach waves and the subtle circulation of countless forms of street art. It was love at first sight.
I haven’t gone to many other piers in the world but I already know why the bay area’s clam chowder is an institution. There were no left overs when I had this, not even the bowl of sour dough.
A couple of miles from the pier is where downtown is and THIS is almost orgasmic for me. All sorts of weirdos scatter in the geometric corners, vintage cable cars and vertical streets which actually feel like Inception, now that I think of it.
It is almost mandatory to drive at least once on the Golden Gate Bridge. It felt unexplainable to know that you’re suspended in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, standing on something that you only see in the movies. In the midst of the bridge’s length and its location’s much colder weather, joggers and bikers surrounded you in the side pavements, reminding you that in life, “kanya kanyang trip lang talaga” (to each his own).
The peak of eccentricity doesn’t stop there. Alcatraz is a small island located in the San Francisco Bay and used to be a federal prison. It is now converted into a museum that reveals everything about prison life back in the day. It’s eerie enough that it’s isolated from the rest of the city, what more the thought of a single voice accompanying you as you walk through its abandoned walls? It was an audio tour, meaning guests are given headphones and a small device upon entering. These gadgets made it possible for every guest to roam around the place with their own individual voice guides. Nothing felt creepier. I loved it.
Regular prison bunks, special isolation cells, kitchen, bath, library and control rooms. I never thought jail could be so interesting.
The BART is one of the most practical modes of transportation in the bay. A few minutes in this train will take you to probably one of the most energetic places ever: Mission District. Travelers are often warned about safety issues in the neighborhood because of its history of ethnic conflict. The said concern is the very reason why it pulsates with culture today. Unconcealed stares welcomed me, but its vibrant graffiti-covered walls in literally every building in every corner and every block only drew me closer.
I cannot emphasize it enough.
I could go on and on.
All photos by myself.