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Saturday, April 10, 2021

A to Z 2021 – I is for Ina Coolbrith Park and Immigrant Point Overlook

Who is Ina Coolbrith and why does she have a park named after her? Turns out she is a poet. In fact, the first California Poet Laureate. She has a very interesting history, which you can read here. It took me several tries to get some pictures of the park in San Francisco that is named after her but it was definitely worth it. It is on one of those hills I mentioned yesterday, Russian Hill. I finally found some parking toward the bottom of the hill and walked up to the top.

It doesn’t look like much at first but once you get around the path the whole city is visible.

Standing at the top you can see the city skyline with the Bay Bridge to the right, Coit Tower slightly to the left and then Alcatraz Island on the far left. I envy the people who live in this area and can get a view of the sunrise every morning. It must be spectacular.

There are some benches to sit on and several other paths to walk down. I have to go back (sound familiar?) because I didn’t go any farther than the first level. It is on a pretty steep slope and I could see that there was another bench to sit on at the next level.

I didn’t see any signs at the top so it’s another one of those places that you wouldn’t know was there unless you were looking for it. So peaceful and pretty. Very well kept.

I was going to use International Airport for another “I” but then I found something even better. Immigrant Point Overlook. I said to my husband, “Hey hon, how’d you like to go for a ride in your new truck and take me to a couple of places in the city so I can take some pictures?” It worked! While he drove, I had the owners manual out so if he had any questions about the truck settings I could answer them. Aren’t I helpful?

Immigrant Point Overlook is a spot on the coast where you can see for miles. There is a picnic area across the street and there is a trail you can go down but I found the best view was right on the edge. You can see the boats coming in from the Pacific Ocean.

There is a wall with an inscription from President Woodrow Wilson:

“We opened the gates to all the world and said, ‘Let all men who want to be free come to us and they will be welcome.'” Here’s a video I took of that and the view.

So you can start the day with sunrise at Ina Coolbrith Park and end the day with a sunset at Immigrant Point Overlook. In between head down the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square with maybe some lunch or dinner at Chinatown. Doesn’t it make you want to come to SF?

Whew, one full week of the A to Z done! (I was able to do a whole recap in this post, did you catch that?) We are going to the Giants game today. Have to have proof of vaccination or negative test within 72 hours to get in and they are only filling to 22% capacity so I feel pretty safe. Sunday I plan to visit as many new (to me) bloggers as I can. Have a great rest of your weekend!



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Friday, April 9, 2021

A to Z 2021 – H is for Haight-Ashbury and the Hills

I was in Catholic grammar school during the Haight-Ashbury heyday so I didn’t really get involved with the hippie drug scene. I did know a little bit about it though and a few years ago when the de Young Museum had an exhibit called “The Summer of Love Experience” we went to check it out. I wrote about that here. My husband is a little older than me and had lived in San Francisco for a while so he was very familiar with the era and the area. I do love the clothes! I really want the suede jacket and the blue crochet sweater, although I bet that one is pretty heavy.

They had flower shaped cookies in the gift shop. My coat looks like it belongs in the show, doesn’t it? After the exhibit we rode around the streets in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for a while. They certainly have some interesting places including some more Victorian houses.

The famous Grateful Dead House is in the Haight-Ashbury district too. It is the one in the middle with the gate but I kind of like the purple one next door. Just regular folks own it now.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed so far, there are definitely a lot of hills in San Francisco! Look at what I’ve been driving through, and sometimes walking up and down, to get pictures for your entertainment! Sometimes I get a little nervous, even when I’m in my car. Thank goodness for automatic transmissions. If I had to use a clutch – I shudder to think.

In fact San Francisco is said to have been built on seven hills: Telegraph Hill (where Coit Tower is), Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin Peaks, Lone Mountain (or Mt. Sutro) and Mt. Davidson.

Mt. Davidson is the highest natural point in the city (928 feet!) so I thought I’d give that a look see. The coyote alert didn’t stop me because it was daytime and there were some other folks around so I figured the coyotes would stay away. The hike up the hill was definitely worth the view (click for 16 second video).

At the top of the hill hidden in the trees is a giant cross. It was Palm Sunday when I went up and people had brought some palms and left them at the base of the cross. I am amazed that you can’t see the cross until you get at the top of the hill. It is 103 feet high itself!

I didn’t know until I was writing this post that they have an Easter Sunday sunrise service every year. I bet that is spectacular. You may also remember the cross from a scene in the first Dirty Harry movie. I don’t know how they were able to run and move around on that hill in the dark. It took all my concentration in the daylight!

It seems like there are a million hills in San Francisco and I may, or may not write about a few more of them, we still have letters in the A to Z Challenge left. Hope you’ll climb them with me.



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