Shin Splints in San Francisco

I’m sitting in Golden Gate Park[1], having consumed a fine smoothie and cookie from down the Haight. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to convey San Francisco, and I really can’t do it. There are too many angles. I may as well just make a list of things that have shaded my perceptions of this town:

Multitudes of mentally ill homeless folk
“Chronic inebriates” (as the newspaper so eloquently described them)
Panhandlers and their vast ranges of age, dress and cleverness
An apparently unsuccessful hooker at 7AM, yelling at her pimp (“I don’t have your money”)
The food and drink
The grandeur of the Golden Gate
Fisherman’s Wharf and its tourists (worst fish and chips ever!)
Leg pain from walking all over town
Demanding parking meters
I just saw a burrowing varmint of some kind
Brave skateboarders

My experience in Tenderloin stood in stark contrast with my evening in Bernal Heights with Amy. The neighborhood has a quaint, small-town feel to it. There’s a nice little bookstore[2] around the corner from Amy’s place, and lots of great places to eat. Plus, the scenic vistas of Bernal Hill. I stayed with Amy for a night because Erika had to travel to LA on Tuesday for work. I’m so glad I had that opportunity. That whole neighborhood really made me wonder if SF is a place where I could live. Very tempting.

1.) Actually I’m sitting at Ben and Heather‘s in Seattle now, but this blog entry was begun in Golden Gate Park, and then I procrastinated for several days before its completion.
2.) I picked up a copy of This Is Your Brain on Music which is thus far excessively enlightening.