Miles Today: 44
Miles to Date: 8,426
States to Date: 25
I’ve only been to San Francisco once, 37 years ago, before the city was so affluent and before I was gay. The alliterative repetition of the adjective ‘so’ cannot be used here because no one would say that I am ‘so gay’. Some say I am ‘barely gay’. I figure I’m gay enough for me. Perhaps a week in San Francisco will nudge that meter. We’ll see.
My cycling today was more of a saunter – I took my sweet time getting to the city and settling into my time here. Although I left before seven when my host went off to work, I stopped en route to visit downtown San Raphael and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin Country Civic Center. The bike path goes through a cool former railroad tunnel. Then I lost my way in construction and detoured through Larkspur, a bucolic morsel of wealth. I climbed Alte Camino to reach the bike path through Mill Valley and savored Sausalito. All those great house boats and houses on the hills.
I was super excited to ride my bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, and apprehensive of the heights. Each expectation proved feeble. The bicycle and pedestrian traffic is huge; practically a parade. Ingoing bikes are to the far right of the trail, so I didn’t feel any height. Still, it’s an awesome bridge.
Once in the city, I loitered in The Presidio. I love the Palace of Fine Arts, the sole structure from the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exhibit. It seems incredible that the event happened a century ago, and even more remarkable that the city orchestrated it less than a decade after the 1906 earthquake. Do we have any of the cultural chutzpah to pull anything like that off again, or is that sort of show relegated to totalitarian regimes? Regardless, all those columns and statues with no significance whatsoever enchanted me.
I stayed close the water, traversing Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero to visit the Autodesk gallery at One Market Street. As an architect I used Revit, Autodesk’s signature software. The gallery highlights a wide range of remarkable digital mapping applications, from customized prosthetics to a Biome car made from organic material that exhausts oxygen, to simple infant warmer for developing countries that have neonatal intensive care capabilities. Very cool stuff for a high-tech tomorrow.
Two interesting side bars. Everyone exercises here, and it is intense. Crossfit everyhwere, women boxing, pumped guys preparing for fitness competitions.
Also, amazing how they build into these hills. So much excavation and concrete.
Finally, I made my way up Market, through the Castro, and over to Golden Gate Park before heading to my host’s home for the evening. Tomorrow I begin interviews in earnest.