Over the weekend, I decided to check out some of San Francisco’s beautiful parks. Located mainly in the city’s west side, they’re known for stunning views and a vast amount of relaxing green space. My first stop was Alamo Square Park, which most people will recognize from the opening credits of Full House. I never realized just how close my AirBnB is to the park, but I’m actually only 5 or 6 blocks away. It’s crazy how much the scenery can change just a mile or so down the road.
Next up, I ventured through the Presidio neighborhood, which is kind of like a park—aside from the houses and whatnot. It’s a really beautiful area, filled with rolling hills, well-manicured trees and pristine fountains. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably a bit out of my price range though. From there, I headed south to Golden Gate Park, a spot I nearly hit the prior weekend because it begins just one block west from Amoeba Records.
The park itself is home to a Japanese Tea Garden, a handful of waterfalls, a buffalo sanctuary, several windmills and the rather stunning de Young Museum. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend taking a hike through the park over to the bay. It’s filled with an endless number of gorgeous views, which is one thing SF never seems to run out of. To be honest, the space actually reminds me a lot of Central Park, because of it’s oblong shape, massive size and collection of venues.
That brings me to something rather odd I’ve noticed about San Francisco. There are a lot of things here that seem to parallel many New York City locations. From places that honor the Big Apple, like Manhattan Hub and Hotel Astoria to parks with the same name, like Union Square and Washington Square. They even have a rival bagel culture here, which I’m sure there’s plenty of debate about. Heck, both cities even have their own light-up billboard courtesy of Old Navy.
It’s all kind of weird to me and I’ll admit that I’m completely in the dark as to why there are so many similarities. Come to think of it, I do tend to get some curious looks anytime I bring up NYC too. I have to imagine there’s some sort of competition going on that I'm unaware of. So, I guess if you love NYC but not the cold, try a visit to San Francisco. Or if you love San Francisco, but not the west coast, try NYC.
Regardless of what’s going on, San Francisco has proven to me that it’s a great city with a lot to offer creatives—from the tight-knit communities I spoke of last week to the endless number of great restaurants and its proximity to hike-able mountains and forest-lines paths. It has all the drive of NYC, but somehow maintains some semblance of natural wonder all around. It’s a curious city indeed and I can certain see why people love it here.