Monday, July 28, 2008

Cities as Museums

When I was a kid, my father told me that the way to get to know cities was to walk and take the bus. I have followed his advice ever since, which I think explains why I like thinking about cities, and about why some are more successful than others.

In any case, I had an afternoon to kill in San Francisco the other day, and managed to take in a wide variety of sites and people by simply taking the N car to the beach, walking on the beach, walking from the beach along Lincoln Way to 19th Street, taking the 71 bus through the Haight, getting off at Larkin and Market, walking north up Larking to Clay, and then east to near the top of Nob Hill, and then down through North Beach and back to the financial district where I was staying.

The whole thing took around 3-4 hours, and yet enabled me to observe and enjoy the many different and idiosyncratic aspects of San Francisco.

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