This is one of my favourite photographs. I took it on a visit to Alcatraz while we were in San Francisco. Tim was at a conference. I tagged along. We stayed at an adorable little boutique hotel that was just outside China Town. We were walking distance to just about everything. So while Tim was doing his work conference thing, I was walking. I walked miles every day and saw wonderful things.
I adored the architecture of course but even more I loved the little surprise gardens that were tucked in here and there. I loved the little neighborhoods that popped up unexpectedly. One block in this direction and it's definitely Italian, one block in the other direction and it's Chinese, that way is Russian, the other way is something else entirely. It was fascinating, unique, delightful and from reading the restaurant window menus and sniffing the air, positively delicious.
I had no particular goal each day, I just put on my shoes, picked a direction and went. Uphill and down, walking with a tilt, travelling up the beckoning concrete stairs that I came across in the middle of a block and quietly travelling a pathway that seemed to wind through a forest ringed garden at the end of a residential block . I felt like an intrepid explorer, seeing things I've never seen before. I marveled, I ooohed and aaahed and I walked miles each day. I would get back to the hotel each afternoon and soak my bruised swollen feet in cold water in the tub and the next day, do it again.
I took hundreds of photos and a lot of them were not at all bad. But this one is my favourite. I'm not sure why. It usually works out that way. After we return from a trip, I eventually go through all of the photographs I snapped and generally there is one or maybe two that particularly speak to me. From the San Francisco trip, this is the one I keep coming back to. I try to not question my instincts or visceral reactions. If it speaks to me, it speaks. That's enough.
I enjoyed visiting San Francisco tremendously, but the town itself didn't speak to me in a way that said, you need to live here. Not At All. There have been places that did. Places that felt like perhaps I'd been there before. There have been a few places that, I immediately felt at home even though it was my first visit. San Francisco was not any of them. But I would visit again in a heartbeat.
If you haven't yet gone, I recommend it. Take a camera, good walking shoes and a smile. And then Enjoy! And if you take pictures, share your favourites. You don't have to know why it's the one you like the best. It just is. And that is sufficient.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.