Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Walking in San Francisco & Hakodate"

A friend working in San Francisco wrote this bit:

Re: "My manager let me get off early today, and I took some time to walk all the way down to the Ferry Building, following the concrete ribbon structure along the way.  It was a beautiful day outside, and as I walked I watched the ocean.  I had a great view of Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge.  Along the way, I briefly skimmed the little informational bronze plaques and square towers, read a poem from an Angel Island inhabitant, and walked and walked and walked.  It was fun, but am I tired!"

This reminds me of the two years I lived in San Francisco (mid-1982 to mid-1984).  I would typically go out with three rolls of 36-exposure film (Tri-X B&W) to take pictures of one area or another of San Francisco.  I would walk and walk, and while I did get tired feet, I didn't get overly hot and I didn't get very thirsty in the pleasantly damp ocean scented air.  Walking in Tokyo can be like that, but only for a very limited number of days in the spring and autumn, and on a day after a typhoon or at least a strong wind (to blow away the effects of the fire-breathing automobiles).

On the same line of thinking, I went up to Hakodate in Hokkaido this month, and the port city with its hills, low lying clouds that engulf the tops of the hills, pleasant and clean air, old street cars brought out for the summer tourists, and old brick shipping warehouses converted into shops and restaurants... had me daydreaming about moving up there and settling in.  Before making such a move though, it would be a good idea to visit in the winter and see if I could bear the (according to the taxi driver I talked with) -10 temperatures.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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