Hiking San Francisco

2010 August 11 walking route

Who needs the gym when you have San Francisco’s hills? As much as I’m enjoying peaceful walks and meeting up old friends when not working on grad school apps, I don’t really see this city as a place for me to live in again. For one, it just isn’t the city I lived in from 2002 to 2005 anymore, with many of my favorite haunts being closed down, including the Metreon in downtown, which is no longer the exciting stop because almost all the fun stores are gone, with the theater and Yerba Buena park being the only draws for me now. One of the most horrible injustices now? Golden Gate Park’s Rose Garden now costs $7 USD for admission if you are not a San Francisco resident.

Notwithstanding, I find ways to have fun in San Francisco. This week, I’ve met up with a few friends, an old gym buddy from UCLA for lunch in Oakland Chinatown, an old community college friend whom I’ve been seeing most of my time whom I walk around or play Super Street Fighter 4 with often now, and someone from my old college honors society who took me to Clemente for good old Hong Kong style snack food. One of my highlights is drinking the best coffee I’ve ever had at Philz Coffee on Van Ness, which makes me happy and angry at the same time: happy because I’ve found great coffee, angry because I’m only going to be here until the end of the month to enjoy it. At least I can order some of their blends online from their store.

This evening I had dinner with a broadcast weather reporter [name withheld out of courtesy]. One thing I love about meeting reporters and journalists is that many of them are passionate, and passion is a very attractive trait. After all, when you’re bored, it shows in your writing, but with passion and interest, it is very apparent. It’s also funny how many people try to get into broadcasting in search of fame before that idea bursts and they quickly realize that without something to talk about due to being uninformed and uninterested in subjects besides themselves, they don’t have much to offer.

The reporter pointed out to me that due to the vanity of this generation, reality television, and more barriers created by technology and communication, ultimately, reality television encourages bad behavior, because ignorant people with little or no ambition feel better by seeing others ridiculing themselves on those reality programs.

In an age of information overload, there is no use for ignorance or complacency. But it does show who is willing to rise above it all by striving to learn more and improve themselves.

This is why I love writing and traveling: they encourage me to learn more and improve myself. It’s also why I enjoy walking around instead of taking the bus: I get to have my walking meditations, as well as see and experience more of the place I’m in, like I have today, walking to Philz Coffee from Polk and Francisco, then taking the bus over to Geary and Masonic to cut through the Presidio and over to the foot of Golden Gate Bridge, then back over to Polk and Francisco. A lot of things just get missed from driving or taking the bus, and I like to experience as much as I can instead of depriving myself of the fullness of life.

Fun in the fog

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