First port of call was Alamo Square with its incredibly charming, perfectly aligned pastel Painted Ladies; so perfectly pastel and aligned, I thought I had walked into a Wes Anderson film. Beyond them, San Francisco Downtown was beckoning. Excited as we were to discover it, it would have to wait because the Painted Ladies were only the start. For street after street, mansion after mansion, this entire district of San Francisco seemed to be a giant postcard.
It was a cool day with low clouds coming up from the East. Partly cloudy and grey but not dull at all. My eyes had yet to adjust to the light – so much different than in New York: similarly bright, but the dominant hues were blue, instead of the orange-yellow ones my eyes have been accustomed to. And, instead of being reflected on glass buildings, here the light was generously diffused, making objects seem sharper, colours brighter and the grass greener. Even on a cloudy day.
I would also have to adjust to the temperature, surprisingly cool – and I mean sweater and a light jacket cool – even in July. One tends to dream of sunshine and hot days on the beach when thinking of California, not this cool-summer-continental, one has learned to expect in Northern Europe.
Walking from Alamo Square to the Pacific Heights, via Divisadero St. and its environs
July 4th, 2017