We watched Bullitt in preparation of the trip, just a few days before departure, so I was very excited to have spotted one of the filming locations very close to Alamo Square where we were staying. A brief 35 minute walk via Divisadero St. and its rather wonderful mansions, or 1.6 miles according to my web map. What could be easier? Well, walking 35 minutes uptown hilly Manhattan, that’s what. For I still had to get to grips with the steepest streets I had ever encountered in a city, the very same that sent the cars flying in ”one of the most exciting car chases in film history” (skip to 3:15 and buckle up).
We did make it, with a few extra huffs and puffs, to the gorgeous mansion atop the hill, where police detective Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) meets District Attorney Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) at a reception at Chalmer’s residence.
A break for some extra cheesy pizza to treat ourselves, because what comes up must come down… and then all the way up again.
Walking towards the mansion in the corner of Divisadero St. & Vallejo St., down to Lombard St. at Cow Hollow for a pizza and then back to Alamo Square Park to watch the 4th of July fireworks.
July 4th, 2017
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