06 11 / 2009
Peak to Peak - Points of Interest
Good morning. From the parking lot tourists enjoy amazing 270 degree views. Hike to the top of one of the peaks, referred to by the Spanish as “Los Pechos del Choca,” and you’ll get an even more amazing view including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Financial district, Alcatraz and the curve of Candlestick Park. The naming rights to Candlestick, btw, are owned by Monster Cable, a company that has made a fortune out of a marketing gimmick for what should be a commodity product. As a youth, one of your tour guides watched Lethal Weapon on Laser Disc at the home of Monster Cable founder Noel Lee while the adults around him got drunk. Regardless of this kindness, he still insists that Candlestick Park be called Candlestick Park.
From Yelp: “Harvey likes this park. He wishes he could still go except his parents don’t want to pick those fox tails out of his paws and nose. Waiting for fox tail season to subside is a long hard wait.” Honestly, I’ll be shocked if we find this point of interest.
Seward Street Slides
Grab your card board and go for a slide! Having fun? Thank the creativity of then 14-year-old Kim Clark, who won a “Design the Park” competition in the early 70s. In the early 80s one slide was painted yellow and the other red. A certain tour guide preferred the red.
Eureka Valley Recreation Center
Did you bring your magnet? There’s a patch of dirt here where you can pull iron filings with a magnet. Interesting!
573 Castro St. Built in 1894, this is the former home and business of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay supervisor (and probably the first openly gay politician of any sort) of San Francisco. In 1978, he and mayor George Moscone were killed by former supervisor Dan White after White lost his appointment. This case is most famous for White getting a light sentence after successfully pleading a diminished capacity in what the media have called the Twinkie Defense. The full story has a lot of interesting angles, most notably that the defense had nothing to do with twinkies, but also appearances from Rev. Jim Jones, Joan Baez, Dianne Fienstein, and Willie Brown.
The Vulcan Steps rate among the best of San Francisco’s stairways. Nearly two blocks long, the steps are carefully tended by the people who live along them. The gardens are magnificent and in places resemble a jungle.
Josephine Randall, San Francisco’s first Superintendent of Recreation, founded this museum as a place for youth to develop a love of science. We’re in luck, because Saturday is the only day that the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club’s train layout is open.
Buena Vista Park
Founded in 1867, this is San Francisco’s oldest park. Some of the gutters are lined with fragments of victorian era tombstones.
This would be a good place for tacos. 710 Ashbury was home to the Grateful Dead and was designed in 1890 by Cranston-Keeting. That Cranston was grandfather of former US Senator Alan Cranston (famous for taking $1M from Charles Keating in the Savings and Loan scandals and also for being president of the World Federalist Association, an organization pushing for world government).