Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Presidio – An escape from within

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Officers quarters at Presidio, fog covered Golden Gate bridge in the backround

Officers quarters at Presidio, fog covered Golden Gate bridge in the backround

For me, San Francisco is a pretty city with great food. But, the traffic gets on my nerves. Before our household got a GPS assistant, going to the city invariably meant an argument – about taking the one way only turn, and not finding a parking that cost less than the meal. Now, at least we avoid taking the wrong turn and if we do, we are not pathetically lost.

Presidio, the birthplace of San Francisco, is an escape from bickering and chaos associated with navigation and parking while preserving the beauty of the city. It is no hot spot for food or people watching. Even on a busy weekend, there aren’t many people. Although I did once notice a red leather clad woman in high heels, walking down the empty streets of Presidio – a sight that elicits a response like “jello on springs”. But that was a rare apparition. In general, you will enjoy a walk by yourself among old military relics.

Old building not yet renovated

Old building not yet renovated

The old officers quarters are being renovated and turned into office spaces. So, there is an odd assortment of tenants here, mostly non-profits and charitable trusts. Lucasfilm of “Star Wars” fame is headquartered in a new building near Letterman hospital complex. Even George has designed his building to blend in with the old architecture. Walking by, you may even miss his famous Letterman Digital Arts Center were it not for the statue of Yoda.

Palace of Fine Arts as seen from Lucasfilm Center

Palace of Fine Arts as seen from Lucasfilm Center

The landscape is also being modernized. In 1800s, the military had set about converting the sand dunes of Presidio into its current forests – “evenly-aged” marching trees dominated by eucalyptus. A more thoughtful revitalization of the old forests is now taking place – with an idea towards sustainable, “unevenly-aged” healthier forest while preserving the military character of tree alignment.

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Written by Som

October 14, 2009 at 9:02 pm

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