Locomotoring

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

Posts Tagged ‘Walking Tour

Palo Alto, A Joy of Exurbia

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Cakes at SAtura Bakery, Palo Alto, CA

Cakes at Satura Bakery, Palo Alto, CA

Aside from being one of the most expensive real estate areas in US that allows them to keep the riffraff out, Palo Alto is also the home of one the best universities in the world, the Stanford University.  Its campus, although not as beautiful as the old and dilapidated Berkeley, is home to a wonderful museum, The Cantor Arts Center. This museum comes together with the second largest Rodin collection in the world – an outdoor bronze sculpture garden and indoor collection of wax and terracotta pieces. Rodin was a bit of subversive artist in his times and was considered progenitor of modern sculpture, so now that we are in a modern world, his art reaches out to normal folks who are totally uneducated about mythologies and scriptures. Gates of Hell is a particularly awe inspiring piece that has nearly 200 individual sculptures, including a miniature Thinking Man. In this exurbia devoid of any public collections of great art, this museum is charming.

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Fisherman’s Wharf – to love or to leave

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Touristy wharf

Touristy wharf

Are you a San Franciscan? Do you stay away from the wharf because you consider it to be touristy?

Tell me this – what is not to like at the waterfront – one of the best views as far as eyes can see, and loaded with history too. Yes, the touristy stores. They are there everywhere including Chinatown. They have large banners in front of them screaming “touristy”, so not too hard to avoid, right? And the performance artists, they are amusing if not fascinating.

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Three hours at Mission District of San Francisco

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A street in Mission District

A street in Mission District

After doing the touristy spots of the Wharf and North beach, Nob Hill, Chinatown and Union square, what is the next best thing San Francisco city has to offer. Is it the Golden Gate park or Crissy Field? In my mind, it is the Mission District. But it is a bit overwhelming to plan and navigate if you are new to the place. And, yes, it can be a bit scary seeing the run down buses and ghetto neighborhoods if you take a wrong turn. So, let me take you on a short walking tour that will be fun and full of local flavors.

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Mural hunting in Mission District

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Mural in SFO

Mural in SFO

I had seen some of the Mission murals when I had been in the neighborhood. But never before had I made any special effort to go see the Murals. So, last weekend I decided to rectify the matter. There are several murals in the Mission District – on 24th street, Mission, Valencia, on the Women’s Building. But there are two main hotspots for murals in Mission District, one is Balmy Alley and the other is Clarion Alley.

Balmy Alley, is right in the middle of the Latin American community on the 24th Street, surrounded by cool cultural icons like the Galleria de La Raza and Precita Eyes.

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Life in a California Mission: on a summer afternoon

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A side street in Mission District

The cemetary at Mission Dolores

Last weekend, I needed to get out of exurbia again. And I really needed to do something different, something other than hiking or shopping. After searching high and low for some days, I found a tour of Mission Dolores, arranged by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. The walk was named “Father Serra, Graves and Vigilantes” and promised to lead us through the Mission, the oldest standing building in San Francisco city, the 20th century parish church next door with its beautiful stained glass windows and the cemetery in the back, the only remaining cemetery in the city with graves of Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, victims of Vigilantes and Gold Rush immigrants.

I am not your typical guided tour enthusiast. It conjures up memory of a bus load of people on a tour where they don’t even step down from the bus. Besides, the memory of my Bangkok tour guide was still raw.

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India and King George V

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Coronation park

Coronation park

Brits left behind not only the railways, an education system design to mass produce petty bureaucrats, and cricket, but also a number of statues of king George V and others who bore the white man’s burden bravely. So what did we desis do to those statues after August 15, 1947? Why, we carefully arranged them on pedestals in the Coronation Park where old George had announced his coronation to the assembled flunkeys on Jun 22, 1911.

The little enclosure in Coronation Part with the statues is still maintained, after a fashion, by some little remembered part of the bureaucracy. The lawns are mowed, the trees are trimmed, the statues look in good repair … it was creepy.

Written by Sachin

January 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Delhi, India

Tagged with , ,