I’ve been hard at work on a big project, so my plan for today was to log some foot miles to the chiropractor, and try to vary my route from the norm a bit to cover streets I haven’t yet…

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Starting off in the Mission: And here I thought I was tough, walking all over the city every day! People who have way better lung capacity than I do, aka, San Francisco Half-Marathoners at 16th and Mission Streets… 
San Francisco Marathon runners at 16th and Mission Streets

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Urban juxtaposition. Davies Symphony Hall reflected in graffitied window across the street…

Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall reflected in a graffitied window across the street

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Sculptures framing the Van Ness entryway of City Hall…

statue on the front of San Francisco's City Hall

statue on the front of San Francisco's City Hall

ramp leading from City Hall

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The Mural in Progress is… in progress!

mural in progress on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco

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This house in Nob Hill is all-inclusive in it’s warding practices; (mauve) green man and red door…

green man house protector

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A stop to visit the Flood Fountain in Huntington Park…

detail of Flood Fountain in Huntington Park in San Francisco

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Huntington Park is named for Collins P. Huntington, one of the “Big Four” entrepreneurs of the Central Pacific Railroad, and the park occupies the city block where his mansion stood before it was destroyed by the fires following the 1906 earthquake. I noticed a plaque for the first time today commemorating the park’s 100th birthday this year—the land was donated to the city by his widow in 1915 for the purpose of establishing the park.

Roses on the park grounds…

roses in Huntington Park in San Francisco

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Another Barbary Coast plaque on the corner of California and Mason…

Barbary Coast shield outside of Huntington Park in San Francisco

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City view from the Mark Hopkins Hotel…

city view from the Mark-Hopkins hotel

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Which brings us to California and Powell, just in time for…

Note the screeching brakes at the very end—every day is an Arm Day if you’re a cable car driver!

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The cable car inspired me to just walk straight down Powell through the tourist-y area, which I usually avoid because of the crowds and the selfie sticks, but it does have some pretty buildings and a lot of kinetic energy to soak up if you’re in the right space for it…

buildings on Powell Street above Union Square

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graffiti tag on old building on Powell Street

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Non-vintage neon, carrying on a proud tradition…

Lori's Diner sign, detail

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looking up Powell Street from Union Square

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Coming up upon Union Square and…

The Westin St. Francis, older than Huntington Park by just a decade (1904), and the second-oldest hotel in San Francisco… The original building suffered only minor damage in the 1906 disaster, but was quickly rebuilt, re-opening just a year later.

I’m always super curious about who’s visiting and why they are in town when I spot another country’s flag alongside the stars and stripes… I know that it signifies that a foreign dignitary is staying at the hotel, but a little digging says that the second flag sometimes commemorates a the anniversary of historical event, or some major event happening around the world that day… (Anyone have more complete and/or accurate info? Please let me know in the comments!)

flags outside the Westin St. Francis

flags outside the Westin St. Francis

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I like a good vintage neon sign (which is fairly obvious if you’ve read any previous posts), and this one is a really great vintage neon sign…

Marquand's newspaper shop neon sign on Powell Street

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There is no longer a newsstand on the corner of Powell and O’Farrell—”Before it was a smoke shop, the store was a haberdashery,” and coincidentally, it now sells logo caps—but when the space changed hands about a decade ago, planners (thankfully!) saw fit to make sure the sign was preserved, and had it protected…

Marquand's newspaper shop neon sign on Powell Street

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I liked this sentiment, from an article about I found while digging for info, about a night time photographic scavenger hunt for neon signs held last year (sounds like fun… and a good idea for a future walk…):

“San Francisco is a small city made up of dozens of historic commercial corridors, and somehow a lot of our historic neon is intact—even in places where the businesses have changed,” (architectural historian Shayne) Watson says. “Marquard’s Cigar Store in Union Square is a good example … Buildings can be altered and updated to the point that they are unrecognizable as historic, while neon signs—even if they lose their neon and have a little patina—are time capsules.”

Marquand's newspaper shop neon sign on Powell Street

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Such great craftsmanship, love it!


Where should I go tomorrow?


  • MILES WALKED: 6.3 miles
  • NEIGHBORHOODS: Mission District, Civic Center, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Union Square
  • DESIGNATED LANDMARKS: City Hall (no. 21), Mark Hopkins Hotel (no. 184)

map of July 26 2015 walk