Today is a play day (sort of). Which means a trek through Golden Gate Park.

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In many ways, San Francisco is a wonderland. One locale in the city that is always on parade is Golden Gate Park, which runs three miles east to west, and half a mile north to south. Its 1,017 acres make it 20 percent larger than New York's Central Park. 

Our park ends at the Ocean, so I'd say that's another wonderful advantage. It's far side ends in the Haight, which is why it was once a hippy haven ("Once"? Frankly, it still is. Everything changes, and stays the same).

GGParkNorthWindmill2We'll park at one end, and meander through it, down to the other. In the meantime, we'll pass the archery field, the Frisbee Golf grove, merry-go-rounds, drumming circles,  roller blade dancers, both The DeYoung Fine Arts Museum and the California Academy of Sciences, the first home of the San Francisco 49ers (Kezar Stadium) and several lakes (Stowe, for rowers; Spreckels, for those who are running their minature yachts, or sailing their miniature sail boats), not to mention a herd of buffalos. groves of picnickers, and a windmill or two.

Our own favorite passtime is discovering the wooded nooks and crannies; serene groves where one can lose oneself  in a good book, while lolling on a blanket, or sprawling on one of the many benches that you'll come across.

The park was concieved in the 1870s, and hosted several public expositions, of which some of its historic buildings remain (the flower conservatory,and its renowned Japanese Tea Garden are but two).

Strybing_Arboretum_trailAnd to think the park might have never happened, had San Francisco's silver barons gotten their way: they lobbied hard for a race track!

 

Now, go out and discover something new,

— Josie

 

 

Below, the architecturally renowned California Academy of Sciences


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San Francisco has its own version of Jardin des Tuileries…

 

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That old adage "be careful what you wish for" never scared me, possibly because when I set my mind to something, it comes true.

Recently I posted this wonderful Henri Cartier-Bresson photo on my Facebook page, with the caption "This is how Paris looked today. (Well, a girl can dream, can't she?)"

One of the comments it garnered came from Lila Tadjer, who lives in Paris. She tells me that yes, today it is raining there–

And mentioned how much she loves my city of San Francisco as well.

Here's hoping she visits again, soon.

If she does, I hope she will take time to walk through our Golden Gate Park, which is home to both the DeYoung Museum of Fine Art and the California Academy of Sciences.

Between them, in the Music Concourse, is nestled our very modest version of Paris' Jardin des Tuileries

Granted, it is modest compared to Paris's large, stately garden and its fountains, which is a respite both for Parisians and its visitors. In a city filled with architectural eye candy, it is one of Paris's most pleasing sights: lounging chairs for those who want to soak up the sun, and large silver balls bobbing in the wake emanating from the fountain's gurgle. Every now and then you'll catch a phrase or two in a foreign accent. It is, truly, a crossroad of the world….

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But on a clear, warm day in December, when it is cold and drizzling in Paris, I'll take Golden Gate Park.

The best of both worlds,

— Josie

(Below: The Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco)

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