There is nothing quite like the city of San Francisco. I’ve been here before for a convention and I lived across the bay during college so my fondness of this city is nothing new. In fact, it is old and quite sentimental. I don’t know that I’d want to move here because I HATE that dumb Arctic wind that sneaks through every hole in your sweater but I really like it here. It’s my kind of city.
San Francisco offers all the sophistication and excitement of a big city but it’s crammed into a very small space surrounded by water so you don’t really ever get lost. You can walk and walk and walk but you’re never going to end up completely directionless in a vast asphalt jungle of industrial parks like a lot of other cities.
It doesn’t have the endless sprawl of Los Angeles that wafts on forever through scary neighborhoods and blankets of smog. If you get lost here, you can just walk a few blocks and you’ll recognize something: the water, some big monumental building, a train track, a cable car, maybe that same bum you heard yelling at you earlier when you arrived via BART. I just don’t feel that scared here.
Let me clarify that. I don’t feel that scared here in the daytime. If I had to drop out of an airplane and land in some big city, I’d pick San Francisco. Even over Paris.
So you can imagine how glad I was when Angella of Dutch Blitz told me about this guided “shutterwalk” put on by the shutter sisters. Basically you just walk through the city and take photos but you’re in the safety and comfort of a bunch of other crazy photo snappers. I’m not sure if it was on the official blogher schedule. I think it was but I lost my schedule five minutes after I got it. Anyway it was fantastic. Possibly my most favorite thing of the whole convention.
I consider myself pretty hardy. I manage to keep up with a toddler who wakes up at the crack of dawn and then I stay up super late working on freelance projects all night. I sometimes take three walks a day and push a heavy stroller up and down hills. I carry groceries upstairs all by myself and I do the laundry (at a laundromat) that is a major pain in the neck. I might not run marathons or anything but I rarely complain about being tired.
So how is that a two-day conference of just sitting and talking and sitting and eating could exhaust me so? It’s not like I danced the night away at any of the parties either. What was my deal? Did I burn that many calories from flapping my mouth off all day long? It boggles me.
I was talking to Whoorl about it and she figured it had something to do with having to be “on” all the time. It must be mentally taxing to always be thinking of something witty to say. I have to agree with her. Even though I was not stressed out by the many many interesting conversations I had and I enjoyed myself immensely, I was more than ready for this convention to be over. It just wore me out! I have never wanted to go hole myself up in a quiet room more than I did on that second day.
And that is why this little walk to Chinatown was the best thing ever. I would strongly recommend it. I always forget how much better I feel after a breath of fresh(ish) air and a brisk walk.
Plus, I’m always up for a good adventure. Our guide was excellent. She took us down narrow alleys hung with laundry and decorated with graffiti. We ducked into a fortune-cookie factory the size of a closet and I paid fifty cents to take this picture.
I only wish I had a few more quarters to try a fresh hot fortune cookie. They smelled divine. Maybe next time. I’m definitely going to try and find that place again. More importantly I’m just going to try and remember that I need walks like this. It did me good.