Today I had one of my firsts! Driving into SF city proper by myself... in my manual car. I somehow came to this otherwise unthinkable decision owing to a few factors. Time of the day: 10AM on a Saturday (minimum risk for other cars) Location: A park at top of hill in Pacific Heights (probably nobody will show up at 10 AM (minimum risk for other cars) Almost impossible to reach by public transportation in a timely manner (so I can get up later in the morning) And so I ventured gingerly towards town on a bright Saturday morning after downing a few Onigiri's.
My hearts started pounding even before I got off the 101. As I was approaching the exit into town, I could feel my eardrum thumping rapidly and my palms started sweating. Thankfully as I approach the first major uphill road (with multiple intersections in between), I realized that if the cars keep a certain pace, the green lights up one after another as if leading us onto the top smoothly. So I followed the pace of the cars in front of me, and successfully made it to level ground with no incident! (I did have to keep in 2nd gear, because I was paranoid of having to brake for cars trying to cut into my lane) Anyhow, as I was approaching within one block of the park, I was asked to turn left by GoogleMaps, I signaled and glanced left and saw a big incline... along with several cars lined up for the traffic light.... so I immediately drove straight ahead. The 2nd intersection was the same, even with anti-slipping markings on the pavement! Now I fully grasp why the description said sweeping views of the the city and alcatraz...it is on top of the hill alright. In the end I parked my car on level ground the just walked up the hill so I don't put any unsuspecting cars/people at risk.
The view was indeed splendid! Although I did need a few moment to calm myself down after the intense drive. It was also my first time hearing and seeing a woodpecker for real! I heard this knock knock sound when I just started working on my first piece, and the sketchers beside me chatted, "Oh, look at that woodpecker working, always so busy". And then when I asked, they kindly pointed out its location to me the uninitiated. I did try to contain my excitement ;P
(Alcatraz is hidden just behind the building on the right hand side)