I toured San Francisco on my bike today. I began in the Tenderloin District where Rich lives. He likes this area because it is “edgy” and “real.” This description from the Wikipedia seems pretty accurate from what I have seen:
There are a number of stories about how the Tenderloin got its name. One is that it is a reference to an older neighborhood in New York with the same name and similar characteristics. Another is a reference to the neighborhood as the “soft underbelly” (analogous to the cut of meat) of the city, with allusions to vice and corruption, especially graft. There are also some legends about the name, probably folklore, including that the neighborhood earned its name from the words of a New York City police captain, Alexander S. Williams, who was overheard saying that when he was assigned to another part of the city, he could only afford to eat chuck steak on the salary he was earning, but after he was transferred to this neighborhood he was making so much money on the side soliciting bribes that now he could eat tenderloin instead. Another version of that story says that the officers that worked in the Tenderloin received a “hazard pay” bonus for working in such a violent area, and that is how they were able to afford the good cut of meat. Yet another story, also likely apocryphal, is that the name is a reference to the sexual parts of prostitutes (i.e., “loins”).
I then road down past the City Hall:
And across the street I found this sculpture which must be the incarnation of the San Francisco definition of a “straight line” –
I then rode up Market Street towards the panoramic viewpoint on Twin Peaks hills and passed through the Castro district which is the famous “gay district.” They have erected a huge rainbow flag on the corner of Castro and Market:
It was quite a climb to the top of Twin Peaks. But it was worth it since it gives a wonderful panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately, the fog was pretty thick – it was blowing in from the ocean like thick smoke. And it was very cold – about 55F in July??? Here’s the best shot I was able to get – the entire city center was obscured by fog:
And here is what it looks like on a clear day (Google image).
I then rode down the opposite side of the hill and quite unexpectedly found myself on the corner of Haight and Ashbury!
And here is the original Haight-Ashbury headshop that is going out of business because it is now surrounded by copycats that have taken too much business:
And then I rode a few more blocks to the entrance to the Golden Gate park:
All in all, it was an excellent ride though I would have preferred a little more sunshine