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Friday Slide Show: A Stroll on Hyde Street Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

22 April 2022

We devour the news each day. It's how we accumulate items for our Around The Horn column each day, of course. But we don't stop there. We don't stop at all, really. We just keep reading, watching and listening.

There is, we've noticed, a certain inclination in some circles (TV news, especially) to play up the worrisome without exploring the subject very much. As if once you're worried about the problem, you'll only be bored by any attempt to resolve it. Before you know it, they're on to the next tease.

So every day we get the feeling the sky is falling. But when we look up, all we notice is that a cloud may be floating by. A bird sometimes darts under it. A plane may be cruising at altitude. Nothing is falling, though.

Of course, big cities have big problems. But big problems like crime and homelessness aren't unique to any particular city. San Francisco is not the only city where cars are broken into, cameras stolen and people sleep in tents on the street. Yes, it happens here but it happens in every big city and not just there, either.

Still, aren't we just a little nostalgic for the good old days, you might wonder.

We could hardly take two steps without seeing something amusing or charming or odd.

There were no good old days, really. There have always been big problems. Large collections of human beings are never without them. Sometimes things improve, sometimes they get worse.

Earlier this week we decided we had spent far too many hours in a chair so we resolved to get a little exercise even though circumstances had taken us far away from our own neighborhood.

Were we worried about taking a walk with our camera on our shoulder in a different neighborhood? Actually we didn't give it a thought.

What we were thinking about was where to go, since we hadn't wandered around the northern slope of Nob Hill since at least the pandemic. We didn't spend much time thinking about that either. We just started walking north on Hyde Street. We would pass the California St. cable car line for starters, which seemed like a good photo opportunity. We could hardly believe we've been coming here for two months and still hadn't photographed a cable car.

Naturally, as we got to California St., a cable car rolled right by us, climbing up the hill at nine miles per hour. We'd just missed it and would have had to sit around waiting for the next one, which is not allowed under the international rules of going for a stroll.

So we kept walking.

As we climbed the hill to Sacramento St. we looked west and saw a charming set of buildings leading down to Van Ness and back up the hill. We crossed the street, took out our camera and lined up a shot.

Our photo walk had begun, camera in hand.

We could hardly take two steps without seeing something amusing or charming or odd. Something in short that would serve as a perfect souvenir of our stroll.

There was the street sign for the last block of Lynch, a lush unofficial stand of flora at a cable car stop, crosswalks merging with cable car rails, restaurants and stores, building details of another era, a charming atelior (who knew?) from another world and, of course, more than a few cable cars.

As we shot a few images of a passing cable car, the conductor gave us a wave. That hasn't happened since we were a little boy. Which is when we first fell in love with San Francisco.

If you need to remember modern life isn't all doom and gloom, take a little stroll. You just might fall in love again.

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