San Francisco vacation - part 1.
This was not my first visit to San Francisco - previous attempts had ended in semi-catastrophe, taken at times in my life where positivity and focus were almost wholly absent. This trip, then, was pre-planned, a dedicated adventure in the city that has beguiled and tempted me since my early teens.
There is a famous image on the internet of a spooky old Victorian mansion perched precariously on a cliff over a beach, demonic clouds looming above - sadly the building, it turns out is no longer there, but the site - cliff house - remains and continues to be an equally bewildering and queer place as it is now, particularly with the hopelessly sad ruins of Sutro Baths next door - http://www.tumblr.com/blog/favouritecolours/sutro-baths
The most recent incarnation of Cliff House (little remains of the numerous predecessors - some embedded iron work and the camera obscura) is still worth visiting, the food is good, the local Trumer Pils delicious, the views of the Pacific is eternally moving, breath is taken and peace is found.
I walked out to the coast through the glorious Golden Gate Park - like most of this city, a smile and a ‘good day’ from everyone I met on the way - dawdled a while on the raw and majestic Ocean Beach and up the almost unchanged slope to Cliff house. Long gone the gift shops and Sutro’s art deco palace’s portal, but the pristine white, Georgian crispness of Cliff House still remains special, if only for its stubborn presence in this most wonderful location.