Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Aquatic Park and Fisherman's Wharf

One of our favorite places in San Francisco is Aquatic Park. This was where we first noticed some of the effects of the broken economy in the City. We saw many projects that just seem to have been started and then work teams walked away, when money ran out. It was kind of eerie really, it did not look like anyone was coming back anytime soon either. The City seemed to be in a slump, maintenance needs to be done, watering would help in lots of places but, the things God created looked as beautiful as ever.

My view from my park bench where I sat and did absolutely nothing but ponder and reflect for over two hours. It was an amazing experience and I left feeling extremely grateful for all of our blessings. I cannot think of a time I have done this before but I will definitely do it again someday. It was powerful and uplifting.

While I did the above, Jim went to the Hyde Street Pier and
toured the Balclutha pictured below.
He loves to visit those old ships. Me? Not so much.

Both of these areas are near Fisherman's Wharf. To me it is the most over-rated area in San Francisco. I have never seen the attraction to it. It is old, dirty, smells terrible and is a big disappointment in my opinion. I feel bad that so many tourists spend precious travel time there.
I think it is a lot like Times Square in New big deal for all the hype.

One time we were traveling in Belgium and we came across this great place and both Jim and I felt this is what Fisherman's Wharf should be like. This is in Brussels and is on one of the approaches to The Grande Place. It is very fishy~like Fisherman's Wharf, but it is clean, attractive, does not smell and is inviting. There are men dressed in tuxedos beckoning you in for a taste of their fabulous seafood cuisine. This is Brussels... and our girls, Jen and Laura.

Below is Fisherman's Wharf in SF: (It is looking way better than usual in these photos as it is about 7:30 am and nothing is happening yet. Just imagine jamming several hundred tourists into the mix!) Ugh!

I realize that this is a quasi working wharf, turned tourista trap, but it is just not appealing at all. Part of the problem, in my opinion is, there is not a woman's influence to be felt anywhere in the area! The one redeeming thing is the little boats berthed here on the other side of the wharf.

To view San Francisco as you would really like it, I recommend this book by Bonnie Wach. It is great and gives a narrative account (that is missing from a lot of touring books) of many of the places to see and things to do in the City. We loved it and found some new places because of it.