San Francisco is blessed to have many parks and open spaces. One of them is called Crissy Field.
If you are one of the 1.2 million people who stroll, cycle and walk dogs on the 1.5-mile promenade along the water with the view of Golden Gate Bridge every year, you know the place. I read about this in the article titled, “It’s Crissy Field’s Turn For a Green Redesign”, written by Peter Fimrite, which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, August 5, 2019. The number of people mentioned in the article surprised me, since the population of San Francisco is about 884,000. In the past, I visited Crissy Field only once or twice over many years, that is, until we got Max, and started to go there more often. It is part of Presidio National Park Service, and named in honor of Major Dana Crissy, who died trying to land on the airstrip, which was part of the Presidio airfield at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Presidio has served as a military reservation from its establishment in 1776 as Spain’s northern-most outpost of colonial power in the New World. But in 1994, it became a park and part of the Golden Gate National Reservation Area.
In 1997 the Park Service began the Crissy Field Restoration, starting with the removal of almost 90,000 tons of contaminated materials. Since then, Presidio Park continues to undergo extensive renovations with a plan to turn the 1,491-acre Presidio into a place teaming with wildlife. According to the article, “A redesign of sprawling Crissy Field will be one of the last puzzle pieces in a decades-long process by the National Park Service to turn the Presidio into a park friendly to both wildlife and humans”.
About a year ago, a friend told me that there is a group called SF Doodles, which meets once a month on Crissy Field. Max belongs to this group of dogs, which were developed by crossing different breeds with Poodles. The original purpose was to have a dog that is hypoallergenic. It started in 1989 in Australia, and now there are different hybrid breeds such as, Goldendoodles, Maltipoo, Yorkpoo, Pekapoo and others. They come in different sizes and have different traits, inherited from the original breeds. Though not all of the 1287 members of the Doodle meetup group come to monthly meetup, the crowd of people and their four-legged companions is quite lovely. You are welcome to join just for fun, if you don’t have a doodle, you can borrow one from a friend.
P.S. It seems that dogs have a good time here, running over Crissy Field, as four of these images can attest.
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Our house is located in the area of San Francisco called Monterey Heights, which became a neighborhood in early 1920s. It’s a five-minute walk down the hill to the commercial pocket, West Portal, and about a twenty-five minute walk up to the highest mountain in our city – Mount Davidson, which stands 738 feet above sea level. And in spite of the fact that the 103 foot high cross at the top of it can be seen from many areas of San Francisco, the mountain which is covered with lush vegetation, and the forest in the center of our city remains a big secret. Every time I have climbed to the top of the mountain, I did not see many people there. Before we got our dog Max, I would go there often on the weekends. My favorite time was before the sunrise, for the main reason to photograph, and I have quite a few interesting images of the sunrises and the fog covering San Francisco, which I have shared with my readers in previous postings. One of those images will appear in my next book, “42 Encounters with Love in San Francisco”; which you will be able to see in a few months (I want to keep you in suspense).
The reason I am writing about this magical mountain again is because of the article, which appeared on Sunday, August 4, 2019 in the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Carl Nolte, titled “Get Above the Insanity on Mountain Davidson”. The mountain was originally called Blue Mountain because of the flowers, which covered the bare hill. Adolph Sutro, the one time Mayor of San Francisco, who bought the land and the mountain in 1881, was responsible for planting trees. Thanks to him, there is a forest in the center of our city. It was renamed in 1911 after George Davidson, a surveyor and one of the founders of the Sierra Club. Madre Brown saved it as a public park by sending bouquets of wild flowers from Mount Davidson to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Nolte quotes someone whose name was James Decatur, who described his walk through Mount Davidson– “Peace and quiet were so profound that it seemed almost unbelievable that the noise and roar of a great city was only a few minutes behind.” It was written almost a hundred years ago, and still is true today.
P.S. In all of my comings here, I did not see wild flowers, however my camera “picked up” red flowers and berries. I am glad to share these four images with you. Do not wait for the new book to come out. You can start your own collection by going to Amazon.com and checking out the incredible reviews about my previous books, and to buy a gift for a friend.
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