Urban Love The wind felt like a turbo fan against my face, and my hair was blowing in all directions. From the front of the boat I could see all of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and the ruler straight lines going up the hills that formed the mesmerizing city of San Francisco. The Blue Gold Fleet boat was cruising steadily on its way to Alcatraz Island from Angel Island. I leaned over the front of the railing to see the water rushing below all of my fears gone.
It was spring break of 2005 and I was spending it cruising the streets of San Francisco with my mom and dad. Although I grew up only two hours from this urban city I had only been to it once, and after four days in the city I never wanted to leave. The first day in the city we ventured from our hotel by Union Square to the nearby China Town, where I was amazed by the Chinese culture. I loved all of the stores with their poultry hanging from the window cases and the constant bustling of tourists and locals.
The next day I faced my fears and got on a boat to go on the Island Hopping tour on Angel Island and Alcatraz Island. I found Angel Island to be an amazing place with a great history behind it. I could have just sat and looked at the Island for hours it was so beautiful with its full trees and beautiful little bay, I almost forgot I was only a couple miles from the bustling city of San Francisco.
Then, on the boat to Alcatraz I realized how much I loved the metropolitan city of San Francisco. I loved the crowded streets and the cultural diversity and the fact that an escape to peace and serenity was only a short boat ride away on Angel Island. Coming from a very rural community where driving was a necessity I loved the dependence on public transportation like the street cars, buses and famous cable cars. After touring Alcatraz I was in awe of the history behind the island.
I pictured myself in the prison when it was open with high security criminals at arms length, I even stood in a cell that could have been home to a mass murderer; it was exhilarating. The third day was just a sit back and watch people day, where I saw some of the craziest things. I was exposed to the liberal beliefs of those in the city, when I saw over 30 bicyclists race down Market St. in protest for more bike lanes. I saw women that I think were really men, and I even saw a woman in authentic Chinese dress. We could have sat and watched people for hours, but instead decided to take a drive to San Francisco State.
After taking many wrong turns we arrived at the secluded campus of San Francisco State. Upon walking around the campus I fell in love with the quiet and relaxing atmosphere. We were in the middle of an urban city and yet standing in the quad, I could hear nothing but the sound of birds chirping. I was amazed that such a beautiful and green school could be in the middle of a concrete jungle like San Francisco. I knew from that point on, I wanted to live in this city. That whole night in the hotel I kept picturing myself living in the city and taking busses to work and the muni to class, or riding my bike to visit the site of the worlds fair and sit on the grassy knoll and gaze at the beautiful architecture. \
The last day, we stopped at the Legion of Honor where from the front of the museum I could see all of San Francisco and was moved by the diversity in the buildings. It was like the buildings were describing the people, they showed the diversity of the people. That landscape was better than any painting found inside of the museum. That spring break was better then any spring break I could have had at some crazy beach party. It made a lasting impression on me and ever since I try to find any excuse to go to San Francisco.
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