Friday, May 09, 2008


Saints and Sinners-- and Sanity Checks

Interesting view from my hotel room-- the cathedral, Alcatraz, the Coit Tower, and a few "adult" entertainment venues--- here they are, shot at twilight---- all in all, not a bad metaphor for a city that embraces, if not celebrates its less-than-mainstream and colorful history, from the Barbary Coast Trail, to the "earthy" lives of the Gold Rush Era, to the Haight and the Castro in modern times.

This is a city of glorious churches and pristinely-restored architecture... and backstreets that give even-urban-landscape-loving me more than a few moments of hesitation.

I admit to walking several blocks out of my way last night to avoid using what my street map said was the shortest route-- because the shortest route didn't feel safe to me, and a very wise man one counseled me to trust my instincts in situations like that, even when I can't pinpoint what is making me uneasy. That sometimes your subconscious picks up on things that you can't quite identify.

I'm not a chicken, but when you're a woman walking around in a strange city visibly carrying a high-end camera and lenses, walking five or 6 blocks out of the way (or taking a cab after dark) isn't cowardice, it's common sense. I won't let fear keep me from doing things, but I do take reasonable precautions.

Ironically, I've never really had a dangerous moment on the road-- but I've been robbed at knife point outside my branch bank and had my home broken into while I was inside-- both when I was "safe" at home. I've never been physically hurt by a stranger, but there have been people I thought were "friends"..... but that's a story for another day. Maybe another lifetime...

Well, it's time to pack up my bags and move on to the next leg of JP's Mental Health Tour. I need to go pick up my rental car and head North, then East. then South, then West, then North again.

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