I am convinced I was a San Franciscan in my last life. The minute I stepped onto San Franciscan soil, there was a smile that was stuck on my face. It was stitched like a clown’s. I don’t know what it is about the place that draws me to it. The openness of the people for sure. The vibrancy of the city, definitely. The compactness, yeah yeah. Just that sprinkle of Gold dust on everything and everywhere.
I stayed two and half years in the city and I enjoyed myself to the hilt. I never got tired of incessant F car rides in downtown right up to Ghirardeli square. Coit tower excursion on a Saturday morning followed by lunch and shopping at Ferry Building farmers market (the organic nut brittle is to kill for). Walking to ocean beach and spending the few sunny days on Baker beach…oh gosh I could go on and on and on…
Anyway, I am not going to write about the touristy things, even though being a local I have done each over a million times. I am going to write about the model yatch races which take place at the Spreckels Lake in the Golden Gate Park. Just off 36th and Fulton is one of many man made lakes of the Golden Gate Park. Over the weekends (some weekday evenings as well) there are model yatchs being sailed. It’s the most beautiful sight there. Yatch of all sizes (small, mini, miniaturest) and shapes make their way through the clean waters of this lake. Zooming past each other and the turtles.
I, accidentally, stumbled upon this and was hooked on to it thereafter. It had been a month since I had moved and I was as still exploring the city. I had sat down with the map of the city and looking for a new place to visit when my roommate told me,”Hey, you’ve got to go see Spreckels”. At first, I looked at her blindly, what on earth was Spreckels. Seeing the blank look, she elaborated,”oh it’s the lake off 36th”. At the time I lived on 18th and Fulton which made it only a 20 minute walk. And when I reached, I was shocked at what I saw. There were a hundred people which by American standards is a crowd. And a hundred (ok that’s an exaggeration) small sail boats sailing in the lake.
Different sizes, shapes, colours and types. I am not a yatch expert so I cannot give you model numbers and other technical details but they were life like. I am sure they must be made to a proper scale down ratio because they looked so real. One of them in particular caught my eye. It was a deep bottle green with cream and beige interiors. The gold borders shone more brightly than the dome at Amritsar Golden Temple. And for a 24 inch little bugger it zoomed past at a million miles an hour. Then there was a simple white sail boat. The owner of which was new to the sport. For it kept falling down and a harrowed owner would keep getting it back up using a 10 feet bamboo pole. Some were electrical, some motor run, and some actually spewed out smoke. Sheer fascination.
The energy and vibes the created was something to die for. Children brought by their grandparents. Kids accompanied by parents. All frolicking and soaking in the sun (yeah, god has his days). Some were just mere spectators like I and other more emotionally and physically involved. There were actual professional races for seasoned veterans which occurred right in the middle of the lake, the novices stuck to the edges. The birds also seemed to be enjoying the visual for they kept whooping in or maybe it was just the crumbs left behind.
Is it any surprise that I haven’t had a single moment where I haven’t missed San Francisco ever since I moved two years ago. I’d do anything to move back to the magic. If you have any San Francisco related memory, please do share down below. Would love to read them.
All photos courtesy of Google.