Retro Post: 10 Years Ago Today, 2-Aug, Part 4

For the next few weeks, we’ll be observing an anniversary: 10 years since we left San Francisco and moved to Ann Arbor. I’ll repost articles Frank and I wrote at that time for our Ann Arbor blog, aSquared. Bittersweet, very definitely they will be, bittersweet.

‘[It’s aSquared’s First Birthday … we’re celebrating by looking back at events from a year ago … skip these retro posts if you’re not into sentimentality.]

‘The stairway walks are fabulous, but they totally kick your ass …

Things I’ll miss, #6

Stairway walks. San Francisco has more than 350 stairways, some of them obvious landmarks like the Lyon Steps, some of them completely hidden discoveries, like the series of stairs that winds through the neighborhoods above Castro and 17th Street, or the amazing convoluted stairway walk through the parkland at the edge of Glen Canyon Park that starts at Portola Drive and ends by dropping you out into Glen Park. You feel like you’re in an entirely separate landscape, bucolic and almost completely divorced from the general tumult of the urban cage that San Francisco can be.

‘I discovered these walks through my friend Steve C., who had a well-worn copy of Adah Bakalinsky’s Stairway Walks in San Francisco when he lived here. We both took the walks, individually and separately, and for me, the walks were a great form of exercise, a great way to do some weekend socializing, a kind of permissible semi-voyeurism (some of the stairs wend through some semi-private nooks of the city that most people wouldn’t bother searching out), and, of course, a great way to see the City.

‘One big regret I have is that I never took the long city-wide walk that Bakalinsky outlined. Another is that I didn’t do all of the walks.

‘—Posted by Frank at 21:37:09 | 2-Aug-03’