Do you have a favorite walk? I am talking about walks not hikes. Is there one place or street that you really like to walk? I do. In fact I have a few. I think you always feel better about life after a nice walk in a favorite spot. Here are a few of my favorite walks.
City Creek Canyon, Salt Lake City. I like to walk up City Creek Canyon. The paved road is 5.75 miles long up to Rotary Park. The Canyon goes further than the park and there are hiking trails available for the adventurous soul. You start this walk by parking your car at the gate. Cars may only go up the canyon every other day. Even on car day you basically need a pass or reservation to drive up the canyon. Days that are not car day are bike days. You can walk the canyon on bike days and car days. Frankly, I prefer walking on car days because there is so little traffic where as there a zillion bikes on bike day. The walk up and down City Creek Canyon is terrific. The road is adjacent to the creek all the way up. There is a water treatment reservoir and a couple of small lake type reservoirs. After about a mile, you feel as though you are in the wilds, miles away from civilization when in fact you are only a couple of miles from downtown Salt Lake City. There is a distance marker about every half mile or so you know have far you have walked. There are deer and other critters up the canyon. I have walked around snakes on the road and one year there was a mountain lion up the canyon. If you live in the Salt Lake area you should take the time to walk City Creek Canyon.
Columbus Avenue, San Francisco. I like to start at the Transamerica Pyramid and walk down Columbus Avenue to the Cannery at Fisherman’s Wharf. You walk through the edge of China Town and through North Beach. There are numerous small restaurants and shops. I always like to stop in the City Lights Bookstore which has been around for more than 50 years and was a hangout for Allen Ginsberg and others of the 1950’s beat generation. Through much of the walk you can see Coit Tower high on a hill on your right as you are walking toward the Wharf. You pass Washington Square and the St Peter Paul Cathedral. More than a few times I have bought a Sunday newspaper and a cup of coffee and sat on a park bench in Washington Square reading and watching people do tai chi exercises on the lawn. Adjacent to Washington Square is Moose’s restaurant which I have eaten at a few times. It now has new owners and I have not been there since the ownership change. On Columbus Avenue the smell of coffee is everywhere and you find yourself stopping for a cup at one of the shops. I always stop at Biordi Art Imports to see their wonderful Italian pottery. I have bought a few pieces at Biordi’s over the years. As you walk down Columbusyou pass "The Stinking Restaurant" which is famous for garlic dishes. As you continue toward the Wharf, you pass bocce ball courts where you can see old men in caps and light jackets playing bocce ball. It has the feel of another country and another time. Finally you get to the Cannery and the Aquatic Park where people are flying kites and sitting on benches and walls and waiting in line for the Hyde Street Cable Cars. It’s a great walk.
Ocean Avenue, Carmel, CA. I have walked Ocean Avenue 20 or 30 times over the years. I always start at the top of Avenue and walk down the right hand side almost to Carmel Beach. When I get a street or two from Carmel Beach, I cross the Avenue and head back up the other side. The Carmel Avenue stroll has to be taken with a lover. You need to window shop while holding hands. You need to walk into art galleries and together pick out paintings and sculptures you would buy if you only had the money. You need to put your heads together in bakery windows trying to decide which baked delicacy has the fewest calories although you both know the answer is “none”. The last time I walked Ocean Avenue was in June 2010 during the US Open Golf Tournament. The Lovely Sharon and I had just played golf at course a few miles away. We were not scheduled to attend the US Open until the next day so we headed over to Ocean Avenue. It was a sunny afternoon and the Lovely Sharon and I took our time on the Avenue looking at shops and looking at people. When we walked by the Portobello Café there was an open table in the sun next to the sidewalk. We sat down and had a glass of wine and lingered in the afternoon sun. We started a conversation with the fellow at the next table and we were pleased to learn that he was one of the owners of the Cafe. After we were fortified by the wine we left the pleasant surroundings and headed up Ocean Avenue. More window shopping and strolling into shops as we walked. I think we actually bought something but I cannot recall for certain. I must say it was a memorable day, perfect weather, accompanied by a beautiful woman and in no hurry to do anything.
El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA. El Paseo is not far from our place at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert. The street has shops, restaurants, galleries, shoe stores, coffee shops, jewelry stores, day spas, and palm trees. In the center island of the street are various sculptures that seem to be replaced with other sculptures from time to time. The main shopping street is about a mile long. I have written before about eating breakfast at Café Des Beaux Arts, my favorite place for breakfast. Last Friday night (or was it Saturday night) the Lovely Sharon and I had dinner at Mama Gina’s Italian Restaurant. My favorite gallery to visit is the Coda Gallery although I do like to go into most of the galleries. I bought a bronze sculpture some years ago of a young boy in a swimsuit. I bought because it reminded me of Son Alex who, at the time, was about the same age as the sculpture boy. To this day, when I look at the sculpture in my Ironwood place I think of Son Alex who is now in graduate school at the University of Utah.
I am out of time but other walks I like are Madison Avenue in New York, Bond Street in London and the walk from Piazza Navona to the Spanish Steps in Rome. If you have a favorite wall leave a message.
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