Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to go Camera Walking in San Francisco with my father, who introduced this city to me so many years ago.
Usually, we are encouraging everyone to walk at a brisk pace after taking a photo. I want to encourage you to add variety and special experiences to some of your walks by slowing down!
Traveling with my 98 year old father gave me a new perspective to Camera Walking. He is still able to walk, but takes many stops along the way, sometimes really reflecting on the world as he sees it. Stopping for a rest is part of the adventure, but it still allows him an opportunity to get out and walk…taking in fresh air and moving around!
We spent a full day seeing a city that we have shared together for over 60 years. It was full of familiar views, yet we both noticed many little things that gave us smiles on this lovely day. I was able to capture the walk with my camera allowing me to embrace this special walk in my memory bank.
One thing I learned quickly is I had to have good walking shoes. I walked several miles to my father’s short distances. I was like an advance team looking for the next stop. I would walk ahead, get focused for our next stop, and then double back to advance my dad to the next stop. I also loved having my Samsung WB350 camera which was small and captured super pictures without a mass of heavy lenses. It is a joy to use this camera and so easy to carry!
It is easy to get around San Francisco with a transit pass that allows you the use of the Cable Cars and bus system. You can spend an entire day moving into different areas of the city and pick up on a walking route that gives you super views and experiences. Walking San Francisco is a very good walking guide with lots of interesting spots to explore.
North Beach has always been a fun area to walk.
There are so many wonderful restaurants, libation stops, and, yes, pastry shops. When you take the time to share a walk with an “elder statesman”, you really do see the sites through past memories. It is delicious, heartwarming, and so very special. With every stop we made, the proprietors loved hearing my father’s stories. At Rose Pistola, located at 532 Columbus Avenue, they really celebrated my father’s efforts to take a walk and enjoy his memories.
As we stopped by the Victoria Pastry Company, I realized that this historic icon was opened in 1914, two years before my father was born…and here he was, picking out the cookies he has enjoyed since he first came to San Francisco in 1936! This was a photo worth taking along our walk!
We found an old favorite restaurant in North Beach that brought back lots of fun memories. The Sotto Mare is a newer version of the old Italian restaurant that used to occupy this same space in the 1950-60s. Rarely does Camera Walking recommend restaurants, but this one deserves notice. They are famous for the “best darn chiopino in San Francisco” and it lives up to its reputation! Check it out the next time you go Camera Walking in this wonderful city!
I just want to leave you with these thoughts: It is not always how fast you walk that makes a difference in your health. Stopping to realize the beauty around you, the people in your life, and the memories of days gone by are really important to the health of your soul! Take some time to take that slow walk with a grandmother, grandfather, or a dear elderly friend. And take some photos of the places you have been and the places you see. Turn your Camera Walk into a wonderful reflection of memories gone by. It really is wonderful!