For the day then, we were aiming for bikes, a means to reach the Golden Gate Bridge and to fill up a reasonable chunk of a day. With that in mind we started walking, though again the grid that should confound no man did for us and we wound up heading somewhat overly eastward. Through the banking finance bit on our way to the ocean front.
It was on this wonder that the uglyness of San Francisco was revealed in a way that has seen it live with me so long after, not the homeless, the drug addicted or even the abandoned disabled but here in the finally clean streets, the smart glass high rises and the even paving stones. This was the striking thing, here within no great amount of walking distance at all there was no poverty, no living symptom of poverty had migrated here and why not.. that was the first question that came to mind, the later and more enduring one that came to be formed – this was a city with money, it had the means to look after this bit of town, it had means to keep it clean, it had the taxes these glass towers must support, it kept the tourist walkways along the promenade pretty darn pristine and it didn’t sully these areas with the presence of the poor. It had the means. This city, it wasn’t just looking the other way, the only conclusion that made any sense, deliberate pruning and kettling was at play. They acknowledged their tired, their poor, their huddled masses yearning to breathe free – so that they might shut them into their own little quarter, to dwell openly among their own and not impose the undesirable sight of their existence upon the suits and travelers.
Still there were nice bridges and this ocean front bit was really quite nice.