I'll start with another from my trip to visit my sister in San Fransisco. Those of you who know me, know that I love cities. While I am equally at home camping or out in the country side, I will always live in or very near a major city. I am drawn to the endless opportunities to see and meet new people from all walks of life and frankly you just never seem to get that outside of cities. I love that around ever corner can be a completely new scene. My favorite way to travel to new places is not to research all of the "must do" tourist sites but rather to get a good map and a feel for what types of neighborhoods there are. Then I figure out the public transportation system and start walking around aimlessly. Driven by hunger and a desire to find good food I will roam with a few cameras and pretend I just moved to the area and start looking for anything that catches my interest. This method of visiting a new place does sometimes send me into random and dangerous place, it can result in an entire day of boredom. But it also leads me to find some really great places that most tourists don't ever see.
Years ago when traveling to San Fransisco with a good friend, we meet up with my friends friend (follow that?) at a little cafe on Delores St. right next to Delores Park. I was immediately drawn to the park. Nothing more than a grassy area on a hill with a few tennis courts on one end, it isn't anything special to look at. What drew me to the park was the swarm of humanity that gathers there. From young to old, hippies to the reserved. People enjoying a nice picnic to those selling "medicinal brownies". They don't gather there for a specific reason on most days as far as I can tell. I have visited the park many times on all of my trips to San Fransisco and have never seen an event going on. But everyday week day when the weather is nice people gather after work. Every weekend there is a mass of humanity. Everyone is just hanging out. It's simply brilliant. I am not the most well traveled person, but thus far I have never found a public space like this. Yes central park in NYC has tons of people hanging out, but it is so vast you can easily avoid everyone else if you want. I am sure there are part and times when vast crowds gather, but not like at Delores park. There is just something different going on and I like it!
Holga, Ilford HP5