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Friday Slide Show: A Walk in the Valley Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

11 October 2019

The house was like an oven the other day and the patio like Death Valley. The escape plan was to take a walk over the hill and down the other side to Noe Valley. We could wander around a while on the shady sides of the streets. And we could avoid climbing back up the hill in the heat by taking the bus back home.

We can report we executed that plan to perfection. But then, we've been practicing it for years.

The streets of once working-class homes in Noe Valley are as quiet as a gated community. Wandering is rewarding. Little details pop out, catch your eye, smile and seem to be posing for a minute. You snap discretely and move on with a smile yourself, careful not to disturb anything.

We saw cacti that resembled birds and others that reminded us of sharks. We were charmed by a pair of tall green windows that leaned back to graciously let a little breeze in. A car antenna with a faded old Smokey Bear stuck on the end faced the sunshine.

Wandering is rewarding. Little details pop out, catch your eye, smile and seem to be posing for a minute.

And then we crossed the street.

We stopped to frame an old house with a new addition, the two eras living with each other like generations under one roof. When we looked up a few steps down the street, we admired some gracious old woodwork getting refreshed. When we looked down, we noticed a box of mints left generously on a planter.

There was plenty of paint peeling from architectural details you can't find any more. But there was also a nicely-maintained cozy little private entrance that seemed like the opening chapter of a sophisticated romance.

When we sat down to rest, we could hardly relax.

We saw a modern bike rack bolted to the sidewalk staring right back at us. From the same seat, we spied a weather vane through the utility wires and the imposing grill of a big vehicle parked in the shade.

A favorite flower shop caught our eye from across the street as we continued our walk. And at the art store, three skeletons in the window made us laugh.

We wandered back up the other side to get a better shot of a bull sitting over a pizza shop. The sun had been behind it, making it into a silhouette with no detail. But coming up at it from the front, we could see its eyes and almost feel it snorting into the ground in front of us.

And still we didn't photograph everything that drew our attention. But we'll be back, we'll be back.

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