Pearls Night Out
the perfect little parklet
From the sand to the grape vines to the city lights, this weekend was one disorienting game of landscape roulette. I left the South Bay for my sister’s bachelorette party in the quaint town of Yountville, wine country, where the festivities included a flurry of buttery baked goods (thanks Bouchon Bakery), vino, hot-tubbing, more vino, non-traditional shaped straws, and breast-pumping. Yes, I said breast-pumping: bachelorette parties take on a slightly different shape when most everyone has a ring on their finger, though I would take a relaxed girls weekend over matching a feather boa-wearing, bride-to-be shot for shot any day. Anyhow, the scenery was pristine as we dodged puddles traveling from one tasting to another and celebrated the fast-approaching nuptials of the best sister ever. White-belted cows, umbrellas, not a dumbbell in sight…I couldn’t have felt farther from L.A.
That is, until we returned to San Francisco. The sights and sounds of the city provided a new set of visual stimuli. Neon lights, specialty ice cream shops, yellow cabs…I had the trolley cables vibrating underneath my feet and the hum of traffic passing overhead on the Bay Bridge. For fear of forgetting that I wasn’t on familiar Pier Avenue, I didn’t dare plug in my headphones. The constant movement kept my senses sharp and it was then that I noticed an element of the city that I could really appreciate: their innovative planning of public spaces. My favorite? The pedestrian nooks called “parklets,” which essentially sacrifice parking spots in order to provide outdoor seating and foliage. They act like mini parks, adding an aesthetic and social dynamic to an otherwise concrete landscape. I would love to see these parklets pop up right here in the South Bay…the closest one we can experience for ourselves is in Long Beach; however, this specific project is intended to be used only by customers of the participating businesses, which I think defeats the purpose. Anyhow, I enthusiastically enjoyed watching people congregate in unusual places, yet my time weaving in and out of the hilly streets was coming to an end…
Before I could witness Giants fans in their happy hour stupor, I was back on a plane headed to LAX. Back to Hermosa. Back to a world between the ocean and PCH. Wherever my bike takes me, a story is sure to follow.