A Walk Through Yerba Buena Gardens

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, at Mission and Third Streets.

It’s amazing what a difference it can make in your morning if you just walk a few blocks off of your normal path. I take a carpool car into the city from the East Bay, and usually walk down First Street over to Mission, then up to work across Market near Union Square. This morning I took a different route and stayed on Howard Street all the way up to Yerba Buena Gardens. 

This moment, was, for me, one of those quintessential San Francisco moments.

I cut through the Yerba Buena Center walkway between Howard and Mission and was delighted to find a group of people dancing and waving scarves. Their moves were similar to tai chi, but this was more of a meditative dance than that ancient exercise. 

Dancers move in tandem to the music as they wave scarves in a contemplative dance.

I paused to watch them for a minute. A homeless man was seated nearby, and he was watching their sinuous, coordinated moves with what looked like a smile on his face. I took a few photos of the dancers, then moved on, not wanting to make him uncomfortable with my photo-taking. 

This moment, was for me, one of those quintessential San Francisco moments. I took a different path, and was treated to an early morning cultural experience, and I was momentarily interacting with one of the city’s usually unnoticed residents. 

Scarves wave and feet move as early morning dancers start the day with movement and music.

As I turned into Mission Street, I was thinking how nice a morning this was turning out to be. Once on Mission, the hurry and scurry of the morning commute soon eclipsed the peaceful walk I’d taken through the garden behind me. But I had a smile on my face as I waited for the light to change as I crossed Market Street. And that’s what stays with me now. San Francisco, a city like no other, had charmed me once again.