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   Volume 81 - Issue 32 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"Campfires need to be cool enough to touch to be considered 'out'."
- Karen Ritchie, SRD  
   
   

 

Story
Kimberley Massey photo
The SS Jeremiah O'Brien at Pier 39, and many many tourists.
New Girl In TownDuring the final week of July, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to San Francisco with three of my dearest friends.
To even begin to explain how amazing the trip was in a way that would bring justice to it is a task I fear I am not fully capable of.
What I can tell you is that visiting the vibrant city which is so full of culture and history made me compare it to the other places I have lived and visited, as I always do when I experience a new city.
There were two main experiences when it came to the areas of San Fran that we visited.
At times we would walk through neighbourhoods such as Mission, Haight-Ashbury, The Castro, Polk and Fillmore, which are rich in human and cultural history, and we would encounter a fair amount of fellow visitors wishing to be part of that.
Then there are areas such as Fisherman’s Wharf / Pier 39, Embarcadero, Civic Centre, and Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge, which see roughly 20 times the number of tourists as the previously mentioned neighbourhoods at any given moment.
While Golden Gate and Fisherman’s Wharf are places I suggest every visitor to San Francisco should visit - as they represent a significant and important part of the city’s story - the feeling of being jostled about inside a tourist trap can be hard to deal with.
The only experience I can liken the Wharf to would be if the Calgary Stampede lasted not ten days, but all year round.
There are street performers, bay tours, the Musée Mécanique (a museum filled with the world’s largest collection of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique penny arcade games), retired World War II ships, dozens of restaurants and street vendors offering up various types of seafood, an aquarium, the Marine Mammal Centre, sea lions, and shops upon shops filled with souvenirs and memorabilia.
While this can be exactly what visitors to the city are hoping to experience, especially if it is their first time, I can only imagine how tired it would all become after lengthened exposure.
 
It began to wear thin with me after having only been there for a couple hours.
When my friends and I would ask people on the streets or business owners where we should go and the types of places to hit up, the overwhelming majority suggested cool local shops, pubs and eateries, or just to take a walk around Mission, Castro and the Haight – almost every one of them cringed or scoffed at the idea of Fisherman’s Wharf or Golden Gate Park (with, of course, some exceptions).
This is similar to what I would say if someone asked me where to visit in Calgary.
If they asked about the Stampede, I would swiftly redirect them to 17th Avenue, 4th Street, Kensington, Inglewood, Marda Loop, or some other cool neighbourhood.
Story 1
Kimberley Massey photo
The Golden Gate Bridge
As I contemplate more on the differing types of tourism San Francisco has to offer, I can’t help but think of mountain communities such as Crowsnest Pass and Banff.
I strongly feel that Crowsnest Pass should capitalize on the abundant opportunities for geotourism which are available, as well as focusing more heavily on promoting the mining and human history of the area.
But I hope that in doing so, we can manage to steer clear of turning ourselves into another tourist trap, and offer a unique and rewarding tourism experience.
It would certainly be a shame to see the residents of this community grow to resent the tourism sector, like so many people in San Francisco – and even Calgary – have.
There’s a happy balance, and we should strive to reach it.
Love, Kimberley
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