Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Escape to Mission Bay

On another hot winter day, we walked from the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero to the Giants baseball stadium last Saturday.

At McCovey Cove behind the ballpark, we ran into people who had just experienced "Escape From AT&T Park 2018," presented by a Japanese company that specializes in thematic, puzzle-based escape rooms. I asked one woman if she had successfully escaped and she said, "No, I felt like I was stuck in the seventh rung of hell for an hour. I like escape rooms, but it didn't mix well with baseball." A colleague at work who attended an evening session of the same event disagreed. "It really helped to know something about baseball in solving the clues, and my group was part of the one-third who succeeded and made it to the bleachers where we watched all the clueless ones stuck on the field."

We continued walking up Third Street where the newly created Mission Bay neighborhood is rapidly rising around UCSF hospital and research buildings.

It is too bad that so many of the new buildings are brutally ugly from the outside...

...as is the new SF Police Department headquarters looming like a black heart.

Some of the new housing seems inviting...

...but it looks more like a suburban office park in a David Cronenberg film than a vibrant cityscape.

The strangest detail was the almost complete lack of pedestrians on the wide sidewalks. We finally saw some a block away on Fourth Street, and yelled, "Real people. Let's go over there."

3 comments:

marcos said...

these "neighborhoods" tick all of the amenity boxes of the new urbanist paradigm, wide sidewalks, transit, street trees, ground floor retail, yet they exist amidst a grinding sterility.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear marcos: You put it much better than I. Part two of this post will feature SPARK, the food truck hangout on Fourth Street that has become the de facto neighborhood community center by being the opposite of "grinding sterility."

Rachel said...

Yeah, I work near there and the lack of people and life itself is always so strange! It feels like a movie set of what someone thinks a city should look like.