The one thing I absolutely love about San Francisco is how ridiculously robust their transit system is. Seriously, those buses will take you anywhere in the town. I spent a day back in April doing random exploration of the city (for comic preparation, I swear). This was the first time I actually relied on Muni beyond a short hop from water to mall, and given the stories I've heard about the system, my standards were low. Needless to say, I stood corrected. The service is frequent (never have I seen nearly every other line be 10 minutes), and if it weren't for traffic, the most you'd be on is an hour.
Plus, riding one of the trolleybuses down a steep hill is as close to a coaster as you'll get in the city.
I have had a lot of cases involving barely missing the bus, waiting in the dark, or waiting forever to find it'll never show. I've become adept at intentionally walking the extra mile to catch a better line, or take a longer route under the assumption of more convenience.
April of 2012, I was visiting San Jose for my eventual move down. It was unexpectedly raining, my phone was dead, and I left my phone charger back home. I looked around Diridon Station for maps in the hopes of being able to find a way to family in the area. I also tried to get a new phone charger because, well, communication good.
To cut to the chase, I did get a cheap charger, and I pulled up a large map and traced a line from downtown. I did catch the line...albeit in the wrong direction. The bus ended in downtown at this sandwich shop (Lee's by SJSU if you're still keeping score). At this moment, it was pouring so I made a run for the sandwich shop to do a quick charge. I didn't know when the bus was gonna leave, so I quickly ran outside, in the rain, waiting. Meanwhile there was this man, mumbling, grunting with pounding fists (just imagine the Spongebob Rock Bottom Episode and you get a good idea of the situation. Needless to say, I couldn't be any more happier to be onboard.
|Exterior inspirations for Pages 13-15 (off Geary and Stanyan)|
This was partial inspiration for this week's pages, as a worst case scenario of "putting a cute, innocent airhead of a dog into a situation he cannot help himself out of". In hindsight, I should've made him a little more creeped out, because night is creepy.
I mean, I've personally had no problems with a stroll in the dark. Heck, I even enjoy a walk along the block every now and then, but even then, when the air is too quiet and still and there is an abnormal lack of lighting on the street, even the most peaceful of suburbs can begin to look like a setup for a horror film. Boy does San Francisco get dark at night. I walked around the Richmond district (between Geary and California, just west of Presidio for those keeping score) one time for a family occasion. The area is nice, and the houses actually do reflect their rent (lawns and all). I visiting around the afternoon, close to sunset. What was once pleasant looking by day quickly turned scary.
|Exterior inspiration II for Page 17 (Not Richmond, but Sunset).|
I mean nothing bad happened but those blocks have practically absent street lighting. I felt like something would lurk up behind me.
Below is the rough path Terry would've taken these past six pages. I did do some rough research on this beforehand. It is much longer than I thought at approximately a 40 minute walk. That said, I wouldn't mind giving this a go sometime.
In hindsight, I probably should've included a few extra pages of Terry walking in Golden Gate Park. Future bonus scenery porn?