This summer, we decided on a holiday to San Francisco, because my daughter wanted to go there. My husband and I had been before, but that was well over thirty years ago, so it was time for another visit. Usually when we travel in a group, each of us decides on one thing that we really want to see or do and we make that a priority on our "must see and do" list.
Hence, my husband got to see a baseball game. We biked across the Golden Gate bridge - my daughter's choice and I got to see the "painted ladies." I had always presumed that everyone knew what the painted ladies were. I know the term is often used to describe prostitutes, however, it was not these painted ladies that I wanted to see. My daughter, as it turned out, was not familiar with the term and thought that I was dragging them to see some obscure painting in a dull art gallery - boring. However, once we got to Alamo Square and she realized what the phrase actually meant, she laughed hysterically.
The painted ladies, of course, are the beautifully decorated houses dotted here and there all over SF. The classic collection, however, is this row of seven or eight houses neatly arranged on a street facing Alamo Square. They have been photographed many times and I just had to see them. They are the "stuff" of fairy tales - doll houses, in a way, framed in gingerbread, painted like candy and lovingly cared for. I know that a house itself doesn't always make for a happy home, but I wouldn't mind giving one of these a try :)
There were others too, all with the defining features of houses in SF - vibrant colours, bay windows and obvious fire escapes.
I also loved the striking murals on some of the inner city buildings - stunning architecture as a canvas for stunning art. In fact, the city itself is an art gallery, with painted ladies a significant part of the collection!!
Have an awesome day.