Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’

For Nearly 30 Years, I’ve Come to the City’s Highest Natural Point to Orient Myself

At 938 feet above sea level, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. And for nearly 30 years, since I was a child, it has been my point of return.

I was born and raised here, in this peninsula of unceded Ohlone land developed into a golden imperial city—the redwood empire—that now holds brightly colored homes and skyscrapers amidst its dramatic hillsides.

Mount Davidson is the first place I would visit anytime I moved back from elsewhere—Washington, Malmö, Lahore. And it’s where I go when a million things are …

More In: Where I Go

Where I Go: From Northeast London Back to Duluth | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: From Northeast London Back to Duluth

In Our Newly Delimited World, I Became a Terranaut of the Local

For me, as for millions, lockdown has been a masterclass in ways of escape. And even as “easing” widens horizons, I can’t see it catapulting us back to a time …

Where I Go: The Chicago Swordplay Guild  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Chicago Swordplay Guild 

Finding Valor in an Imperfect Body

Angels asked a farm girl to take up arms against the English during the Hundred Years’ War, and Joan helped turn the tide of battle. A little red dragon traveled …

Where I Go: Herding the Goats at Squashville Farm | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Herding the Goats at Squashville Farm

Goats Live in an Alternate Reality of Soil and Self-Determination

It happens at least once a week: The goats commit jailbreak. They nibble, squirm, and leap their way out of the two-acre space where they are supposed to stay put. …

Where I Go: Jigsaw Puzzles | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Jigsaw Puzzles

Whenever I Have Too Much to Think About or Not Enough, I Pull Out a Puzzle    

Like most children of my generation, the first jigsaw puzzle I ever did was likely a plywood map of the United States, divided into 10 or so pieces with little …

Where I Go: Peñasquitos Gardens | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Penasquitos Gardens

Traversing the Gulf Back to a San Diego Apartment

I haven’t brought my wife or son to see where I mostly grew up. I keep meaning to. But even though it’s less than a mile from my father’s condo …