SF Lunchwalk: North-northeast

Market, the street I always begin on because my office's front door faces it, is a long street.  It is the only street which bisects the entire island--the island defined by an hour round-trip walk on my lunch break.  At the northeast edge, there is water.  So to the water's edge I aimed my stride, and off I went.

Down the canyon called Market, sirens wail and horns resonate.  The canyon is the city's great collector of sound.  The confluence of transit is witnessed here: footsteps crossing north to south, street cars sliding southwest to northeast, and buses amassing and separating like a caterpillar.  There is a definite meter to the modes of travel, a reliable space in time between each footstep, bus brake, taxi horn, and emergency siren.

Walking down this long cut through the sediments of skyscrapers, I am listening in particular to certain set of footsteps in front of me when a firetruck's blaring horn shreds my attention.  The city walk is full of these moments, where a certain rhythm is suddenly knocked out by shrill interruption of another scale or tempo of  movement.

In the compression of my hour of sound recording down into the sample below, I took a pair of scissors to the moments of dead space between such sounds as heels striking pavement, or the hiss of pneumatic brakes.  Listen:

During the track of the walk along Market Street, I also take a step off of the busy sidewalk into a bank, the first interior exploration of many to come.  Applying this same technique of cutting up the space between footsteps, I took the five minutes of wandering around the bank and sliced up its own meted-out moments, starting at 1:37.

At last, I reach the watery edge, but it turns out that wasn't the point.
Reaching the water at the midpoint of the walk is completely anticlimactic.  The rippling surface shrouds a depth I have not the technical means to plumb.  Not yet, at least.

Near the water was a man in a blue jumpsuit working for the city, raking leaves near one of the large waterfront sculptures.  I paused to record the sound of his labor, the metal tines of his rake scratching the concrete over and over.  I would soon return to my own labor, as an architect, at a desk, clicking a mouse over and over.  For me, walking in the city on the lunch hour was pure liberation.  Observing the groundskeeper's labor gave me new-found appreciation for that fact.