Monday, April 9, 2007
Relaxation and Recreation at Crissy Field
It’s where Will Smith swept his son Jaden gleefully off of his feet and into a rare moment of joy as the father and son pair acted in the film, The Pursuit of Happyness. It’s where Charlize Theron showed the Salvatore suit wearing Keanu Reeves, that even the simplest thing, like playfully running with a group of dogs, can amount to a greater degree of happiness than any success found in a business boardroom, in the film, Sweet November. And it’s where I, Carly Perez, have spent countless afternoons sunning, barbecuing, and exercising. What is this wondrous place? Crissy Field, a park that has become a favorite amongst film directors but even more so with me, as the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, cool bay breeze, and clean soft sand come together to create a rare treat in the urban chaos of San Francisco.
Best enjoyed on a sunny day when time is not of the essence, Crissy Field, is a 100 acre park, that is right below the Presidio, situated along the shoreline between the Golden Gate Bridge and the marina that is right before Fort Mason. The park is outfitted with picnic tables, barbeque grills, a public restroom, large overgrown grass fields, a running/walking path, café, and a beach, but best of all is the jaw dropping views of the bay, which is often crowded by numerous sailboats and the occasional sea lion. Before all of this existed, Crissy Field was where the Panama Pacific International Exposition occurred in 1915, and in following years, was one of the country’s top airfields and part of a U.S. army post. “Crissy Field played an important role in the pioneering years of military and commercial aviation as one of the earliest army air bases on the West Coast,” says Stephen A. Haller, National Park Service Historian on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area website.
Due to Crissy Field’s historical significance, the park, along with the Presidio, became a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Since then, restoration efforts have occurred which have helped Crissy Field add a community center and natural vegetation that make up the majestic setting we see today. The Crissy Field Center offers many amenities including a media lab, resource library, arts workshop, science lab, bookstore, café, gathering room and a teaching kitchen. The next event being held at the Crissy Field Center is an Internet workshop for older adults taught by Dr. R. Wood Massi on April 13th at 1:10pm.
So whether you are utilizing the educational aspects of the Crissy Field Center, barbecuing some burgers for a family picnic, or bravely donning a bathing suit in the cool San Francisco climate, take advantage of all that Crissy Field has to offer. Or at the very least, get out and explore the city, take a day to get lost (how I stumbled upon Crissy Field), and who knows you may stumble upon a favorite place of your own.