George Sterling Park
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George Sterling Park information
'Homeward into the sunset/Still unwearied we go/Till the northern hills are misty/With the amber of afterglow.' Poet George Sterling's City by the Sea is almost maudlin – that is, until you watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge from his namesake hilltop park – the perfect vantage point over the 'cool grey city of love.'
Sterling was a great romancer of all San Francisco offered – nature, idealism, free love and opium – and was frequently broke. But as toast of the secretive, elite Bohemian Club, San Francisco's high society indulged the poet in his eccentricities, which included carrying a lethal dose of cyanide as a reminder of life's transience. Broken by his ex-wife's suicide and loss of his best friend, novelist Jack London, the 'King of Bohemia' apparently took this bitter dose in 1926 inside his apartment at the club. Afterward, his influential friends named this park – with zigzagging paths and stirring, Sterling views – for him.
If you're not breathless from these hilltop vistas, play tennis on the adjacent public court named after San Francisco's Alice Marble, the 1930s tennis champ who recovered from tuberculosis to win Wimbledon and serve during WWII as a US secret agent among Nazis. Sure puts a little post-tennis panting into perspective, doesn't it?