231 San Francisco, CA: Its Bridle Path

The last person I interviewed in front of the painting was a broad-shouldered African American man, standing about six-foot-two and weighing more than two hundred pounds. He was dressed casually in a loose white cotton shirt, faded jeans, tennis shoes, and a cream-colored baseball cap.

"Communities?" he pondered. "Isolated? No. I think I'd have a pretty good idea. I was born and raised here, in Berkeley. San Francisco is a series of smaller communities that view themselves as part of a large city, a larger community, the whole bay area. I live north about thirty minutes from here. I don't get a chance to get over here that often. Only because I choose not to come here because it's too crowded and traffic is a pain."

"Is there a place in San Francisco where you can ride horses?" I inquired.

"Golden Gate Park, but you're not allowed any more. Just the police."

I headed over there. Like Central Park in Hopper's Bridle Path, Golden Gate Park was the city's gathering place and aswirl with human drama. People were making music, having picnics, or playing games of tennis or soccer with their families.

Instead of a bridle path, I found the police stables and a trotting track, a sand oval surrounding a polo field. Though I did not see any horses, there were fresh horseshoe prints, and the place "reeked of horse flesh."

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