Kindness is a wonderful trait. It is a trait that every individual has.  How often it is displayed; however, depends on our mood, our situation, and our desire to do so. To be kind can be tough, because cynics attempt to squash the motives of others and moreover people tend to take kindness for granted. It is this lack of positive reinforcement that diminishes peoples’ desire to be kind. Therefore, I thought I would take a moment to heap praise on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the people of San Francisco!

              If you have not heard about the recent superhero that has appeared in San Francisco, please meet Miles Scott a.k.a. “Batkid.” Miles is a five-year old boy who has fought Leukemia since his diagnosis at eighteen months old.  The fine folks at the Make a Wish Foundation bestowed upon Miles a wish… and what a wish it was! Miles’ desire was to fight crime like Batman and not only did he accomplish this feat, but the city of San Francisco delivered one of the greatest examples of kindness ever displayed. The city transformed itself into Gotham City and created numerous situations which only Batman and Batkid could undo. Racing out of the bat cave, Batkid saved a damsel in distress, dispatched the Riddler, saved the San Francisco Giants’ mascot and brought safety and peace back to the people of “Gotham.”

     At each step of the way countless people appeared to cheer on the pint-sized superhero. The attention this sensation spurred celebrities, including previous “Batmen” Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and the forthcoming Batman, Ben Affleck, to herald the efforts of Miles. Miles’ efforts were even recognized by the White House, including a vine message from President Obama himself.

Meanwhile, back in the city by the Bay, the Mayor of San Francisco presented Miles with a key to the city and proclaimed that it was “Batkid day forever more.” For those citizens of San Francisco who were unaware that their lives were saved by our hero, the San Francisco Chronicle renamed itself the Gotham City Chronicle and published thousands of newspapers to document the diminutive caped crusader’s adventures.

San Francisco Chronicle front page!

San Francisco Chronicle front page!

This story clearly demonstrates the good-hearted nature of people and the power of positivity. All of these are drastically important for those of us fighting any illness, or even the day-to-day grind. Please take a lesson from the people of San Francisco and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make the dreams of the people around you come true, or if not their dreams, maybe just start with their day.

Tell me you didn’t think of this song when you read that last line:

If you didn’t think of that song maybe you’ll hear this song soon and think of this one:

http://www.gigwise.com/news/86193/Batman-composer-Hans-Zimmer-pens-theme-song-for-Batkid

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What a great line from Journey’s “Lights.”  The song nicely describes the sun illuminating the Bay of San Francisco, and that image is so wonderfully etched in my mind after my 6 day visit to that phenomenal city.  The trip was a whirl-wind of activity, heading to Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, the trolleys, Grace Cathedral, the de Young Museum, Wicked at the Orpheum Theater, Lombard Street, Muir Woods, Sausalito, Haight-Ashbury, Little Italy, China town,  Union Square and of course the Golden Gate Bridge!  

Golden Gate Bridge

The trip gave me an opportunity to see what the West Coast is really all about.  It is a myriad of sights, scenes, delicacies and adventures.  I really couldn’t have been happier with all there was to do.  Furthermore, San Francisco was a clean environment: one of wide streets, easy transportation, and truly easy to understand (Some cities are complicated and confusing on how to manuever from one place to the next?) The city felt safe, you never thought the cast of characters you came in contact with were going to mug you or abuse you. Since I haven’t written on a daily basis about the trip. I figured I would use this synopsis as an opportuntiy to talk about the highlights.  

The first and most impressive part of the trip to San Francisco was Alcatraz! This US Penitentiary was so drastically impressive that mere words do not do any credit to its structure or history. What impressed me most about this particular site was that it did not hinge its entire experience upon the likes of Al Capone, or Robert Stroud a.k.a. “The Birdman of Alcatraz,” but more upon the actual history of the installation.  Because of this focus and the audio accompaniment that combined with the walking tour the prison of prisons  comes to life. I was completely awe-inspired from the moment the ferry brought us to port.  I started to imagine what thoughts must have gone through the minds of the criminals that were brought to “The Rock!” 

Alcatraz USP

 After this particular, site I really enjoyed the trolleys, which seems silly, but it was just a rush to traverse the hills and when I say hills… I mean hills that exist in San Francisco, by way of trolley.  The people who operate the trolleys must really have a good time, but also, have to be masters of the braking system. Plus, it is the one of the only moveable historical monuments in the country. So you get to ride a little history. 

Trolley being turned by hand

 The other thing that I feel I need to mention is the performance of Wicked at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco, which included performances by Teal Wicks, Kendra Kassebaum, and Patty Duke. First, the Orpheum theater is theater constructed in 1926. It is a quaint location for any major production and it has hosted a myriad of events from silent films, to vaudeville, to Broadway productions such as what I had the opportunity to witness.  I had not been swept up in the commotion that was the Wicked extravaganza, but after seeing the show I can clearly see why this particular show is the craze that it has been. It’s music is catchy and leaves you with melodies that stick inside your head, but also, a story that is captivating and truly changes your impressions of the already established favorite, “The Wizard of Oz.” What I am most impressed with is how the story focuses on the characters who were minor supporting roles in the Wizard of Oz, but expands on their roles, without challenging the roles clearly defined by Judy Garland and the like. Particular note must be given to Teal Wicks and Kendra Kassebaum who were stellar. Their voices clear, picturesque and captivating. It becomes evident why there is such clamor over who portrays the roles of Elphaba and “Ga-Linda” the best. I truly enjoyed this experience and hope that I will get a chance to see them again. 

Therefore, if you have never had the opportunity to view any of these events I strongly encourage you to get on a plane and fly to San Francisco, because these three events alone would make it hard for you to leave the city on the bay.