Pre-blog 2010 Thinkwalks Reviews

by Joel Pomerantz

May 30th, 2010

Here are comments and reviews of Thinkwalks 2010 events that were submitted before this blog existed.
I’ve included most of the ones from Yelp, because often they disappear—removed by Yelp automated filters for reasons which may include suspicion over the reviewer’s arrival at Yelp’s site through that very link. (Maybe they assume it’s a set-up.)

Check the About page for a sampling of reviews I want to show off.

Reviews from emails

“I couldn’t stop talking about it. It was a real treat imagining and tracing the steps of a shifting topography. Searching for lost lakes, hidden creeks, and forgotten springs is my idea of a Saturday very well spent.” —Shawn Lani 1/9/10 (Water Walking Tour)

“Great tour – lots of fun and really interesting.  I feel like I now know what secrets are buried below the streets of San Francisco.  Here are some photos of the tour.  I’ll be looking to go on another one soon.  And of course I’ll pass my enthusiasm on to my friends.” —Dan San Souci 1/25/10 (Walk the Wiggle Tour)

“Thank you for a great tour.  We both enjoyed it a ton. It was especially fun to be there with other city planning/water nerds!” —Mara Baum 1/31/10 (Water Walking Tour)

“You really are a saint” —Rabbi Sigma F. Coran 2/2/10 (Social Justice Mural Tour)

“Thank you for another great tour. Your knowledge and your ability to express it so well are impressive.” —Barbara Cannella 5/16/10 (Walk the Wiggle Tour)

“Thanks for another great tour. I’m quickly becoming your biggest fan.” —Lara Kucera 3/8/10 (Outside Lands Bike Cruise)

“Thanks again for a great tour (although I thought it was far too short).” —Rabbi Wendy Spears 6/9/10 (Social Justice Mural Tour)

From Yelp

Juliana G. 1/12/2010 First to Review
I went on a Thinkwalks tour last weekend and it was great. We walked the Mission in a friendly group of about ten people, learning about SF’s  primeval waterscape, hidden watercourses, and a lot of very interesting water-related city history. I’m looking forward to checking out some more tours: history of SF’s best murals, the secrets of Golden Gate Park, and a lot of other cool-sounding themes. Some are walking tours, some are biking tours. I’ve lived in SF my whole life, yet there’s still a TON to learn! Leader Joel Pomeranz really knows his stuff.
S L.
I think the most impressive part of this walk was how directly the guide, Joel Pomerantz, engaged with the city landscape. The tour had a wonderful narrative that created both a geographical and historical sense of place. Standing at the edge of the Safeway parking lot just know that there had been a big ol’ pit of muddy water there not so long ago made me feel better about everything….I don’t know why. These tours attract the best people, too, so you end up learning a little something from everyone! I highly recommend it.
Grace O.
Everybody’s Favorite Little Grouchmuffin
I was intrigued when I heard through the Bicycle Coalition about a walking tour of the Wiggle.  I’m a big fan of walking tours, but I ordinarily wouldn’t think to do one in my own city.  The tour guide, Joel, has done a lot of his own research and amassed an impressive amount of information about the natural history of San Francisco.  I was blown away by a lot of the stuff I learned and came away with a whole new perspective on San Francisco.  Thinkwalks is aptly named, because this tour was definitely very thought provoking.  If you want something in depth, smart, and out of the ordinary, this is it.  On a side note, even though Joel won’t tell you this himself, he’s played a significant role in bike advocacy here, so if you ride in the city you should thank him.
Morgan F.
I really enjoyed my Walk of the Wiggle. I’ve had a growing interest in the history of San Francisco since I moved here almost 4 years ago, but this was my first official history tour. It definitely didn’t disappoint. Living in the Lower Haight and riding the Wiggle for a few years now, I was thrilled to hear about the natural history of the area and the different incarnations it has taken on over the years. Joel showed us the original route of the Wiggle as it would have been traveled by the Ohlone people, and then on the way back touched on a number of more modern events related to the Wiggle. It’s pretty amazing that you can ride a route almost every day and be completely oblivious to something like the 3 blocks East of Baker between Fell and Oak being all new buildings because they were going to extend the Panhandle almost to Market St. in the 50’s! Only an effort led by one Wille Brown halted that plan. 

Anyway, really interesting and fun stuff. Joel definitely knows his history and these historical tours really deepen your relationship with your place.
Thea D.
I went on the Wiggle walk a few weeks back, and really enjoyed it. Not only do you learn about your city in a way that nobody talks about it–Page Street–a 60 foot sand dune?!? but you are walking with a great group of people. Highly recommend it.
Martina D.
I had the pleasure of participating in the Wiggle tour. Joel was more than knowledgeable about the route and the surrounding area’s history (dating very far back). To all those who bike the Wiggle: Joel is also one of the pioneers who made the Wiggle what it is today. He has some interesting back stories on how it came about, as well as contemporary issues on the route and biking in San Francisco. You may go into it thinking: really how much is there to learn about the Wiggle? But, soon enough you will see…
Lara K.
This wasn’t just any old walking tour.  The guide, Joel, took us back in time to ancient hills and Ohlone pathways over long-gone sand dunes. He’s a kickass bicycle activist and really knew his stuff about the history of the Wiggle. He seems very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with other people who love this city. I’m looking forward to more tours!
Drew B
I participated in the Thinkwalks Water Walking tour (http://www.thinkwalks….) on May 23, 2010. Tour guide Joel Pomerantz did a wonderful job in drawing on his passion for understanding San Francisco as a natural environment and his interest in historical investigation to bring to life a presentation on changes in the relationship between San Franciscans and water. Pomerantz addressed not only changes in the the weather and physical setting of the city, but also political dimensions of how Northern California residents have sought to use water or deal with water-related challenges. Much to his credit, Pomerantz was also particularly adept at soliciting input from the tour’s participants, providing an opportunity for us to benefit from each others’ contributions as well.
Beth M.
If you thought you knew San Francisco water history you would be mistaken. I recently went on the Water Walks tour. It was fascinating and fun. Joel Pomerantz is a genius. He thoroughly researches the subject and can present all points of view. Joel follow uped with me  after the walk and sent some additional information. I found out that my street was carved out from a mountain of rock.  I highly recommend Thinkwalks to all Bay Area residents. I am looking forward to the other tours available through Joel.

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