Just Before Sunset Any Day: Best Place to Be Alone with Your Twisted Thoughts 

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

Okay, the mountain man didn't come through, and now you're alone. Picture a cross between an abandoned Future World Park -- all green grass and odd architecture near a thriving industrial site with strange beeping and wheezing wheeled critters in the background. Now picture stunning sea-level views of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Island, and the Bay Bridge. Now imagine you have this place all to yourself for those special Gothic poetic moments or, better yet, when you just want to clear your head of all the cobwebs (or bad dates) that everyday life shoves into your brain. You've just discovered Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, a gloriously bureaucratic moniker for a perfect place to hum an updated version of "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay." Open since January 1 (though it's still being built), it's a great place to watch the ships steam out, listen to tugboats, and have a barbecue on the grass under some of the weirdest modernistic, metallic, open-carport-like buildings ever seen. It feels like an updated set for Logan's Run or Soylent Green, but in a good way. Watch the sun go down and then head home, past the mast of the World War II cruiser USS Oakland perched incongruously in the car park.

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