1. Dana McMillan


During this extensive walk, I have learned how to capture sounds of living things, moving things, and things that just make noise. Like the sounds of the wonderful ocean. The Presido has an interesting history itself. Lobos Creek runs right through it. Given its interesting geographical features, we know now that most of what we stand on in san Fransisco is sand and land fill.  Walking through the presideo was very stimulating for me. I felt as if I were walking on water although it was landfil, it used to be a vibrant flowing eco system.  These areas were once lakes and rivers. The drainage continued through the park and through the Richmond district.  What I found most interesting is “ Baker Beach” The sounds that you are about to hear may make your spirits rise.  So stay tuned in to your senses.


We dove right into this one for sure, the streets of downtown Hayward, CA. I never knew that their were Creeks. Or a Japanese garden located in the Hayward hills. We learned about new development that is out of control.  It seems like condos are getting built left and right. We spoke to small business owners about how they felt about it, how would they be affected. I felt a sense of the city’s organic life structure disapearing, as we ventured up and around the blocks, the small busineses were starting to vanish and it looked like a modern ghost town. Their were signs that said open , but there was no one inside. We also spoke to random residents who told us that the crime rate has increased and they no longer go out at dark. Another resident told us that just recently someone was shot in the stomach in broad day light! On the brighter side, we were able to eat snacks inside the Japanese garden, which used to be” Hayward Highschool’. Hayward is a very artsy City with a rich and vibrant history. I was honored to be a part of history.


On this adventure, we were able to walk the pinole creek and learn about the history of Pinole, which is located in the San Fransisco Bay Area on the shores of San Pablo. We also learned of Bernardo Fernandez, a Portguese immigrant who started a trading facility on those shores of San Pablo, who eventually built the historic Fernandez Mansion. We were able to walk past the mansion, which still remains standing untill this day. As I walked past the gates, which were bent and some parts rusted, I felt as if someone were staring at me through the windows, and wondering why we were here. It was a feeling of gauking at an old celebrity’s house. With no celebrity around.  There was silence in the air as we all stared graciously up and down the old tattered yard with part of an old train on the property. I guessed mr. Fernandez probably owned that as well. The smelliest part of the trip was the visit to the water waste management facility.  We had the pleasure of smelling various oders that came through the large pipes with filters at the end. I started feeling a bit nautious and wondered how could someone do this job, but then I figured that if it werent for these individuals, we would have dirty and unregulated water. Surprisingly enough all of the employees were super friendly. Although they did get paid pretty well, according to them, they were immuned to the smells. We had a smelly good time. 


This was our first soundwalk. We were so excited and yet very nervous as to what to expect. We caught bart and bus to what it seemed like an “ oasis “  a hidden landscape nestled in the oakland hills.  As I walked through bushy Dell Creek, I felt like I was on a vacation of some sort. It was quiet, serene and full of nature and it’s sounds. I heard the squirls, the birds talking to each other, and even all of the dogs were friendly and came up to me to pet. The trees themselves were amazing to watch and it was so sureal.  It was Piedmont, CA. Did you know that Piedmont has its own police and Fire department? And that Piedmont is surrounded by Oakland. The Piedmont park itself has its own set of rules, where only Piedmont residents know and adhere to. Some of these rules are printed at the parks. If you don’t obey these rules, you may be asked to leave.