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First Street Bridge, Park West

We've been to the Top of the Hyatt and to Cabrillo National Monument. We've even stood on the rooftop helipad of the Symphony Towers. All afford sweeping views of the bay, but none afford the best. That honor goes to the First Street Bridge, which carries its namesake thoroughfare across a canyon between Nutmeg and Olive Streets in the Park West area. The view, looking southwest down the canyon, over Harbor Island to the tip of Point Loma beyond, is not a wide view. In fact, it's quite narrow, and that's what makes it great. You don't see any ugly dockyards, tops of buildings, vacant lots, or the mile of tarmac at Lindbergh Field -- though every few minutes an airliner glides across the view on its landing approach. Instead, you see gray Navy ships and white-sailed pleasure craft sailing in and out against the blue backdrop of the bay, framed in the foreground by the lush greenery on either side of the canyon. Much more romantic than looking down on parking lots and runways.

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