While checking out the San Francisco wiki page for info about the weather (because I’m an NYC girl who’s currently freezing), I came across the history of the Sutro Baths: a swimming pool complex that was built during the 1800s. After years of aquatic service to the public, the Sutro Baths building burned down in 1966 leaving a maze of cement ruins that I’m sure experts agree are “really cool.”
Truth is, I’ve long been fascinated by city ruins and briefly – in-between wanting to be a race car driver and a painter – considered pursing a career as an archaeologist. My taste for ancient cultures was unrivaled and my understanding of the field was that you got to sit in one position for hours dusting sand from a piece of pottery with a tiny brush as you squinted into the sun and hoped your camel wouldn’t spit on you. Khaki clothing and ugly hats were also involved. Still, I found this career path intriguing and for that I blame Indiana Jones.
I then made the childhood error of sharing my dreams with an adult – a species that has a knack for and the responsibility of scaring the hell out of kids. Mind you, the adult in question was someone I admired and someone who I know had no negative intentions whatsoever, but the effect was the same. She informed me that she knew someone who had contracted a disease while on an archaeological dig and died.
So you know, that kind of bummed me out.