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The story of "Magic City" begins on a Saturday morning. I hopped on my bike and pedaled to the ferry building ready for an adventure. There I boarded the first ferry to Treasure Island. I had never set foot on the island before and I wondered what treasures awaited me. Perhaps I'd encounter a hook-handed pirate or happen upon an island full of lost boys. After disembarking the ferry named Sammy-J, I set off on my bicycle to explore the island. While one could argue Treasure Island doesn't live up to its fairytale name, that day left me enchanted. 


Treasure Island is a man-made island originally constructed for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 - a celebration for the completion of the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges. The fair spared no extravagance. Art Deco and Eastern inspired architecture sprawled across the grounds. At night, the island transformed into a spectacle of color so dazzling that it quickly earned the nickname 'Magic City.' 

Treasure Island's history is entangled in the magnificent and sobering. Today, you'll find mostly remnants of its military base past. Warehouses and 1940's military housing stand as solemn relics compared to the former glamour of its world fair days. I wished I could have seen the Magic City in all of its glory. Yet, as I stood on the shoreline, awaiting my return ferry, I found myself gazing across the water at a city that sparkled just as brilliantly as the Magic City once did. 


While I contemplated the shimmering skyline before me, a realization dawned. Perhaps the true essence of the 'Magic City' wasn't confined to Treasure Island's distant past; it lived on right where my journey began. While every news source is quick to tell you about San Francisco's doom-loop, I still the city as a fairytale. One where fog turns skylines into mirages, where the streets form a labyrinth full of mischievous incantations and the delightfully unthinkable. Even in fairytales you'll encounter adversity and the grotesque, but there is always plenty of magic to be found.

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