Saturday, August 29, 2015

Various Things

A collection of art, nature and a little architecture. We'll start with an anonymous art piece in the Emeryville Marina.

Bufano's Madonna in Fort Mason.

Wendy Ross's sculpture of Congressman Phil Burton in Fort Mason.

Fire Boat near Point Reyes Station.

Zhu Jinchi's boat in the Asian Art Museum.

Big snake in Golden Gate Park.

Big Sale on Clement Street.

Cuttlefish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Kelp Forrest at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Heart of Darkness at 555 California Street.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Chapel of the Chimes

The Chapel of the Chimes is a large columbarium located in Oakland, CA next to Mountain View Cemetery. The present building is a 1920s remodel of the original building and was based on designs by Julia Morgan. The oldest rooms are presented as libraries with the ashes of the dead contained in "books".

The rooms are light and airy with tastefully chosen plants.

Other rooms are finished in a plainer style. In this room the vase holders unfortunately cast  noose-shaped shadows.

Skylights let in plenty of light and glimpses of the outdoors.

A king is interred here.

In typical American fashion there's an even brighter future coming.

The entire building is called The Chapel of the Chimes but it has an actual chapel in it that hosts concerts at several times during the year; however, its central function is shown by these boxes of tissues.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 11, 2015

I don't want to give the impression that the Pacific coast off San Francisco is constantly fogged in. We went out to the Sutro Baths this past Saturday in hopes of seeing some migrating whales. We saw one ambiguous splash but the view was beautiful.

There were an unusual number of small boats out at sea and also an unusual number of small planes above us. Presumably they had all read the same whale watching article in the Chronicle that we had. It was clear enough to see the Farallon Islands which are 30 miles away.

Here's a closer view.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 4, 2015

If any of our dear readers felt overheated on the Fourth, you could have cooled off at Ocean Beach. The fog stayed above 500 feet so we could actually see out to sea.

Everyone was sensibly dressed.

Madame Le Chef and I decided that this couple was either attempting or succeeding at having sex under this voluminous cover, protected by their noble canine companions.

Here's a G Rated celebration of the holiday. Hooray for the Red, White and Blue.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's the Sky Again

June 27 2015. The first picture was taken at 6:12 PM. The last picture was taken at 8:50 PM.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Sometimes a great film fails to register on The Bureau's radar when it comes out. This was the case with Canadian director Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies" which was nominated for a Foreign Film Oscar in 2011. The bureau chief recently noticed increased references to the film which were most likely connected to the director's increasing reputation. His latest film "Sicario" with Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro was in this year's Cannes Film Festival. I decided to take a look at "Incendies".

It's from a play of the same name by Wajdi Mouawad and stars an amazing actress named Lubna Azabal as Nawal Marwan, an Arab immigrant to Canada. It's set in contemporary times in that country and in an unnamed country in the Middle East. It's both a mystery and a classic tragedy. Nawal dies suddenly from a stroke and in her will asks her adult children, who are twins, a brother and sister, to find their father and a brother they did not know existed and to give each of them a letter. The brother refuses the request but the sister, Jeanne, played by the very good Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, accepts. She goes to the Middle Eastern country and as she finds things out about her mother we see Narwal in flashbacks going through the events that the daughter has discovered. When Jeanne stumbles upon darker and darker things, she demands that her brother help her and he comes to the Middle East accompanied by the executor of the will, a notary who was the Narwal's employer. Ultimately they stumble upon the truly dark thing.

By all means do not read the Wikipedia article on this film before you watch it since it gives away the complete plot. This is a tough film to watch but it's also amazing. If you like it, the "making of" extra included in the DVD is well worth a look.The film was shot in Jordan and refugees from Iraq, Lebanon and Syria were not just extras but played some of the speaking roles. They were reenacting things that had happened to them in real life.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

San Francisco Late May

Marlboro cowboy?

Friends of the cowboy?

3300 Club.

Spell house?

Rainbow Grocery art.

I believe it.

Unfortunately, the tent is not part of the art.

Dream car.