Thursday, July 31, 2014

Le Mont-St-Michel Part 2

The street that ascends from the town gate to the abbey atop the hill is like a vertical Fisherman's Wharf without (thank god) the sea lions. It's nothing but souvenirs and snacks and we didn't take any pictures of it. The abbey on the other hand is a completely worthwhile goal. (Please click.)

The view of Le Mont in the distance is one of its delights and the other is the view from on top of it.

These are the vehicular and the pedestrian causeways that snake their ways out from the mainland. They're still under construction.

The sands around Le Mont attract plenty of visitors who have presumably checked the tide tables.

If you look closely you can see some visitors in this image also.

The abbey has it's own delights, like a garden sheltered from the perpetual wind.

Also a light filled refectory.

But the visitors concentrate on taking pictures of the view.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Le Mont-St-Michel Part 1

For us, Mont-St-Michel had it's strongest impact as a vision in the distance. We first glimpsed it across a field next to the road. It looked like an immense statue on the horizon. (Please click.)

That evening, it was visible over the marshy pastures across the road from our motel.

When we finally took a bus out the causeway to see it, it revealed itself to be a 17th century French town. It was not as magical up close.

We preferred the distant vision. I'm not sure what the sheep thought.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Found Art

Many apologies to my faithful readers. After not posting for a couple of weeks, we went off to France where all the hotels and B&Bs claim to have WiFi (pronounced "weefee" in French) but don't in actuality. We're finally back home and the bureau is once again open for business.

We paid a return visit to Père Lachaise cemetery where I recorded this tableau. I don't know if the young woman was doing this on purpose or just cooling her neck. Please click.

This is the front view of the soldier. The inscription says, "Remember, France!" From the uniform, he must be from the lost 1870 war.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

San Francisco Mélange

A truly odd trimming job is revealed by the afternoon shadows.

This mural is in the parking lot of Flax, San Francisco's best art supply store. The store must find another location by the end of 2015 when construction will start on some apartments. Decades of tight limits on building permits have left a huge demand for housing.


This is the above-ground footprint of the work on the subway to Chinatown. Two blocks of Stockton are shut down.

I have no idea who this is but he's at the heart of the Mission.

Time for some political art.

This last takes me back to my salad days but it's better done than its 60s' equivalent.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

More Crissy Field Sights

Something about the sans serif letters on this container ship make it seem like the name was added with Photo Shop but this is how it really looked. Cliquer s'il vous plaît.

This looks like a weird D-Day commemoration (the 70th anniversary is two weeks away) but is really a combination of two things: Mark di Suvero's monumental sculpture show and the transportation of all the dead in San Francisco, with the exception of those in Mission Dolores and the military cemetery, to the city of Colma in the first half of the 20th century. The migration of the dead left a lot of funereal monuments and grave stones and those were used to stabilize the beaches along the ocean and the bay.

Here's a different angle on the same sculpture.

and a companion piece.

And here's the bounty of the bay, a stripped bass.

Madame Le Chef, the bureau's resident scientist, read a nearby sign that suggested that stripped bass was in the less desirable category for human consumption because of possible chemicals. At least it wasn't outright prohibited.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Strange Light

The bureau chief has a bad case of blogger's guilt. It's approaching three weeks since I last blogged. The best I can offer are these photos of my favorite subject strangely lit.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Kentucky Derby

Part of the process of getting old in America is moving to smaller and smaller spaces with the concomitant winnowing of one's possessions.The bureau chief's mother is going through this process at the moment and various photos and papers have surfaced.

This is the official program for the 1936 Kentucky Derby. My forebears lived in Louisville, Kentucky and trips to Churchill Downs were part of the fabric of life. I like that the only two advertisements are for whiskey.

My maternal grandfather's careful numbers are on the left-hand page. Hopefully he was totaling winnings.

Bold Venture won the derby that year, in case you were wondering.