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.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mennonite Donuts

Richmond VA has one exotic foodstuff, Mennonite Donuts, that as far as I know, is not available in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, the bureau chief did not have time to wait in the long line to purchase them.

But I have photographic evidence that they are definitely sold by Mennonites.

Unlike the Amish, the Mennonites have no problems with 21st Century technology.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cupid's Span

What could be more appropriate for wedding photos than Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's "Cupid's Span" which graces San Francisco's Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge. Click SVP.

A bride and groom and two photographers.

Positions please.


Some spectators were not impressed.

Meanwhile transient art floated in.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Downtown San Francisco

The majority of San Francisco consists of neighborhoods of two and four story buildings, although this is starting to change. Of course we also have a downtown with a dense concentration of highrises. Some buildings that would stick out in the other neighborhoods are packed in shoulder to shoulder here.

Eglise Notre Dame Des Victoires.

 All these pictures are taken from the upper floors of the Sutter Stockton Parking Garage. Here's part of it.

The massed towers.

 The tops of the building from the early 20th Century are a lot more interesting than the contemporary ones.

And this one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Murals

These murals are all from two alleys off of Valencia near 17th St. Cliquez s'il vous plaƮt.

Satan or Kurt Cobain?

This wonderful mural, which I had to shoot in two overlapping parts, is a memorial to the Compton's Cafeteria Riot which took place in San Francisco in 1966, three years before the famous Stonewall riots in New York City. Portraits of transgender women have been placed on the bodies of medieval saints.


Sad Woman

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Five Alarm Fire

Yesterday, the bureau chief was driving over the top of our hill and saw a huge column of black smoke in the sky, It appeared to be rising from Potrero Hill. Turns out the column was coming from a neighborhood further away but was so immense that it appeared closer. The view from the back deck was blocked by buildings so it was necessary to climb to the roof of the bureau.

A high-rise apartment building, which was under construction in Mission Bay, had caught fire. The building was a complete loss.

According to today's SF Chronicle, the building would have had 172 apartments. In a city desperate for more housing, that was a big setback.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Backyard Birds

There are always ravens. Please click.


It's the time for migrating.

These are too.

And then there are the whirlybirds. There are two major freeways to the east of Bernal Heights and whenever there's a police chase or a big rig jackknifed on the blah-blah, the local news shows have to send out helicopters. The local affiliates of the three major networks seem to each have their own helicopters and they tend to hover over the bureau, which can be annoying.

 I have no idea which chopper belongs to which station.

I'm just happy that, so far, they've managed to not fly into each other.