Saturday, August 31, 2013

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

We recently watched this 1971 film after not having seen it for decades. I would have to take another look at "Nashville" before crowning "McCabe" Altman's masterpiece but I strongly suspect it is. It has his usual dark humor but the wintery shots of the town of Presbyterian Church (actually built for the film), the purposely hazy photography and the use of Leonard Cohen's melancholy songs give a yearning quality to the film that's not present in most of his work. Cohen's "The Stranger Song" fits the film like it was written for it. It wasn't.

Apparently it was Altman's intention to debunk the Hollywood propagated myth of the American Frontier and he succeeded admirably but he also made his most beautiful film. The acting is all excellent and Julie Christie is amazing. Take another look at this film.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Local Pride

The invaluable neighborhood blog Bernalwood has again posted the news that, contrary to received wisdom, the steepest street in San Francisco is in our stomping ground of Bernal Heights and that the block of Ripley St. where the bureau is located is the 6th steepest street in San Francisco.

I'll repost a couple of photos that would make you suspect that our street is pretty steep.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Skyline

The bureau chief has neglected the bureau for too long. Here are some pictures taken over this summer. We start in a biblical mode with the Second Coming.

And the clouds opened up.

And now our friends the cranes in the evening.

And in the morning.

Red (pink) sky at night, sailor's delight.

And speaking of red, we have backyard plums with a backyard spider.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Streets and Music Machines

San Francisco has a fine tradition where, on a given Sunday, the city limits the main drag of a neighborhood to human powered traffic only. It was the Mission's turn last Sunday (7/31/13). The sky was grey but it was a fine event anyway. (Please click.)

Kids and parents could walk down the center of the street.

And bikes could be ridden without fear of traffic.

Turns out there is a wonderful tradition of lowrider bikes in the Mission.

And some of them are music machines.


This is clearly not any sort of lowrider. It was powering a DJ table set up next to it. I do admire the portholes.