May 25, 2008

I Heart San Francisco

Personal

Sometimes I get bummed about living in San Francisco. The parking is atrocious; I drive a stick shift and live on a hill and I can’t even count how many times I’ve stalled out. The cable car runs right outside my window til 1am every night. And I live in an apartment the size of a shoebox (and that’s being generous).

But… I really do love this city. I live near the top of the hill and the view from my rooftop is amazing – I can see all around – Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, SOMA… And how cool is it to say that the cable car goes right past my house!? And my apartment is small but it has hardwood floors, bay windows, really cool old-timey elevators, and that view… I look out my window to the east and see the Transamerica building and Grace Cathedral to the west. I can see Coit Tower and a sliver of the bay to the North.

And sometimes the city surprises me like it did last week with one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen. As I was busily working away, I see these cotton candy pinks and purples out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw the most spectacular colors and since I’m a photographer, I couldn’t let these moments go without some digital proof…

to the east

And then I had to go to my roof and get the whole scene! Too bad my tripod was in the trunk of my car (blocks away).

to the west (The Mark Hopkins on the left, Grace Cathedral and the Fairmont on the right)

Over the bay (Angel Island, Alcatraz, Coit Tower)

The Fairmont

The view to the south towards SOMA

The city itself is incredible too. I’ve never lived anywhere like it. (And I’ve lived in Missoula, MT, Raleigh, NC, Greensboro, NC, Main Line, PA, Springfield, VA, Tucson, AZ, Coppell, TX…)

Where else but San Francisco will you see an annual 12K race featuring fabulously costumed and utterly naked hordes of people. Of course I’m talking about Bay to Breakers. I have been the past two years and it’s such a fun scene to watch and be a part of.

Rich and I walked the last few hours of it from Ocean Beach to the end of the party so that we could go against the race and see more of the spectacle. Not surprisingly, the end of the “race” tends to get a bit sloppy as the crowds stop marching forward and just continue drinking in the streets of the panhandle. A really crazy scene compared to what I saw last year as I walked with the crowd from very early in the race.

There are those who go all out with elaborate, creative, and just plain fun costumes…

And there are those who are there mostly for the partying and drinking…

And then there are those who are there for both…

It’s simply a scene unlike any other.

We got to the end where the police were slowly moving people along so that the street cleaners could tackle the solo cups and trash left behind.

So thank you, San Francisco, for being such an amazing place for a photographer such as myself. There’s more to see every day.

“There may not be a Heaven, but there is a San Francisco” Ashleigh Brilliant

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