Thursday, February 26, 2009

walking into the misty damp morning....

I left my North Beach apartment building and headed downtown, walking towards and up Jones Street. If you know anything about Jones Street, you'll know that it gets very steep in North Beach.... to lay credence to my claims of not exercising enough, I hiked up the 100+ steps between Filbert and Vallejo Streets and at the top, I was panting, sweating and tired as a worn old dawg. When I reached the top of Jones and Union, a woman was before me and she turned around and looked at me, expression of "who's this behind me panting and gasping like an old man". I passed her but we played leader and follower for many minutes when I stopped to snap a pix with my lens wet as the drizzle got thicker.... at one point she even asked if she could see the results, and I happily did. I love the interest of others in photography and do a lot to encourage it. In my slow walk and stopping every few minutes to snap details of the wonder San Franciscan architecture, I reached my targeted destination of Market and Van Ness in about 36 mins. I wore a turtleneck sweater and a thin jacket and the heat was really building up, my forehead wet after walking up the steep hills.
I wandered aimlessly around the City Hall civic center area, taking many pictures of the lovely details and when possible, also of the clouds that blanketed the area. The last few days has brought rain showers but the clouds that gave us that rain also gave us some gorgeous clouds!!! In time, I wandered toward Franklin Street when I photographed reflections off shiny silver-colored bases of windows in modern buildings, while still snapping away at the details of the older buildings. It's really a shame that most people do not even realize the beauty and history above their heads as they wait at the bus stops, or walk along, unknowingly of the gorgeous architecture that this City is so famous for.

I returned home soon after, stopping often along the way... and on Larkin Street I spied a sign jutting out from the walls of a building, simply labeled with "GG". Quickly I thought "Golden Gate" but as I neared, it was a tiny window-front gallery with true traditional black and white prints in the windows! An "open" sign beckoned to me and I pressed a bell, and a man came to the door. There I spent about 20 mins there, unable to stay longer.... but the gorgeous images seen!! Displayed were many framed prints by Dorothea Lange, and I was impressed by the fact I was unfamiliar with her lesser-known work. The Gendell Gallery is worth a visit if you're a collector of fine photography or just enjoy seeing beautiful tradition period photographs.

On the street again, I passed many walkers wearing headsets or texting on their cell phones, or even talking on the phone. It was amazing to see these people completely unaware of their environment! I could have been beeping my car horn st them and they wouldn't even look up! I wonder how many people die this way while crossing the streets? In Eugene before I departed in late 2007, there were quite a few accidents in which persons crossing the streets "occupied" were struck and killed simply because they walked unknowingly into the path of a car.

How little we value our own lives when a phone call, a text message or music is more important than our lives.

Even closer to home now, I saw a lot of work being done in the basement or ground floor(s) of single- and multiple-dwelling buildings, all construction for one purpose: installing a garage. In my neighbor alone, there are more than five buildings having a garage installed due to the immense problem of trying to find a parking spot.

If you're interested in seeing the fotos from today, you can visit my website but only a few are posted. Email me and I can share with you others that are not displayed anywhere.

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