Saturday, October 17, 2009

streetwise.....

.... things are always changing, and no matter what your destiny holds for you, each day brings new surprises for us all. I love being on the street, and hate to be closed in as has happened to me various times in my life, and even voluntarily when I have so much work to do on this computer before I leave in just a few months.

To help in taking a break from all the sitting, I had an opportunity to take a short cruise aboard the USS Potomac, formerly used as the presidential yacht of President Franklin D Roosevelt. A gorgeous ship, it's now touring around the bay waters from its Oakland home-base, and educating guests of the fine FDR legacy. Also during Fleet Week there are always some participating naval ships inport for general tours, and this year it included two Canadian naval vessels, two Coast Guard cutters and one US naval ship: USS Green Bay (LPH-20). Very new - just a year commissioned so I made it a point to visit before they departed. Wow, am I ever so surprised by how the Navy has adjusted to the new technologies available. I wish I could've seen the sleeping quarters also, but I know those areas are closed during inport tours.The navigational bridge ~ where the steering and navigation of the ship is conducted ~ seemed to me the most interesting area... no longer are circular radar screens used but now square computer screens! Wow!! Most of the duties I previous had in plotting and manually computing approaches and collisions to objects and/or vessels are all now computerized and done in seconds with a higher degree of accuracy!
Streetwise, there are surprises that abound around us as we traverse those concrete halls throughout the our cities, IF we elect to see. Recently with a friend, I went walking around the San Francisco Embarcadero and the Financial District and saw things I haven't seen on previous occasions.... I was walked toward the corner of Spear and Howard Streets, where my friend told me she had read somewhere that there is a statue of a tourist with a camera. When we reached that corner, I realized I had passed this corner many times, and don't recall not one statue. The address was for the Folger Coffee Company Building.... among the people outside and passing by, we did not see not one statue that looked like a tourist, let alone holding a camera. Walking around the building, we noticed a small side sidewalk lined with steel benches on Howard that lead to a small plaza.... walking slowing down this area were people sitting and enjoying a snack or a late lunch, talking on cell phones or (yuck) smoking... and as I moved further into this shadow-darkened walkway, noticed a couple sitting on the first bench, which turned out to be a statue of a couple, complete with a purse on the bench. Around the corner was the tourist permanently implanted in his footsteps with rock-steady outstretched arm pointed out, steadily diercting a friend on how to stand or where to look, while a oldtime Instamatic camera held with the other hand.Wow, I've never even seen these "people", let alone the the walkway they are located in, though I'd passed through this intersection many times. Instead I am always with eyes skyward, neck aching as I snap the huge and reflective skyscrapers.

As this day ended, the fog started to sneak in... smooth and silky, this was a change from the usual cottony fog I have seen on other occasions. It was gorgeous and reminded me of fog in my youth.... some things never change.

I often have to look elsewhere in order to see changes in my environment, which opens my eyes to new sights.

1 comment:

  1. It amazes me that there is always something in our cities we have never seen before. It must have felt good to take the time out and discover new things.

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