Art on the Walls, Peace in the Heart

Below is a very small sample of murals,¬†graffiti, and graphics I found on a lunch break near work. Mind you I don’t claim this as an exhaustive catalog of the Tenderloin’s vibrancy. In time, I will seek out more and better examples (please feel free to send me suggestions).

Sometimes the building’s graphic designs or additions brought their own punch to the picture. I loved these few examples, which relied both on paint and design. Kudos to the Hostel for using the SF Giants colors. We will just admire the arrow shapes and ignore the blue in the white building. ūüėČ

Mind the last one with the wavy special effects is a killer if you have vertigo. Best enjoyed in quick glances.

Perhaps my favorites are building additions where it’s hard to tell if a freelance tagger or professional muralist designed them. I suspect in these next pair of shots it’s professionals. The one with the young boys is the entrance to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (great community resource). ¬†The Keith Haring influenced one lies in an alley way (total shame since its gorgeous). By the way, I’ve included random people in some shots because it makes it look more alive.







Then I found certain scenes just reminded me of San Francisco with the different signs and the bus. After all what is the City without SF MUNI? Now calm people, calm; it works a lot of the time.

Or I found the contrast interesting (both in a good and bad way) such as how  advertising signs contrasted with items on the street. 

Plus I liked the way the store owner made tagging easy. Better to join them than try and beat them.

The most professional, and seemingly newest, appeared on US Post Office. These are beautiful images of music and birds, which also tie in with modern tile facade. They could be their own postcards but again it’s interesting to juxtapose them against the street.







Kim H√łltermand Photography – Selected Works

Kim H√łltermand Photography – Selected Works

Absolutely stunning pictures of buildings, roads, and nature. I caught the referral from¬†¬†(James Griffen’s site, which got named 20th top design blog.)

I highly recommend both of them. Essentially the photography site shows what I “try” to accomplish (but remains eons beyond me). The other site (Griffen’s) mixes up everything, which appeals to my¬†eclectic nature.

Think of it as a happy treasure hunt.

NYT: Striking Palermo’s Pizza Workers Caught Up in ICE Net


Do Not Distract the Pizza Maker
Do Not Distract the Pizza Maker (Photo credit: cogdogblog)

Much like UFW organized consumer boycotts starting in the 1960s, the community needs to help these workers. In the beginning shoppers would refuse to patronize supermarkets carrying non-union grapes. As time marched forward through the next decades, it morphed into refusing to buy any grapes. Only relatively recently have those boycotts lightened up.

3 boycott pictsweet sign and flags
3 boycott pictsweet sign and flags (Photo credit: National Farm Worker Ministry)
English: Color logo of the National Labor Rela...
English: Color logo of the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the United States federal government. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putting aside (at least for now) arguments on immigration, everyone suffers when a class of exploitable workers exist. After all if an employer can hire someone for five dollars an hour without fearing punishment then it will break wages across workforce. More importantly, we need to remember success is not a zero sum game. Sharing wealth more fairly will put more people back to work because we will have more consumers and more stable neighborhoods. In the meantime, kudos to NLRB.

NYT: Where’s the Outrage?


December 10 march for voting rights
December 10 march for voting rights (Photo credit: Sunset Parkerpix) article on the spate of voter suppression laws passed in various states. A proactive solution might lie in getting photo ids out to people. Its something entertainment industry could spearhead. Obviously still fight like hell to overturn but use this as backup.


New Jim Crow Laws - Arizona - Jan Brewer - Mar...
New Jim Crow Laws – Arizona – Jan Brewer – Maricopa County – Joe Arpaio (Photo credit: Cuauhtemoc-Hidalgo Villa-Zapata)


Urban Oasis

I seek beauty in my everyday surroundings, especially objects folks have created or curated  for others to share. Their unselfish efforts make me smile and calm my spirit. Given the short supply of laughter and peace in this world I consider these gifts beyond measure.

Tonight I will focus on mini-gardens I found in my neighborhoods (both work and home). Some are masterful efforts with many plants, others are clever uses of color to enhance houses, and a few are quirky celebrations of tiny spaces. All are surrounded by mature trees, which I sprinkled in this selection. Finally not bad for the land of the fog, eh?

Mind you a new photographer has grabbed them in quick travels. Thus blame the blogger and not the gardeners for anything you find lacking.





The DOL Newsletter – July 19, 2012: Great News re Workers Rights Enforcement at Federal Level


English: Hilda Solis speaks as the newly annou...
English: Hilda Solis speaks as the newly announced U.S. Secretary of Labor as President-elect Barack Obama looks on (at far left is announced U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk) Licensing: Category:Images of Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Given the national media’s obsession with celebrities and sound bites a lot of important information gets missed. Namely the wonderful work Hilda Solis and others at Federal Department of Labor are doing for workers.


Its not just enforcement to recover wages or ensure safety, but also job development and worker training.


Construction workers at a considerable height ...



Go take a look and subscribe for free. Lots of specialized emails as well


Workers' Memorial Day poster Pray for the dead...
Workers’ Memorial Day poster Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


NYT: Senate Democrats (To Call Tax Bluff?)


Tax the Rich.  End the War.  Live Love.
Tax the Rich. End the War. Live Love. (Photo credit: Lisa Norwood)


US Federal Income Tax Rate for Top Income Brac...
US Federal Income Tax Rate for Top Income Bracket 1929 – 2011 (Photo credit: Cory M. Grenier) Democrats plan to let all tax cuts expire and force Republicans to vote up or down on middle class tax cuts. Scary yet article details support coming from liberal think tanks.It reminds me of Clinton’s welfare reform and deficit cutting.


Seemingly outrageous yet beneficial in the long run. (Yes, I know folks can fight over competing data but at least most everyone had opportunity to move forward in Clinton years. More importantly people believed it.)




NYT: Who’s on America’s Side? — Dowd Nails It

Hollywood On Trial
Hollywood On Trial (Photo credit: wgbhmorningstories)¬†NYT Columnist Maureen Dowd describes how the Republican efforts to smear Obama as UnAmerican are failing. Worse, many Americansseem to finally realize it’s the Republicans protecting corporate interests at all costs that threatens the Republic. Of course it’s not all, which presents the danger.

Read her piece along with NYT article on Chinese‘s elites flailing attempts to introduce reform at the elites lack any real connection to the people so discussions rendered moot. However, many recognize the dangers arising from this lack of contact as shown by both the original Chinese Revolution and (certainly) the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

red-color news soldier
red-color news soldier (Photo credit: the|G|‚ĄĘ)
Albert Einstein The important thing is not to ...
Albert Einstein The important thing is not to stop questioning (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

The challenge lies in convincing folks it’s not only their right but their duty to dissent on issues of principle.

Nifty Nearby Nuggets

I work within shouting distance of San Francisco¬†City Hall, which exists in a neighborhood most of us know as the ‘Loin (Tenderloin). The Tenderloin boasts both some of the oldest and newest building buildings in the City, a diverse and densely packed¬†populace, and the real and imagined seats of federal, state, and local power. ¬† Having attended Hastings and worked down there for years,

I have seen it swing from the most vibrant to the most desolate of places (sometimes in a single day as folks scurry home).

Tonight I can’t possibly do it justice so I will let some random photos speak to it. Know however you should come on down. You will find the best food (at the best prices), a dizzying amount of art (in museums and fairs), and street theater (both in and outside of City Hall).

Enjoy but remember I’m still learning both the software and photography.


Time as True Currency

Clock in Kings Cross railway station
Clock in Kings Cross railway station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a love hate relationship with time. I can waste it, lose myself in it, and fear it. Rarely, however, do I revel in it. In my younger days, I impatiently speeded time up so I could obtain things (a car to drive, a college acceptance to take me out of an oppressive small town, or a degree to let me graduate). As I grew older I desperately expanded my time so I could acquire more things (recognition at work, political victories, or trivia masquerading as knowledge).

Trivial things
Trivial things (Photo credit: mariag.)

Too soon I regretted lost time as I either failed to obtain, or (more often) failed to keep, those things I sought (loved ones passed, relationships failed, and ambitions crumbled).

Document Time Passing (p. 166-167) - Result
Document Time Passing (p. 166-167) – Result (Photo credit: atibens)

Far more eloquent voices than mine have addressed these problems.¬†Time quotes. Perhaps my favorite comes from Shakespeare¬†when he speaks to the seven stages of man, with its¬†wondrous¬†opening “All the worlds a stage, And all the man and women merely players: They have their exits and entrances. These observers, whether cynical or optimistic, all boil life down¬†to one premise, life is too damn short so try to [fill in blank — enjoy it, fulfill a spiritual quest, or be a millionaire before thirty].

Given all the philosophers have analyzed time how come so few “get it?” Einstein wisely noted¬†“the only reason time exists is so everything doesn’t happen at once.”¬†Einstein Quotes – Quotes by Albert Einstein.¬†Unfortunately¬†as a¬†“proverbial person of the earth” ¬†(aka not the brainiest of souls) I find even brilliantly insightful abstractions hard to grasp. ¬†Mostly I can’t apply abstractions for I find reacting easier than planning. When this proclivity leads me to help someone it’s great. When it drags me to a temper tantrum it’s awful. But nothing is black and white.

The first set of Strachan and Co currency toke...
The first set of Strachan and Co currency tokens–recognised as South Africa’s first indigenous currency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ultimately – or at least for tonight – I see time as the currency making the world go round. Before we learn better we need youth’s impatience to motivate us. Currently I see the acquisition stage, outside of people to love (both platonic and romantic), as highly overrated. (Odd since given my numerous collections friends and relatives keep threatening to put me on A&E Hoarders)In contrast I view the regret stage as vital to learning life’s lessons. (Yes, you can spend – and god knows I have spent – ¬†too much time wallowing the sea of regret.) But the pain, much like grabbing a mule’s attention for training purposes, drives the lesson home.

Mule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Speaking to my personal experience I can affirm forgiveness relieves the pain. ¬†William Blake¬†wisely wrote¬†“it is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” ¬†However, far better to surrender pride than lose all contact with someone whom you once loved. Maybe it won’t work out but then you have stopped renting them space in your head (uncollected rent I might add). Again time helps – when you have it to give – because it dulls the painful edges. Still, as noted above, we never own time so careful with gambling on it.

Learn To Forgive
Learn To Forgive (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

Much later I will post on the hardest thing of all, forgiving myself. However, in the interim it’s back to pictures and design.