Lighten Up Girlfriend (Guardian)

Sheesh. We turn our back for a minute – remember we live and die with the SF Giants – only to find she skidded off again to “deep thoughts.”  Talk about ruining a good time. She’s even talking politics again. While she glumly sorts through another spot of Vertigo (no, not the cool Hitchcock movie she always been too scared to watch), let’s clean this up.

Where’s our blog, you (and us) may well ask. Hmmphhh. Still negotiating. She tried to buy Buddy off with the red hat. Like one hat could ever be enough. Besides wait and see what we do to it during tomorrow’s St. Louis Cardinal‘s game.

We keep telling her sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll sells. Hell, we will settle for cute kitten or puppy pictures. Anything to lure a second (and less stingy) mommy in here. (Ooops, did we say mommy? Don’t get too excited, you will have to earn it to move beyond Guardian status.)

So we sorted through some of her remaining shots and grabbed the following.

 

Let’s start with a splash of color (at least she’s starting to pay attention to street items):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She even tried some weird angles (yes artsy technique needs lots of work but lets encourage her — though she probably could find a way to even make this political; shudder):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survivors Take the Other Path

Doorways, especially the more ornate, have always fascinated me. Opening them hopefully  leads to  answers, adventure, or escape.

 

Doubtless my taste in childhood literature – A Wrinkle in Time, Chronicles of Narnia, or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – shaped this interest. In each the child characters found a hidden path,  most magical but some mundane, to  adult adventure without submitting to adult control.

Like every good piece of fiction, each character suffered disappointment, overcame obstacles,  and returned chastened. Regardless neither they nor the reader regretted the journey. Most, especially this reader, sought a pathway to return.Japanese Tea Garden Path

 

 

 

A life spent breathing San Francisco’s intoxicating smells – salty fog, innumerable spices, and perfumed humanity –  doubtless contributed to this zest for adventure. Childhood’s culinary map included  Chinese  Dishes, Russian Piroshki’s, and (homemade) Greek Food; generally sold in nearby but still different neighborhoods. (Now it would be ThaiEthiopian, and Indian, likely without as much travel but lessons still learned.)  Prior to Proposition 13 – yes, I’m that old – museum, aquariums, and parks holding the world’s knowledge opened their doors for free. (Even now you can find a way to free days if you can fight the crowds.) Frankly today the babble of different languages, clashing customs, and  the kaleidoscope of cultures make even SF MUNI an adventure. (Unlike some of my peers from the Outer Sunset, I — thanks to my mom’s early lessons — embrace San Francisco’s diversity.)

 

It’s why San Francisco continues to succeed through earthquakes, AIDS, and recessions.

 

 

 

 

Most of us came from somewhere else – or were raised by those folks from somewhere else – or wrongly get treated as being from somewhere else despite having families here going back generations. As such we know nothing forces us to remain stifled by custom or status quo. For those willing to remain so ignorant their stay is no longer pleasant. Or, on a happier note, food and/or persons from somewhere else often seduce them into knowing better. An honest look at San Francisco’s (California) history will reveal this has happened for centuries (when we used to pit ethnicities against each other, like we currently do with racial groups.)

 

 

Art on the Walls, Peace in the Heart

Below is a very small sample of muralsgraffiti, 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. 😉

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 Høltermand Photography – Selected Works

Kim Høltermand Photography – Selected Works

Absolutely stunning pictures of buildings, roads, and nature. I caught the referral from http://cmykern.com/2012/06/kim-h%C3%B8ltermand/ (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.

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.