Saturday, March 21, 2015

Walking by San Francisco Bay, March 20, 2015

Sailboat seen from the Embarcadero.

We took the train from Redwood City into San Francisco, and walked along the Embarcadero from the train station to Ghirardelli Square, accumulating about nine miles in the process. We put on and took off jackets half a dozen times as the clouds covered and uncovered the sun, or the wind blew in our faces or at our backs.

The Embarcadero is about four miles of walkway along the city's waterfront. We walked past the Giants stadium, the Ferry Terminal building and market, Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. It's a course in history, poetry, artworks. One stretch has words from the Rammaytush Indian language.

"Star" = "muchmuchmish."

Posts along the way featured waterfront photos and stories from earlier days. This one described a revolt of Italian crewmen over the bad food aboard a ship. "Let them eat the dog," is a far cry from Marie Antoinette's supposed quote, "Let them eat cake."

Architectural details were often things that one would not be likely to see in Anchorage -- these bas-reliefs were on a building across the street from the Giants stadium.

Mostly, we were focused on the walk and the sights along it, but across the street was the city itself, with Coit Tower, framed by palms, colorful buildings, and immense variety in the architecture.

The people on the street are intriguing in their infinite, city-style variety -- bare feet, for example.

Jim doing his best to contribute to the interest in the photos. Note the cranes on the buildings in the background -- lots of construction going on.

The camera can get closer to the object than I can, and I look in new ways, frame things, take more time to observe. But I also find myself wrestling with the camera to make it take the picture that I am seeing and that it won't take, or isn't technically capable of capturing. So it is friend and foe, tool and barrier, a road to both insight and frustration.

Old dock gray morning.

Same dock, afternoon, with more sun, more reflections, better contrast between the lines of the bridge and the dock. Not sure which I like better.

We walked through the Ferry Terminal Building, looking for lunch. This artist was sitting on the floor, creating today's sign for his place.

Bouquets of freesias, beautiful in scent and color.

Acme breads -- we bought a sourdough cheese roll (delicious), after lunch at Slanted Door.

More sights along the walk:

Sedums in planters.

Bronze disks set into the sidewalk with pictures of some of the denizens of the area in the days before it was filled in and became the waterfront.

Guys playing catch on a lawn.

A remarkable gentleman with white gloves, a cane, hat, pale gray suit, bright tie, and sweet face.

A lot of sea lions, a cormorant, some gulls, all hanging out alongside the Aquarium.

This gull was barking at the woman eating her lunch on the bench, demanding his share.

The Alioto-Lazio building at Fisherman's Wharf (for my Lazio family members).

An immense dog in Ghirardelli Square.

Jim's favorite sight of the day -- a beach, just down the hill from Ghirardelli Square. We sat on a bench eating chocolate  watching the little girl play on the sand and a few (very hardy) people swimming in the Bay.

The Boudin Bakery has bread-makers working in front of plate glass windows so that people can watch the process. Here are a large and small alligator, with a baker posing for the camera.

Bubbles blowing on the wind.

A starling (Regina calls them "cloisonne birds") on a sculpture.

Jim at the west end of a couple of miles long "artwork" -- glass tiles set into the sidewalk.

The description of the "sculpture;" we followed it from one end to the other, and back.

Jim at the beginning of the ribbon, not far west of the Giants stadium.

A woman with a fur coat -- stylish, but too warm for the weather.

Straight lines, angles, clouds.

A large sailboat, well-populated.

A guy catching the late afternoon sun; pigeons, ditto.

Such a civilized day -- train, walk along the waterfront of one the most interesting cities anywhere, take the train back home.

Daylilies in the late afternoon sun, Redwood City train station.

Apple blossoms, making way for the fruit.

We're staying with one of Jim's cousins in the Palo Alto area; here's her neighbor's Meyer lemon tree.

Hummingbird at the top of the tree next door.

Another neighbor's wisteria.

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