Friday, August 12, 2011

Best use of detergent recyclables this week.

No. It's not some fatally beleaguered coral reef off Hawaii. The vibrantly colored plastic hangs by design in a shop window with no apparent purpose beyond providing a glimpse of life on the inside, when all those fun bubbles are far out at sea.

How to balance work and beach.

The Boardwalk at Santa Monica and Venice on a July weekend is anything but boring. It can easily verge on annoying or infinitely entertaining, depending on your POV.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Glen Park Canyon - where the city falls off.

This park may be one of those well-kept secrets. Although I lived 2 blocks away some years ago and visited often, this was my first trip back in many years.
In some ways it's quite extraordinary because of the sneaky way it hides itself away - right in the middle of everything urban. Within a small area of perhaps a half square mile lie glorious Willow, Cedar, towering Eucaliptus, looping trails, reedy streams and even slightly daunting, rocky escarpments. Nimble, mating Damsel flies, buttery waterlillies and legions of song birds, hummingbirds and Red-Tailed hawks bombard the senses. On the east ridge tidy, unassuming homes dangle precariously over the canyon like freeway dead zones or hip, architectural statements. Nice.

That fighting spirit must still linger on

Two hundred or so years of military types buried here (Presidio Cemetery) and some quite interesting history behind San Francisco's warriors I'm sure. I'm meandering between the perfect lines of white stones and reading names of Cavalry Captains and Major Generals and Lt. Major Generals poking up through  blades of regulation-length grass, like marching emerald Lilliputian bayonets. It doesn't seem to even trigger a moments thought in the breeze-ruffled brain of bouncy Robins focused more on a tasty bug dinner.

Monday, May 16, 2011

WPA and a rare Post Office treat.

I just love the way these mural panels make me feel–all moody and unsettled. Had to go to the Rincon Annex and capture the whole set this weekend, something I've wanted to do for 30 years ever since I first clapped eyes on 'em. They don't disappoint. The harsh reality of emigrating West through a lens tinged with yellowed filters of the Depression, it's a potent brew. The artist was Anton Refregier, a Russian with a visceral touch for edge and detail yet the faces seem void of expression and emotion, so matter-of-fact. Unnerving.

Monday, May 9, 2011

24th Street Mural-still best in class

Best history of Americas and deft brushwork in the street if you ask me. This wall (continues round the corner too) has held up well over the years and the chance to snap it again without the usual traffic had to be done. Added exposure of the Olmec monolithic sculptures show recently at the DeYoung really enlivens the richly realized images on offer.

Social Networking hits the bike trail

Seen on the Sunday Vehicle-Free Valencia Street Happening - looks like up to 6 people at a round table and riding to who knows where? Anyway, who cares when it looks so much fun. I can see Twitter execs jumping on this bandwagon in no time flat. I'd even throw in a coffee bar.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SF Maritime Museum bathrooms - Style on track.

Although there's no sign of a mural (as opposed to the women's) in the men's toilet, I think you'll agree any self-respecting sailor caught short, would feel right at home with the porthole motif and nautical sparseness.

Sea life oozing with art.

More details from the fabulous interior WPA era murals by painter Hilaire Hiler - circa 1938 "Lost Continents of Atlantis and Mu" at the Maritime Museum.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Maritime Museum's Fabulous Fishy walls

Wonderfully refreshed WPA era original murals by Hilaire Hiler - "Lost Continents of Atlantis and Mu" at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. The other exhibits are a bit skimpy since the refurb - not a patch on what they used to be, and they say it could be 3 years at least before they get the next level going.
But the bathrooms are worth a visit.

Windy day near Trans Bay

Wandering around a part of downtown I rarely go anymore, noticed the dreary old Trans Bay Terminal is gone and a kind of plastic Camelot fairground with bus gates replacing it - to be upgraded by something much grander some years hence. Here and there demolished buildings contribute twisted rebar, rubble and razor wire. This unfortunate brolly, (or is it a kilt?) -  failed to make it over. Sad.