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Frank's Trip to Northern California

I was in The Bay Area for a week, from February 11th-18th. I was attending the RSA Conference, which was in San Jose, CA, and spent most of the week there. I also went into San Francisco for a day.

Here are some photos of my day as a tourist in San Francisco and a few random shots of San Jose as I tried to finish the roll of film.

Click on the thumbnail images to get larger ones (around 100-300K).

Golden Gate Park

I drove into San Francisco, Sunday February 12th, around 9am (amazingly, very little traffic). My first stop was Golden Gate Park, which is a pretty amazing place (map). Utterly huge. And it feels different from, say, Central Park in NYC. Lots and lots and lots and lots of gardens. Oh, on Sundays, cars are generally restricted, so lots of pedestrians, bicycles, roller-blades, and the like. So I (eventually) found a place to park a few blocks away and walked to the nearest entrance.

While there, I visited the Rose Garden, Shakespeare Garde, Japanese Tea Garden, and the Botanical Garden. Lots of gardens. Not much was blooming in the rose garden (it was Februrary), so no pictures of that. Across the street from the art musuem (M.H. de Young Moemorial Museum) the Music Concourse was under rennovation, and the California Academy of Sciences was being relocated.

Oh, and the day was beautiful. In San Jose, when I woke up (three hours earlier than normal, time difference, you know?), it was completely foggy. About halfway up the penninsula, it started to break up and it was a sunny, blue-sky day after that, very pleasant. I didn't even need a jacket.

* [A cool tree] I don't know if this is a Torrey Pine or not, but it does sort of look like one. Big tree. It looked cool. It was on JFK drive, almost across the street from the art musuem (north of the museum). I had to wait a little for all the pedestrians, roller-bladers, bicyclists, and such to pass by before I could take the picture. (Feb 2006)

* [music concourse, under repair] This area was fenced off, as they were doing work on the music concourse. All the trees, short and stubby, reminded me of something from the game Doom (or perhaps it was Doom II). I'm not sure how long the area has been under construction, since there is (now) a functioning underground parking garage. And the California Academy of Sciences is temporarily elsewhere while they build a new one. It might be that this is clean-up after all that construction. It looked like it should be pretty nice once complete. (Feb 2006)

* [Cobwebs on a fence] The Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers was a small grassy area with a kind of stage and I imagine flowers around, though they probably weren't blooming at the time. It's supposed to have 150 plants and flowers that are mentioned in Shakespeare's poems and plays. It's a nice, quiet, private area. Two older guys were sitting on a bench chatting. What caught my eye was the wrought iron fence at the entrance. Really cool, funky cobweb sort of things wove themselves between the bars. It's like a segmented sort of cobweb. I suppose it could be a spider's web, or from a silk worm or something. I took a one of the barbs at the top of the fence. Originally, I wanted to get a shot of the name "Shakespeare" that was at the top of the gate, but the sun was right behind it. So instead, I settled for this shot. As I was setting it up and playing with the focus and all that, one of the two guys who was walking out saw what I was aiming at and said, "nice picture." (Feb 2006)

* [Fountain in Botanical Gardens] The San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum is huge. 70 acres, +6,000 plant species, with areas focusing on different regions of the world. This picture was taken by the Fountain looking back onto the Great Meadow (map). It looks like a fish-eye sort of thing, but it was only a 35mm lens and the grass really was in a circle around the fountain. This is facing east, and you can see some of the buildings in the hillside. Many people were just there, spending a Sunday morning reading or walking or just enjoying being outside. It's a pretty cool place. (Feb 2006)

Golden Gate Park: Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is a pretty neat place. Admission is $3 (though it's free at the very beginning and end of the day). It has various paths to walk on, bridges, ponds, shrines, and the like. There's a tea house where you can have (surprise, surprise) tea and some of those funky, crunchy rice cracker thingies, and cookies (almond and fortune). It's all rather pleasant.

* [The Japanese Tea Garden] This is the view of the entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden from MLK Jr. Drive. (Feb 2006)

* [Azaleas in the Japanese Tea Garden] Bright azaleas add color to some of the paths in the garden. (Feb 2006)

* [Stone latern shadows] Some cool shadows on a stone latern. (Feb 2006)

* [Temple gate] A Temple Gate, from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. (Feb 2006)

* [Temple Gate and Pagoda] The Temple Gate and the Pagoda, as seen from the Main Pond. (Feb 2006)

Twin Peaks

No, not the freaky TV show. Twin Peaks are two (or three or four) hilltops in sort of the center of the San Francisco peninsula. It's like 900 feet or so above sea-level and has a really amazing view of the city. There were a number of people by the parking area, but not really many by the other hilltops, which are pretty close and pretty easy (climb up steps). It can get cold up there, but the day I was there was a sunny, warm, blue-sky day and didn't need my jacket.
* [View from Twin Peaks] Looking to the east to south-east. The San Francisco Bay is clearly visible. I'm not sure what landmarks are that way. (Feb 2006)

* [Market Street] A view to the north east and the heart of downtown San Francisco. The large road heading straight towards the big buildings is Market Street. (Feb 2006)

* [Twin Peaks] This was from the top of the north twin peak, looking south to the other twin peak. (Feb 2006)

* [the Antenna!] The three-pronged antenna, visible from miles away, as you get close to San Francisco. It looks like some sort of alien technology. And a very blue sky. (Feb 2006)

* [View to the north] This is a view to the north, with the Golden Gate Bridge visible in the center. Just beyond the road in the center is the Twin Peaks Reservoir, build after the 1906 fire, with a capacity of 10.5 million gallons. (Feb 2006)

* [Frank on Twin Peaks] A picture of me on the south peak, with the city (and Market Street) behind me. I asked a random person to take the shot. (Feb 2006)

* [Twin Peaks (part 1 of 2)] A semi-panoramic short (the left half) of the twin peaks, from the, well, third, of the twin peaks, south of the main two. I had to wait a little bit of time so the road was clear of cars, bikes, motorcycles, and pedestrians. The antennas are behind the north peak, which is where the parking area is located. (Feb 2006)

* [Twin Peaks (part 2 of 2)] A semi-panoramic short (the right half) of the twin peaks. (Feb 2006)

Haight Ashbury

Ah, Haight-Ashbury, the center of the hippie culture in the '60s. I wandered around there and reveled in the haightred. It's a good place to people-watch, even if it's very different from what it once was.

* [A cat in an apartment near Haight-Ashbury] I noticed the cat in the window of this apartment. He had the courtesey of looking straight at me when I took the picture. The colors and angle isn't great but ... (Feb 2006)

* [The corner of Haight and Ashbury] Proof that I was, indeed, at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. I believe this was the north-west corner, facing south-west, if you want to be particular. And it was 6:20pm. (Feb 2006)

San Jose

Some pictures of San Jose. I spent the better part of the week by the convention center, downtown. I took a couple shots around that area, and then a few less discerning "I need to finish this roll of film before my flight in a few hours" type shots.
* [Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park] A small park in the center of town, bounded by one-way streets on either side. It's very narrow, as you can see both sides. It's sort of like the extra space in a divided boulevard. (Feb 2006)

* [SJ Museum of Art] I did not actually go into the San Jose Museum of Art. But I took a picture of the front of it. I did go through the Technology Museum. It was a little disappointing, but I also had a headache at the time. (Feb 2006)

* [Flowers in a SJ Plaza] These flowers were in a plaza between buildings a block away. They were colorful, even though it was a bit of a gray day. (Feb 2006)

* [down in the dumps] OK, it really is just a dump. But it was a blue-sky day and you can see hints of the mountains in the background. It had snowed the day before (down to elevations of around 1,000 feet) so the hills in the distance were now snow-capped, which was neat. However, I didn't find a location where I could capture that. Oh well. (Feb 2006)

* [down in the dumps 2] Yes, more shots of a dump. But these are those rectangular post-crushed stuff. Which means they have those crushing machines and some big-ass fork-lifts or maybe those magnetic cranes. Oh, that would be cool! I can imagine, can't I? (Feb 2006)

* [Office Space] OK, this one is a bit weird. It's like a block away from the hotel where I was staying. Another divided boulevard. The center was mostly dirt, like it had been bulldozed, with the occasional tree. And next one tree was...a filing cabinet. It felt like something from the movie Office Space in which the boss would say, "Now...I NEED you to move your office. OK? If you can just go out and stand by that tree, in the middle of that dirt pit, that would be GREAT. Yeahhhhhhhhhh... Oh, and if you can come in on Saturday, and ... and Sunday too, that'd be great." (Feb 2006)

This page last modified Jul 08, 2009.
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