Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Raining

I will remember sunnier times with this photo from last week. Supposedly it will get up to 90 degrees this weekend, so I'm also going to enjoy the cloudy dampness while I can.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Balmy Alley - San Francisco (and environs nearby)

I had an assignment for a photo class to take 100 shots without worrying about whether they would make "good" shots or not--just take 'em and decide later.

On the day of this assignment, my parents and I started our journey to San Francisco to visit my cousin, who was in a serious car accident this week. She's going to be all right, but she has some long-term healing to do. I thank the car gods for sparing her. Her good spirits were something to behold. Heal quickly, Maria! This was just outside SF General Hospital, which is undergoing construction for a new building.

We were hungry after leaving the hospital, so we stopped for burritos at La Taqueria on 25th & Mission. Do you crave an authentic, fresh and delicious burrito in San Francisco's Mission District? Look no further! I've been going to this place for more than 30 years. Same menu. Absolutely fresh and tasty. Be sure to order avocado for your burrito. It is worth the extra price.

While we were driving along 24th Street, watching all the murals out the car windows, I snapped this, not realizing it was a shop for Mexican wrestling masks. A little blurry (I was in a moving vehicle), but look, a Mexican wrestling-mask store!

Then we passed Balmy Alley and I realized my parents had never visited, so my dad kindly zipped around the block and they drove along slowly through the alley while I hopped out of the car and took some photos. This is the original "Mural Alley" of the Mission District. Now there are hundreds of murals throughout the large neighborhood, but I remember Balmy as being the first where a group of artists totally took over a street and did it up right. Here's a smattering of their work, which is always evolving throughout the years, since the 1980s.

To summarize:
-La Taqueria - at Mission & 25th Streets.
-24th Street murals (all the way down from Mission to Potrero--an incredible array of painted buildings for blocks and blocks).
-Balmy Alley - between 24th and 25th Streets and Treat Ave. and Harrison Street.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Highly artificial spring-time at the Hyatt Regency San Franicsco

Perhaps the most artificial environment in San Francisco, the Hyatt Regency atrium never fails to deliver the weirdness. The giant puffy flowers are a new element alongside the cold 70s-era modern decor.

Alas, the formerly revolving restaurant, Equinox, is now stationary, and for private guests only. I remember my dad taking us there when I was around nine and not only was it amazing to revolve 360 degrees throughout the course of our meal, but the ice cubes in my water glass were ROUND with HOLES in the middle! I'm not kidding! I was really impressed.

Jackson experiences the wall-o-water in the giant fountain.

Mel Brooks used the Hyatt's atrium and its zippy glass elevators to great effect in 1977's High Anxiety.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mitchell Canyon Loop - Mt. Diablo

Mostly shady hike along Mitchell Canyon loop on Mt. Diablo. The creek alongside the road is really running. I never even knew there was a creek alongside this hike. It's always been dried up when I've gone in the past. Always a surprise. We technically did not do the loop, stopping somewhere near the top and heading back down the easy way. Next time. Still exhausted today due to strenuous climb near the top.

Animal count: 2 fence lizards, ground squirrels, bunny, birds of prey, giant black beetle in middle of road, hearsay of rattlesnake along trail (not spotted by us), tick on my calf--discovered at home--yuck.