One more place to lose your heart, or stir it, near San Francisco


Did I mention that San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world?

A lot of reasons.  My father had businesses there (1930s?).  My parents wooed in and around there.  Our Favorite Aunt Linda did well in the area (Marin County, but that just adds to the beauty).

I was accepted at Hastings College of Law.  We figured we had enough saved that we could either pay tuition at Hastings, and live on what Kathryn could earn, if she could get a job; or we could buy a house in the D.C. area, keep our jobs on Senate staff, and pay tuition.

We had a wonderful week in San Francisco getting no job interviews.  On our last night we found a Tower Record Store and stocked up (back in the days of vinyl) for the next four years at George Washington, and sadly left the city.  In a fit of irony, Tower Records opened a store across the street from GW’s law school two years later.

Earlier, after the 1976 elections, I hid out at Aunt Linda’s joint, Red Robin Catering, tending bar, washing dishes, washing a lot of lettuce, and generally trying to make a car payment and enjoy San Francisco.  She catered the opening of the Marin/San Francisco ferry, which meant more than a dozen trips overall, as I recall, serving champagne mostly.  Now I look back on how unfair it was that my youth did not include electronic cameras.

Early mornings — and there were more than a few — the city is just unsurpassed in beauty.  Cousin Steve pushed me out of bed to go see the Muir Woods at near dawn (I confess I did not go often enough).  Some nights I’d just cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge for the views.

Like this one, a composition from several shots from the same place, woven together with the wonders of electronic camera software:

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, and fog, from Marin County - Wikimedia image, panorama photo stitching by Mila Zinkova

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, and fog, from Marin County - Wikimedia image, panorama photo stitching by Mila Zinkova

It’s shot from Marin County, west of the Golden Gate Bridge, I think — that’s the North Tower of the bridge, with the Bay Bridge and the city of San Francisco in the background.

Discussion at Wikimedia:  Those are crepuscular rays coming through the trees.  There’s an SAT vocabulary word for you:  Crepuscular.

More crepuscular rays from Marin County, Wikimedia photo by Mila Zinkova

More crepuscular rays from Marin County, Wikimedia photo by Mila Zinkova

More:

  • More great shots of San Francisco at Heida Biddle’s Tales of 7, here, and especially here
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2 Responses to One more place to lose your heart, or stir it, near San Francisco

  1. Heida Biddle says:

    Thanks so much for the shout out :)

    – Heida (Tales of Seven)

    Like

  2. James Hanley says:

    I lived in San Francisco for almost four years. If you told me I would get to live there another three years, I’d jump at the chance. If you told me I had to spend the rest of my life in “The City,” I’d disembowel myself.

    San Francisco is in many ways a terrible place to live. It’s a dirty city, and many locations frequently smell like urine, due to its large homeless population. It’s also incredibly crowded by American standards, especially for someone like me, who moved there from a small town in the midwest, where there was lots of yard space between houses. And the smugness of “The City” (as the San Francisco Chronicle persistently refers to it) is unbearable.

    But its beauty, below the filth, is wonderful. Anyone who can’t admire a row of old victorian houses is aesthetically dead. And many days when I thought I couldn’t last another week there, I’d ride my bike over a hill and just stand awestruck at the beauty of the bay and its bridges. That view alone could carry me over for another month. And underneath, hard to find sometimes, is the tremendously kind and generous attitude of native San Franciscans–at least those who were of a certain generation, which was as honest a kindness as that of anyone from the midwest.

    San Francisco’s greatest virtue, however, is its proximity to the North Bay area: the Marin headlands, Mt. Tamilpais, Muir Woods, etc. In contrast to Los Angeles, which takes forever just to get out of, you can be out of San Francisco in no time, because geographically it’s so small. Of course one could really take advantage of this just by living in the North Bay, and only venturing into San Francisco when absolutely necessary.

    Then there’s all that East Bay and South Bay stuff–all suburbia to me, and hardly worth noticing. Why anyone would live there is beyond me.

    Like

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