“The fellowship of the cable car.”
San Francisco, USA. October 2017 (17 photos)
This is part 1 of my USA 2017 photo series.
I thought I’d take a momentary pause from my posts about Cuba to post about one of my other destinations from my trip last year, San Francisco.
It’s not possible to fly directly to Cuba from Australia, so I had to decide how to get there and not run foul of the rules of the US Embargo against Cuba. My first stop was San Francisco where I stayed for several days. I’ve been to San Francisco a few times before. It’s my preferred entry point to the US mainland. I like the atmosphere there. I like the food there. There’s also a few things worth photographing there. Please let me be your tour guide and show you some photos…
I took a taxi to my hotel from the airport. My driver told me he moved to San Francisco in the 1960s to be part of the hippy movement, and never left. Strange, because he was a very aggressive driver – I’ve not known anyone to be so heavy on a car horn as he was. He told me I’d arrived just in time for Fleet Week, which caught me by surprise. I’d not heard of Fleet Week during my trip planning. Basically, Fleet Week is a United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Over this weekend multiple aerial displays were performed over the city.
“Blue Angels over Alcatraz.”
So I immediately adjusted my plans and spent a morning watching the elite Blue Angels perform over the San Francisco Bay. Most of the crowds were on the water’s edge. However, I chose to find a higher vantage point, so that I could have background context, watching most of the displays from Russian Hill.
I spent a day in The Mission District to explore the street art.
“Domo arigato Mr Roboto.”
Mission Park on a weekend is a great place for people watching. The Mission District has some of San Francisco’s better eateries. I don’t base my trips on food but I do like to research the food options before going. In advance I prepared for a 6 meal/snack strategy on that day in The Mission.
“The Bay Bridge, 5am.”
Of course, the bridges of San Francisco need to photographed. It’s worth getting up extra early sometimes, even on holidays.
“Golden Gate dawn, 6:50am.”
“In the land of giants.”
It was good to get out and walk amongst the old growth Redwood trees at Muir Woods National Monument.
“Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil, Text no evil.”
There are plenty of great places on the streets of San Francisco for street photography. This was taken in Chinatown.
“San Francisco National Cemetery.”
“Golden Gate evening, 6:30pm.”
Well, if you’re going to do dawn photography of the bridges, it’s worth also taking some sunset and night photos.
“Golden Gate night, 8pm.”
For the third time now, I’ve walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. This time I started with a yum cha lunch at Hong Kong Lounge II in the Laurel Heights District. They feature heavily in articles about San Francisco’s best yum cha. One word of warning though. You choose off a menu, not from a cart. I chose 8 dishes that I recognised and like. Unfortunately I didn’t realise that the servings are larger than I’m used to in Australia and I faded fast. At least I could take the leftovers with me to eat whilst walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Point Lime view.”
I have a ritual where I walk through the Presidio, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. With my photography stops it takes a few hours. Seriously, you have to burn off the calories somehow. If you really want a workout, do this walk in the reverse direction. Sausalito to The Presidio is mostly uphill.
It’s an easy ferry ride back to San Francisco. And the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco is now a gourmet food hub. That’s smoke haze in the background. This was the first or second day of the Sonoma County Fires that killed more than 40 people and burned over 8000 buildings/houses.
“Smoke gets in your eyes.”
The view from Alcatraz Island, looking in the direction of Sonoma County.
I spent some time climbing the famous steps of San Francisco around Coit Tower. Whilst catching my breath I saw this interesting building.
“We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall.”
A woman passing by asked if I knew the significance of this building. I didn’t. She told me it featured in the movie, Dark Passage, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It was the apartment for Lauren Bacall’s character in the movie. It pays to speak to the locals.
The view from Coit Tower back to Russian Hill.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this partial glimpse into my visit to San Francisco.
This is part 1 of my USA 2017 photo series.
This is part 1 of my North America 2017 photo series.