Day 37: San Francisco

A very hot and exhausting day in San Francisco. The weather was not at all like I remembered it — maybe I was never here in August before. So much for fog and needing to put on a sweater every 15 minutes. It must’ve been near 90 today. I love the city but I driving up and down steep hills stresses me out. And Grip clearly doesn’t care for cable cars — those crammed vehicles with people hanging off the sides gave her something new to bark at.

The look of the place is not how I remembered it either (25 years later). The neighborhoods I knew well (Columbus, the Marina area, downtown) are not even recognizable to me now (new businesses, new development). The gritty areas are no longer gritty. I covered a lot of ground despite the one-way streets and traffic. I just might be able to pull off finishing S.F. tomorrow and getting some other nearby cities in. Since tomorrow’s Saturday, I should get off to a light-traffic start at 8am (usually when I start shooting).

The dogs got to play at two legit dog parks in town. Mid-day, we went to check out McLaren Park. There’s a small pond (reservoir) for the dogs to play in which helped cool them off. There were some ducks that Grem thought she might catch but they paddled along just out of her reach for about five minutes til she got too cold and had to come back to shore.

At the end of the day, we went to Crissy Field which is right at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Incredible views and it seems the whole waterfront is off-leash. There were way too many people so we went further down across a bridge. There were a lot of windsurfers and photographers set up to shoot the sunset behind the bridge but we stayed out of their way. Everything was great til Grem disappeared into the fenced off protected area. So I had to have someone hold my dogs while I climbed the fence and went looking for her. When I finally got her after about 5 long minutes, she got put back on leash for the rest of the time there. She is such a hunter — everything’s fine as long as I work like a maniac to keep her busy with ball/treat/ball/treat.

I was relieved that Nik was so focused on his Dinosaur Cuz (squeaky dog toy) that he didn’t notice the sea lions swimming and barking when they cruised by only about 30 feet from shore. He surely would have gone after them had it not been for his toy. There were also pelicans flying around. What an incredible place!

On with today’s photos. The painted wall advertisement for Shasta. I love this little guy!


This has to be one of the most dramatic arrow signs that I’ve ever seen – complete with martini:


A lot of sad used-ta-be movie theatres on Mission. Some will make it to my website but these won’t:


Some streetscapes. This one is rather scary:


A couple doggie shots from my lap while stuck in traffic. I don’t think Grem had ever heard the violin before. I think she kind of liked it. This performer was in front of Neiman Marcus:


Grip is the only dog that I know of that recognizes 2-D representations of animals and people. She barked at this guy on the bus advertisement next to us.


An artpiece on an abandoned building on Howard Street entitled “Defenestration”. It features the illusion of furniture & stuff being thrown from the windows.


A couple nice plastic signs:


A more realistic turn-around cleaning time. I’m told that no one really does it in one hour anyway:


It seems so disrespectful to see these modern logos slapped right on these great Art Deco buildings:


And lastly, an iconic photo of San Francisco. Ah, yes, the sailboats on the water and the Bay Bridge — with a homeless person’s shopping cart in the foreground. I’ve sure seen a lot of economic disparity on this trip. I won’t get into politics in this blog, but hopefully the next President can bring some positive change to America.

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