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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

May 13, 2010

Unlike, Well....
Thursday. A day seems to have made quite a difference. Up, to breakfast, back. Good. A blue berry waffle with a sliced banana on top, mixed fruit and coffee. The day starts as yesterday started except I then found myself getting on a bus and riding downtown to see how this Bike To Work Day might look through a camera lens. The first indication I had Bike To Work Day might be having an impact was waiting on the bus, a group of cyclists passing by my stop. Perhaps they come by every day at eight, I'm usually passing by in my car on the way home from breakfast, but I'm thinking not.

And so of course pictures. A demonstration of how to attach your bike to the rack on the front of a bus, various speeches being made by Oakland council members, a long line of people waiting for the free pancakes, various tables set up with clever bike accessories and such. What I expected, I guess, if I had the imagination to expect anything.

Are you not in favor of biking to work? You sound a little snide.

I'd ride a bike if it were safer. They have bike lanes along Grand Avenue, for example, but nothing that turns off Grand and takes you all the way downtown. Too many friends who've been hit by cars. And I've been telling myself I'm getting too old to survive in traffic. Which makes you wonder about my driving. So I walk a lot, only drive early mornings to breakfast (and the supermarket and occasionally to Seattle). The more bicycles the better, but bicycles with alive and well riders.

A walk over to the City Center for a small cup of coffee, the sky overcast, the City Center pretty much empty for this time of morning. A walk then about halfway back to the apartment, feeling good, a hop on the bus on Grand Avenue and home, the sun breaking through the clouds outside my window. So good. Yesterday the morning was crash and burn until noon with a slow recovery by evening. Now I'm sitting here at ten thinking I'd like to get out again, see if I can find some pictures, go over to the city maybe and see what that big sculpture looks like that they've installed in front of San Francisco City Hall. Couldn't hurt.

Later. Indeed a very different day. A BART ride to San Francisco to photograph the three-story, 15-ton “Three Heads Six Arms” sculpture by Zhang Huan in Civic Center Plaza and boy-howdy that's what I did and there it indeed was. I took many pictures, some of which didn't turn out for reasons I'm going to have to talk with Nikon about (my 24 - 70mm lens seems to have a glitch), but many of which did. Quite an experience.

Feeling pretty good I walked the two or so miles from the City Center Plaza to the Embarcadero, taking the occasional photograph along the way, thinking I'd take a look at this giant tent they'd erected beside the Vaillancourt Fountain to house the Peter Pan stage show I'd been reading about in the paper. Been a while since I've walked along Market between the City Hall and Powell Street, where you find what is most probably the most popular tourist cable car terminus as well as Union Square and the surrounding shopping area, forgetting what it looked like, how sleazy it was in parts and, of course, interesting too. Doodle-dee-do.

The area around the Villancourt Fountain was crowded, as it always is during the noon hour, but the Peter Pan complex of tents and comfortable seating areas with tables and chairs was empty. The guard at the entrance made it a point to say it was open to the public, but I suspect the sight of the guard at the entrance had the crowd thinking it wasn't, otherwise it would have been full of people. I'd have been eating lunch there anyway.

So, tired after a couple of hours scooting around. A ride back on BART and then a bus back home, arriving around two-thirty. Done for the day after adjusting and saving some forty of the hundred or so pictures I'd taken.

I mentioned yesterday was a bummer? Day and night, this day over yesterday, I'm wondering at the difference. I almost feel like a fellow capable of adventure, like finishing this framing project (the Epson paper I ordered had arrived when I got back), like working on the promised Seagull magazine screed promised to Mr D., like, well, you get the idea. Tomorrow, of course, we are done in for the rest of this day, the muscles tired (in a good way), the head drifting, actually, not unlike, well....

The photograph was taken Sunday at the San Francisco 2010 How Weird Street Faire with a Nikon D3s mounted with an 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 5.6 at 1/160th second, ISO 800.