28 September, 2009

Steep (and crooked) Streets

There's no end to the fun to be had taking wacky pictures on San Francisco's steep streets. These photos were taken on Potrero Hill.  The hill also happens to be the true home of the "crookedest" street in The City.  Forget Lombard, there are more twists and turns on Vermont Street at 22nd Street.  It's not nearly as attractive (or upscale) as Lombard Street, but its considerably quieter and it has its own charms.  It's featured in the current (otherwise annoying) Subaru ad; the one where the psycho asks his passenger whether he minds if he "takes a short cut".

24 September, 2009

Park(ing) Day 2009

Started by San Francisco art collective Rebar in 2005, Park(ing) day celebrations have spread throughout the globe.  This year, the day was observed on September 18th. The (brilliant) idea is to create temporary green space out of parking spaces and stimulate conversation regarding our urban environment and the predominant roll of the car in our cities. (I can imagine some of the "conversations" between participants and drivers looking for a parking space!)  I'm all for more green... anywhere.

23 September, 2009

Away (in downtown L.A.?)

I've been away for quite awhile, on a break in the fascinating city of Los Angeles.  If you've got a car (I know, who doesn't in the City of Angels?) it's an endlessly distracting place.  Still, one of the most interesting aspects of L.A. is best experienced on foot and can be accessed by public transport.  I'm referring to the sometimes overlooked downtown area, the original core of the city.  The original Pueblo de la Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula was established in September of 1781 in the vicinity of today's Union Station.  The area still features several structures, including a church, from the city's early days.  Nearby is the very grand City Hall and the original "heart" of early 20th century Los Angeles.  Broadway is the main thoroughfare and features such highlights as the Bradbury Building (featured in "Blade Runner"), The Grand Central Market, Angel's Flight Railway, Clifton's Cafeteria and, best of all, the largest existing concentration of motion picture "palaces" on the planet.  The marvelous L.A. Conservancy conducts walking tours of these theatres and other architectural and cultural aspects of the downtown area.  It's a shame that so much of this area is overlooked by visitors (and residents).  It has to be one of the most captivating parts of one of America's most interesting, and misunderstood, cities.