If you're looking for elaborate private holiday displays, San Francisco probably won't top your list of cities to visit around Christmas time. It's rare enough to spot a lighted tree in a window, let alone a lavishly appointed monument to seasonal excess. Still, the occasional effort does surprise. Here's a place out in the Richmond District that looks like Father Christmas' drunken nightmare. Where do they keep this stuff when it's not on display?
23 December, 2009
In an extremely welcome touch this Christmas season, someone has placed little boughs of mistletoe above the street corners of the Mission and the Castro. It's amusing to watch peoples' reactions to these kissing opportunities. I think we need a bit more kissing, in general.
I rarely find new condominium developments something to take any notice of. They tend to be among the blandest and most inoffensive of urban structures as they have to appeal to a broad range of tastes (well-heeled tastes, of course). There is one new building in San Francisco that is actually quiet stunning, in a relatively low-key way. The Millennium Tower located South of Market has many surprises for the casual stroller. I love the way it looks like a completely different building depending on the viewing angle. It reflects light in some pretty amazing ways, as in this picture. It has a wonderful profile when viewed from the Bay Bridge and appears to have a diamond-like design on the roof when the sun hits it at just the right angle. Overall, much nicer than it had to be. For that I'm grateful.
04 December, 2009
In a city as closely packed as San Francisco (it's the second most densely populated city in America), it's always a revelation to come across some forgotten little place with no one around. This is the end of 23rd Street near the DHL warehouse and the, now closed, P.G.& E. plant. Heaps of atmosphere and a great place to leave a body. The waterfront was lined with this sort of place 30 years ago, before our city planners realized that people like, really like, to be near the water. There's a little, scruffy park across this inlet called Warm Water Cove Park. I'm not brave enough to investigate the temperature of the water but I'll check out the park soon.