Posts Tagged ‘Ferry Building’

The Rock

March 22, 2015

Not the wrestler.

The island.

Alcatraz

The view from Alcatraz

I went out to Alcatraz today with my dear friend whose birthday celebration happens to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the penitentiary closing.

The last inmates were shipped off 65 years ago and they shut the prison down.

Thank God.

I cannot think of a worst place to be, and I am sure there are worse, but to be stuck on a rock in the middle of the bay and see the beguiling San Francisco just across the way is a kind of torture I just don’t think I could bear.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be back in San Francisco soon,” my friend patted my arm as we waited for the ferry, the line was long, so many of us, though not many of us from San Francisco itself, were waiting that I did have a moment of panic.

I laughed out loud.

I am that obvious.

Take me out of the city and I am itching to get right back to it.

Although my friend and I agree, I seemed to have out grown the Mission, and though I don’t look my age, 42 (and thank you Uber driver for the flabbergasted look on your face when I told you my age), I do feel it quite often, and I am a grown up living in a grown up place.

The Outer Sunset.

Oh.

There’s some kids out here, surfers and guys and gals, and some hipsters and the like, but it does seem a community less focused on the hip, slick, cool, and of the moment.

I am not a tech girl, but as I realized, again on the Uber drive to the Ferry Building (when the bus rolled over the hill on Judah I remembered that there was construction on the Sunset Tunnel between Duboce Park and Cole Valley and I was about to embark on a journey that would put me way behind schedule, I called for a lift), just from living in San Francisco I am often a head of the curve with tech and its uses.

I’m still not savvy enough to use my google map or to know how to delete apps of my phone.

Thank God a friend noticed me struggling with my Iphone and showed me how to get Tinder off it.

Complete and total side bar.

I got rid of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid on my phone.

I kept OkCupid online though.

A girl has got to have a few balls in the air.

Or a cute tour guide to flirt with.

Dude.

The cute guy at Alcatraz knew my girl friend and I were there for the @Large exhibit by Ai Weiwei.

“Anyone from San Francisco,” he hollered as we joined a small group clustered below the penitentiary sign.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

 

My girlfriend and I nodded.

“Here for the art exhibit?” He asked.

We nodded our heads, it was pretty obvious, yes, we’re locals and yes we came out to see the art, not so much the cell blocks–we were the only folks in the group to acknowledge we were there for the art.

Though it was pretty impressive to see the prison.

And spooky at times.

Especially when the fog started to roll in.

Fog

Alcatraz

The guide gave us directions and we went to the exhibit.

It was truly amazing.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Wei Wei–Blossom

The light was one of the things that would have saved me if I was an inmate at Alcatraz, little else.

The artist, Ai Weiwei, though confined to China, seemed cognizant of the light, spectral, haunting, smashed by the sea and melting through the wired panes of windows.

It was dreamy and dangerous and affecting.

The first piece was a large floating Chinese dragon kite.

Dragon

Dragon

It was astounding and wound through a large holding cell space.

Dragon Body

Dragon Scales

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon head

Color and light

Then the portraits of various activists and artists laid out on the floor with Lego’s.

Legos

Edward Snowden in Lego’s

Lego Art

Lego Activists

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I do encourage you to take the trip out.

I don’t know that I would have gone out otherwise and I am glad to say that I did.

The art was exquisite and the juxtaposition of it in the prison was superb.

Haunting.

Depressing.

There was a room, “Hydro Therapy” that gave me the goosebumps.

It was like someone had stepped on my grave.

Bathtub

Hydro Therapy Room Alcatraz Psych Ward

I had a flash of an inmate disrobing and being hosed off with high pressure water, the light refracted around the enamel bathtub and I took the shot and shivered.

I had no desire to walk through the cell blocks are take a photograph in one of the tiny cells.

Although, I laughed and acknowledge that a few of the cells were actually larger than my studio.

The light better too.

But I would not trade what I have for a prison cell.

Even if the square footage was impressive.

I counted a lot of my blessings today talking with my dear friend as we traversed the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building (a bit over priced–$7.00 for two Aztec Fuji apples, albeit delicious and gigantic) and picked up lunch and snacks for the afternoon adventure.

I had divine boxed salmon sushi from Delica and two of the most amazing rolls I have ever had that I bought ala carte, sushi rice with rare roast beef (sushi doesn’t have to be fish, fyi, “sushi” means food on rice, it is often vegetables and fish though, the beef was exquisite and I couldn’t even bring myself to share it with my friend, who thankfully had brought her own lovely lunch) draped over the top of it topped with fresh wasabi.

Oh my goodness.

I get to live in San Francisco being very near the top of that list.

I get to go out on ferry boats and travel the bay and see amazing national park areas, Alcatraz is part of  The Golden Gate National Park System, I mean, basically right in my back yard there are all these incredible parks and land marks.

Plus.

You know, the Burning Man community started here, Bakers Beach, baby, and all that Burning Man is to me.

My friend and I discussed that a lot today as well.

I have started my list of the stuffs that need to be gathered.

Another reason to love the event, it brings out the inherent hunter/gatherer in me.

And of course, there was much talk of the graduate school program and just how far I have come in a short time.

I mean.

Really, it was not quite two years ago, I was coming home from Paris and when I got to Berlin to change in my Euro (the only money to my name) I got back $10 American.

I came from that to where I am now.

I work my ass off.

I took a moment or two to bask in my glory, to reflect on my gratitude for this city, for my dear, darling friend, and when we saw our photograph taken by the tour guide on the trip,  we didn’t have any problem shelling out the $30 bucks for two copies of it.

I’m lucky.

Or graced.

Or lucky.

I got to open up the cell door of my own imposed prison and walk out of it.

Free.

Clear.

And moving forward.

Becoming even more myself and more in love with my city by the bay.

It was with much gratitude and love that I stepped off the gangplank of the ferry and hopped the F-Market back downtown.

It was truly an experience to see the city from Alcatraz.

But I prefer to see Alcatraz from the city.

My home sweet home.

San Francisco.

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Hey You

September 11, 2014

Yeah you.

You look like you could use some vacation in your life.

I look over my shoulder, are you talking to me?

Yeah, kid, you, there, in the oversize bib’s, why don’t you go down to the Ferry Building and watch the sea gulls squabble over scraps and take in the Bay Bridge, it’s a nice day in San Francisco, you can even leave the second layer at home.

Alright.

This lady does not know what to do with the down time, so I pretend to play tourist.

Now.

I do it the savvy way.

Number one.

I pack my own lunch.

As much as I like lunching down at the Ferry Building, or any meal, really, I don’t like the price tag attached.

Way too much.

Especially since this time off was not planned and next week.

Yeah.

More unplanned time off.

“You could Task Rabbit yourself,” my friend suggested via text just a little while ago.

No.

I prefer to pre-emptively pay all my bills and be chill.

I was half expecting that the letter of resignation with the family I was just off in the desert with might end up with me not having any work next week, but I did not feel like I could have not given them the notice.

The grandma is in town and when grandma is in town, who needs a nanny?

I totally get it, and as I said partially thought that it may happen that way.

I feel better than if I had shown up for the three days of work that I would have been doing and then said at the end of it, oh and by the way, I’ll be working with a new family next week, so uh, good luck.

I did get a very nice invitation to go say goodbye to my charge and that will be arranged.

Besides, I need to drop off their house key and also pick up my playa bike.

I can’t imagine they will want it hanging out all dusty in their garage.

Actually, I am not so certain I want it hanging out all dusty in my housemate’s garage.

I am thinking of going and picking it up and donating it.

Possibly to the bike kitchen.

Possibly to the guys over on Shotwell and 21st–Pedal Revolution–the non-profit bike shop that teaches at risk kids how to do bicycle repair.

I can’t imagine keeping it right now.

I could use it next year.

If I go to Burning Man.

I might be having to start-up graduate school.

I might be on vacation with the family that just hired me.

Fingers crossed.

I will go in Friday and sign the last of the paperwork so that the insurance company can run the back ground check.

I really did think that I should not say anything to the family and hedge my bets and cover my ass and have work in case, but I did the principled thing, giving notice.

And I feel right with that.

I am grateful for all I received from the family, I really did get a lot.

And another grows up and I move forward.

I am really looking forward to the graduate school part of the equation.

“Aren’t you burnt out?” A friend asked me yesterday.

He was riding by on his bicycle during commuter hours home, oh, I cannot wait for that ride again (I haven’t gotten back on the bike, in fact, tomorrow I have a short gig in the NOPA and I will be taking MUNI again), and he stopped and squeezed me hard.

We haven’t seen each other, outside of facecrack, in years, but it was like old times.

He told me about his own child, now three and a half, and I think, yes, that was the last time I saw him, his wife was pregnant and he asked me some nanny questions, and how it is such a challenge to parent.

“I’m not,” I said, “but I can see it coming in a few years, more so, that my body is older and I am ready to do more with my experience.”

I told him about graduate school and child psychology and wow, big thumbs up.

In fact.

Big thumbs up from every single person I have spoken to about it.

It is really exciting to be going after something and being met with such widespread approval.

Usually if I get a wild hair up my ass about a career change I am met with some resistance or some thought-provoking suggestions.

All that’s happened this time is a complete affirmation of my idea.

It feels so on point it’s a tiny bit spooky.

But I am just going to go for it.

Until the next moves need to be made for the graduate school and for the new job I will relax and take it easy.

In the last two days I have played tourist–Legion of Honor yesterday and Ferry Building today–I shall continue in that vein for next week.

I do have work lined up tomorrow and Friday, then the talent show on Saturday.

Sunday coffee with a ladybug.

Monday tea with a ladybug.

In between?

The DeYoung?

Or the Cartoon Museum.

Maybe a game of bones with a friend of mine and some coffee somewhere in the city.

“Just give me a call,” he said to me tonight as I gathered the contents of my day of playing tourist–I know better than to eat or buy food at the Ferry Building (I got an iced coffee and ate my packed lunch on the pier overlooking the Bay), I walked to the Farmer’s Market at Civic Center and stocked up, “we’ll go out.”

Ah.

Ok.

Go out on his 36 foot Catalina sail boat.

“You just have to scoot over to Sausalito, that’s where I keep it docked, I take folks out all the time, don’t I,” he turned to a mutual friend.

“Ayup.”

Ok.

Then.

Another new experience to have.

Buttressed with the experience of knowing that when work is not at my fingertips I don’t need to freak out, maybe there’s something else I need to be doing.

Like sailing on the Bay.

Like playing tourist in one of the prettiest places on Earth.

I believe I can handle that for a few days.

Not too many.

A girl likes to have groceries and all.

But I can handle a few days off.

Who knows what marvelous mischief may happen.

Christmas in the City

December 25, 2013

In the city by the bay.

Oh.

Oh.

Oh.

Yeah.

Like that.

What a gorgeous day today was.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Simply and unutterably, almost intolerably, beautiful for December in San Francisco.

I was almost done with my half day of nannying in the Castro, and though my little elf was a jolly doll to hang out with, I was ready to start my Christmas.

I took a load of photographs today, of which I just spent the last hour and a half sorting through and posting, some to facecrack, and one to my photography blog.

I may post more there, but as my computer was not happy about all the photographs and the blogging platforms and the down loading and shut down on me without my permission, I must say, I don’t know that I will be putting up a lot more photographs tonight.

But I will sneak in a few for you, because, well, it’s Christmas time and one of the gifts that I continue to give to myself because it makes me happy, and when I am happy I am a better person and damn it, that’s actually important.

“What principle are you practising today,” she asked me over the phone as I called to check in on my way to work.

“Brotherly love,” I said with a smile, I had already said good morning to every single person I had seen on my walk (since I was just a few blocks away house sitting already, I decided to leave the bicycle there and walk to the nanny gig) and smiled at them.

I continued to do that to the best of my abilities, wherever I went, to whomever I saw.

I have to say that by the time I made it to the 8p.m. at 2900 24th street I was a little blown out and had about enough of that principle at that time of night on Christmas Eve, but when the bum chatted me up not once, but twice, I just smiled and said, yes, you’re right and let it go.

I was reminded that I get to practice something on a daily basis that not most people practise, except, well, maybe, at Christmas  time.

It’s some how allowable to smile and say something bright and cheery at Christmas time.

Although, I do have my fur rubbed the wrong way when I am expected to suddenly throw showers of money on panhandlers because it’s the holidays.

Man, back off, I just paid my student loan payment today, don’t hassle me, I am working.

“Merry Christmas,” I said, and smiled instead.

That felt much better, let me tell you.

I even bought my little charge a Santa hat, he was all dressed up in Christmas colors, and I just couldn’t help myself.

I popped into the Walgreens at Castro and Market and picked him up a little velour red cap with fake white fur trim and a snowball pompom and watched faces light up with utter joy every time he hollered, “HI!” from his stroller.

The word is in contention for his first word, he waves and jumps up and down and wiggles and it is adorable.

He charmed the clerk so much once I had the little hat on his head, she came out from behind the counter to bat her eyes at him.

I felt like I was doing service, being of good cheer, and spreading some cute baby love to those around me.

And I took a ridiculous amount of photos of him.

I flooded mom’s phone with text messages and photographs.

Made me quite happy to do so, he’s such a photogenic child, it really is amazing.

Santa's Helper

Little Elf

Christmas Elf

Christmas Elf

Ornament

Ornament

I probably took 50 or sixty shots of him and the neighborhood today.

I left around 2:30p.m. in the afternoon with my time set up for Friday and a card with an hour and a half session with a body worker!

Yes, there really is a Santa Claus, and he wants me to get another massage.

Thanks boys!

I drifted to Castro and Market and hit up the F-Market line train down to the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero.

F-Market

F-Market

Shadow Selfie

Shadow Selfie, Ferry Building, SF

I wandered through the building headed toward the opposite side, taking in the crowds and the last-minute shoppers, the frenzied shop keepers and the bags and strollers, the tired children smacked out on sugar, the multitude of languages being spoken, French, German, a lot of Italian, and good old USA Midwesterners.

For a moment I thought about turning back around and saying forget this.

But I went through the building and headed outside, the light was gorgeous and I went to the ferry terminal, spoke with a gentleman there and bought the last round trip ticket out of San Francisco to Sausalito for the evening.

It left me with an hour to kill so I went back inside.

Hoping for some Hog Island Oyster action.

But they were swamped, the line too long, and the restaurant closing down.

So I just walked through the stalls and went to Book Passages and bought a magazine and a 50 cent postcard.  I sat in the book shop and flipped through a Nylon and wrote myself a little holiday note.

My tradition–to send myself postcards from my artists dates, it’s a cheap souvenir and I always remember what I did that day when I come across the card later.

I got up after a bit, checked my watch, ferry leaving in fifteen and headed to the terminal.

On my way I happened to pass the San Francisco Sea Food Company, and there they were, my Christmas oysters sitting fat and plump and tender atop some ice in front of the store.

Oh damn.

I bought five Blue Points and tipped the girl in the apron behind the counter and smiled, wishing her a Merry Christmas and a speedy end to her day.

Three oysters drenched in lemon juice.

Two oysters smothered in hot horseradish cream.

Oh heaven.

Thus fortified, I ducked over to the ferry, walked up the gangplank and set sail for Sausalito.

The $20.50 fare for the round trip worth it from the moment I stepped aboard.

The skyline.

Skyline

Skyline

The Bay Bridge.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Then the cold wind whipping my hair around my face, thankful for my new warm scarf from my housemate, the tears streaming out of my eyes from the air blowing under my glasses, but my heart, so full.

To let myself do things like this and not listen to the head when it says, listen, it’s ok, you know, just stay back at the house with the cat and watch Sex in the City reruns on cable.

Because, you know that says Merry Christmas like nobody’s business.

I chatted with tourists from Houston, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I took photos for other folks.

I flirted, in a not too serious way with the boat hands and got smiles from grizzled ferry-boat operators ready for their Costco t-bones and six packs.

Then I got a quick walk, and I do mean quick, it was only a twenty-minute layover before the ferry turned back and there would be no more running for the night, around Sausalito and a few more photographs.

Skyline, Sausalito, CA

Sausalito Skyline

Back on the boat I thanked the operators again and headed back outside.

I munched an apple I had bought yesterday at Rainbow Grocery, a beautiful deep crimson red Arkansas Black Heirloom apple, and watched the dark indigo sky swallow up the bay.

Then, well, you know me, more photos.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

Skyline

Skyline

Magic.

It was absolute magic and the best gift I could have given myself.

Merry Christmas friends.

May all your dreams come true this year.

Love to you from San Francisco.

And to all.

A good night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s 11:48 pm, Do You Know Where Your Blog Is?

May 29, 2011

Good lord.  I always forget that moving, even if it’s just across the hall, takes more time than I think it will.  However, the upside, is that I get to toss all the crap that I have accumulated in the past year and a half in my studio.  I have cleaned out my closets, started a big bag of clothes to take to Buffalo tomorrow morning to hopefully sell (and whatever I don’t is getting donated, I will not be hauling this shit around to a bunch of different used clothing stores hoping to scratch a few extra bucks.  My time is valuable and I am only scheduling myself a half hour to deal with selling my clothes.  I have a lot more than I thought.  Partially, as I have continued to lose weight, 102 lbs is the new number, and partially because I have no idea what looks good on my body anymore.  I buy things excitedly thinking, woo hoo, I fit into this size, only to discover once the euphoria wears off that said article of clothing is not really all that flattering–this is why I need to shop with some body else in tow) all of it.

I have taken out two full containers of recycling.  I have one big bag of garbage, it’s almost ready to go out.  I have updated my address with the agencies that need me to have my addresses updated.  I almost forgot about my Trustline Registry, and came across the paper work for that and gratefully did not toss it in the recycling.  I have to notify them every time I move to keep my profile active.  Granted I’m just moving from #17 to #19, but I don’t want to get dropped from the registry for something stupid.  So change of address got dropped into the mail box.

I also was about to toss out all the jewelry and hair pieces and clips that I don’t care for or that have been hanging out in different little nooks and crannies.  Then I remembered, I will be seeing a bunch of girls tomorrow, one ladies junk, another’s new signature jewelry.  So, I scooped all that up and am taking it with me in the morning to gift to the girls.

I am a pretty damn tidy person, but there is also a lot of cleaning I need to do.  I have the oven to clean out and the refrigerator, as well as doing a good solid scrub down on the bathtub.  I’m going to dump the red velvet chair I found a few months on the street, it’s not going to fit into my new place.  Not space wise, but aesthetic wise.  It’s been interesting discovering what I like and don’t like in my space.  I like whimsy, and eclecticism, but every once in a while I find that something I have is bordering on trashy or cheap.  So I really looked at how I want my space to be and have been winnowing down based on that.

I did all my laundry as well, which was a bit of a hassle as the washer in the building was out-of-order. I had to take my laundry a couple blocks down to the mat on the corner of Pacific and Taylor.  And it was raining. But it was not too bad as the weather was pretty in a romantic movie sort of way.  It was a warm spring rain, not a kind of rain that I normally associate with San Francisco.  It wasn’t cold and there was little wind.  The sun would also periodically peek through the masses of clouds and a shaft of light would pierce through and illuminate some little corner of jasmine or geranium plant.  There was no fog either, but a rather fine mist that enshrouded downtown.  It was the kind of weather that called for a walk holding your lover’s hand.

So, I decided to stop the moving and the shaking and the hurley burly of moving and take myself on a little date.  I ate a nice home-made dinner and looked up the movie times for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s newest.  There was a seven o’clock show.  Perfect.  I scurried down to the laundry mat and grabbed my clothes from the dryers and hustled back to the house.  I grabbed my French cabbie hat (I got it in Paris two years ago this week!) and popped in on my head, got my umbrella and dashed down the hill to the Embacadero Theaters.

Unfortunately, I was not the only person who thought that the warm spring misty rain splendour called for a romantic movie in down town San Francisco.  The 7 p.m. show was sold out and the 7:20, and the 8:45 p.m. was about to sell out too.  So, I said, fuck it, I’ll catch it as another day, and because I was still in the mood for French, I went and saw L’amour Fou.  Beautiful.  Sublimely shot and set predominately in Paris, but also featuring Normandy, and Marrakesh, Morocco.  It was the documentary that just came out about Yves St. Laurent–extraordinary.

I cannot tell how many times my heart felt like it might just burst open with all the amazing haute couture I got to see. Plus, the amazing art collection that Laurent and his partner of 50, 50! years, Pierre Berger, had collected.  ASTOUNDING.  I felt like my eyes were getting fed.  And it made me very glad that I had made a date with lady Joan to go to the MOMA tomorrow.  I haven’t seen the Stein exhibit yet and that needs to be taken care of.  Plus, I need some girl friend time.

I had a half hour to meander through the Embarcadero and down to the Ferry Building.  Everything was washed clean and sparkling.  I snuck into Pete’s at the Ferry Building before it closed and got a coffee and took myself back to the movie.  I let myself be submerged in French and the beauty of the film.  Then decided that I needed to sneak in a little more being responsibility, so I took the cable car line up California to Whole Paycheck and got a few groceries I needed and I got myself a gorgeous little bouquet of flowers.  They were so pretty the clerk at the store was trying to figure out what they cost as she thought the floral department had put them together.  I will take that as a compliment.

I picked out two royal purple crocuses and a cutting of tuber rose.  My little studio is awash in luscious smelling flowers.  I was getting down to business when I realized I had not posted to my blog, so here you go, just a little house cleaning, literally and figuratively.

Back to the purging!


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