Nowhere In Particular: An Imaginary Novel of Bohemian San Francisco (Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art)

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Good Evening:

Imagine this as the cover art for an imaginary novel about San Francisco bohos struggling to get by as the city changes so rapidly around them.

The Streetcar to Nowhere in Particular

The Streetcar to Nowhere in Particular

Taken with my iPhone 4–yes, that old thing. At first, it seemed that this week’s Cover Art Challenge would prove too difficult, but I spotted this F-Market trolley after attending the theater tonight and now I have a few ideas worth further exploration. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vonn Scott Bair

Recipe: Stir-Fried Padron Chiles in Lemon and Garlic (Vegan)

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Good Evening:

So what do you do with about 8 ounces of Padron Peppers that you bought on a whim at the farmers market?

Well, first, figure out what they are. My basket of Padrons consisted mostly of .75 – 1.0 inch dark green chiles with a few about 2.5 inches long. Shiny, no spots. They have thin walls, very thin, so I decided to stir fry in very hot olive oil. While they have a white pepper-like character, Padrons tend to be spicy but quite mild. You will occasionally run into a hot one, but those are rare. Overall, Padrons are a very rare guest to the farmers market or the produce section, so I recommend grabbing them when available.

Stir-Fried Padron Chilis in Lemon and Garlic

  • Olive Oil
  • One (1) pint of Padron Chilis, washed and dried very carefully
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  1. Heat olive oil (I used 2 Tablespoons) until very hot in a saute pan.
  2. Add the chiles and stir-fry nonstop for 2-3 minutes. Be careful of water spatter if you didn’t dry them well. Like balloons, the chiles will deflate and turn very soft. You might even hear the hissing or squeaking sounds of air escaping their interiors.
  3. Spoon the chiles with the oil into a bowl.
  4. Add the lemon juice, along with lots of salt, pepper and garlic powder; toss the peppers until evenly coated.
  5. Let cool to warm or room temperature.

Once cool enough to touch, my favorite way to eat them consists of using the inedible stems as a sort of toothpick, plucking the peppers into your mouth and discarding the stems whilst mopping up the oil with bread. You can also cut off the stems and use them in sandwiches or burgers. Good as a side to a fish filet.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Francisco Skies, October 2014.

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Good Evening:

In San Francisco, winter represents a sensational opportunity for sky photographs, but recent weeks have featured some wild cloud formations. These shots have received zero edits, and the first one really is full color.

Late Afternoon in San Francisco Looking West to Sutro Tower

Late Afternoon in San Francisco Looking West to Sutro Tower

The next two show a cloud formation sometimes called a “flock of sheep.” Back in my days as an amateur astronomer, I knew the scientific name, but no more. This particular formation covered over 90% of the entire sky over the Civic Center and dozens of people took pictures of the phenomenon. Two of mine:

DSCN5523 DSCN5512Two more miscellaneous shots.

DSCN5539 DSCN5557Vonn Scott Bair

Picture Puzzle for October 2014!

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Good Evening:

Haven’t done one of these in quite some time. If you haven’t seen one of these before, they generally don’t pose more then moderate difficulty: first, an overall picture of the protective window shield of the The Pink Dolphin bar on Haight Street between Ashbury &  Masonic.

DSC_0048Now a series of closeups of the mural.

DSC_0058 DSC_0061 DSC_0054 DSC_0050 DSC_0052 DSC_0055And now your challenge: locate the closeups within the mural as a whole. Probably more entertaining than difficult, but I hope you like it anyway.

Vonn scott Bair

Fog, Mist & Reflections at San Francisco’s Stow Lake (Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction)

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Good Evening:

Finally had a decent morning fog today! Not one of San Francisco’s heavy duty professional fogs, more like a highly-talented-amateur-hobbyist fog, but still good enough for exploring what happens when light passes through the mist and fog of San Francisco’s Stow Lake near sunrise. If that is refraction (Now might represent an ideal moment for someone to inform me that I have no idea what photographers mean by refraction). Anyway, some of the better pictures, and let’s play around with the Nikon D40’s Cyanotype filter again to mess around with the light even more. All photos unedited.

CSC_0134 CSC_0193 CSC_0201 CSC_0171Plus one more in full color just for fun: the sun had burnt off the mist and fog much earlier than normal for a foggy morning (told you it wasn’t professional grade), but who can resist a semi-natural arch?

DSC_0110Vonn Scott Bair

Consumers & Runners (Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction)

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Good Evening:

Had a ton of errands downtown today and thought that maybe a few pictures of people reflected in store windows would prove interesting for the Challenge. In reality, almost all of them turned out badly except for this one, and even here the store windows were reflected in the bus windows.

DSCN5594Then blundered into a thick, overflowing crowd in front of the Nike Store at Union Square. Nike will sponsor a women’s half-marathon tomorrow and come up with the idea of printing the names of all registered competitors on its windows. In terms of safety, this wasn’t the best idea, as the crowd sometimes swelled so much that passers-by often had to walk in the streets to get around the runners–and the shopping traffic on a Saturday afternoon comes thick and fast around the Square. Nonetheless, the runners loved the mural and posed next to their names for pictures.

DSCN5596 DSCN5601 DSCN5595 DSCN5603Vonn Scott Bair

Window Reflections (Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction)

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Good Evening:

I hope I didn’t misunderstand this week’s Challenge, because we approach the time of year when San Francisco skies take a turn for the wild, and their reflections in the windows near the Civic Center today had some impressive effects.

DSCN5570 DSCN5573 DSCN5550 DSCN5551

And one more, a curiosity from Redwood Alley:

DSCN5552

Vonn Scott Bair