Category Archives: Art

Under the Overpass, 19 December 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering)

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Good Afternoon:

San Francisco has gotten hit with a huge El Nino in recent days, one downpour after another, with only slight respites of light drizzle and the occasional sunshine. At the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where I work, we go around with sheepish grins and tell each other, “This weather is terrible! Isn’t it wonderful!” Whilst it remains unlikely that a single wet winter will completely undo the drought, most San Franciscans feel a bizarre combination of irritation and delight.

Not so much our homeless population.

Finding any means of protection however slight against the elements becomes more difficult in weather like this. For this reason, large numbers of homeless have sought refuge under the overpass along 13th Street in the South of Market neighborhood. I would guess that the number of improvised shelters have quadrupled. Any amount of protection will do, but some pieces of real estate have more value than others:

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Even these lucky ones cannot completely avoid the wet.

Blanket Drying Out After Downpour, 13th Street Near Folsom, San Francisco, CA, 19 December 2015

Blanket Drying Out After Downpour, 13th Street Near Folsom, San Francisco, CA, 19 December 2015

Others make do with partial protection.

Broom & Shoes, 13th Street Near Harrison, San Francisco, CA, 19 December 2015

Broom & Shoes, 13th Street Near Harrison, San Francisco, CA, 19 December 2015

Some might not have even that much.

Hell Ride Crew, 11th Street near Valencia, San Francisco, CA 19 December 2015

Hell Ride Crew, 13th Street near Valencia, San Francisco, CA, 19 December 2015

Worst of all, no matter how well meaning, any and all attempts at solutions seem to consist of and/or end in shouting, blame and lawsuits. Anyone can see that San Francisco’s recent prominence in the national consciousness results from the fact the income gap here absolutely dwarfs the income gap nationally, and one nightmare scenario consists of America turning into a middle-class-free version of San Francisco, containing the few extremely rich and the many extremely poor. I took that quick and easy quiz in the previous link and discovered that nationally my income was slightly above average and places me in the 57th percentile, an excellent result when you have all of The Good Zeroes: zero kids, zero cars, zero drugs, zero mortgage, zero debt.

However, by San Francisco standards my income fit in the 38th percentile. Lower middle class.

Well, I have defenses, but most people don’t.

So whatever you see in these pictures, wherever you live, it can happen there.

The wind and rain in my neighborhood have just take a turn for the heavier.

Vonn Scott Bair

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City Vehicle Yard, South Van Ness & 13th Street, San Francisco, CA 19 December 2015.

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Good Evening:

One of my big influences as a photographer is Photo-Realism, a painting movement prominent about 40-50 years ago. Ironic. One of the subjects the Photorealists loved to portray consisted of automobiles, either singly or in gatherings. So here is a photograph in the Photorealistic painting style of a Photorealistic painting subject.

City Vehicle Yard, San Francisco, CA 19 December 2015, 1:26 p.m.

City Vehicle Yard, San Francisco, CA 19 December 2015, 1:26 p.m.

It’s OK, I don’t understand me, either.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Franciscans on a Saturday Shopping Afternoon (Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy)

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Good Afternoon:

Spied and espied San Franciscans shopping and enjoying the storm-free Saturday yesterday. Using the old 30 Shot technique, collected over 120 candids, and because I had a comparatively good day, only discarded about 80% of them. Presenting some of the more interesting ones, some edited, some left as is.

I have not seen this street preacher before.

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This person did not beg, did not communicate, in fact, did not do anything. Just stared straight ahead.

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Just like last year, the City turned a few blocks of Stockton Street into an instant park. Somehow, in the midst of all the holiday shopping, this person found herself a quiet space.

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Time with the granddaughter–also known as an early Christmas present.

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He looks tuckered out. Probably waiting for the rest of the family to finish their shopping.

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Santa Little Helpers, and why Santa need them. She can’t stay upright without them.

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I saw a balloon vendor at Powell and Geary who did very well yesterday. The parents seem to wonder how long this present will last.

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Also wandered around the SOMA (South Of MArket) neighborhood to do some errands. Presenting perhaps the least holiday-ish looking building in San Francisco:

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While photographing some of the city’s latest murals, I blundered into a sort of costume party at Harrison near 8th Street. Not a huge fan of electronica, so I only grabbed a few snaps before continuing on my way. As you can, a few of the partygoers are into the “furry” subculture.

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Today, I will make a quick trip to a farmers market and stay home prepping lunches for the week and experimenting with a few new recipes. What can I say? That’s how I relax.

Vonn Scott Bair

Recent San Francisco Murals, 4 December 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy)

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Good Evening:

Three recent very unusual murals, all of which featured eyes, all of which presented some interesting cropping opportunities, all of which were taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.

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Vonn Scott Bair

Grey Series, 3 December 2015: Rain and Concrete.

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Good Evening:

San Francisco enjoyed a series of storms and showers today, and the raindrops produced some effected I liked on the concrete slabs of the nearby buildings.

The beginning of a storm splattering on the State Building on Polk:

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And after the storm as the concrete began to dry:

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Meanwhile, the Superior Court building on Redwood Alley developed its own patterns.

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Maybe it’s just me, well, probably it’s just me, well, almost certainly it’s just me, but grey has always seemed like far too underrated a color.

Vonn Scott Bair

Wordless Wednesday: A Tree Half in Daylight, Half in Night. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition)

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Good Evening:

Saw this tree transitioning from day to night in Buena Vista Park last Saturday afternoon.

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Vonn Scott Bair

8th & Harrison, San Francisco, CA. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition)

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Good Afternoon:

The old bus depot at 8th & Harrison in San Francisco as it appeared on 1 December 2012. An open space so vast that these pictures fail to capture the acreage of asphalt.

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8th & Harrison as it appeared yesterday, 27 November 2015.

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Quite a transition, isn’t it?

At least four apartment buildings or condos will rise on the old lot, but that might represent an undercount as the lot was surrounded by a chainlink fence with locks everywhere. If any major city in the United States is transitioning as fast as my home town, I would feel extremely surprised indeed.

Vonn Scott Bair