Tag Archives: Late Afternoon

Casual Friday, San Francisco, 12 September 2014. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity)

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Good Evening:

September is our warmest month, and brings out the casual in San Franciscans. All photos take with my point-and-shoot, cropped and edited in iPhoto.

Young Love at Fulton & Polk

Young Love at Fulton & Polk

Cannot Wait for the Green Light to Start Her Weekend

Cannot Wait for the Green Light to Start Her Weekend

Good Idea, Let's Take the Rest of Friday Off.

Good Idea, Let’s Take the Rest of Friday Off.

Why Don't We Just Take the Rest of Friday Off?

Why Don’t We Just Take the Rest of Friday Off?

Uber Employees Posing for a Photo

Uber Employees Posing for a Photo

I Wonder What He Just Remembered That He Forgot.

I Wonder What He Just Remembered That He Forgot.

I hope you’ve gained some ideas on how to enjoy your weekend.

Vonn Scott Bair

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Sunday Afternoon, San Francisco.

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Good Evening:

So how do you spend your Sundays? San Franciscans have lots of ideas, and they shared them last Sunday.

Some spent the day working, such as this manager at the employees entrance of Pancho Villa Tacqueria:

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Some spent the day with man’s best friend:

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Or their best sun and a good book:

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Or their best friends and some lollipops:

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Or their one special friend and some cool beverages.

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And someone spent the day creating more Surrealism at Our Feet.

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All important parts of a Sunday well spent.

Vonn Scott Bair

Friday Afternoon @ Work, San Francisco Style

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Good Evening:

My prediction that San Francisco would experience a drastic epidemic of The Friday Flu proved a tad overblown, at least during the morning. During the afternoon, the telltale lethargy of the flu began to set in, but perhaps that’s a good thing. I don’t know if people really need to work hard all week long. My fellow San Franciscans seem to do all right taking Friday afternoons off.

Unless this was a working ice cream networking brainstorming strategizing meeting outside Uber HQ. But I don’t think so:

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Some people took an early commute home:

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Others indulged in their artistic passions:

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However, I saw two City employees engaged in actual work, reviving a dead electric bus:

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It’s always us City employees who have to keep working on Friday afternoon.

Vonn Scott Bair

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape – San Francisco’s East Coast, 22 May 2013

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Good Morning:

“Wait a minute; how can a city on America’s West Coast even have an East Coast?!”

Bay Bridge & Fire Boat No. 2, 23 May 2013

Bay Bridge & Fire Boat No. 2, 23 May 2013

Not easy, by any stretch of the imagination; San Francisco sits at the very tip of a peninsula pointing roughly north and water surrounds it on the west, north and east sides. What’s truly odd is “East Coast;” as far as I know, yours truly is the only person in San Francisco who uses that phrase. Other folks prefer the names of specific neighborhoods: Mission Bay, the Embarcadero, Bay View, Dogpatch (yes, we have a Dogpatch). For this, my final escape during my vacation and final response to this week’s Challenge, a collection of shots focusing on Mission Bay and the Embarcadero.

San Francisco–the world leader in obsolete modes of public transit (and what else can one expect from one of the planet’s citadels of high tech?)–boasts a huge collection of colorful vintage streetcars from across the country and around the world, but none of them can surprise even the natives like the Blackpool.

The Blackpool.

The Blackpool.

Our only open-air streetcar, the Blackpool makes so few appearances that it arrives at a stop, people don’t get on. They assume it’s some kind of private car for a private party, and the operators have to encourage people to board. It only rides on exceptionally warm weekend days (and perhaps Fridays), making it about as often seen as a Coelacanth. Should you ever seen it, cancel all your plans and board it faster than immediately. The Blackpool has pleasant rumbling vibration and combined with the salt air, has the feel of a open boat on a calm sea.

Even on a midweek afternoon, the East Coast becomes a hub of human activity:

Hanging Out After the Giants' Day Game, 22 May 2013

Hanging Out After the Giants’ Day Game, 22 May 2013

Yoga Class, Embarcadero 22 May 2013

Yoga Class, Embarcadero 22 May 2013

Pedicab, Ferry Building, Embarcadero, San Francisco, California

Pedicab, Ferry Building, Embarcadero, San Francisco, California

Visting the TCHO Chocolate Factory

Visting the TCHO Chocolate Factory

Two of San Francisco’s great hangouts, the Hi-Dive and Red’s Java House, sit very close to each other just south of the Embarcadero and just north of Mission Bay, the home of the San Francisco Giants’ ball park.

SF East Coast 5 052213 SF East Coast 7 052213The boarder on the left of the picture below had a video camera and recorded the other boarders at work/play.

SF East Coast 3 052213Public sculptures in San Francisco have three stages of existence:

  1. Hideousness: “My tax dollars paid for that?!”
  2. Landmark: “Meet me by the hideousness.”
  3. Acceptance: “I love that piece of hideousness!”

On that note, say hello to Claes Oldenburg:

DSC_0068For the record, I’ve always liked Oldenburg’s “Cupid’s Span” and other enormous sculptures. Someone in the art world has to have a sense of humor, and a sense of humor writ (very) large.

How can someone, anyone, play a brass instrument and tap dance at the same time?

DSC_0130I think he’s playing a cornet, I think he’s maybe 12-14 years old, and I think he made it look easy.

This might be a good time to advise you to stop reading this post, plan a trip to San Francisco, buy tickets to visit our Exploratorium in its new home, and then return to reading.

Ah, you’re back. Good.

The new Exploratorium has stunned, amazed and impressed visitors since its opening. So important that the New York Times covered not only the opening, but also the science of the move to the new home at Pier 15. The designers, architects and landscapers created its new home with photographers in mind. For example, the Aeolian Harp used to sit on the roof of the old home, rarely seen. Today, you have to work to miss it.

SF East Coast 2 052213Hundreds of different versions of the above picture must already exist online. It can’t be an accident that someone put the Harp at this specific location. With a city view like this, it can’t be accident that someone put the entire Exploratorium at this specific location:

DSCN5203The Exploratorium even has its own fog machine, because if there’s one thing you never see in San Francisco, it’s fog:

DSCN5192The Embarcadero remains a work in progress ever since the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 forced the destruction of the Embarcadero Freeway. Civic leaders and citizens alike took one look at the new vista and realized that tremendous potential existed here, and we’ve worked on improvements ever since. I don’t know if the area will ever become “finished,” whatever that means; one still sees construction cranes everywhere.

DSC_0003I chose The Magic Hour for yesterday’s escape (approximately one hour before the sun sets). Photography in the Western United States poses interesting challenges for both digital and film cameras. The light in California and the High Desert of Idaho, Wyoming and Utah seems more intense than elsewhere; I can think of no other reason why photos turn out bleached and faded. Working around this is tough. For the pictures taken with my DSLR (I also used my point-and-shoot and my iPhone, I affixed a polarizing filter over the lens. The result produces rich vibrant colors, but as in the above picture, they can also become a little too intense. But as a matter of personal taste, I like the results and keep them.

My explorations yesterday ended with a pretty darn good meal at La Mar (Zagat food rating = 24), a better-be-pretty-darn-good-because-it’s-pretty-darn-expensive Peruvian restaurant at Pier 1 1/2 with sensational views of the San Francisco Bay, and yes, we have a Pier 1 1/2. I do recommend the place, especially the sea food, but bring your credit card(s). After dinner, I walked past the Ferry Building, in front of which a couple had placed a portable speaker and engaged in ballroom dancing on their rollerblades to the sounds of ADELE and for the entertainment of all.

It’s official: San Francisco is magic.

With a sampler of additional shots below, I conclude my series of San Francisco Escapes. My vacation was supposed to be an escape from work, but I have worked so hard on this vacation getaway that I need to escape to work to getaway from my vacation escape.

Or something like that.

Firehouse Home of Engine 35 and Fire Boat No. 2, San Francisco, 22 May 2013

Firehouse Home of Engine 35 and Fire Boat No. 2, San Francisco, 22 May 2013

Antique Ferry Boat, Embarcadero, San Francisco

Antique Ferry Boat, Embarcadero, San Francisco

Some buildings at the Embarcadero retain their original maritime uses.

Some buildings at the Embarcadero retain their original maritime uses.

City Reflection in Exploratorium Window

City Reflection in Exploratorium Window

Weird Symbol Thingie Near Exploratorium, San Francisco

Weird Symbol Thingie Near Exploratorium, San Francisco

Time to Go Home, 22 May 2013

Time to Go Home, 22 May 2013

Vonn Scott Bair

Valentine’s Day, San Francisco Style

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Good Afternoon:

Is there a vagina in the house?”

Your town’s City Hall has probably never had a woman asking that question over a PA system while standing in front of the main entrance (technically, not “in the house”). But if your town’s City Hall has had a woman asking that question over a PA system while standing in front of the main entrance (technically, not “in the house”), chances are that your town’s City Hall did not close off a street to vehicles in order to allow said woman to ask such a question.

Welcome to Valentine’s Day, San Francisco Style.

At work, we did have donuts in the house:

Donuts in the House! (Krispy Kreme's annual Valentine's Day special)

Donuts in the House! (Krispy Kreme’s annual Valentine’s Day special)

Not to mention chocolates and homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes from one of my co-workers who literally stayed up all night baking. I written it before and I’ll write again; my place is a bad place for a diet.

‘Twas after work whilst walking through the Civic Center that I heard the woman asking that question at the start of her speech. You can see her in the big screen below:

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The funny thing is that you can easily spot human beings in the crowd who sport the other sort of genitalia, yet she didn’t ask if they were “in the house.” Seems a tad unfair. The occasion was a demonstration/rally/dance party in support of the Violence Against Women Act making its way through the US Congress, and part of a series of demonstrations/rallies/dance parties taking place across the globe campaigning against violence against women (“One Billion Rising”). I’m old enough to remember when such affairs drew almost zero male versions of Homo Sapiens; let’s give the guys a little credit.

On my way to the bus stop, I passed an unusual musical quintet: percussion, flute, saxophone, acoustic guitar. White college-aged kids, goofing off, having fun, improvising something that was sort of a folk-jazz-classical hybrid, sounding pretty darn good and playing for free. A good end to a good day.

Vonn Scott Bair

The Music of a Friday Afternoon

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Good Evening:

California labor laws mandate at least a 30-minute meal break and two 15-minutes rest breaks during an eight-hour workday, one rest break in the first half of the shift, the other in the second half. For me, the break on a Friday afternoon stands out from the rest. I like my job well enough that weekends are not a relief, just a change of scenery.

Nonetheless…

City Hall in the Afternoon Rain, as Seen from 1155 Market Street

Nonetheless, a Friday afternoon 15-minute break feels a little different because this is when one shifts into a different gear. The deadlines have come and gone, the weekend’s chores and activities and relaxation approach, and it’s time for a new mindset.

The time has also come for some mood music to prepare for the next few days. I lean toward calmer sounds. There will come those Friday nights that require the energy of Ozomatli’s “Saturday Night” in the afternoon to rev up and revive both spirit and body, but for the most part something calmer works quite well. Something like these songs. I won’t make any claims that these are masterpieces; they stand more as a reflection of my Friday Afternoon State of Mind.

The Doobie Brothers, “Toulouse Street.” Not the most famous song off the album by a long shot, but a nice change of pace.

Miles Davis, “All Blues.” OK, this one might be a masterpiece, but what really matters is how right life feels after hearing this on a Friday afternoon.

Oren Lavie, “Her Morning Elegance.” “Morning” is a bit of strange choice for an afternoon song, but I like it, especially the video.

Late Afternoon Clouds Looking Like Steam Rising from City Hall

Enya, “Orinoco Flow.” Sail away, sail away, sail away. Perfect.

Matt Harding, “Where in the World Is Matt,” YouTube videos 2008 & 2012 editions. Because sometimes one needs a video or two that will compel a big smile.

Robyn Miller, Myst – The Soundtrack. This is where you say, “What the h—??” Bear with me a moment, please. I know this is the soundtrack to a computer game, but Myst stands as one of the most important games in computer history for many reasons, one of which is the music. Robyn Miller didn’t catch lightning in a bottle, he caught lightning in a thimble with a beautiful soundtrack that set the standard in the computer world for many years. And on a Friday afternoon, compositions such as “Compass Rose,” “The Last Message,” “Shipgate,” and “Sirrus’ Theme – Channelwood Age” draw the week’s tensions and struggles through your pores and away from you like osmosis.

City Hall, Nearing Sunset

Anyway, this shows you how I get ready for the weekend, with The Music of a Friday Afternoon. Have a good weekend and a great September.

Vonn Scott Bair

White Punk and Dope on “White Punks on Dope” on the 6-Parnassus

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Good Evening:

The 6-Parnassus line from downtown through the Lower Haight to points west uses some of the older electric buses in the SF Muni system. Toward the back, you will find two rows of forward-facing seats with a pair of seats on each side of the aisle. A neat little square in a decidedly un-square city. So on the bus home from work at 5:00 p.m., naturally all eight seats were taken by yours truly and seven individuals who represented three different generations, at least four races/ethnic groups, and at least two genders of humanity. All 8 of us listened to music on either iPhones or iPods (which still exist, believe it or not). That’s not unusual. I was bobbing my head up and down in a rapid and steady rhythm in time to my music. That’s not unusual. The other seven passengers were also bobbing their heads up and down in a rapid and steady rhythmn in time to their music. That’s only slightly unusual. But by the time we reached Haight & Laguna, we were bobbing our heads up and down in the same rapid and steady rythmn to our music.

Now that was a little interesting.

I was listening to a legendary Seventies San Francisco band called The Tubes’ and their legendary proto-punk Seventies classic “White Punks on Dope.” Just try and keep your head still whilst listening to that song. I couldn’t help but wonder: what were the odds, that of all the millions of songs in that version of world domination which we call iTunes, what were the odds that all eight of us were listening to that same song?

A “White Punk and Dope,” I Remain,

Yours Truly,

Vonn Scott Bair