A history of design and engineering is visible from the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco beyond it. That’s visible at every hour of the day, so I must conclude that the people jamming the roads earlier on the evening of this image were mostly there for the combination effect with the sunset. As the crowds decamped for dinner elsewhere, the blue hour brought my favorite views of the city.
I never thought much of Berkeley’s Cedar Street during my time in graduate school, but returning for sabbatical brought me a very different connection with it. Cedar functioned as the main connection from my apartment on Spruce to Shattuck’s Gourmet Ghetto, and so I traveled it for every purpose from getting coffee and groceries to an extravagant dinner at Chez Panisse.
Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, a massive X-ray laser sourced from a building-sized particle accelerator, was undergoing upgrades while I visited. Construction in the area added an mundane veneer to the superscience happening inside.
Though St. Lawrence has its share of modern buildings (including my own), it’s the old part of campus (buildings like Piskor and Sykes Halls) that best captures the Harry Potter vibe of small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast.
My favorite cities are those with borders artificially constrained by water (like San Francisco, Hong Kong, or Manhattan), usually leading to towering structures and high density. San Francisco’s situation was different for a long time; a subset of NIMBY residents (alongside an array of other economic factors) meant that this grid of smaller buildings persists, in spite of housing shortages and corresponding high housing prices. As this slowly changes and the city begins to warm to the idea of new development, this uniform grid of little buildings might someday shift.