This is the blue hour; sunset is over. That soft, rosy hue in the far-off sky? The product of 100% anthropogenic light.
Too early in the evening and too high in the sky to be a standard sunset: this must be some serious sci-fi gridfire weaponry. The patterns in the Crepuscular rays puts me in mind of MIRV tests, and the scale of the clouds so thoroughly dwarfs the buildings beneath it on the banks of the Hudson River. Connecting spectacular aerial views with apocalyptic power is nothing new, but the twentieth century swapped the power source from divine to human.
The water practically glows with reflected light. The buildings tower over the scene. The long exposure captures the trails of aircraft in the night sky. San Francisco’s waterfront along the Embarcadero may not have the most enormous and prestigious structures, but nights like this make that irrelevant. The scene makes “enigmatic” and “cyberpunky” into something almost friendly. (Or at least inviting.)
High atop it all is that fascinating golden penthouse structure. The visual similarity to a treasure chest must be more than coincidence.
The bus is inherently uncomfortable: the seats are too hard, the surfaces feel like too many other people have touched them, and the other passengers come with a side of freaky west coast aggression. All of that misery is forgotten late at night; an empty bus ferrying me home is such a calm respite from the sodium-lamp misery of the outside world.