The Old Grid

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.

The Old Grid

Golden Gate

The Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate. With so much happening in a concentrated location, the density of interesting stuff frankly demands a panorama to capture it all. I particularly like the tiny shape of Alcatraz, floating off to the left with its windows reflecting the setting sun.

Golden Gate

Saturday Afternoon on the Pier

Spending an afternoon on the pier in Pacifica, CA is as good a time as any. Crab fishing has its varied sets of tools and techniques, but the experience to me has been about more than that. Cooking on a portable hibachi and getting crusty with salt spray is the real core of the process.

Saturday Afternoon on the Pier

Cliffs at La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is a righteous beach: good swimming, okay surfing (I’m told), and excellent Southern California sights. As mid-twentieth-century architecture has grown on me, I’ve even come to appreciate the homes and UC buildings overlooking the beach—but what must it have been like to visit here 100 years ago?

Cliffs at La Jolla Shores

Locals Only

Biking on the beach, drinking brews, and hanging out to feel the last of the spring sun at Half Moon Bay.

Just down the seawall, “LOCALS ONLY” was painted in heavy, runny pink krylon on one of these same rocks. Who was at this beach? No one seemed a local, to me.

But even more, this slogan made me think on the nature of America in general, and California in particular. This state filled up with the folks who went west until there was no where else to go. Even now, they keep coming. Even these enormous rocks that make up the wall are not “locals,” but transplants, brought in to tame the sea.

Locals Only