Category: Miscellaneous - AM Musings
 
Picture
Pine Street flat for rent
If you're looking for a beautiful flat in San Francisco, check this out.  It's available in April. 
 
Picture
The Ophthalmologist's tools blinking at me
Eyes dilated, the world is different.  Street and car lights create a light show -- shards of light radiating from each source.  

I visited my Ophthalmologist  today for  my annual checkup.  Waiting in silence, I stared at the strange and exotic dials and lens resisting the  temptation to touch and turn all the dials.  Oh those lens and dials do look like a robot.  It's blinking at me! 

 
Picture
Purple Day Lilies
Farewell 2011.  A year of dramatic colors vivid against a white background etched into the yearbook of my mind.  From time immemorial, beautiful flowers have been used to commemorate important occasions.  Now faded and wilted, these lilies have been preserved digitally and offered for your viewing. One lily turns left tracing the passing year, the other anticipates tomorrow.  Flowers bear the seeds of the future.  Farewell 2011.  Welcome 2012. 
 
Picture
San Francisco Botanical Garden Squirrel
I was sitting on a bench in Golden Gate Parks Botanical Garden where the squirrels are so tame this one came right up and touched my camera.  Cute little critters.
 
Picture
Marine Firemens Union
This mural above the entrance to the Marines Firemens Union is at 240 Second Street in San Francisco.  It was probably created over 60 years ago and recalls a time in when San Francisco Labor Unions were at its peak.  Art such as this celebrated the contribution of working people.

Today San Francisco is a much different place.  Blue collar workers in warehouses and factories are now almost extinct, their places of work converted to chic boutiques, restaurants, and internet start-up companies.  San Francisco blue collar workers now are regulated to lower level service jobs where you smile and  stay in the background.  There are no murals celebrating the contribution of these people.  San Francisco would be a better place if the contribution of all people were recognized.  
 
Picture
Sig Zane Aloha Shirts
Aloha shirts are fun, particularly old silk collectibles that sell for hundreds of dollars.  After this golden age of aloha shirts, the look devolved into ticki-tacki tiki shirts - some good, but most not so good.  I've been looking for good contemporary aloha shirts and I've found Sig Zane, who sells nice ones on-line at SigZane.com with a store located in Hilo, Hawaii. 

I particularly like these two - both with simple bold graphic images with taro leaves or carp.  The taro leaf has a charcoal background and the carp has a black background.   I don't like all of their designs, but every so often I see one that is striking.  They also have women's and children's clothing in similar patterns.  The productions don't seem to last long, so if you see one you want, you'd better order it before you forget or else it will be gone.

Happy Thanksgiving All - We have a lot to be thankful for.
 
Picture
Opportunity
I recently parked in the Northbeach Garage where each space is marked with an interesting fortune.  Sometimes I look before I park, but this last time, I just parked and then looked at what I selected. 

Opportunities are like clouds.  New ones are always appearing, but they only last for a while.
 
Picture
 

Picture
The gift of a little pale blue box usually promises something special - especially if it comes from this store.  Before the iconic Apple Stores, there were the Tiffany Stores that also boasted an simple elegant facade.  Apple stores draw from a minimalist modern tradition and the Tiffany stores draw from the  art deco era.  Long a symbol of elegant living, it encourages the thought that Audrey Hepburn may be stepping out at any moment.

This locked entrance grille clearly shows that the store is closed and it is protecting valuable stuff. Tiffany's had a small branch store on Grant Avenue in San Francisco for many years before establishing a grander presence with a new granite clad building on Union Square.  Now there are Tiffany stores in many "high-end" shopping areas.  This one is in Carmel.  

 
Picture
Michael Ondaatje in Conversation with Michael Chabon
Picture
Michael Ondaatje signing books
Michael Ondaatje is probably best known as the author of "The English Patient", a novel that was made into an Oscar winning best movie in 1996.  One of Chris'  favorite author's, I tagged along to hear him speak at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.  It was interesting to hear about a writer's creative process compared to what I am familiar with as an architect.  Like many things worthwhile, it takes hours of hard work for a few moments of pleasure.

After the interview, a long line of admirers lined up to have Ondaatje autographed his latest book, "The Cat's Table".

 
Picture
SF Chinatown's Great Star Theater
 Back in the day, San Francisco Chinatown boasted at least 5 movie theaters.  My favorite was the Great Star Theater on Jackson between Kearney and Grant Avenue and across the street from the old Sai Yuen Restaurant where my grandfather was an owner.  It was at the Great Star Theater that I saw all the great Shaw Brothers Martial Arts films during the 1970's.

Picture
Sadly they are all gone.  The 4 Star Theater on outer Clement is about the only place to see the latest martial art films from Asia.  The theater itself is pretty plain and doesn't have the grandeur of the Castro.  It doesn't matter.  Kudos to the owner for keeping this tradition alive.