San Francisco Belle

I was walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco a few days back. With the temperatures soaring close to 80 degrees, it was a rare but welcome warm and sunny day in SF. I spent some time getting coffee and enjoying the rich food aromas in Ferry Building, after which I started walking in the direction of Fisherman’s Wharf.

I think it was the pier right after Ferry Building, or perhaps 2 piers later – I was generally photographing the Bay Bridge and boats, when I noticed this girl in a large sun hat, holding a long stemmed red flower, dancing on the pier, fairly oblivious to everything around her. This wasn’t a performance for the benefit of onlookers. It seemed more as if she was practicing. She would try steps for some time, and then suddenly throw her hands up in frustration if she wasn’t happy with the outcome, sit on a nearby bench for a while, and then try the steps again.

Many people stopped by and watched – she danced beautifully. Yet, she seemed to be in a whole different world of her own.

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A visit to SF MOMA

For a long time, I’ve wanted to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and I finally got the time to do so today.

Given that this is a museum of modern art, there was a lot on display that I did not quite get 😀 I mean, when I see a painting which is really just three squares of different colors, one inside the other, I do wonder…”Really?!!!” 🙂 But there was a lot on display that I did like. I enjoyed viewing the paintings by Clyfford Still on the 2nd floor.

The photography section was not inspiring. Also on display was Cindy Sherman‘s work. She’s a photographer and so naturally I wanted to take a look. She’s…different. She models herself for most of her photographs, uses extensive amount of make-up and costumes to bring out different scenes and emotions. A lot of her work is really quite…scary and discomforting – there are no other words for it. I don’t think I came away inspired, although there were some photographs, mainly her centerfolds, which I liked.

Her work may not be something you would hang on your walls (at least in a house that wants to have a generally peaceful vibe), but it is definitely something unique, different, and thus worth viewing.

A walk through San Francisco – I

I recently moved to San Francisco for my summer internship. There’s so much I’ve heard about this city, so today I decided to use my Saturday to generally explore the city. I love to simply walk in any new place I visit – it’s a great way to get a feel of the place. I googled things to do in San Francisco, and found this article on TIME.  Trusting the source, I thought I’ll check out the mentioned places. Of course, as luck would have it, I could motivate myself to get out of the house only by 3pm, forcing me to pick and choose from the list. I thus decided to pay Coit Tower a visit, affording a long walk through the city, and the promise of a great view.

For all the hype about the weather, I find San Francisco fairly chilly, and even more windy. With the temperature at 57 degrees, and winds blowing at 18mph, the walk was good as long as I made sure I walked in the sunny patches, and was well clad 😀 I guess it’s better than the east coast though. Walking was a good idea, it gave me some idea about the layout of the city. I crossed Union Square (well known for upscale shopping, I passed stores like Ralph Lauren and Armani Exchange), and even Chinatown somewhere along the way.

After about a 40 mins walk, I reached the stairs leading up to Coit Tower. I have to say, I did not make the right choice in terms of the destination. Coit Tower is perhaps one of the most “touristy” things you can do in SF, and today being a Saturday, the place was teeming with tourists. The tower is supposed to have great murals inside, but I think it was fairly usual stuff.  However, the base of the tower did give some great aerial views of the city and the surrounding bay, albeit blocked by tree branches.

Having put in the effort, I did not want to miss the opportunity to get to the top of the tower, for which there was a line. This was a bummer, as after waiting in line for almost 20 mins (and another 20 mins to get down), the tower top is quite a letdown. It’s a tiny top, with small windows to peek from. And I thought I would be in the open at top, shooting some great city views!

The walk back was more interesting. There were many lanes shooting off from Kearny street that seemed to harbor nice cafes (I found many on Bush Street), places that I may want to check out in the future.

From a photography perspective, it really wasn’t a good day. My best shot was that of a GEICO airplane flying over the city with a GEICO banner (this sort of advertising does not happen in India, maybe that’s why I found it interesting :D)

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