Sunday, October 07, 2007

By the Banks of the River 101

With the Autumn Equinox now behind us, the quality of light in California is definitely changing. It reflects the weird place I've been in my head recently -- both physically (with non-cooperative sinuses) and emotionally (with a weird mix of impending dread and optimistic anticipation). It's also a reminder of how out of sync I usually am with the rest of the world since I tend to be sedentary in the summer when i want to be inside away from sun and heat and outside and physically active in the fall and winter when the weather begs for movement, being kissed by cool breezes and sun that is invigorating but not blinding.

Now that fall is here, I am back in a regular evening routine of walking to the top of Bernal Hill near sunset. Although I technically live in the Mission, I am two blocks away from both Bernal and Potrero hills. At times like this or when I have a contemplative moment in the back yard, I often focus my thoughts on the sound of 101 which also is about two blocks away. At that distance and with chirping birds around me, it can take on the characteristics of a steady river, albeit churning out carbon monoxide fumes. Here's this evening's walk.

Though much of of my street has its dodgy parts and a weird mix of eras and designs, this particular stretch in the next block when viewed out of context could pass for the Marina. Even the cars are starting to move up a few notches on the social register.
Here in Rolph Playground which is being renovated, a sure sign of the coming gentrification or apocalypse or both is the arrival of new palm trees. What is it about palm trees that makes properties jump into the seven figures?
Junk gardens may be a tad passe, but I always enjoy this one when going up the hill.

I like the sentiment. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've met this guy. I wish I still had his card. Besides all the other amenities he had the complete Bessie Smith catalog. Always a good sign.
The reflected sunset and body art work escaped me as I shot this but were a pleasant surprise to see when I came home.
Approaching the upper rim of Bernal Hill, an evening walk is usually greeted by the smell of dog droppings and happy families walking their children and canines. This is they way I enjoy both -- at arms distance, for a couple seconds of being able to smile at them and then getting on my way once they start barking, screaming or pooping.
When the One Rincon Hill towers on the right near the Bay Bridge is complete, it will transform the skyline to look eerily similar to that of The Towering Inferno.
Though I hope I have a good amount of time before I have to plan my tombstone, I think this would be spot on. It comes closest to summing up my sentiments on appropriate relationships with humans and other mammals.

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At 10:27 PM, Blogger Eva the Deadbeat said...

Love seeing your jaunts! And junk gardens are NEVER passe!!

My tombstone will no doubt be, "She did the best that she could." i really did see that on a headstone at Mountain View Cemetery in oakland - ever been?

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Joy said...

I like that final sentiment. Keep walking and taking pictures - it's great!

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Dave said...

That reminds me of the end of the Woodstock movie where John Sebastian tells the crowd something like, "If we could all just try to love each other, and also pick up some trash on your way out, that would be groovy."

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura said...

Eva - Good tombstone suggestion.

Joy - I'll keep walking.

Dave - Far out, dude.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger J. David Zacko-Smith said...

So loverly, so loverly! The quality of the light here in Seattle is changing too - we're getting the "evening yellow light" these days. Beautiful but erie all at once.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura said...

JDZS - It's erie up there? It's more huron down here. I get you either way, eerie or Erie.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Another great tour of your Neighborhood. I cant' get enough.

I could almost smell the feces it was that good.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Scot said...

Great photo essay- and you shouldn't have told on yourself about the van photo. You know you sat there for 20 minutes waiting for just the right light to grace the hillside. You even had to restrain the van driver (by offering him a joint) to keep him from driving off too soon.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura said...

Gavin - Ew, scratch and sniff and I didn't even realize it.

Scot - Well, fortunately the driver wasn't there. What is kinda spooky up on the hill is that there often are people just sitting in their cars without dogs and looking, well, a little shifty. I always hasten my pace when I pass them.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

That first pic ... looks so familiar! I can see the top of Bernal in the background, but where are you? Hmmm....I used to live on Mullen Ave. up a block or so from Alabama. Later I lived right on the park across from the school with the cool murals.

How fun it is to see my old stomping grounds here in your blog!

Hope your sinuses are soon back in balance!

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I mean, second pic.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Reya - The second shot (of the Marina style houses) is look south at the intersection of 25th & York (still in the Mission). The shot of the "junk garden" is on Peralta, heading east from Hampshire (having crossed the pedestrian bridge over Cesar Chavez and now in Bernal). Wow, we were neighbors, and two of the people in my building now used to be in those blocks. We probably have mutual friends!


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