Storm Week, Potrero Hill

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At the foot of the pedestrian overpass that cross U.S. 101 from 18th and Utah (west side of U.S. 101) to 18th and San Bruno (east side of the freeway). I was on my way into work. Can’t remember if this was the day I locked my keys in the car (Triple A came and got them for me), or the day I jump-started a coworker’s car (she had left her lights on), or the day I had delivered another coworker’s purse after she forgot it at work. The only thing I know for sure is that we had rain this day, like every other day of the week. Below: U.S. 101, looking south from the pedestrian overpass toward Bernal Heights (Utah Street turning west into 18th Street below and to the right).

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Overpass World

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Down where the northern slope of San Francisco's Potrero Hill flattens into the southwestern edge of South of Market, two big elevated freeways merge–Interstate 80, which begins its cross-continent trip about a mile west of the Bay Bridge, and U.S. 101, which emerges from its southbound passage on city streets and heads toward San Jose and Los Angeles. Below the freeways are a maze of streets where at least two of the city's clashing grid systems come together. I've worked in the area on and off for nearly a decade, and when I take the North Berkeley casual carpool over to the city, I hike through the heart of the area beneath the freeways–Overpass World, you might call it. It's bordered by an interior design district to the east and to the west by jewelry, antique, and auction houses. Overpass World itself is full of parking lots, invisible clouds of particulates spewed out by the hundreds of thousands of vehicles that pass overhead every day, homeless camp sites, and the occasional attention-grabbing graffito. And regarding those last couple of items, above is a scene from my walk into work on Friday morning, on San Bruno Avenue near 15th Street.


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16th Street, Out of Sequence

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Shot Monday afternoon on 16th Street at Harrison in the fabulous environs of MiPo (Mission-Potrero). We had a day of winterish rain Sunday and showers early Monday. But by Monday evening the sky was scoured and the setting sun was brilliant. Today was bright, clear, and cool again. A warm-up is coming the next two or three days, but I’m not buying that the rain is gone for the season.

Hilltop

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Yesterday’s walk to the Friday Night Ferry took me across the top of Potrero Hill along 20th Street, where I happened upon this scene The hill is an interesting place, and I may have already said that if I were to live anywhere in San Francisco, I’d try to find a place up there. It really feels like an island, with its own neighborhoods and feel, complete with amazing views in every direction.

Potrero Hill Sundown

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Beautiful summery night here — which would be an odd statement in August almost anyplace else but the Northern California coast. It was warm with a variety of high clouds that were gorgeous as the evening came on. The sight and the evening’s gentleness were enough to make me detour from my usual walk to the 16th and Mission BART station over to the Civic Center Station on Market Street.  

Friday Night Ferry: The Walk

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On Mariposa Street, just east of Potrero Avenue. This one-block slope is at the beginning of my Friday evening walk from KQED to the Ferry Building. From that stop sign up above, I turn right, then cross U.S. 101 on the pedestrian overpass that connects to 18th Street on the east side of the freeway. One more block up from there is Kansas Street, a corner with one of the great views of downtown. From there, I walk north and east down the slope of Potrero Hill and across the South of Market flats to the Bay, sometimes walking over the low eminence of Rincon Hill. What I noticed most about the walk this week: It’s getting dark much earlier than it did just a month ago.

Friday Night Ferry: The Walk

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On Mariposa Street, just east of Potrero Avenue. This one-block slope is at the beginning of my Friday evening walk from KQED to the Ferry Building. From that stop sign up above, I turn right, then cross U.S. 101 on the pedestrian overpass that connects to 18th Street on the east side of the freeway. One more block up from there is Kansas Street, a corner with one of the great views of downtown. From there, I walk north and east down the slope of Potrero Hill and across the South of Market flats to the Bay, sometimes walking over the low eminence of Rincon Hill. What I noticed most about the walk this week: It’s getting dark much earlier than it did just a month ago.

Cars, Birds

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16th Street at Bryant, San Francisco. This sign (or signs) has been here for years, just behind The Double Play bar. I’ll dig up the story behind them — there’s at least one similar art piece on 6th Street, south of Market — at some later date.

[That later date is now: KQED friend and colleague Molly Samuel advises they’re by a San Francisco artist who goes by the handle Rigo 23 (if Wikipedia is to be believed, his full name is Ricardo Gouveia.) Thanks, Molly!]

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1951 Buick

It’s a Buick Roadmaster Deluxe. For sale for $4,000 if you’re looking for a project. It’s been parked at various spots around Mariposa and Alabama streets, a couple blocks from where I ply the radio news editor trade, for at least a month. (Those stacks in the background of the top photo–I’ve been looking at them for the last year and I haven’t yet investigated what defunct local manufacturing operation they might have been part of.)

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Neighborhood Art Tour

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On the side of an auto body shop, adjacent to a mostly razed building at Potrero and Mariposa. I love the boldness and scale. Looking at the picture, someone’s been at work in the cellar below the mural wall, too. (Click for larger image.)