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).
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.
View Underpass World in a larger map
Friday morning: Heading north from San Rafael on my way to Santa Rosa. Yes–that San Francisco-bound rush-hour traffic wasn’t doing too well in the rain. Driving up again tomorrow to do some reporting on a radio story. It’s supposed to storm again. Not too much of a deluge, please, rain gods/goddesses.
Last night, Kate called me at work to say I ought to get out and see the moon rising. I agreed. I walked out of the office and up a steep stretch of Mariposa Street to a spot with an open view to the east across U.S. 101. There was a rising moon and lots of traffic. My camera’s just limping along these days, but this is actually a pretty good impression of the scene.
From Friday night on Potrero Hill. From Utah Street just south of Mariposa, there’s a pedestrian overpass crossing U.S. 101 to Vermont Street on the east side. I can’t quite explain it, but I alway like walking over the freeway there. Something about getting to watch the traffic from so close by without being part of it, maybe. Last night after work I went up there and experimented with some time exposure by placing my camera on one of the railings of the pedestran bridge (there’s a fence to prevent it from falling onto the highway) setting the shutter on delay before releasing it.
This view is looking north. Interstate 80, which goes all the way to New York City, starts where you can see the green highway signs in the left center (if you click for the larger image, you can see that one of the signs directs drivers to the Bay Bridge, which is visible in the right center).