Sunday, November 8, 2009

Further Left Coast

October 20, 2009

As promised, more spooky pictures from San Francisco. This is another angle on Fort Point in the fog, giving a fuller view of the bridge footing and the grounds in front of the fort itself, which resembles more a warehouse than a defensive point dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.

The next day Wayne and I were driving around Treasure Island, site of a partially abandoned naval base. The navy is long gone, and film studios and community centers have moved in, but there is plenty of military detritus clustered about. An abandoned bowling alley, rows and rows of single-story wooden barracks, their paint peeling and signs warning of asbestos. These tanks are right along the eastern shore of the island, on Avenue N near 13th Street.

To get to Treasure Island one crosses the western span of the Oakland-Bay Bridge, the double suspension bridge that leads from the city of San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island. This natural island is the half-way point in the bay on the way to Oakland. (Treasure Island is man-made, composed entirely of dredged material and fill.) The second leg is the cantilevered section of the Bay bridge, part of which suffered a collapse of the roadway in the quake of 1989. This length of the bridge is being completely replaced with a concrete causeway and cable-stayed bridge, and Wayne wanted me to see the complexity of what was actually going on.

In the picture above, the section on the left is the original bridge. You'll notice as it leads into the center of the picture, it just sort of stops, and then there's nothing. This section was cut out and slid away during the Labor Day weekend in 2009. The connection to the new viaduct (on the right) was then slid into its place.

The rest of the new causeway can be seen in the background, below the distinctive span.

We wandered around under the bridges here for about fifteen or twenty minutes, just around noontime. We were a bit surprised at the lack of security, despite the Coast Guard station checkpoint a few hundred feet behind me in this picture, we were never challenged by anyone for loitering under a major Interstate highway bridge, taking pictures, and pointing out landmarks, discussing seismic requirements, and what it might really take to knock this thing out.

Twice-Reflected Wayne - 10-21-09

Of course, we weren't driving everywhere; despite the hills, San Francisco is a very pedestrian-friendly city, especially for those with good quads. It's also a city that you want to see at a walking pace, as well, since it's easy to miss a lot of the architecture and most of the twisted characters if you spend all your time driving by.

The empty barber shop above is on Columbus Avenue, across the street from a brilliant white, triangular building, that one reflected in the glass. It has the words 'Transamerica Corporation' just above the topmost visible windows in the picture, but it's not the Transamerica Building. It points to the Transamerica Building, though. Make of that what you will. If you click on the picture for the larger version, you'll understand why I titled it what I did, as well as find out the name of the barber shop.

This one I couldn't pass up, it just looked so silly. Watching the group thread through the crowds on Fisherman's Wharf was fun, but hard to shoot with the harsh shadows. I got a better angle with this shot when they regrouped alongside one of the pier buildings.

I think Segways are cool, there's just something, I don't know, odd, about riding on something while standing upright.


1 comment:

Sharon said...

I dunno, it seems I'm standing upright every time I need to ride the bus or the subway...