Tag Archives: San Francisco

The last of the best of 2013: evening sail

I’m two days’ away from flying to the States for Christmas, so I thought a good way to end my review of my favourite photos of 2013 would be to share one from San Francisco. After a fantastic wee trip over to Sausalito, we caught the ferry back in the prettiest light imaginable. I was finding it quite difficult to take photos, as even on a smooth crossing, staying steady wasn’t easy.

In the end, I was delighted with this one. The angle of the sailing boat against the hazy backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and the double outline of the hills is satisfying to my eye. And it is a gorgeous reminder of that beautiful city. I only have to see it to smile thinking of both the beauty and friendliness of the city, but also of the constant laughter of being with my family and friend on that trip.

Sunset sail © Carole Scott 2013
Sunset sail © Carole Scott 2013

And while I may not be heading for San Francisco right now, I am heading for the same branch of my family….bring on the festive laughter, silly quizzes, adventurous cocktails and love that Christmas seems destined to deliver this year!

Happy snapping to all my fellow bloggers and see you for more snap-sharing in 2014.

By Carole Scott

 

Best photos of 2013: hues of pews

The Cathedral of Mission Dolores is beautifully lit, thanks to the orange stained glass high in the walls. To this day, I’m not sure whether it was the stained glass or the rich wood itself that created so many different hues in these pews. Whatever the cause, I think the effect is wonderful; where the eye expects uniformity, it is given subtle waves of colour.

Hues of Pews © Carole Scott 2013
Hues of Pews © Carole Scott 2013

Best photos of 2013: lost shoe

Lose shoes may well become a photo project in its own right next year. I am always mystified by single shoes lying derelict in public places. How did someone manage to lose it and not notice? Surely not every piece of left footwear is discarded by a drunk or drunken reveller? But if you’re not drunk, why else would you leave one shoe behind?

This particular shoe caught my eye because it’s so neat, tidy, clean and – with the lace still tied – it looks as if the person whose foot had occupied it had evaporated a few moments before.

Perhaps I’ll create the ‘Lost Shoe Bar’. Up high (where you can’t smell them!) shoes on display and every night around a wood burner, folks turn up and tell or sing the tales behind a particular half a pair. If anyone ever walks in with the matching shoe, they get free drinks in exchange for the real story.

Lost shoe © Carole Scott 2013
Lost shoe © Carole Scott 2013

Best photos of 2013: Legs

I’m sure these legs in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, have been photographed a million or more times but there’s a good reason for that. They are eye-catching, funny and unexpected.

I took them from two different angles with very different effects.

Legs Pt1
Legs Pt1
Legs Pt2
Legs Pt2

By Carole Scott

Best photos of 2013: Grace Cathedral

I try to avoid using the flash on my camera; I find it too harsh. Oh, and besides, it’s bust. So it’s always touch and go when I’m shooting in low light.

I was chuffed that this one inside Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, came out well. I love the interplay of the stunning stained glass windows and the delicate ribbon installation.

© Carole Scott 2013
© Carole Scott 2013

By Carole Scott

San Francisco: Golden Gate Park, Mission Dolores and family fun

It’s hard to believe that it’s already two months ago that I was anticipating the arrival in San Francisco of my dear friend Heather. The wonderful thing about blogging after the event is that it gives me a great way to remember every laugh, every bit of sight-seeing and every glorious glass of California red drunk!

There are many fab things to do in SF and I would put The Japanese Tea Garden right up there near the top of the list. It’s a glorious little corner of delicate loveliness. To get there, we walked up through Haight Ashbury, as we had to have a little look at the ‘hippy’ area.

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It was a really bright day, so my pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden aren’t brilliant but hopefully these will give you an idea of how nice it is.

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We also sauntered around the Botanical Gardens. I like the way the gardens are divided into the world’s regions, so that you step from one type of flora to another.

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The next day’s sightseeing was to Mission Dolores and to see the Mission district murals. The first is San Francisco’s oldest building. It’s thick adobe walls mean that it has withstood all the earthquakes. It’s a wonderful chapel with a cathedral next door and I’m glad I visited.

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The murals are great. We didn’t have much time, as we were heading off to meet my Aunt and Uncle, flying in from Atlanta that morning, but what we did see were wonderful.

And then it was time to reunite. I have the most welcoming family imaginable in the states and they all ‘re-adopted’ my friend Heather in super quick time (it had been many years since she had visited Boston with me).

Niece and Aunt reunited.
Niece and Aunt reunited.

Thursday dawned bright and clear again. No San Francisco fog for us at all! After a morning at the Asian Art Museum, we headed off for Sausalito, for gorgeous ice cream and a very hospitable bar, The Wellington Arms pretending (and failing in the best way possible) to be an English pub!

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Friday was Dave’s birthday and it was off to Alcatraz for us. I had underestimated how interesting it would be. The culture snob in me couldn’t figure out what could be so fascinating about a prison. I stand corrected. It was superb. Great location with amazing views back to the city and an audio tour that immerses you in the prison stories. I highly recommend going. Alaz (see what I did there?!?!), I forgot my camera.

The day finished with an undoubted highlight of the trip; supper in a private dining room at Restaurant Gary Danko. Great food, pretty place and the best company.

Private dining room at Gary Danko
Private dining room at Gary Danko

The menu was mouth-watering.

Gary Danko - menu
Gary Danko – menu

I started with Lobster salad, moved onto the scallops, main course was seared tuna, then cheese and finally a lovely dessert that I failed to snap!

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A fantastic night and one to be remembered.

Tomorrow, on tour in Napa!

By Carole Scott

 

San Francisco: museums, pinot and back to the bridge

San Francisco has some exquisite museums. SFMOMA, the De Young, the Legion of Honor and the Asian Art Museum were the ones I visited on this trip. I enjoyed all three, although I think the Legion of Honor just pips the others to the post.

SFMOMA is now shut for a few years for extensive work, so I’m glad that I visited when I did. The building is a fantastic example of modern architecture; shapely, colourful and light. The highlight of my visit there was the superb Garry Winogrand exhibition. His work is raw street photography at its best and it was a wonderful reminder of why I love this art form. It’s touring to Washington, New York, Paris and Madrid and I may just have to have a weekend in Madrid to see it again!

The day was hot and lovely and after our early start for Glide (an absolute must if you’re visiting San Francisco – see my blog about it here), we were exhausted. Couldn’t resist this snap with Mr Cohiba as we walked toward a sunny spot.

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We sat for a while in the Yerba Buena gardens to people watch.

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That evening, we hooked up again with my cousin, who works at the new and rather fabulous San Francisco Jazz Center. Andrew’s friend Yoni was with us and we started the evening with Pinot Noir. As Andrew commented ‘You guys have a real problem saying no to Pinot’. It’s true. Very little really good Californian wine is exported to the UK and I really do enjoy the Pinot Noirs that small batch producers create in this sunny state.

We had a great evening, watching banjo player Bela Fleck whilst keeping up to date with his wife in labour via his mobile phone. It should have felt distracting but in fact it was a privilege to be part of it!

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The Jazz Center won’t be in any guide books yet, as it’s new. I recommend checking it out  if you’re heading to SF. Even if there isn’t a gig that interests you, the food and drink in the bar are superb and the staff are that wonderful breed of U.S. people – truly customer-focused, delivering friendly and attentative service. Okay, I’m biased, as my cousin is a barman there, but…

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny again. We headed off early, intending to visit the Legion of Honor before walking to the Golden Gate Bridge. Alas, we hadn’t read our guide books accurately and the museum was shut but it didn’t matter, as we had intended to hike from Land’s End to the bridge and over anyway. I had walked part of this route with my cousin on the previous Sunday but from the bridge to Sutro Baths. This way round was so much better – each corner we turned gave a new view of the bridge and the coastline is beautiful. Here’s the pics, so you can judge for yourself. The paths are clearly marked and once again, I’d factor this in as an absolute must.

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I’m glad we decided not to hire bikes for our bridge visit. Walking over meant that we took our time to take in the architecture, the glow of the ‘International Orange’ paint (note that one down for trivia quizzes!) and the views. It’s only 2km across, so a walk there and back is a breeze (literally – do take something warm, even on a sunny day!)

I would love to showcase Heather’s pictures here, as they are heaps better than mine but you’ll have to make do with what I have!

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Over the next couple of days, we visited three more musuems. The de Young is in Golden Gate Park and is a controversial building, as it was resisted by many locals. I’m a fan of modern and striking architecture in unexpected settings but I struggled to see the beauty in the design. However, inside it really works. We went round with a wonderful docent called Lenore, who introduced us to art we simply might have glossed over had we wandered around unguided. It’s worth considering if you go there. Oh, a do make time to go up to the viewing platform – more great views of the city!

We successfully went back to the Legion of Honor, which has the second largest collection of Rodin sculptures in the world. It was exquisite and I very nearly missed it – all thanks to H for spotting that this was something we definitely should get to.

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Our third museum was the Asian Art Museum, filled with a mouth-watering array of treasures from all over Asia. Again, we joined a docent, who took us round some of the highlights. As in many museums, Heather and I challenged each other to pick just *one* item that we would take home if we could. We squabbled over this gorgeous rhinoceros and she won.

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As I couldn’t snaffle the rhino, I went for a delicate Japanese figure. His enigmatic face makes me happy. I don’t ‘do’ ornaments but if I could lay my hands on something like this, perhaps I would!

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By Carole Scott