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California Street

This shot was made our sixth and final day in California. But Patty and I originally caught this view the first morning of our vacation.

Day one. Deciding on a walk after breakfast we left The Marker Hotel to have a look around. After briefly consulting the colorful tourist map we headed north on Mason. North from Geary Street means uphill! (Everything looks nice and flat on that colorful map, but I’ve experienced easier climbs in the mountains of Wyoming.)

As I recall this ascent topped out at California Street. Looking east, the Fairmount Hotel is camera left and the Mark Hopkins is camera right.

I had my Canon G7x (a damn fine pocket camera) and took the best shot I could. I forgot about it until a couple days later when I found myself in an Art Gallery in Sausalito…

After that we walked down the hill, all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. For San Francisco, the weather was pretty temperate and Patty and I enjoyed our 20,000+ bad ass steps. (In case you are wondering, we took Uber back to the hotel. And that is another story …)

A couple days later a light went off suddenly in my head as I’m standing in an art gallery admiring this large beautiful print of California Street framing up the west tower of the Bay Bridge. It was then that I realized I had stumbled across a landmark back on day one.

From there we drove up into and enjoyed Muir Woods and the Wine Country for a couple of days. And yes, my friend, those were pleasant days except for one little nagging thought. “I wish I had my full frame camera, some glass, and a tripod (would be nice) taking a vintage shot of California Street framing the west tower of the Bay Bridge.

I looked at Patty and asked, “How should we spend our last afternoon in San Fran? She voted for an Irish Coffee (you should experience this) at the Beuna Vista Cafe. Okay. I’m in. It’s a cool place. Unique vibrant tourist energy. Not that far from California Street, and yes my (big) camera is handy in the rental car.

It was 4 or 4:30p on a Friday afternoon. I parked in a loading zone a half block away and asked Patty to guard the car. I didn’t think the locals would mind some tourist with a tripod and camera standing on the double yellow line as they made their escape from work and the city. Luckily I wasn’t struck by a car or trolley and that’s the story of how the California Street shot was made.

Final thought. If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair and have an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe .

Buena Vista Cafe San Francisco


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