Wednesday, October 14th

After an entire day of rain on Tuesday I was keeping my fingers crossed for a break in the weather. I had arranged to once again meet Joe Donohoe, publisher of Specious Species, to pick up two more copies of said magazine. We were to meet at noon and then have lunch in the neighborhood.

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An ominous looking sky did not bode well for the day, but it did clear off and turn into a nice day.

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Joe had suggested Atlas Cafe (3049 20th St - between Florida & Alabama Streets) for lunch. I followed Joe's lead and got the smoked trout salad ($8.95). We sat outside on the patio and it was quite pleasant.

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This was the first salad for me since I had been here and very tasty it was.

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The salad dressing was a freshly made bleu cheese which I polished off using the bread for sopping.

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When we first walked into the cafe it looked as if the Farley's crowd had all moved in for lunch: lotsa 20 somethings with laptops and Ipods/phones.

After a leisurely lunch with stimulating conversation, Joe and I departed Atlas and said our good-byes.

Next on my agenda was to walk up to Corona Heights and then onto Grandview Park.

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My route took me up 20th street past Dolores Park and some views of the downtown area.

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To the far left can be seen the bell tower of Mission Dolores.

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Here you can see Mission Dolores, the Transamerica Pyramid, and the Rincon Tower to name a few.

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I made my up and over the summit and down the other side via the steps at the dead end of Cumberland Street which go down to Noe Street.

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I walked down Noe towards Market Street and passed this mural at Noe and 19th.

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As I continued on down Noe I could see the top of Corona Heights Park off in the distance.

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A very typical gingerbread Victorian on Noe near 19th.

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I got to Market Street, crossed over and then walked up to Castro Street and hung a right up the hill and then a left onto 16th. Corona_Market_Castro-smallest.jpg I walked down Flint to the base of Corona Heights Park and then picked up the trail which goes past the tennis courts and up the hill to the Randall Museum.

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Unknown. But I am sure the hummingbirds are familiar with this plant.
NOTE: "The unknown red flower looks like penstemon." - Friend Bill in Virginia

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A exposed section of Serpentine rock near the tennis court.

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I had been to Corona a number of times and always wondered what the sprawling building was which hugged the hillside. Previously I had never noticed any activity around the building or signs of what it might be used for. But, that was because I had always approached it from the east, which is the back of the Museum and not until today did I see the main entrance. Joe had mentioned the Randall museum over lunch and talked about the nature displays and Raptor rehab program there.

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Today, there was a back door open so I walked in and immediately saw a songbird display.

I think this is a female Brewer's Blackbird.

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These are the Western Bluebird and Cedar Waxwing.

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The closer I got the harder this bird tried to get it's beak out of the cage. Obviously, it was used to being fed.

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This is one of many displays in the sprawling complex.

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Twin Peaks.

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A sampling of Janet Kessler's coyote photos taken at Twin Peaks. Pretty cool.

We have coyotes at our place as well so I underdstand Janet's excitement. It is wonderful to hear them yip and howl. I have only seen one. They are very furtive and shy.

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One of the many fabulous views from Corona Heights.

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17th Street and the Mission Dolores as seen from Corona Heights.

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The famous Castro Theater and Rainbow Flag.

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Here are some more views from the Heights. Click on these images to get a better look.

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This was taken from the northwest side of Corona Heights Park down by Roosevelt Way.

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Agave americana.

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This was on Buena Vista Avenue West, near Haight Street.

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At Haight Street and the entrance to Buena Vista Park.

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This 1250 Haight. Obviously an old church and now Senior Housing. I could see no name or any information of any kind as to what sort of residence it now is. However, some web digging turned this up:

Haight Street Senior Housing: Preserving an Architectual Gem in an Evolving Neighborhood
A lack of affordable housing for the aging population in San Francisco, particularly in the central and western areas is a growing problem in the city.

To help address this concern, Citizens Housing Corporation has developed an adaptive reuse project that converted the historic and abandoned Third Church Christ Scientist building into Haight Street Senior Housing, a 40 unit affordable senior housing development in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

Scheduled to open in October (2007), the development sits at the entrance of Buena Vista Park. The former church is considered an architectural gem and is valued by the community for its unique presence in the Haight-Ashbury community over the last 90 years.

Source: Copyright 2007 League of California Cities

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I walked on down Haight Street. What was once a place where I went to score grass and hang out is now like a mini theme park.

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The People's Cafe has been here for a long time.

I was standing across the street in front of Best of Thai Noodle (1418 Haight Street - between Ashbury St. & Masonic Ave) when I snapped this shot. It was now 4:00 and time for a snack.

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Nothing like taking something really healthy and making it palatable.

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Deep fried tofu and peanut sauce! ($5.75) I mixed a little chili paste in with the peanut sauce to give it some zing. This was on the appetizer list but there was plenty to fill me up.

In 2001, my brother William took me here for lunch. Then it was a bit more "hole-in-the-wall"ish. I remember sitting at a lunch counter and eating a bowl of noodles and beef which were about 5 bucks. The price now is $7.00

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Pretty gaudy!

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The obligatory shot.

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There used to be a down home cheap restaurant here at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. Now there is a Ben and Jerry's.

From here I walked down to Cole Street, hung a left and walked up to Carl to catch the N Judah out to 16th and Judah. When I got off I walked down to 17th and retraced my steps up to Moraga Street and the home of the Tiled Steps Project.

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These were shot on 17th street. I am not sure what this architectural style is called. The homes are certainly different looking than the classic San Fran Victorian.

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Although some attempt had been made to individualism them, they were all pretty much cookie cutter houses.

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These were on the down slope side of the street.

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All the houses on the up slope side had these curved stairways to the front door. Interesting looking, until about the 10th one. Once again, they were all nearly identical. But, cute and tidy.

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Those beautiful steps again! I could not resist taking more pictures. Now that the clouds had moved in the light was quite different than the bright, sunny day I had been here previously.

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These succulents flanked the stairway on both sides.

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That is the herb rosemary above the succulents. It is commonly used for edging, pots and hedges here in San Francisco.

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Click to see the details.

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The Ice Plants had plumped up a little from the 2.5" of rain which fell the day before.

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Almost to the top - of the steps, not the summit.

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The view from the top. A bit different than the one I saw just a few hours before at Corona Heights.

The green swath in the center is the Panhandle and the east end of Golden Gate Park.

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Instead of back tracking as I did on my previous visit I took the steps down to the eastern side of Moraga. This is the stairway on that side of the park.

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From here I walked Moraga down to Funston, hung a left and then back down to Irving Street to catch the N Judah back to town.

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Last shot of the day.
This is at Judah and 12th. Could there be an uglier apartment house in all of San Francisco? It looks like an old motel which was converted for permanent residence. Yuk!

The N arrived after about a 10 minute wait. I took it up to Church and got off just as a 22 arrived and I hopped on board. In short order I was back at Bruce's, who was still not home.

Bruce got back around 8:00 and we had our late Happy Hour and shot the shit. He showed me some of his View Master slides which he collects.

The first ones he showed me where enclosed in a case made to look like a book. When you opened the book there was a View Master viewer and a small, bound volume which contained a dozen or so disks - all containing 3-d stereoscopic images of "Mushrooms of North America". This View Master set was sold as companion to the book by the same name by Alan Smith. The book was all text and no illustrations.

The second set he showed me was a single, privately produced, one of a kind. They were all nudes of Betty Page from the 50's.

Even though they were all nudes, the photos looked very innocent and playful compared to what one might see today.

 

And so end another busy, fun day in the Big City.

 

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