Friday, December 31, 2010


Above: a snapshot from earlier today at the California Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Ornament, Though We Don't Have A Tree

Oh, don't get me wrong. I've been working all day. The day before, as well. And there's a lot of change ahead.

Still, this feels the closest to a vacation as any time ... in a long time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After a Long Day at the Heya

Sometimes you just want to get home, sit down, and stare at your sumo wrestler statue.

Monday, November 29, 2010


It's interesting to me to observe this endless cycle: folks get excited about a new technology for making images, obsess about it, talk endlessly about all the new capabilities it will provide, then make the same old thing they did before.

It looks better, but it's the same thing, really.

Then they quickly decide the formerly new technology is now old, and move on to the rumored new thing that will allow them to finally do their work.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Numbers Game

One of the first things we did when planning to move to San Francisco was research crime in the city. In our search for a place to stay, we avoided neighborhoods showing higher crime stats -- though we eventually realized that it's a 7-by-7-mile grid, and you can't really get that far from anywhere.

Unfortunately, as pleased as we've been with our neighborhood, this is a big city, and crime happens. While we were out of town for Thanksgiving, we saw this story and realized it occurred awfully close to home.

23-year-old identified as Japantown fatal shooting victim.

Above: A playing card found on the street Thursday morning on McAllister Street, as we were leaving town.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Strictly Rhetorical

There's just no way it's Thanksgiving already. Is there? Thanksgiving ... 2010?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Durr ... Igible

Among the things I don't understand: why celebrities don't have blimps. People do all sorts of ridiculous things to get into the news. Why not just have a blimp and fly around? Put your picture on the side. Grant interviews ... but only on your blimp.

Above: a non-celebrity blimp flying over San Francisco today.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When Life Gives You Kink, Make Kinkade

Yes, my Thomas Kinkade book is signed. Isn't yours?

Now, sure, it's not normally the type of "art" I go in for. Or, even recognize as art. But, c'mon, art museums are sticking Tim Burton drawings on the walls hoping to get people in the doors. People tell me Kanye West is an "artist." Sarah Palin is getting ready to run for the Presidency. (Have they told her it's four years?)

It's not that big a stretch to Kinkade as the presidential portraitist, is it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eleventh Hour

I've made a blog post every day since moving to San Francisco.

Most have been simple iPhone snaps. A few were made with a more serious camera, but weren't necessarily serious photos.

But I haven't yet gone photographing, actually. Maybe soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Word on the Street, Missing Backstory Edition

I don't actually know what this means. Was there a place called "Randy's Tooth"? Or ... was there a tooth?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wordless on the Street

This was near Masonic and Geary. When future archeologists unearth this pictograph, they'll puzzle over its possible meanings, and they'll reflect on our mysterious, disappeared society.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And You Shall Know Us By Our Fancy Signs

You can always tell the character of a protest by the quality of its graphic design.

First, great font choice. Some might say those fancy "O"s in "BOYCOTT" are a bit too fussy, but not me. Come on, this is a march held in between four-star hotels -- it's gonna need a little style to be taken seriously.

Second: good color choice. Goldenrod? Attention-grabbing, but not harsh. It's got the power of black-on-yellow without the harshness.

Third, putting together the words "Unite" and "Here" is a bold choice. But think it through: conceptually, it's about ... uniting. So push the two words together. Fine.

Good work, Anonymous Protest Sign designer!

But I think, to be perfectly honest, that the whole thing risks becoming a bit too postmodern when you include the graphic of people carrying signs and protesting. I mean, I see people carrying signs and protesting, I get closer to read their signs, and I wonder what the graphic is ... and it turns out to be an image of people carrying signs and protesting. It's like conceptual clip art, and that's not working for me.

Overall, though, it's a clean, protest-ready look that beats out hand painted signs by a mile. Unless, of course, you want the protest to seem authentic and grassroots and not like it was organized by a professional protest group with a budget for graphic design.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Inside, Looking Out (Sorta)

Technically, this is an Outside Looking In, but whatever.

Overheard behind me: "Mommy, what is that man doing?" "Taking pictures, darling."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word on the Street, Part 3

I assume this was scratched into the concrete before there was a television show with this title. Then, it's cool. If not, then it's not cool. Context!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grand Being Relative

In New York, it was always important to know the difference between a Terminal and a Station. If you didn't, you might as well just mispronounce Houston.

In San Francisco ... well, I don't know what the hell that is or why it's called that.

Food in San Francisco: Farmer's Market

Here's the recipe:

First, go to the Farmer's Market. (They're everywhere, but you'll actually have to go outside.)

Second: bring cash. Not a lot, because the entire point is to get really good food for a fairly cheap price.

Third: buy Heirlooms. They'll look funny, because you're used to those bright red, unbruiseable things that are bred for shipping. Ignore the ugly exterior, as these are for eating rather than display.

Fourth: get a Sourdough Round. Again, ugly is good.

Now: slice the tomatoes. Put them on the sourdough bread. Add something to it, like salt and pepper. Maybe, maybe: put mayo on the bread, or drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes. Improvise, just don't cover up the taste.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Seven by Seven, Plus Hills

Took a very long walk today. Fortunately, I had a low-flying military escort the entire way.

Above: noisy iPhone snapshot of the noisy, noisy jets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Jets Came Back, The Very Next Day

See? I didn't imagine it.

Food in San Francisco: Gussie's

Sometimes, things should just be fried. Went to Gussie's Chicken and Waffles and tried catfish sliders and fried okra.

Both were good, but did not live up to fond memories formed in restaurants around 116th Street in NYC. Still, reasonable prices and good flavor, so a positive experience. Learned there's a type of drink called Soju. Will research this further....

Above: iPhone snapshot. The iPhone is not exactly good for macro work.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Food in San Francisco: Pride of the Mediterranean

Needed vegetarian chow, on a low low low budget.

Found Pride of the Mediterranean. Nice selection of dishes, several vegetarian, and Lebanese beer as well.

We weren't adventurous enough to try the hookahs, though.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food in San Francisco: Frjtz

In the Hayes Valley, stumbled upon Frjtz. A lot of possiblities there, with a Belgian angle on things.

Above: The Matisse is a crepe with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, and chives. (Most items on the menu are named after artists. I guess that's a good idea, maybe.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Inside, Looking Out

Have been trying to get a sense of San Francisco by walking around aimlessly. So far, that seems like a good strategy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Uncanny Hayes Valley

So far, the thing I like about San Francisco is that you walk around a corner, and there's something there that you didn't expect. And not in a bad way, as sometimes happened in The Bronx.

How to be Certain You're in San Francisco

It's easy to get disoriented in a big city. You've got to look around for subtle signs that will let you know where you are.

If you don't see any, just stop inside whatever bar you find on the corner and ask.

Incidentally, I normally look at signs and think: "What terrible typography. Who made that?" Not in this case: there's a subtle reference to "Western" fonts here -- check out that "S" -- but without getting too scrolly and frilly. The Cowboy association is blended with just a hint of Varsity / College / Letterman's Jacket text -- look at the "U" -- creating a good balance that seems right on target.

Good work, Anonymous Sign Typographer.

(Now, that "D" could be kerned a bit closer to the "U" -- but that's just a personal preference.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Defacing Public Property, Part Two

Look, it's wrong to go around marking up advertisements. But if you're going to do it, do it with some skill ... like this example found on Geary Boulevard yesterday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010