Tag Archives: san francisco

Lanterns over Transamerica

Featured Photo: Lanterns over Transamerica

I caught this view of the Transamerica building from Chinatown in San Francisco in June 2009.  Chinatown always captivates me at so many sensory levels. I had spun around to simply take it all in and glimpsed the familiar spire.  It was then a matter of positioning and waiting for the lanterns to swing in the wind…

For more on San Francisco’s Chinatown:  Urban Hiking, Asian Island in America and The Music of Chinatown

San Francisco Things To Do

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Featured Photo: Disappearing View on Mount Diablo

Featured Photo: Disappearing View on Mount Diablo

Haze from California wildfires obscured the views from Mount Diablo when I visited during the summer of 2008.  But I like the way the horizon folds into nothingness and then slides to bright blue in this shot.  I think a better view would have lessened the impact of this photograph.

Here’s a link to more photos and a recap of my Mount Diablo visit:  Mount Diablo, California

For even more, click on “California” under “USA” in the right sidebar or on“California” in the navigation bar at the top of this page.

San Francisco Things To Do

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Anchovies Anyone?

Not seeing themselves for the tourist attraction they’ve come to be, the sea lions of Pier 39 simply rolled over, splashed into the Pacific and swam away.

At first no one even knew where they went.  One of San Francisco’s landmarks had simply vanished. The protective signs posted around Pier 39 seemed ironic at best.  Staring down at the vacated wooden floats from the surrounding docks would have been akin to peering into a football stadium the morning after a big game.  Some sea lion debris remained -but the sounds and smells, and the star players themselves were notably absent.

The mystery was finally solved last month from five hundred miles up the coast.  Apparently, somebody had a hankering for anchovies and almost the whole assemblage had paddled their way up to Oregon for pizza toppings minus the pizza.  Not so different from driving across town for the better burger or doing a wine country tour really -some delicacies are simply worth a little travel time.

But, the quiet at deserted Pier 39!  Of 1700 animals, less than two dozen remained -the non-believers and youngsters who apparently couldn’t fathom such a land of plenty just up the coastline and who were content to loll about in their expanded personal space.

A few sea lions have now returned.  Sixty three were counted on Monday (February 21) of this week.  A virtual crowd compared to the fifteen to twenty stalwarts that lingered alone through December and January.   What might bring more of the popular San Franciscan citizens back?  Herring would help.  Diminished numbers of the fish are believed to be the cause of the great sea lion exodus.  The hope is that, just as the need for food took them north, it will bring them back to San Francisco Bay again in time for spring.

San Francisco Things To Do

The Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf is just one of several Fisherman’s Wharf hotels within walking distance of Pier 39. It features a palm-lined pool and an outdoor bar and makes a great home base for waterfront fun.


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