: views from the Hill

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Well? Did you climb?

"Well? Did you climb?" Arleen asked. ...

Back on July 4th, I wrote both here and on Twitter about the primo closeby viewing spot: the roof of the building next door. To get to it I'd have to climb up onto our roof, step across to the neighbors' roof and then reverse the process (after dark) to get back to safety.

Did I finally in the end do it?


I'm not terrific with heights to begin with. I'm not terrified, exactly. I just have lousy balance and a vivid imagination (and a fear of winding face smack on the ground).

The maneuver is relatively easy for someone with a good head for heights, which I don't have, but my situation is made even less comfortable by my imagination, which has me tripping clumsily, losing my balance and falling into the lightwell between the buildings and landing, body broken, five stories down with no way to get out of the lightwell except to have rescuers on the roof with ropes to haul me back out.

Um. So, no.

I had climbed up on our roof while it was still light out. From there to the neighbor's roof is (relatively) easy peasy and shivered me timbers. I had a nerve wracking time turning around and backing down the high ladder that had taken me to the rooftop to begin with.

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I did watch from the north-facing bedroom window. For the major part of the fireworks, the view was okay, more than okay being as I was watching from within the safety of my place.

If you look carefully at the pictures, you can see the buildings to the west of us that block views of the fireworks, you can see a glowing blob on the left side of the picture which is a blurry Alcatraz, you can see a zillion lights from the thousands (it seems, at least) of boats that are out in the Bay for the fireworks, and you can see our neighbors' fire escape, which also blocks the fireworks views a bit.

The roof really is a cleaner more spectacular view, but ...

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The fireworks barge, however, was drifting east, probably due to an incoming tide. As the show went on, I had to crane my head further and further to the west (left) to keep the fireworks in view.

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Finally, our neighbors' building blocked the view so much that I went out onto the deck (on the east side of the same level) and craned my head east and watched as the barge and its fireworks slowly came into better view. My view was pretty good for the finale. Not as good as the view his nibs and one of the neighbors were having from the roof, but good enough for this scaredy cat.

We watched legal and illegal fireworks on the Embarcadero and the east edge of town, on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena and at points in the East Bay for another hour or so before calling it a night.

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