: views from the Hill

Monday, October 08, 2007

More photos from the weekend

Soze F-Su, we had the Bixby Creek Gang in house.

Saturday, two of the gang were pre-engaged to be with friends on the WWII Liberty ship USS Jeremiah O'Brien to have a day on the water with CB Hannegan's providing BBQ food and Blue Angels & al. as entertainment.

They left the place soon after 7A to walk down to Piers 30-32 where the JO'B was picking up passengers. Three of us walked down the steps with them to Sansome, to see them on their way and because I had a bag of greencycle to drop off in the green bin at the bottom of the steps.

After breakfast, the rest of us went down to the Ferry Building for the Farmers' Market, then through Chinatown to check out the fruits and vegetables, then on to the rooftop of a tall building at the corner of Broadway and Laguna to watch the air show, getting there just after noon, when the Parade of Ships came into the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge.

I've added Saturday's pics to the earlier Blue Angels gallery. The smudges are still there on Saturday's photo set (drat!) but (hooray!) we ordered a Canon A570 IS an hour or two ago with a discount coupon and free shipping. Arriving on Wednesday, if all goes well.

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The first added pics show the USS Jeremiah O'Brien under way from Piers 30-32 to their staging station outside the Golden Gate for the Parade of Ships, which started at noon. A tug and one of the fire ships, spraying water, followed closely behind.

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Quick cutaway to a gorgeous hawk that was circling overhead and settling in nearby trees along the Filbert Steps.

Next stream of shots are from the rooftop in Pacific Heights, showing the Parade of Ships, which included a number of American and Canadian military ships with the Jeremiah O'Brien cruising through as the finale.

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The Blue Angels flew from 3-4 p.m. Photos kick in at #109/163.

Preceding them were a bunch of fast jets, helicopter search and rescue teams and acrobatic aircraft.

The pilots did amazing things with formation flying, corkscrews, climbs and dives, tearing at each other at full speed only to pull to either side just in time to whiz by, avoiding a collision. ... sometimes while flying upside down!

Fun to watch, but a job I don't aspire to. (Good thing!)

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And all the while, everyday shipping traffic kept coming into and out of the Bay. We wondered what the crews thought of the action overhead.

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The Coast Guard kept the hundreds of sailboats and powerboats that were out on the Bay away from certain areas and we couldn't figure out why until at one point one of the Blue Angels buzzed so low, it created a huge wake in the waters.

Zoom! ZooM!

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Crowds of people watched the action from building rooftops. The crowds down on the waterfront were enormous.

SFC video of the Blue Angels

And then the day was over. We moseyed on home by way of Fort Mason, Aquatic Park, up Columbus with a stop at XOX Truffles for sustenance and home-again home-again riggety-jig.

Total day's walk: 6 miles.

Beautiful weekend.

Sunday, the Bixby Creek Grandees joined us and a bit later one couple left. We sat around eating and talking for a while while we mulled over our options for the day: Strictly Bluegrass? Castro Street Fair? Burning Man installation?

Eventually, we walked down to the Embarcadero to catch the F-Line out to Valencia Street, but the cars going toward the Castro were packed, too packed to stop. "WHY?" we thought. "Isn't everyone headed to the waterfront for the Sunday air show?"

We walked over to Market Street and caught the F-Line there, figuring that anyone headed in that direction was probably headed for the Ferry Building, but no, the cars were still crowded, but at least less crowded and willing to stop for the six of us.

The cars remained crowded. Sure people got off, but more people got on and the cars remained packed the entire way.

It wasn't until just before we got off at Church and Market, and someone asked us how many more stops until Castro, that we realized that, duh, Sunday was the Castro Street Fair and everyone who wasn't watching the Blue Angels was heading to the Castro, on the F-Line.

Our first stop was 2223 Restaurant because the niece of the wife husband of a cousin (or some such relationship) of one of the gang has her oil paintings showing at the gallery for the next two months.

After checking out the oils, we walked down to Valencia because (and the afternoon had been set up to accommodate) one of the gang had heard tell of but never been to Borderlands. We stopped on our way to Borderlands at Paxton Gate because I adore the place and like to take unsuspecting visitors there.

From Paxton Gate on to Borderlands where I bought a signed HB copy of Christopher Moore's A DIRTY JOB -- a book with characters based on some creatures you can find at Paxton Gate -- and TNH's MAKING BOOK (which I'm pretty sure I have somewhere, but I can't find it) and the someone who had initiated the trip in the first place bought three other books and ... well, then pokey-poke into shops and bookstores in the neighborhood, killing time until Destino opened.

A pair of the gang has plans to visit Machu Picchu next spring and had asked a day or two earlier whether we could recommend a Peruvian restaurant in the city. Better than that, we told them Sunday, if we're all doing a fieldtrip out to 2223 and Borderlands, we can have dinner at Destino before we head back.

So we did.

And it was good.

And we got home and sorted out who was taking what food home, and binoculars and jackets and what-not. Get the cars out of the parking spaces. Bye-bye. And to bed for us.

I love these people. We should do this more often.

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