Monday, January 19, 2009

Long Afternoon

Had an extra day off for the federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The incredible and somewhat ominous yet highly enjoyable sequence of summer-like days continued in San Francisco, and it was too inviting outdoors to stay indoors. The circle of palm trees depicted above have marked the southeast corner of Dolores Park since the days when my grandparents were little children speaking Swedish to their own immigrant mothers and fathers on their Middle Western farms. But my grandparents never visited the state of California, so never got the chance to see these brooding palms, which are of a squat and shaggy variety. The city parks people have not got around to trimming them at any time in the recent past. Rats live in the dense canopy where the fronds merge into a solid roof. Or so one is told.

I took two cameras along this afternoon. The plastic Diana (loaded with more of the 120 black and white Ilford film) occupied 90% of my time and effort. But I won't even know if I got anything decent until later in the week when the prints come back. The here-and-now version of the expedition is courtesy of the trusty little Nikon with its eye for detail and its quick and easy digital color. The Nikon does a fantastic job of pandering to my own habitual "nosiness" (as the genteel hooker termed it a few weeks back on another sunny afternoon).

This last shot is particularly nosy. A closed garage door usually obscures this vista into a remote backyard existence behind the solid Edwardian facades that line the street. When I stepped into the passageway to take the picture I more than half expected somebody to pop up and ask me what I was up to.