Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Streets

A couple of years ago MUNI equipped all the San Francisco bus shelters with lighted signs that flash information. Some of this information is true, such as the time, which flashed 5:52 when I arrived at the bus shelter this morning. Bus schedules are also flashed. According to the somewhat fuzzy message in the somewhat blurry photo above, the 33 Stanyan bus will arrive in 53 minutes and another will arrive in 69 minutes. In fact every morning at 5:52 the lighted sign tells me that the next bus will arrive in 53 minutes. Nevertheless the next bus usually (almost always) shows up at 5:58, when I expect it.

The newly installed bus shelter advertisement for the Summer Blockbuster Show at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams) reminds me that summers have turned into the times when prudent San Francisco natives stay away from museums. More and more, cultural administrators fall back during tourist season on familiar cash cows.

The fog prevailed most of the day out where I work. The campus is on a hill with the ocean well in sight. Or it would be in sight, except for the fog. On most summer days I look out through the office windows at a dim silvery world. When I phone people in the East Bay their weather will typically be 20 degrees warmer, with bright sun.

There was some filtered sunshine in the afternoon when I left the library, and I decided to make the most of the relative brightness and walk home. This takes about 45 minutes. I walk south on Stanyan across the Panhandle to Haight where I make a left and then continue in a straight line due east for about a mile and half, all slightly downhill. There was a pretty good crop of tourists on Haight this afternoon, all shivering in skimpy summer clothes. I noticed the loving-hands-at-home stair-rail above, and got fascinated trying to figure out how many separate pieces of moulding had to be mitred and glued in order to create this geometric fantasy. To complicate matters, the wood later cracked at a spot between joints.

The fog reasserted itself as I neared the Mission, with the mural colors above definitely benefiting from a steady supply of evened-out, non-reflecting light.

Finally, white-on-white painting propped against a window on Duboce across from the park.