Saturday, April 2, 2011

North Beach Detective Work

It is hard to believe when you look at this photo that the week before was the rainiest day in San Francisco that we had ever seen. This past Thursday was absolutely ideal weather though. It was warm, and sunny and brilliant out. It was nearly 80 degrees at the peak of the day.

This shot of the skyline is taken from Treasure Island which is located right in the middle of the Bay and the place where both sides of the Bay Bridge converge on semi- solid ground. Treasure Island has been enlarged considerably, primarily with landfill. I try not to think of that when we stop here. Landfill+earthquake=not a good equation.

You will always see photos from here though because this is where you can get the very best pictures of the sky line, and on a clear day you can see forever. The other more practical reason is that there are restrooms on Treasure and once you get into the City it is harder to find one sometimes. It's something 60 year oldish kidneys do not appreciate. This may be TMI, but just sayin'...if you make the trip yourself someday!

Ever since a friend enlarged a copy of Jim's other Clipper Cove photo and had it framed for their wall, he can most likely be seen shooting here again, looking for another bull's eye. The first one was perfect but you always feel compelled to get a better one.

One of my two photos speeding over the bridge, window rolled down, shooting between the cables on this trip over the water.

The Ferry Building from due
on The Bay Bridge

Here is my second one. Not bad, huh? You must try one of these moving shots on a bridge sometime. It is like hitting a jackpot when you get one that works because the cables are speeding by pretty fast. Getting an unobstructed view is not easy... but it is lucky. No skill involved just some timing. And getting any kind of composition is pure luck since everything is moving so fast.

Our first stop is North Beach...

We are still looking for our baby, Francesco's, grave so did some detective work in the North Beach area of the City. This is where most of the Italian immigrants settled in the early 1900's and they still occupy a large portion of it today. This is the mortuary that more than likely took care of Francesco when he died in infancy. We stopped in to see if we could get information about where he is buried but their records only went back to 1917. Our luck, we are looking for 1908-1909 death date.

But we enjoyed meeting a very helpful lady that is willing to go to the Public Health Department and search the records for us as a mortuary employee, which has better access then the general public. So we shall see what she turns up in the next week or two.

She offered us a tour of the mortuary! Ahh, I gave Jim the raised let's not go there, K? He was OK with my hesitancy, but I know he was dying to do it. (No pun intended) We have been on some weird dates but that one would have taken the cake! To my husband the whole world is a museum and yes, he is that guy in your tour group that asks about 49 hard questions! (Insert Eye Roll here!)

Inside the Green Street Mortuary.

It is funny how just starting a search for this little boy has brought us so much closer to these ancestors and what they must have gone through. They immigrated in 1908 and by the 1910 census the baby had died, leaving Jim's grandmother an only child. Their first memories of the US must have been the loss of their precious little boy, in a new country, away from family, etc.

It brought new meaning to this plaque we saw
on a building just across the street
from the mortuary.

Our next stop...Golden Gate Park

These are the blooming cherry blossoms near
The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

These people probably thought we
were photographing their party.

We are coming in the back way to the Gardens
and it was quite a steep hike down,
and up, I might add, going back to
our secret parking place.

Do all cherry blossoms start out
white and turn pink?

Upon close examination these
definitely have that going on.

A metal sculpture at The Strybing Arboretum
San Francisco Botanical Gardens.

A tiny lake in The Garden. Can you see the
tortoise sunning himself on the rock?

These two apparently had
guard duty this afternoon??

I love this shot with the big stones in the foreground.
Taking photos is like a big treasure hunt.

A stroll in the park revealed many
beautiful plants and flowers.

Jim is over 6' 1" tall.
Have you ever seen a calla lily taller than a man?
Well, here it is!

I adore photography because it makes you really look around you and see what is there. Without it we would just walk aimlessly by and not really feel the joy, like we do when we capture God's beautiful handiwork to share with you.

This gnarly tree was just so massive
and unbelievably beautiful.

California Poppy!

Paradise, we sat on a bench here for
quite awhile and just listened to the forest.

I love this giant clover.

The view from our little bench.

The fern that covers the forest floor
near these redwoods.

Some pretty pinkness!

This yellow budding tree was so lovely
and just may be an allergy culprit.

Don't the petals on this flower look
like white crumpled paper?

Stow Lake Bridge

Walking back to the car we stopped at Stow Lake for late picnic lunch. We use to live about 2 blocks from here when we were first married so this is like sitting in our old backyard. Isn't is picturesque? No matter what ails ya, you will feel better after sitting here for a while and just being. Thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoyed it. Who can tell you are smack dab in the middle of a big city?


Marie said...

Another beautiful day out Bonnie. I love it when you take us on these trips with you. I always really enjoy seeing these places through your eyes! You have a real talent for capturing the essence of wherever you go! xxoo

Sister Susie said...

I so love your trips! It makes me feel like I'm there too, with the pictures and details you share. It's like I have my own guide on a tour!
Thank you for sharing!
Love to you and yours,

BECKY said...

Wow Bon! So much to look at! Love the photo of the hilly part of the city and this last one! Divine!! Would love to visit that way one day, but any extra funds will go to a trip to Europe! {extra funds...what's that?}
Hope you find out more about this little boy! Sounds intriguing!!
Love and hugs to you!!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Oh Bonnie,
What wonderful photos, each one is breathtakingly beautiful, especially all the wooded shots. That white flowers is so cute, I thought the same thing when I looked at it, it surely does look like crumpled paper,
wonder what they call it??
I never knew clover grew flowers and especially not pink ones.
You are so right about the pic taking and how it does cause you to look around and search for Gods beauty everywhere, I love that!!
and it does bring the heart so much joy for sure!!
Can't wait for Jim to get home to show him all the pics, he will enjoy them too. He had to run up to the church for something.
That mortuary was quite pretty inside, but I am with you about the tour, the biggest question would be how much of a tour.....hopefully,
not a behind the scenes tour!! lol
Thanks so much for taking and sharing all these lovely photos, and I don't have to ask if you had a lovely day or not, how could you not!! lol
I am catching up on all your posts I have missed this week.
See ya on the next one.
Love ya, Nellie