Seeing through technology

Misleading title? Probably… Spent another fun San Francisco weekend taking full advantage of local treats. Friday night happened upon a listing in the SF Bay Guardian for an interesting program called “Invisible Cities” and much to my surprise, it was at CounterPULSE! So we took it in, Tim Barsky and an amazing beat-boxer named Each and the third character, a lithe and charming female tap dancer whose name escapes me. A work-in-progress, part of Joe Landini’s Summer Performance Festival that’s going to be running at CounterPULSE every weekend in August. I’d say, check it out!

Earlier Friday afternoon I sat with my pal Jon Winston in the relatively obscure Franklin Square Park at Bryant and 16th, across from the former site of Seals Stadium, and he interviewed me for his Bikescape podcast. First one of those I’ve done… yet another radical democratization of broadcast technology. Now anyone can be a radio producer, and apparently millions are jumping on it… not too different than writing a column on a blog, and in the same way, how will anyone find you?

The bicycling fun continued on Saturday when Rai S. convened a perimeter ride around San Francisco, leaving from Tire Beach, a.k.a. Warm Water Cove. We spent intensive exploration time along the southern waterfront, seeing up close Heron Head Park, India Basin, Yosemite Creek and Candlestick State Rec Area, all with spectacular vistas of the bay and back towards the fog looming at the top of the hills. Here are some photos for you:

This is a view of downtown peeking over the landfill of Heron Head Park, once set to be an anchorage for a new southern crossing bay bridge, and now another monument to citizen’s resistance to endless expansion of the automobile tyranny.

Not a well-remembered or well-thought-of piece of San Francisco’s storied waterfront, Yosemite Creek is the unfortunate recipient of toxic waste and racist neglect (it courses under Bayview-Hunters’ Point)… but our visit on a sunny Saturday shows it’s far from dead and may even one day become an urban shoreline oasis for popular enjoyment… imagine that!

Much later, after riding over the hill via Geneva Avenue, we turned west on Cayuga, clearly the creek bottom in that part of the valley. Running just north and parallel to it is BART and I-280, both obscuring what was once a real river emerging from Glen Canyon and various tributaries to flood the wetland at the edge of Bernal Hts. Anyway, Cayuga Park is a hidden treasure, filled with curious wooden sculptures created by a former Filipino gardener there. It’s a must-see!

Later we rode all around Lake Merced, past the site of the famous 1859 duel between Senator Broderick and Calif. Supreme Court Chief Justice Terry (Terry killed Broderick), and sprinted up the fog-bound Great Highway to the Beach Chalet. The Lucien Labaudt murals are in good shape and fun to see… Here’s a scene of grumpy beachgoers in the shadow of the incomplete Golden Gate Bridge. I always wonder if people in the early 20th century really spent so much time ‘going to the beach’ here in SF as we are accustomed to people doing in warmer climates?…

On Sunday, I spent the day going up to Occidental to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s “Biodiversity Tasting”, where we savored Amaranth greens, Xian garlic, Iranian and Azerbaijani pestos, and gooseberries, among dozens of locally grown exotic flavors. OAEC is an amazing, beautiful permaculture institute in a bucolic setting full of sweet, hardworking people. They need support too, so join ’em if you’re interested, or take a class there!

Here’s a couple of shots of the tasting party, including my four lovely companions, Mona, Allyson, Ruby and Lisa.

Next Saturday, Aug 13, if you’re still reading, I’ll be at the Make-Out Room as one of five writers indulging in the Writers With Drinks series there. Come out and join us!

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