Tuesday, May 31, 2016

San Francisco, a ramble through Glen Park, Diamond Heights and Noe Valley: 31 May 2016.


This is a map of the route. Mile markers are shown on the GPS generated track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.

A graph of the elevation changes encountered during the walk. Click on the image to see the full-size chart.
The bottom of the Harry Street StepsClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Mount Davidson, the highest natural point in San Francisco (938 feet, 286 meters) as seen from Walter Haas ParkClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Bernal Heights Park as seen from Billy Goat Hill ParkClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
Sutro Tower and Twin Peaks, as seen from Walter Haas Park. Click on the picture to see the full-size photograph.
Muni Metro Streetcar. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The southern terminus of Noe Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of downtown San Francisco as seen from Billy Goat Hill Park. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of San Bruno Mountain, as seen from Walter Haas Park. Click on the picture to see the full-size photo.

“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website at  www.mishalov.com

Friday, May 20, 2016

Vargas Plateau East Bay Regional Park, Alameda County: 20 May 2016

Vargas Plateau Regional Park, located high in the hills between Fremont and Sunol, was a onetime cattle ranch. The park opened recently as the newest addition to the East Bay Regional Park District. It is a relatively small park, with approximately 6 miles of trails on 1,249 ridge-top acres.

The new park did not come into existence easily. The East Bay Regional Park District acquired most of the land in the mid-1990s for $6.6 million dollars from the two families ranching it, the Vargas and the Tavares families. But after the acquisition, a long drawn-out legal battle with neighbors over traffic and parking delayed the opening.
A settlement was eventually reached with nearby property owners, which involved limiting visitor parking to a small lot outside the park’s entrance. 
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view looking west, across San Francisco Bay. The Santa Cruz Mountains are in the background. The massive dirigible airship hangers are somewhat visible at Moffett Federal Airfield. The cities of Mountain View, Cupertino, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park, are across San Francisco Bay and they are within the area of this photograph. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Sunol Peak, elevation 2,178 feet (664 meters). This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
It was a cool, windy, and cloudy day. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

Mission Peak, elevation 2,497 feet (761 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This view is looking west, across San Francisco Bay. The  Dumbarton Bridge is visible, as are the cities across the bay of San Carlos, San Mateo and Redwood City. The body of water at the foot of this hill is known as the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation AreaIn addition, Alameda Creek flows through the recreational area. Coyote Hills Regional Park is identifiable in this photograph. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The distance traveled was approximately 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 583 feet (178 meters). The GPS generated track of the route includes mile markers. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A bicycle ride on the Richmond portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail: 15 May 2016

I rode my bicycle from Berkeley to Point Richmond on the beautiful San Francisco Bay Trail. Photographs are displayed in the sequential order of the trip.
The distance traveled was approximately 26.1 miles (42 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 566 feet (172 meters).

The United States Department of Agriculture's Western Regional Research CenterClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
The mouth of Marin Creek during low tide. Marin Creek is a tributary of Codornices Creek. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The remnant of a ship dock built in Richmond sometime in the 1850s. The dock was constructed in a marshy area along the bay shore. It was erected during the Gold Rush to provide a jetty for small boats to travel to San Francisco. The boats helped to provide the rapidly growing San Francisco population with fresh produce. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A yacht harbor located on the former site of Kaiser Permanente Richmond Shipyard No. 2. This view is looking west. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Outside of the Craneway Pavilion area of the Ford Motor Company's Richmond Assembly Plant. The massive cargo vessel visible in the distance is the Felicity Ace, a vehicle carrier ship built in Japan and launched in 2005. The view is looking west. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The main entryway to Sims Metal Management's scrap metal recycling yard located in Richmond. This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The recycling yard is busy on a Sunday. Trucks are taking scrap metal from the yard to a ship docked fairly close to this location. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A truck loaded with scrap metal is slowly leaving the yard and is traveling a short distance to load the scrap metal on the ship. The destination of the scrap metal is Asia. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The site of Kaiser Permanente Shipyard No. 3. This shipyard produced a total of 35 Type C4-class cargo ships. Of the four Kaiser Permanente Shipyards in Richmond, Shipyard No. 3 was the only shipyard which had dry docks. Shipyard No. 3 was also designed to be a permanent shipyard. It remained active until 1970 when it closed down. Shipyards 1, 2 and 4 were designed for use only during the war and had long since been removed from the landscape. The Kaiser Permanente Richmond Shipyards combined production was 747 ships, the greatest number of ships constructed by a shipyard in the US during WWII. This view is looking south. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of Shipyard No. 3's five dry-dock shipways. The SS Red Oak Victory is partially visible; she was constructed at Kaiser Richmond Shipyard No. 1 and was launched on 9 November 1944. The Whirly Crane in view was used at the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Shipyards during WWII. This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The Red Oak Victory and the Whirly Crane. This view is looking south. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A WWII era Whirly Crane and the stern of the SS Red Oak Victory, as seen in Kaiser Richmond Shipyard No. 3. Whirly Cranes could hold up to 50 tons from their 100-foot booms. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
The Felicity Ace is a Japanese 'car-carrier' cargo ship. On this trip, she traveled from Japan to Richmond California to unload Subaru vehicles. Subaru has a large secure outdoor car storage area on the site of Shipyard No. 3, where its cars are parked before being sent to their destination areas via railroad freight cars designed specifically to transport cars, vans, and small trucks. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
This immense concrete structure was the 'General Warehouse' of Kaiser Richmond Shipyard No. 3. It was the storage location of small and necessary items needed by the Merchant Marines assigned to each ship. For example: dishes, mirrors, cabinets, toilets, stoves, etc. A commonly asked question is why was this building constructed of concrete rather than wood and steel? During WWII, the primary use of metal was for the war effort. Using metal in the construction of a building was not acceptable during the war. Civilian cars were not constructed during the war. Jeeps, tanks, ships, and bombs were fabricated. This view is looking southeast.
"This structure was constructed in an unprecedented 120 days beginning in February of 1942. At four-stories and measuring 140 feet by 260 feet, it is the tallest building in the yard; its concrete construction and lack of windows also make it the most massive. Interior surfaces are concrete, including the floors, walls end ceilings. The main level of the structure is open, with a grid of square concrete columns".
From the History of Kaiser Shipyard No. 3Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Two old brick kilns are still standing at Brickyard Cove. The Richmond Pressed Brick Company had a large brick factory located in this area. This view is looking south. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Brickyard Cove is now an upscale waterfront neighborhood. The buildings in this picture are condominiums and the condo owners started this community garden last season. This view is looking northwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Ferry Point Pier was constructed In 1899; it was the final destination on the Transcontinental Railroad. This structure enabled railroad freight cars to be removed from trains, put on barges, and then taken across San Francisco Bay to San Francisco for unloading. 
During WWII, the Ferry Point Pier was also the site to which Kaiser Richmond Shipyard workers who lived in San Francisco traveled to via ferries from San Francisco. From here it was a short bus ride to the shipyards. During WWII, more than 95,000 people at any one time, worked at all four of the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards. The construction of ships at the Kaiser Shipyards took place 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year until the conclusion of the war. This view is looking south. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This photo, taken from the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline, provides a view of southern Marin County. To the left of Mount Tamalpais is a view of the northeastern portion of the Tiburon Peninsula. On the right side of the photo is the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The bridge is 5.5 miles in length. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of the southern entry to the Dornan Drive Tunnel, located in Richmond. The tunnel became operational in 1912; it is commonly referred to as the Richmond TunnelClick on the image to see the full-size photograph.
I came upon these Canadian Geese and their goslings adjacent to the Bayside Court Trail. They were very calm as I approached on foot; I made sure to move slowly and not get too close to the birds. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website  www.mishalov.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

San Francisco, a walk in the Mission, Noe Valley, the Castro, Fisherman's Wharf, the Marina and Little Italy: 10 May 2016

Roger joined me on this ramble. We used San Francisco's excellent public transportation system, in addition to burning some shoe-leather, to visit six diverse areas of San Francisco.


The map shows the path of the ramble. The route consists of five separate activities:  
1. A walking segment in the Mission District, Noe Valley, and the Castro District. 
2. Then, a streetcar segment as we took an F-Market Streetcar from its terminus in the Castro District, to its terminus at Fisherman's Wharf. 
3. Next up, another walking section as we walked from Fisherman's Wharf to the Marina District
4. Then a quick bus ride on a 30-Stockton MUNI bus from the Marina District to the Little Italy/Chinatown area. 
5. And finally, we walked to the Montgomery Street BART Station in the Financial District for the conclusion of the walk. 

The total approximate miles traveled was 15.4 miles. Approximately 7.5 miles of the 15.4 miles was traversed either on the streetcar or the bus. Thus, we walked about 7.9 miles (12.7 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was approximately 1,100 feet (335 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.
After we had exited BART at the Mission-16th Street stop, we headed directly to the intersection of 18th Street and Guerrero Street, the location of Tartine Bakery. We consumed delicious pastry, drank some hot coffee and were ready to tackle the adventure ahead of us.
Here is a scene of the downtown San Francisco skyline as seen from Mission Dolores Park. The park encompasses nearly 16 acres, and it is a favorite destination amongst San Francisco's many parks. 
In 1906-07, the park served as temporary housing quarters for more than 1600 families made homeless by the 1906 earthquake. The camp ceased operation in 1908. 
In the late 1800s, part of the park was a Jewish cemetery. Available land in San Francisco is finite. As the population increased, land available for housing and the necessary associated structures became scarce. The City of San Francisco eventually banned all new burials within the city limits. Some years later, the city required all cemeteries to cease operation. Human remains of more than 100,000 people were removed and transported to Colma, California where they were reburied. 
Other than Mission Dolores Park, the vast majority of the former SF cemeteries, located mainly in the Richmond District, are now sited with houses, apartments, stores, and schools.
Mission Dolores Park recently received a two-year, 20 million dollar renovation and it looks fabulous. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A beautifully renovated 19th Century House. The building is now being used as a four-unit apartment building. Click on the picture to see the full-size photo.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist, purchased a house in the Upper Mission District in 2012 for 10 million dollars. The house, hidden from the sidewalk, is challenging to view from the street. Here is a picture of the house taken from the sidewalk. From what I understand, the couple is still living in Palo Alto. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
We are cranking up 21st Street and heading for Sanchez Street. When we reach Sanchez Street, we will drop down to 24th Street, which is the main shopping area of the Noe Valley District. Then we turn up on Castro Street and ramble through the Castro District. This view is from Sanchez Street, looking north down Church Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The Davies Campus of the California Pacific Medical Center, as seen from Corona Heights ParkClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
Here is another view from Corona Heights Park. In 1899 George and Harry Gray established a rock quarry and brick factory on what is now known as Corona Heights Park. The brothers were not known to be ethical businesspeople and in 1914 George Gray was murdered by a former employee who was owed $17.50 in back wages. The massive earthen scars from the rock quarry/brick factory are still visible. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of the iconic Castro TheaterPatty Duke is the current featured Hollywood movie star as she appears in "The Miracle Worker" and "Valley of the Dolls". She died a few weeks ago at the age of 69, and the theater is featuring her movies as a tribute to her talents. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 Roger is standing in front of Market Street Railway streetcar #1052. It was constructed in 1948 by the St. Louis Car Company. The streetcar will soon begin its trip to Fisherman's Wharf. We will board this streetcar and travel approximately 5 miles to the terminus of the F-Market route. We will then continue with our walk and go to the Marina District. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Our streetcar driver is having a short conversation with the driver of Streetcar #1080, which is right behind us. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
We are on the streetcar rolling down Market Street, as we pass the San Francisco Mint. Click on the picture to see the full-size photo.
We are still rolling down Market Street. Here is a picture of the intersection of Market Street & 5th Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of the beautiful, eye-catching Sentinel Building, located on Kearney Street at Columbus Avenue near Jackson Square. Construction of the building started in 1906 before the earthquake. The building had its first occupants in 1907. The Sentinel Building is San Francisco Landmark #33. The current owner of the building is Francis Ford Coppola, who is the father of Sofia Coppola, the well-regarded movie director. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
This photo shows the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. Construction commenced in 1969, and the building was ready for occupancy in 1972. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

You are welcome to visit my primary website at  www.mishalov.com