INTRODUCTION TO GALLERY
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INTRODUCTION TO SAN FRANCISCO GALLERY
For the visitor, San Francisco is the sound of a cable car's bell, Cantonese and Mandarin with more familiar English though maybe with a slightly different accent than is familiar. To those of us who call it our home, the City is the sound of the fog horn off Lands End because it is surrounded on three-sides by water and—a life apart from the land; its the sound of the quiet, sometimes interrupted with the screech of threatened raccoons before the N-Judah begins regular service two blocks away or the weight of the K-Ingleside's cars pushing heavily down on the tracks outside your two-story window rumbles by; it's the sound of the fifth person raiding your recycling bin opening and closing, crushing cans, squeezing plastic and clanking glass bottles; it's the sound of waves crashing off ocean beach and the sounds of immigrant Ukrainians and Koreans; of tourists from the South and France; of bicyclists yelling angrily at people in cars and cars honking at each other; of a car alarm going off as the garbage truck drives by it; of sirens in the middle of the night cut short as not to interrupt our sleep too much, but a police car's racing engine as it passes by; it's the sound of jets thundering overhead for a week in October during Fleet Week; constructed landscapes and hills, buildings, sculptures, street art and murals, bridges, symbols of the police and fire departments, MUNI, slender Victorian houses pushed up against each other, and its business people rushing in the Financial District and hipsters talking about their latest work at the tech firm on their commute on MUNI, or the gay friends sharing a tale on their way to an event; its a city with dogs, many more than children.
Russian Hill Café and Hyde Street Cable Car [SF290]. My goal in taking this picture was to show a cable car in the context of life in the City rather than as a tourist attraction. I was fortunate in that this venue offered unique complexity and I think the picture speaks to the time and place—even without the cable car which is not the focal point of the image. These three women just happened to be at the restaurant at the time and the woman on the far right appeared to be Muslim. I think the salt and pepper shakers, along with the water and ice coffee or cup of coffee and mostly eaten bagel as well the books in hand and card writing add to the complexity. I took a couple of test shots to get my frame, lighting and aperture as best, and the Muslim woman turned afterwards though the other two women were unperturbed. Although it was daytime, the orange-to-yellow lamps were lit and a reflected on the window as are slight reflections of the two of the women. The Chinese restaurant sign, one way street sign, and the Hyde Street sign are all emblematic of San Francisco. Finally, I was fortunate that the trees were highlighted by the sun.