Hello Friends and Family,

1977 - San Franciso

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

You may have heard of a famous bridge in San Francisco called "The Golden Gate Bridge". I think just about anyone carrying a camera in San Francisco during the 1970s would have at least one shot of that bridge. This is mine.

The bridge is not the only landmark in San Francisco — there are many. This one is called Lombard Street — famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. I have driven it but once is enough — too many people want to experience it. I feel sorry for the folks who live on this section of Lombard, constant traffic day and night.

Next up Coit Tower. Funny story — after I moved to the Bay Area, my parents came to visit the next summer. It was a nice warm day in Los Gatos that we chose to visit The City but I did warn them to take a jacket or sweater since it can often be quite cool in San Francisco. My mom said not to worry that she would be fine. I told her to put her sweater in the car and if it was warm in San Francisco, she could just leave it there as we did our sightseeing. If it were cold, then she would have it.

We stopped at the Coit Tower and took the elevator to the observation deck — which offers a fabulous 360° view of The City. The fog was rolling in, the wind was blowing, and it was getting quite chilly. I turned to my mom and said, "See, I told you that it could be cold up here in San Francisco, even on a summer day." Shivering, she responded, "But you didn't say it could be this cold!"

BTW, I apologize for the red-tinted circle in the lower-left of the picture. That's the result of a rookie photographer not knowing the importance of cleaning dust off his lenses. He knows better now.

Here we see another landmark — the Transamerica Pyramid. It was constructed from 1969 to 1972, as headquarters for the Transamerica Corporation. As often happens in the business world, their headquarters are now located elsewhere — in Baltimore, Maryland. The building now houses offices for more than a dozen other corporations. Although many criticized the design at the beginning, it has become a beloved landmark of The City.

Another beloved icon of The City by the Bay — the cable cars (can you hear Tony Bennett singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"?). Note that from this angle you can see the rails that carry the wheels of the cars plus the slit (lined with steel) below which the cable is housed. To propel a car, the operator pulls on a lever that engages the always-running cable below the street and pulls the car along. The system was built between 1873 and 1890 with some 23 lines. Now only three lines remain and are used primarily by tourists.

A really fun place to visit is Ghirardelli Square, built originally as the company's headquarters. In the early 1960s, the company was bought out and the headquarters were moved elsewhere. Fortunately, a new owner acquired the property for an integrated restaurant and retail complex. The best part, according to my mom, is the Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace where you can get a huge variety of soda fountain treats. Her favorite? An old-fashioned soda. They are really good.

Of course, don't forget Pier 39. This spot is the sidewalk area outside my favorite restaurant there — Sabella & La Torre. It is actually a bar that also serves seafood — fresh and delicious. If you don't have much time, you can buy a cup of fresh crab and just keep walking while you enjoy that delight.

By the way, I saw a news story the other day that said that a number of the old restaurants in this area were closed due to the COVID pandemic and it appears that many of them may just go out of business. A great loss in my opinion — I hope someone picks up the ball and gets similar restaurants open and servicing those great delicacies.

Just a couple of years ago, I took a trip to northern California and shared a number of photos from the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. As you may recall, this is the Japanese pagoda.

And here we see the main gate surrounded by much vegetation.

Of course, there had to be a Tea House where folks could enjoy a cup of tea and maybe some snack cakes.

Looking back, I realize that my inexperience in photography was showing in this shot. I should have waited for those people behind the tree to move out of camera range. It would have been a much better shot. Live and learn.

Not only does the Tea Garden have an abundance of beautiful vegetation, but the whole park also does. These look like Rhododendron — gorgeous!

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com