Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sightseeing by bike

I was too busy keeping a great group of mostly Bike Friday riders on route on Sunday to think about taking pictures and what I did take are uninteresting snapshots, so I'll spare the blog. Besides, it was gloomy in the fog and we didn't stop as often as we would have had the sun been shining.

But I think we had a terrific time in spite of the weather, though I'm sure glad they got here from Japan on Saturday, a picture perfect sunny day in the city.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The one that got away

I'm pretty sure you can't see the snail crawling off of Hercules' shell, or even Hercules very well - they both blend into the dirt, but if you look close (click to enlarge photo) you can just see a snail going off the top of his back.

I'd arrived back at my house just as my neighbor, Barbara, was exclaiming that she'd never seen a box turtle hunt, catch and eat a snail before. She was delivering snails from her yard, saw him out and about, thought he was a plastic turtle until she saw him attack and eat the snail. Then the one that got away was on his back and, as fast as I was at getting my camera, the snail was even faster.

He nearly got away from us both, but we caught him in the end.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Four cyclists I met in Tokyo and Kyoto are visiting SF from Japan. Yesterday, after meeting them at the airport, we drove around in a borrowed Mercedes Benz station wagon, waiting until they could check into their hostel room. Two of the bike cases were too big for the hostel storeroom, so we had to keep them with us. I drove up Hyde Street from downtown, went down crooked Lombard, around the Marina and the Presidio to the Legion and Land's End, Ocean Beach and the Beach Chalet, Golden Gate Park and Alamo Square, stopping here and there to take photos.

Thanks to my neighbor for the big car and Judy helping me with her car, the day was a huge success; it went a long way toward repaying some of the hospitality shown to me when I travel. And I really love showing people around our city.

Today, we go sightseeing by bike. The sun was shining yesterday, today there is fog, but it will be a grand adventure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Long lenses

I bought a long lens so I could do some things I can't now do, but I made a mistake and didn't get the one with image stabilization; my images all had motion. I sent it back. Besides, I hated carrying it and I hate changing lenses from the back of a bicycle.

I think I'll just keep doing what I do with what I have. Less aggravation. Less weight.

I'll do the up close, they can do the out there.

Having lens envy is a waste of time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big Day

I really don't have time to write much, but I had a great day, starting with riding my Brompton up & down Crissy Field, from one end to the other, mainly watching the people watch the Tall Ships come under the Gate. And then I bought a new car, a Honda Fit Sport. Metallic blue. Very, very cool. I want to sit here and push pixels around, but really have to get ready for a big weekend when bicyclists are coming from Japan and I'll be busy leading a sightseeing ride around the city for them, along with invited local riders.

I loved these camera nerds on bikes - note the Death Ride 5 Passes jersey. That's more weight than I like to carry on a bike, but more power to them!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My kid

I ripped these from Jill's flickr photostream. This is why mother's have gray hair. We both survived those oh-so-fun days and I, at least, can smile.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Black & Gray all over

DB and I went walking on Baker Beach in the fog on Monday, forgetting to be sad because we were doing together what we enjoy, focused on focusing, seeing images, even on this gray, foggy afternoon. He is moving to Seattle today, back to where his real life has always been, five years in Paris notwithstanding, and we'll go back to our long-distance friendship. At least now we'll be in the same time zone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jacaranda trees in bloom

How considerate of my neighbors to plant jacaranda trees.

They remind me of a zocalo in a small Oaxacan village with an enormous jacaranda in full bloom, all its lower limbs hung with pastel, gingham check aprons for sale. Pure magic.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Photo of me and Jill at a galley opening in Oregon a long time ago, published in a literary review.

I used to sit and read a book every day, usually not an important book, an entertaining book, the fatter the better. At one time I read lots of books every week and was a huge library user. And then a friend gave me a subscription to The New Yorker for my birthday and I started taking lots of periodicals, way too many periodicals. Next came the internet.

I couldn't keep up with all the periodicals and the blogs and the Google and Wikipedia factoids and the e-mail and the chats and now Facebook and MySpace and LinkedIn, and so I reduced my periodicals to The New Yorker again - and I still don't read books like I used to.

(Did you know the reason the Transamerica pryamid is shaped like a pyramid?

I was trying to figure out what year I took the photo on my blog masthead - probably 1973 - and I Wikipedied it and it says, in part:

Its unique shape is the result of the desire by Transamerica to have a building whose top would be looked up to by the executives on the highest floor of the Bank of America headquarters, which is not only tall but also sits upon a substantially higher elevation. The land use and zoning restrictions for the parcel limited the number of square feet of office that could be built upon the lot, which sits at the northern boundary of the financial district. The pyramid is an innovative solution to this design challenge...)

I keep looking for a good big fat book to read, not an important book, an entertaining book. A book I can read with my feet up, while I eat, before falling asleep.

And wouldn't you know, my library closed for renovation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

North face

These were taken in May and I forgot about them until today when I was looking for something else. I think I could do more with them, but my eyes are falling out from too much time spent in front of a computer.

I've put my Brompton in my car so I can get places and still do some riding. Today I parked near the baseball stadium and rode along the waterfront for awhile. I had to take some more shots of a few things to complete a series I'm working on. None of them please me. Try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fat feet and screen saver

Sitting too long in front of the computer on a hot day gives me fat toes, so I've put my feet up. The little camera was handy and I just sat here sipping my cold white wine, snapping pix of the little piggies; this cross racer with his tongue hanging out says it all. I also got other amusing shots, but I'll spare you. It's really too hot, isn't it?

Seeing in verticals

In between meetings today I rode around the cool waterfront and downtown. The bow is finally uncovered and looks about done. Not sure what they did to it, but it's taken months to do. I wonder if they'll now cover the front end for the same "treatment."

I was meeting Jane for lunch near Union Square, where I discovered a new heart, and where I saw the back of Tony's Heart (Tony Bennett painted it and the other side is very nice, but was in the shade. and I've already photographed it.) A woman was sunbathing off to the side on a bench. Tourists were enjoying the sun. But it was getting hot.

We had lunch at Sears. I hadn't been there in years and years. The pancakes are still wonderful.

This is a new heart, done by Precita Eyes Muralists this year. But I liked the geraniums (pelargoniums, actually) better.

When I looked through the pix I took today, it occurred to me that I see the world in vertical slices.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tourist-riding takes time

Yesterday it took me nearly 3 hours to get from the Ferry Building to Fort Point. I wandered all over, waited for a cable car to cross at Grant and California, just like a tourist, and I loved every minute. I was designing a sight-seeing ride for visitors coming from Japan later this month. I'm really getting excited about showing them our town. This is the first time I'll be able to repay a tiny bit of the hospitality shown to me when I've traveled over there.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Annotated City

If you wanted to know where Sam Spade hung out in The Maltese Falcon, this map would come in handy.

Everywhere I go these days I run into new signs, telling me really interesting historical things about my city. I always immediately forget the details and probably get it all wrong. There's a bathroom I used to use along the way to Fort Point that I now know used to be where they kept the dynamite and stuff and made mines to guard the Gate during WWII. My mom told me Japanese submarines came inside the bay, but I don't think that was true. She also said they had a net across the bay; that seems unlikely, too.

I had planned to go out before sunset on a bike, wander around watching the festivities, but the fog is moving back in and it no longer appeals. Cold.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A short ride

A week ago I thought I needed some murder mysteries to read and dashed into the new Mission Bay library on Fourth St., right next to the bridge on the north shore of the canal.

Years ago the banana boat from Central America docked there and I always wondered if tarantulas came ashore too.

On the south shore there was a popular cafe, Carmen's, which is still there but derelict. (It always did look a bit derelict.) My mother read about it in the newspaper and I took her to lunch there. It moved to a place along the waterfront on The Embarcadero when that whole area started changing - I think they replaced the bridge. I always thought Carmen's would come back, and maybe it is a long range plan. People came from all over to eat lunch; it was very popular.

Neither mystery from the library is holding my attention. I'd grabbed a couple of DVDs, too, and they had to go back yesterday, so I rode back down there with my camera, thinking I'd take new photos to play with.

I rode to the Ferry Building and then headed up Market Street. Every time I ride in among tall buildings I see something different, but one of my favorites is this building. I love the way the windows are flush with its shiny outer skin, both reflecting other buildings. Some day I'll figure out how to photograph it in a way that shows how it makes me feel - which is happy. Our buildings aren't that tall, as tall buildings go, I guess, but they seem friendly to me.