Saturday, August 25, 2012
When foreign friends come to town, we want to show off our city at its best. So we provided visiting Brits a view from a sail on the bay at dusk one summer evening. That's the "Russian Hill" area in the center; apparently in Gold Rush times, there was a Russian cemetery containing the graves of visiting sailors on this rise.
Downtown lies to the east, culminating in the Bay Bridge to Oakland, Berkeley and beyond. That's not our famous bridge; it's the homey one over which many friends have escaped this over-priced peninsula to find cheaper housing. The Golden Gate Bridge is due west -- on this evening in line with the sun and not to be photographed.
The downtown skyline is dense and impressive. When I moved here in the early 70s, we still debated whether San Francisco would succumb to "Manhattanization." A contemporary visitor would not ask that question.
Only as the sun sank into the perennial fog bank did it become possible to point a camera due west.
Visitors give us a chance to appreciate once again the drama of our setting.