The Islands of Alcatraz and Treasure

April 27th, 2010: San Francisco

On Saturday, lady and I went to a greenhouse dedication on Alcatraz. The head gardener had passed away from cancer. In what will eventually be a rose garden, the structure was erected in her honor. There could have been no better weather.

Snacks were provided and touching speeches were made by family and gardeners she non-literally touched. A ribbon was cut.

Alcatraz is currently home to an unsettling amount of roosting gulls. It’s breeding season and the birds have taken over the place. Many areas are blocked off to keep young children from witnessing hot gull-on-gull action.

While tourists flock to the dreary inside of the prison, I find the outdoor sights more interesting. The variety of crumbling buildings, catwalks, and piping resembles an age out of Myst. It’s hard to imagine what the place would have been like in its functioning days. The open, beautiful views and lack of security make it hard to imagine when The Rock was on lockdown. In its current state, I wouldn’t want to escape.

That’s what she said.

Police car parked on pier.

Sea kayaking.

The ferry to Alcatraz.

Buildings on a hill.

Warning sign.

Indians welcome.

People inside the greenhouse.

Sea gull guarding his nest in the grass under the water tower.

The water tower.

Off limits and overgrown.

Garden in the foundations of the old officer’s houses.

Brick retaining wall.

View of the Bay Bridge through the rubble.

Catwalk to door.

Woman looking at Golden Gate Bridge. This photo seems so innocent to me.

Pipes and flowers.

Two gulls fight over a fish.


Rocky shore.

Industrial building.

Jail cells.

Old iron staircase.

Old civil war fort.

Another shell of the prison factory.



J. in the tunnel.

Afterward, we met V in North Beach for pizza at Golden Boy. We consumed our slices in Washington Square. A lady was wearing a bra as a top.

My master plan was ready to execute: take the kicking feather to the middle of the Portsmouth Square Plaza and kick it in plain sight of hundreds of old Chinese.

I hoped that they would join in, but we could only attract a huddle of eight young Chinese. They laughed and kicked. It was fun, but it made it hard for us to show off. We stayed out in the sun longer than we had planned, charring our flesh, given us heat strokes, and slathering us with delicious melanoma.

For dinner, we ate Sushi.

On Sunday, we looked at an amazing but pricey apartment.


Motel-like apartments.

Flowers on the sidewalk.

Colorful house.

Another colorful house.

Then a sporty little Scion tC was reserved for a daytime drive to Treasure Island. We explored.

Abandoned COSON Hall on Treasure Island.

Its sister building, SAGE.

Genetic Reclamation Center sign.

Old door.

Another old door.

And another.

No nukes!

Abandoned gas station, the only on the island.

What was once a bowling alley.

Amazing empty swimming pool filled with graffiti.

Another view.


V, J, and tC.

The dogs during daytime are equally hilarious.

Photo-shoot between chipping school buildings.

Nothing to see here, just a massive gun.

This sign appears to have BEEN WRITTEN BY ZOMBIES!

Cars of the Bay Bridge heading to town.

Abandoned factory.

Sign warning us to not enter a gravel pile.

Court in Hunter’s Point.

The old sign of Union Machine Co.

After Treasure Island, we took a little loop down into the dangerous, industrial and gang infested south of the city: Hunter’s Point and Candlestick Park. The streets were trashed, the neighborhoods seedy, and the scenery run down. My favorite things!

After a stressful urban Trader Joes run, we went home to rest. There were Zombies left to kill by plants, and plenty of eating to do.

2 Responses

Daum Ma said:

How much photo enhancement did you need to do to get such bright amazing colors? I know it’s beautiful and sunny there, but those colors are too much.

Nik replies:

It was very bright and colorful without a cloud in the sky. No really much color adjusting done on those pictures.

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