The Ugly and the Beautiful

During the second week of being back in San Francisco, I saw many ugly and beautiful things. This is a city of visual counterbalances. Standing next to a garbage can with a beat up VCR and chicken carcass, I look towards an epic view of the bay. I can choose to go for a hike amongst trees or hoboes, to get lost in nature or dingy alleys. The air smells of freshly blooming flowers or dog pee. The crime maps reveal that even the poshest neighborhoods are not without their robberies and RSOs. And even the meanest streets of fog city have some hipster being a doofus.

Despite living here for three years in the past, it seems like I’ve barely scraped the surface.

Since when did SUCCESSORIES start making barricades?


Red building.

Two fish tacos from Nick’s Crispy Tacos on Polk and Broadway, served “Nick’s way” with a crispy inner shell and guacamole.

Ugly towers near the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Mosaic fountain.


Rusted sign.

View of the city from Municipal Pier.

Two Koreans fishing for Dungeness Crab.

Warning sign.

Container ship.

Green retaining wall.

Flowers near Ft. Mason.

A scooter parked outside the youth hostel at Ft. Mason.


A yard full of flowers.

Bright house.


A row of colors.

Flying pig hood ornament.

Vacant lot in the Mission.

Electronics and chicken carcasses.

Shoe planters near the restrooms of Alamo Square. Very cool.

Another shoe.

An abandoned church in Russian Hill.

A heavy looking building.

Muffin top.

Sea lions at Pier 39. Many were gone, but there were at least 30 or so left.

Platforms that would have been once full of activity.

Wise dog.

Segway tour.


Coastal trail at Land’s End.

Surfers below the trail.

Tree tunnel.



The otherworldly Seal Rocks Beach.

V. exploring a massive accumulation of sea foam.

More sea foam than I’ve ever seen before.

Seal Rocks Beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

The floor of a bathroom that had slid down the hill.



The floor of the bathroom was now the wall.

A signal tower in the inlet to the bay.

Tall grasses.

Trees near near the trailhead above the Sutro Bath ruins.

Blue flags mark new plantings.

Pink trim.


Looking south towards Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach.

White picket fence.

Other door.

Onion domes.

Not creepy at all.

I think I’d rather not take my laundry here.

Ivy on stairs.

No pee.

Dual buzzers.

Delicious calamari salad from Burma Superstar Restaurant on Clement.

Beef from the same restaurant. All the food we tried was very good.

This week, we stayed with a friend in Russian Hill. It was great to see him again, watch movies, eat meals, play games, and go on walks. But our time was limited. On Sunday, we packed up our bags once again, got a cab, and headed towards the future.

Our cab dropped us off at the drizzly doorstep of our new apartment. The building manager never met us to give us keys, so we called his supervisor/father and waited. Keys delivered, we payed our prorated rent and set our bags down. We were “home”: a furnished studio near Alamo Square. It’s a month-to-month rental, decent and fairly cheap considering all utilities and internet are included. We’ll use this as a base until we get jobs and can afford to move into a bigger and more permanent place.

A view of our table.

Today has been rainy. It has been an incentive to stay inside and adjust to the new digs.

One Comment


Glad you two found a place. It seems like the only way to make a move here is to get a place and then a job, pretty counter-intuitive. Welcome back, and good luck.

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February 21st, 2010. Categories / San Francisco

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