San Francisco PB&J Sandwhich (Photo bombs and Journalism)
I embark on my EaRiE Core SF PB&J journey with two main rules for this trip.
Rule #1: Anytime I see something that wows me or drops my artistic jaw, I will stop and take a photo of it. (I will be walking the for the trip)
Rule #2: whenever I see a street performer, I will donate a dollar from my street performer fund (16 bucks) until it runs out and capture a photo of them.
I will also attempt to catch an EaRiE backpack cam timelapse. We’ll see how it turns out.
It didn’t seem like the best day to enjoy the city sights of glorious San Francisco, with clouds projected throughout the day for the early December day. But because of that, it kind of seemed like the perfect day to catch shots of San Francisco.
However, on the worse days is when you discover the true potenntial. Besides, who hasn’t seen the cupcake sunny images of San Francisco by now. So I wait in line and take the steep stairs up the megabus to the second deck and proceed to make my first mistake of the morning.
I decide to take a seat near the back for photo purposes. But I don’t notice that the seat I’ve just sat in is one of four seats on the megabus’ second floor that have a highly distorted window view because of a vinyl sign on the outside of the bus… I know, bummer. Plus it’s a packed bus and moving seats is pretty much out of the question. Moving on…
Next stop SF
Still on the bus….10:54am
As most hour+ bus rides do, this bus ride has gotten stale. However, riding alone leaves one with the pleasure of
ear-hustling being nosy conversation tapping. Ya know, tapping into conversations around you and listening attentively. You do it too, don’t lie. A trio of 20 something year-olds near me make the trip semi entertaining (besides writing this article of course) since my view has been unfortunately limited. Stories about ray ban sunglasses from frat houses and jabber about San Francisco 49ers football fill the void. It’s interesting how interested I can be in people’s conversation a even when I know nothing about the people they are discussing. I guess it’s the beauty of vibrant passing lives and getting a sneak peak Into an hour or their lives through conversation and how they see certain situations. Anyways, I’m nearing close to SF to begin the SF Pb&j sandwhich.
Made it to the destination
and as soon as I hop off of the megabus, the train station captures my creative eyes with its luminous setup to allow lots of lighting from the sun that I figured would not be out to play today. I’m pleasantly surprised by the brightness of the day and lack of clouds that the weather forecast projected. Guess this is just meant to be. Well here we go with Pb&j SF!
My first big find is this:
This caught my eye because it is such a complete job. It spans an entire wall and it is appropriately placed. The whites pop and the colors are vibrant. Perfect start to my day of PB&J.
“Right on brotha” is the response.
As I get to mission Street,
a popular Street in sf, I encounter my first street performer. A tap dancer in a very crowded part of mission Street. As my rules state, I drop a dollar bill in his donation jar, take a few shots and keep moving. “Right on brotha” is the response. I keep trekking towards the Union Square park on Geary Street for a break and a pause to write.
of very detailed dolls outside of a clothing store here. Caught my attention:
I encounter this awesome alley
that boasts amazing shadowed lighting. I get a couple shots that allow me to capture the scene without getting hit by a car then keep moving. Shortly after, I encounter this Cafe that is obviously a local favorite as there’s a line outside of the building about 10 people long to get in. This is the interest that I want to capture. It’s not everyday you see this must interest in a back alley cafe.
There’s a lot of construction going on in sf.
SF has a huge Christmas tree in the middle of their middle of their Union Square city Park. While taking photos I’m asked to take a picture of a couple by the tree. If you’re going to ask some one to take a picture of you, wouldn’t you want it to be the guy with a camera bag looking for angles and taking shots of his own? I would…
I switch to a 55-250mm lens and take focus on this cool elevator sequence which I thought would make a cool GIF:
The clouds that were in the forecasting have finally arrived. I’m starting to think that a trip to one of the millions of stores around here to pick up an umbrella might be the next move.
When you take photos in SF
you have to get photos of the skyscrapers and city streets as a mandatory thing. Plus, the rule is for me to take images of whatever catches my creative eye. Just so happens these do.
In the huge 7 story mall in sf now.
What I encountered on the way to the mall was great. First, leaving the park, I pass by a street performer known as Jonathan strange. Jon is a magician that was both funny and swift. He successfully pulled off the routine of having viewers write their name on a card and magically find the card with the snap of his fingers. However, more impressively he successfully pulled off a trick that included him pulling up his sleeves and moving coins from under one hand to another on a table. .. impressive.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jonathan Strange…
After speaking with him after the show and tipping him the rule amount I continued on until I heard a man with a saxophone say something like yea I’ll play “All of Me”. And so I encountered Justin ward, who went on to play an amazingly good rendition of “All of Me” by John Legend. So, following the rule, I tipped him and stayed to enjoy the cool sounds blowing out of his retro bronze colored saxophone.
Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Ward…
Millions of people walk the streets of sf everyday. I wonder how many of them actually experience It.
The city breathes and it speaks. I would encourage everyone to take time or to just listen and watch. Don’t plan anything, just listen and watch. Truly liberating
Three things of note
- The mall is expectedly crowded because of early Christmas shopping.
- There is something to be said about the calmness of people-watching in a mall this big.
- Only two and a half hours left on this journey. Time is flying!
3pm and its time to eat.
Method of habit, yes, but I locate Buckhorn Grill as last time I was here I also ate at Buckhorn Grill. New tradition? Anyways, I fight the strong temptation to get the same thing I usually get from restaurants… The chicken sandwich. I deviate and try something new… The salmon sandwich… I grab a spot near a window to take in the view and chow down… Much needed.
I look up in between bites of devouring that delicious sandwich and my view of the mall lighting decorations catch my creative attention, so…you know the drill
I didn’t notice it at first but
I was eating right next to a meetup (meetup.com) group called Bay Area Nintendo Network. They were intently playing Nintendo DS. Kinda cool.
So I’ve finished scarfing down that delicious salmon sandwhich and I have just two hours before I have to head back to towards the megabus drop spot without having to do an all of sprint in fear of being left.
So I take in about 15 minutes more of people-watching and taking in the environment then I had out to somewhere new.
So I head outside and towards the rest of the park and see something that ends up taking up most of my pre-head-back time. I don’t have to walk too far before I find a scene that invokes a creative attention tug. This scene isn’t just about the waterfall, although it’s nice, it’s also about the layout of the whole area.
You could even walk underneath the waterfall.
Sure, the waterfall and area is nice, but let’s not lose sight of what the focus of the monument is for. There is a focus on Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement. When you walk underneath the waterfall you get to see some historical quotes, mounted on the wall:
I spend quite a bit of time in Yerba Buena Park. When I leave there I decide to play it safe and head back. On the way back I catch some of my favorite shots. One of them was coincidentally at an artists studio venue where I captured this awesome shot from outside of their steps inside.
I also decide to gather more street level video for a time lapse.
This famous Coca Cola sign was pretty fun to capture. I wonder precisely how many times it cycles in one day. Some quick math tells me that if it takes about 10 seconds to cycle through, that would mean there are about 8,640 cycles per day if my quick math is correct.
Finally I’ve arrived back at the Megabus.
Perfectly placed, I find this…. a nice wrap up image from the day, right where I started at a train yard.
What I’ve learned:
There are, in a way, two different worlds it seems in San Francisco. One where people use it in a utilitarian way and just use it for its city purposes and go to and from with what appears to be tunnel vision. Then there is the world full of people that look to take in the city atmosphere. People that when asked if they would like to see a magic trick from a guy on the street, they say yes. This isn’t a knock on the people that don’t use the beauty of the city, however a suggestion for them to take time every now and then to take in the city atmosphere and breath if they don’t already take time out for that purpose.
San Francisco is my favorite city in the world (that I’ve visited) because of its vibrance and the way it breathes. When I’m in SF, I feel like I’m in a trance and I’m being lulled and serenaded by the city around me. I feel that this is how one’s favorite city should feel to someone.
A map of my trip.
In the big scope of San Francisco, I didn’t go all that far. However it seemed that nearly 6 hours wasn’t enough time to take in what I did encounter.
Backpack Cam and Street View Timelapse:
And there you have it. My Day in San Francisco through a series of images. I tried to approach the trip with an open mind open heart to experience San Francisco in a new way and I definitely did. Taking the time out to intently look and listen to the sights and sounds of San Francisco (this time for the purpose of finding shots) led to a satisfying journey through the streets of San Francisco. So yes, I left my heart in San Francisco a long time ago, and it’s still there.
Check out a gallery of some more photos from the day that I didn’t use above: