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Friday Slide Show: Morning On Twentieth St. Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 January 2014

Artie was up a pole. Our plan was to get a photo of him up the pole. He was working up there. Checking lines for the phone company.

Tuesday Morning. We wandered around 20th and Noe.

We'd call it Men Working and publish it here. There would be Artie up the pole and ourselves on the other side of the camera. Working. Both of us. Hence the plural.

The pole was on Twentieth St. at Noe in the Castro/Upper Market neighborhood. In San Francisco there's quite a difference between Twentieth St. and Twentieth Ave. We know the difference.

We got there early in the morning. But he'd already gone. He's fast. His supervisor tells him to slow down, take the budgeted time. But it's in his genes to get the job done.


Plan B didn't take much imagination. We just had to look around a bit to realize there were some stunning if rarely seen views of the city from our little hill above Noe Valley.

To the east, for example, was S.F. General, its puff of steam rising against the hill in shadow behind it. We had a friend in there undergoing an operation on her liver that morning. We notice that already the nearby plum trees were blossoming, adding a note of hope to the composition.

We turned around and kept climbing westward, stopping to catch our breath at eye-level to a new LED street fixture. We were amused to find it facing a 1950s vintage floor lamp in the building just beyond. Hard shot to line up squarely, though.

Turning around, we saw a cityscape still warm from dawn and framed by the landscaping on the stairway. Some hills in the city are so steep that the sidewalks are stairways.

Some large plants intrigued us with their bold, flowing leaves before we glanced up at Twin Peaks and saw the moon still hanging around after a night on the town.


A gate with rusty bells hanging from it to announce visitors appealed to us. We squatted down to line up the shot but we had to rely on Lightroom to square it up. A trick that came in handy for several of these images.

Then we climbed down a few flights of steps to the other side of Twentieth to the pole. Across the street we saw an elegant old building, nicely painted, its shingled roof partly blown away. Too bad only photos can be fixed with the Healing Brush.

Another roof caught our attention when the sunlight blazed off its planters. And a Buddy scooter that seemed color-coordinated with the street scene made us chuckle.

Our potted plant from yesterday stopped us in our tracks for a minute. We waited for the resident to leave before we took the shot.


Then we climbed a few steps, still not at the summit of the stairway, only to find a little fellow out for a walk with his mother. He stared straight at us, bewildered to find someone else on the sidewalk. Was he old enough to talk?

"Hello," we said cheerily, from a height not much taller than him, thanks to the hill.

"Hey-woe," he gallantly replied, delighting his mother.

The future mayor, no doubt. He already has a knack for charming people.


When we had climbed back to the top of the hill, we saw Mount Diablo in the east above the stagnant haze obscuring Oakland beyond the bay with then new UCSF medical center in the foreground. Layers of blue.

The other side of our bold, flowing plants were no less intriguing. And the cool colors of Hunters Point with its ghostly cranes and spires, as well.

We were amused by some reflections in the side of a building that was all glass and just as we were putting the camera away, we noticed City Hall greeting the morning above the rooftops.

Gorgeous morning, intriguing neighborhood, lovely city. No reason at all to be up a pole.

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