Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marin Headlands

Yesterday I went on a picnic excursion to the Marin Headlands (which is just north of the Golden Gate Bridge) with Mackenzie. We ate on Rodeo beach, which was a nice little beach, and afterwards while using the facilities, I read about the coastal defense batteries in the area, and saw that there were a couple you could drive to nearby, so we went that way.

I had known something about the Golden Gate coastal defense batteries from various sources, and I had seen some of the remnants on the San Francisco side which I guess are part of Fort Winfield Scott – which is the famous Fort Point from Vertigo, but I didn’t really know much about what was in place on the other side of the Golden Gate.

It turns out that there are too main forts, Fort Cronkhite, which is hard to spell, and Fort Barry. Fort Cronkhite is behind Rodeo Beach and required a bit of a hike, which we weren’t in a mood for, to visit it’s main battery. Fort Barry, on the other hand, is easy to do some park and walk site-seeing, and has some really cool things. One of which is a Nike launch site SF-88L, which is restored as a ‘museum’ but was not open (and evidently barely is). I should have probably had us pull over and taken some picture, but alas.

The two man things we looked at were Battery Mendell, which is a pre World War I battery which housed disappearing guns. Evidently this was awesome for defense against ships, but pretty weak against air power. You can scramble all over the gun emplacements, which is pretty neat.

Here is the whole thing, which I shot from Battery Wallace, on another ridge:

Battery Wallace seems to have originally been a similar sort of battery to Mendell, but was casemated to protect against air attack in 1942:

You can see the gist of what this in this photo shot from Battery Mendell:

And here you can see it up close (probably too upclose):

I only had my point and shoot with me, as I wasn’t expecting to be doing much site seeing of note, but here is a link to the related flickr gallery.

posted by neil at 11:05 pm
under adventure,photography  

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rock Star In Training

Here is a highlight of my Seattle photos:

And also, the entire gallery.

posted by neil at 7:01 pm
under photography,travel  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Play-Doh Funtime!

I made a little house scene with play-doh that I had bought yesterday at Walgreens, while waiting to pick up a prescription for cough syrup. The picture is not awesome, since I don’t currently have a lightbox, and I couldn’t find the RF trigger for my speedlite, so I had to use my Vivitar 285 (not that it is a bad flash).


posted by neil at 4:11 pm
under crafty,photography  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Neighborhood Walk

I wanted to go out and get coffee today, but I also realized it was a nice day to take a bit of a Walk. I also wanted to take a couple of pictures for my friends photo website, 52Clix, so I brought my camera with me. I was delighted to find some neat things within just a couple of blocks of home!

First of all, here is a typical view (well, it’s often a bit foggier, but Potrero Hill is remarkably clear so this view isn’t completely atypical) down Kansas street from 20th:

I walked down 20th to the park at the end of the street (Well, where it ends on Potrero Hill – 20th Street keeps going on the other side of Potrero Ave, but we’ll get to that soon). I walked around the clearing a bit, and found this nicely framed view of the Mission:

I walked down to the path that is a bit down the hill from the clearing, mostly to take a rather pedestrian photo of Sutro Tower, the big TV antenna that looms upon San Francisco like the Eye of Sauron. I rather like the way this one turned out, though. The street that goes out to the hill in the distances is the other section of 20th Street, which starts up again on the other side of Potrero Ave.

Now, when I was walking down there I noticed a garden area which was connected to the park. I walked to it and it was a community garden – The Potrero Hill Garden, and it is open to the public for viewing and appreciation. There wasn’t all too much growing of interest, but I found a cute statue with sunglasses:

And also, the bees!

And for a bit more context, here is a view looking up (East) from the back of the garden, towards the inhabited part of the hill:

After I was done in the garden, I thought I would walk down San Bruno, I knew had to end by Mariposa, but I figured I would just see what was there going down the street. I was pretty surprised to find a pedestrian overpass, crossing 101, at 18th street – even though I’d driven under it probably hundreds of times, and never thought to look for it. It’s actually a pretty neat bridge:

It’s also a shortcut towards my eventual destination, Coffee Bar. Instead of having to go all the way down to 17th street, and cut back to Mariposa, I can cross the expressway at 18th and not have to double back at all.

I’d never really walked down Potrero Ave before, so I thought I would walk back up to 20th street to see what the view up looked like. It’s actually pretty neat to look back up that way. In the photo below, the structure at the top is the shed at the back of the community garden:

After that, I meanderd over to Coffee Bar, to get my planned coffee and do some reading. I ended up getting some food and a beer after I finished the coffee – having such a choice of beverages handy is quite nice.

After a couple of hours, I headed back, cutting back up the overpass. I decided to walk down 18th Street to Kansas, and just cut up there. I happened to come across an open house at 18th and Rhode Island. I took a picture to remind me to look it up to see how much it was going for. Here is the house, which is pretty cute:

And next, the MLS listing for it. Yes, the house is listed at $725,000! I plan, just for my own amusement, to follow this house and see when it sells, and try to see how much it goes for.

The complete set of photos from my walk can be found here.

Also, when I got home, and looked up community gardens in San Francisco. It turns out there is one not too far from my place that might have open plots. I wonder if I should look in to that – it might be fun! Anyone have any opinions on that?

posted by neil at 5:34 pm
under adventure,photography,rambling  

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