Tag: San Francisco

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What’s Not Upside Down in California?

While walking along Monroe, approaching Utah, in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, a street sign beckoned my attention. Consider the Featured Image, captured using Leica Q2, as a metaphor for all things unimaginably crackers about the Golden State. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2, ISO 100, 1/5000 sec, 28mm; 2:54 p.m. PST, Feb. 10, 2021.

We could start with the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns that have devastated California’s economy; compelled tens of thousands of businesses to permanently close; put millions of people out of work and unable to pay either rent or mortgage; prevented landlords and lenders from collecting the aforementioned and prohibited them from evicting tenants and homeowners; forced families or individuals into homelessness; kept kids out of school for 11 months and counting; opened the prisons, releasing potentially dangerous individuals into the population (many of these former inmates become homeless); and—hell, that’s long-enough list of misery.

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Surely There is a Better Way to Help the Homeless

I specifically shot the Featured Image, yesterday using Leica Q2, to illustrate this essay. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 11:22 a.m. PST. The carts belonged to one of three homeless men gathered together a few meters away on the Hillcrest side of Washington Street Bridge (University Heights is on the other). For sure, San Diego has a significant indigent population. But I write about San Francisco and something that surprises me—and perhaps will you, too.

According to the SF Chronicle (sorry, subscription required), the city is “currently sheltering more than 2,200 homeless people in about 25 hotels” and the “monthly program costs range from $15 million to $18 million”. By my math, that works out to between $6,818.18 to $8,8181.82 per person each month. If these people were paid, the equivalent annual salary would be between $82,000 and $98,000. Oh, and looks like the United States government will cover costs through the end of September 2021.

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Flickr a Week 43a: ‘Lunch, San Francisco 2018, GR II’

I accidentally came to the Photostream of Greg Parish by way of his compelling portrait “7“, which would have taken the Sunday spot if not for my discovering “Lunch, San Francisco 2018, GR II“; the self-title identifies year and make of the Ricoh camera. Vitals: f/8, ISO 800, 1/2500 sec, 18.3mm; April 16.

What’s not to like? Clarity, color, composition, contrast, graininess, light, shadows, texture, and tilt are recipe for a street shot that’s as tasty as the noodles the subject soon will eat. Yummy.

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Francis’ People

I am quite surprised by the number of homeless people here in San Francisco, at least in the area around my hotel. I’ve seen more homeless or beggars (for money) in two days than a whole year back in D.C. The number of people is staggering.

Some folks are characters, and they know how to turn coins or greenbacks. One panhandler has an eye for tourists—or at least confused people, of which there are many. He roams Geary street (and perhaps elsewhere) asking bystanders if they need assistance finding something. His hope, I think, is that the help he gives will be returned in favor. He’s friendly and endearing. You want to give him money. 

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My Stay in Monaco

This week I’m in San Francisco. It’s a work trip, visiting companies that want to know more about Windows Vista and Office 2007. Today, the big question, “When will Windows Vista ship?” I advised betting against January 2007.

Anyway, my posh hotel sucks. I had a heck of a time finding a place in downtown San Francisco with rooms available for all three days of my business trip. I scoured online services like Expedia and Hotels.com and then directly called Marriott and Starwood, for which I am members of their “rewards” programs. Based on a Marriott recommendation, I ended up at the Monaco, a Kimpton hotel that is a few blocks off Union Square—for $300 a night! Geez.