Arriving on wednesday for a wedding in San Francisco, from a wet and windy UK was a bit of a treat. Sunshine and a balmy 12 degrees, and the promise of a traditional American event (our first) - Thanksgiving!
Our hosts welcomed us with smiles, wine, good food and astonishingly, all this just two days before their wedding. Pilgrims hats were the only thing missing, but that apart it couldn't have been more enjoyable.
Friday morning found us over at Golden Gate Park visiting the botanical gardens.
An encouraging sign . . .
For a while this bold little fellow stalked us, posing every so often for a photo shoot
Stone lanterns are traditionally found in Japanese shrines and temples. Stone lanterns are also placed in garden settings such as this in the Moon-Viewing garden.
The night of the full moon, especially in August or September, is frequently an occasion for friends to gather to compose poetry, tell stories and to enjoy nature . . .
This large lantern commemorates the death of Tokugawa Harusada (Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan from 1603 - 1867) in 1827 and bears his family crest of three hollyhock leaves.
In particular I had looked forward to visiting another Mr B, Beau Beausoleil, poet and bookseller. Beau is the catalyst for, and the founder of, the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition.
A project close to my heart, Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.
Cathy DeForest, and Romy Ruukel, two project members, have launched a project fundraiser on indiegogo to meet the many expenses of touring the collection of artists’ books.
From February 6 to July 29 next year all 260 will be exhibited at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, UK. They will also be on exhibition in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Francisco and Point Reyes, California, Groningen, Netherlands, New York City, Tacoma, Washington, and Newark, New Jersey.
Venues already booked for 2014 include one in Cairo. That’s a whole lot of packaging and transport costs . . . .
Fundraising ends on December 3, five days from now and we’re over halfway there! Anyone can contribute!
Mr B presiding over The Great Overland Book Company - if you ever find yourself in San Fran do go to this bookshop. It's like an Aladdin's cave, you will find a book or a print that's waiting there, just for you!
Near to the Cliff House restaurant perched on the headland north of Ocean Beach is a 'walk in' camera obscura.
Using overhead mirrors a 'right-side-up' image is projected on to parabolic screen. A metal hood at the top of the building rotates slowly, allowing for a full 360 view around the outside of the building.
The view from outside the camera obscura.
Fog City Diner. How could we not visit? . . .
and . . . have Breakfast in America!
On our way up to Sugarloaf Ridge state park we stopped off in Napa. Pomegranates in November!
And this rather gorgeous mosaic.
The park contains these trees. I have still to discover what they are, but they look as if they have been painted in some sort of plastic ox blood. Quite strange and wonderful.
Have handbag, will travel! Not my normal accoutrement for walking.
Little house in the woods,
and a fab little Italian restaurant. The Albona, you can see from the neighbouring buildings how very bijou it is.
At the end of the line, San Francisco's cable car has to be turned around by man power.
Typical views in the city.
The delight of Diners.
Taking off on our return flight home . . . the city unfolds below.