Saturday, July 22, 2006

Man! It's been hot in the city. It gets hot in the city about 4 to 7 days a year and this usually happens in the Fall. On a sunny and warm day, locals would flock to the city parks, beaches and outdoor cafes to enjoy the weather. However, this week has been 'warmer' - as in muggy, sticky and hot. It's not even Fall yet! We're probably seeing the effects of global warming?

Everyone went out as if there is a big celebration going on. My tennis partner and I even played earlier than normal because we knew the courts will be popular this weekend. The weather man reports that Sunday is going to be even more warmer than today. I am sporting a farmer's tan now.

I think it is important to take note that most locals don't have airconditioning in their homes because they never have any need for them. The SF Bay and the ocean provide cool breeze throughout the Bay Area. So during these unusually hot days, going to the movies and staying indoors inside the theatres is probably a great idea. There are only two malls in the city and both of them are small so they're most likely a full house. Funny how we are so spoiled here so we complain when the conditions go extremes. When it is too cold (it snowed the last time!) or too hot, that is the only thing we talk about and we don't stop until the next season.

I need to water the plants some more.

The picture above was taken along California St. Where a 'less scenic' cable car line runs. A street filled with office workers running frantically to meet deadlines and the sound of traffic bounces from one skyscrapper to the next making the echoed noise much louder. A street that, like most city streets, rises and falls. A street where a lot of tourists miss to see.

Monday, July 10, 2006

There are still a lot of things that I haven't done in the city that I would like to do someday like watch the Beach Blanket Babylon, see the the San Francisco Symphony perform, run the San Francisco Marathon and more. Ok, perhaps the third one is a bit over the edge because I already did the Bay to Breakers and promised myself not to do the 8 mile run ever again, let alone a gruelling 27 miles.

Luck was on my side on Sunday because I didn't only see the SF Symphony perform but I saw them perform for free during the 4th weekend of the Stern Grove Festival.

The Salvadorean and I were here last year to see Khaled perform so we knew better to come here way earlier than we did before. The free concert starts at 2 p.m. We got here around 12:45 p.m. and still we were too late to scout an area with a much better view. People camped out in groups and brought lunch as early as 11 a.m. We could have come here at noon but we wanted to see the first half of the World Cup final. So up we went to the area under the redwood trees with our picnic mat, extra layers of clothing, a bottle of chardonnay, water, chips and a sandwich.

They played Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Opus 97 Rhenish, and Petite Suite from Bizet’s Jeux D’Enfants. They had a special guest, Time for Three, who joined in on the second part of the program.

The sun tried to peek but the fog was just too thick and did not burn off in that part of the city. I am impressed with the acoustics of the amphitheatre that the intruments, especially the wind and the stringed, sounded clear even when played outdoors.

During intermission, we heard from a group seating next to us that Italy won over France at the World Cup finals. We saw the game later that day from the reruns of the match on Channel 14.

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra will be performing on August 6 and we plan to be there at noon!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

We got to Dolores Park about a little past 8:30p.m. to scout a good place to view the fireworks taking place in the Wharf. The sun has not completely set and the neighborhood crowd were still gathering. The sky was unusually clear and not the usual summer pattern of cold and misty fog which is another great reason why we are glad to have stayed in town this weekend to celebrate the '4th of July'.

Since this is the first time in five years that we are celebrating the '4th' in San Francisco, we decided to head out armed with our extra layers of clothing, a mat and a camera. At around 9:30p.m., the horizon is flooded with darkness and the skyline suddenly burst with an explosion of lights.

From where we are seating at, we can see smaller pyrotechnics going off simultaneously in the city and across the bay. The crowd reacted with their 'oohhs' and 'aahhs' everytime they spot a spectacular display that lights up a tiny part of the city. A few in the crowd even brought their own stuff and some of them are fancy. I wonder how some people got a hold of these firecrackers? I thought it is illegal to use them here?

The fireworks display in Oakland started early. San Francisco's turn soon commenced and lasted for a good 20 minutes. Since Pier 39 is on the northeastern end of the city, we only got a partial view of the fireworks from Dolores Park. My pictures above do not give the fireworks display enough justice.

Here is a picture to show you the stunning view from the Marin Headlands during the 4th of July celebration in Pier 39. This picture is linked from the online edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.