Strong Lines in San Francisco

Strong Lines

Today’s photo is an exploration of line. I was talking about this with a work colleague this week…sometimes things grab me and won’t let go. While I was in Singapore recently I was walking through an MRT station and I hit a hallway playing a Burburry ad. I linked it below…I hit the hall and it stopped me in my tracks. Literally. I tend to walk pretty quick for someone with really short legs and I literally just STOPPED! A lady behind me nearly ran over me and I didn’t even have the presence to apologize. I finally stepped over to the side. What got me, besides the dazzling iridescent plexiglass walls was Joss Stone. Her rendition of I Put a Spell on You with Jeff Beck grabbed me and it still hasn’t let go. I rarely buy music these days and I immediately purchased this song.

Isolating a Subject

When something grabs you it can be helpful to understand it by breaking it down and isolating the element that most strikes you. I have been doing this with the Stone/Beck song. For me, these stairs in from the of the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco are all about line. The color is nearly removed, all other distractions are removed…you are left with the line. The geometry of this common piece or art.

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New Mission Theater San Francisco

The Mission

I have an interesting history with The Mission in San Francisco. Today The Mission is undergoing gentrification (and has been for some time). With property SO expensive in San Francisco, it’s inevitable that eventually people will start purchasing properly in the more run down parts of the city. When we first visited, we stayed at a hostal and I trotted out in my purple Tommy Hilfiger shirt and white shorts (it was the early 2000). I didn’t QUITE fit in with the crowd.

Today The Mission is the “COOL” part of town. Some of my favorite places to eat are here and what is still my favorite breakfast place in the world is here. I always made a pilgrimage to have vegetarian biscuits and gravy any time I visit the city by the bay.

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Wine Corks in San Francisco

Different Perspectives

We visited some of Pamela’s relatives in California. Before heading over to the family festivities one morning we stopped for a Starbucks which I have finished by the time we arrived for our visit. One of Pamela’s aunts asked if I would like her to rinse out and save my cup for later. I tossed it in the trash thinking I didn’t want to be a bother. I could tell Aunt Jan was a bit beside herself, but I didn’t realize why until later. I was trying to save Jan work, but she was trying to save waste. A different view of resources exists in California than in the mid-west one that might well be more conscious there than here.

Wine Cork Recycling

These wine corks in San Francisco were both decoration and headed for recycling. There is a consciousness of the scarcity of cork in a land where cork is essential to the wine business. I keep thinking of saving my cork here, but where in Missouri, would you even take used corks?

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2014 Instagram Favorites

Traveling Takes a Toll

I am just returning from Beijing, China today and as chance would have it, I decided it would be a good time to share a few of my favorite Instagram posts so far in 2014! I usually do a review at the end of the year of my favorite Instagram photos from the entire year, but there are just SO many fun shots I thought it was a good idea to do regular reviews. I maybe should do one every quarter! Instagram for me is a sketch book. I usually take a good deal of time to work on photos and they are not from where I just returned, but a conglomeration of where I have been on ALL of my travels. As such, Instagram lets me stay connected with friends, family and fans and let you all know WHERE I am right now! If you haven’t followed me before, follow me on Instagram now! Before you ask, yes this is all this year…actually January through May. I even visited Hong Kong twice! I really like to travel…Enjoy!

Lighthouse in Honolulu

Sunset in Venice, Italy

My Wife Pamela and Me

Tan Tien Buddha Hong Kong

Landscape Washington State

Point Zero Paris

Buddha in Bangkok

Wisteria on Lake Como, Italy

Lenny Kravitz at CiscoLive!

Greenspace in Hong Kong

Embarcadero in Reverse, San Francisco

Embarcadero Architecture

Love of Travel

It’s absolutely no secret that I LOVE to travel and part of that is inevitably staying in hotels. Some people find American hotels to detract from the experience abroad, but I have never really found that to be the case. We absolutely LOVED our little apartment in Paris, but I also loved staying at the Hôtel du Louvre, simply for the convenient if not a bit busy location. The thing I appreciate is when hotels look and feel different, and base that off the overall history of the city. I love when properties pay attention to their architecture, and design a space that is like nothing else you have been in. This is absolutely the case with Hyatt at Embarcadero Center. Sure, THEY didn’t design Embarcadero Center, but they did design themselves into it and oh what an interesting piece of San Francisco Architecture it is.

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Spine Light Sculpture

Unexpected Art

I found this light sculpture entirely by accident. I had seen Thomas Hawk talk about Spine on his blog but I didn’t expect to see it. Honestly, I didn’t realize it was near Union Square where Pamela and I were staying. We were walking around the area looking for some chocolate dessert when I passed by, stopping dead in my tracks when I realized what I had seen. I had to chase Pamela down as she was half-way up the block by the time everything registered.

Double Unexpected

One of the things I love about this piece was how it is located in a perfectly normal location! People must pass daily under this artistic creation and never suspect it is both art and function. This kind of notion…it makes me smile.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Flowers

Farmer’s Market

I love a good farmer’s market. When visiting a new place, I often seek them out as you can’t help but get the best food, local crafts and fresh fruits you don’t normally get to try! Plus the people watching is fantastic as you sip a cup of locally grown coffee and nibble of a small sweet treat.

Colorful Flowers

I love flowers, but I have to say I don’t think I have EVER see so many cut flowers in one place as were at the Farmer’s Market in San Francisco. Enjoy the color!

Moscone Center Skylight

Moscone Center

Pamela and I wandered into the Moscone Center in San Franscisco looking for this exact skylight! Moscone Center is a very big place comprising numerous buildings in and around Yerba Buena in San Francisco. It was funny, because we had been looking at this skylight from the outside as we had lunch several times at Samovar Tea Lounge (located on the roof of this building). The great thing about this location is it is often open!

San Francisco Sunrise


We looked out the window of our hotel room and were greeted with two amazing sites of contrast. One was the amazing city of San Francisco. It’s a wonder! A city built on the most inhospitable geography. The City has burned, flooded been destroyed by earthquake…it is a wonder of modern construction and civil engineering. The other amazing site was the sunrise. Despite all we have and will do as a people, I am always most struck by the awesome power, majesty and beauty of the natural world. It is these two contrasts, both the natural and the man-made wonder that had me grabbing for my camera.

Embarcadero Stairs

The Road Ahead

I read a quote recently on the internet that I found uniquely stuck in my head.

The only reason we get stuck in jobs we don’t love is because we choose not to leave.
~Simon Sinek

I belive this extends well past career choices and into almost every facet of life. We tend to externalize our problems, overplay obligations and declare that I can’t because (insert any reason). What occurred to me was the power accepting this notion has as well as the responsibility its acceptance requires. When we realize we are directing this life, it seems all the more important to make it one we want to live. I struggle with choices, but for better or worse they have been and continue to me mine to make.


Today’s photo is of the Embarcadero Center Staircase located in Center 2.