Tag Archives: california

Cable Car After Dark

The cable cars are a staple of the San Francisco tourist scene.  I still grab the occasional shot of them, even having seen them more times than I can recall.  As we were walking back one evening after a fun night out with friends, we crossed the street at Union Square as one was heading up Powell.  I figured an evening shot was worth the effort.

Gondola That Doesn’t Go Far

If you want to get from street level to the Salesforce Park, there is a more unusual method.  A gondola runs from the ground up to the park level.  We first came across it as we walked through the park and passed the top station.  For some reason they only want you to use it in one direction so we watched the car come up and then moved on.

After we had come back downstairs, we checked out the base station.  It was not a busy day so there wasn’t any form of line but there were customers taking the ride to the top.  It was a simple device and slightly odd.  The car was a box with no effort made to style it in an interesting way.  However, it did provide a point of interest.

San Francisco Waterfront

The waterfront at the Embarcadero is a very attractive place to wander around.  What I have rarely had a good view of, though, is the view from above.  Fortunately, a friend of ours works down there and, when we visited, he took us up to have a look at the view.  We stopped in at the end of the work day so it was still daylight.  The view of the Ferry Building and across the Bay Bridge was very nice.

We did stop in again after dinner since the night view is a great one too.  San Francisco on a sunny evening is a fun place to be with old friends.  It does have its quirks though!

Rebuilding the Taxiways at LAX

In recent years, LAX underwent a reconfiguration of the norther runways.  I understand this was partly to accommodate the A380 operations which, when initially introduced, created some restrictions on other operations as a result of the runway spacing.  They respaced the runways.  I wondered whether any of the aerial photos I had taken at LAX showed the differences that had been made.

My first flight was during the reconfiguration process.  The change to one of the runways had already been made and could be seen in the spare surface were the original northerly edge had been.  Other work was underway around the thresholds and in the underrun.  The photos from later show the finished configuration.  The threshold of the inner runway has been moved from its original location and the underrun work is now complete.  Things like runways feel like they should be so permanent but, as with any man made construction, they can be taken apart and rebuilt if that is what is needed.

Salesforce Park

During our visit to San Francisco, some friends told us to check out Salesforce Park.  This is a park that has been built on top of the transit center in the heart of the city.  The transit center is, by demand, a large area so the space on top of it makes for a decent area.  The park was fun to wander around.  It is surrounded by some interesting buildings which will warrant their own posts in due course.

There are seating areas, children’s play areas, an amphitheater, a dome over an atrium for the transit center itself and plenty of plants.  The plant beds are broken down into categories covering different types and plants and different origins for the plants.  There are sculptures around the park including one that is a series of water jets.  These are triggered by sensors in the transit center such that, as a bus drives beneath them, they squirt up.  A bus driving the length of the lane beneath has a sequence of jets that will ripple along the sculpture.  We were there when one bus passed beneath and, having been hoping for some action (aside from the occasional random jet of water), we were almost caught out when the wave of jets came by.

If we hadn’t been told about the park, I would never have known.  Even when we got to the entrance area, it was a little inconspicuous.  It is worth a visit if you are passing by.  There is also a more interesting entrance than the elevators but that will have to wait for another post.

The Fun of Finding Old Shots

I was recently searching for a shot for a project and was having a hard time finding it.  I knew roughly when it should have been as it was when shooting at SFO during a visit.  I scrolled through to the day and found the shoot and realized that I hadn’t keyworded the photos from that trip.  Consequently, the search had failed to run them up.  I therefore spent a little while running through everything and adding keywords.

This proved to be way more fun than key wording usually is.  I hadn’t looked through these shots after taking them and, while it was a pretty standard sort of collection that a day at SFO would provide, it was all new stuff.  I was enjoying looking st stuff I had forgotten I had taken.  These shots are just a few from that day out.

United Retro Jet

I once got to shoot the United retro colors on the A320 while I was at SFO up the tower but I had not got a decent shot of it actually flying.  When it showed up on approach to SFO, I was pretty pleased.  Sadly, the cloud cover was not cooperating terribly well.  Only when it had got past me did it pop into better conditions.  It was okay when further out on final but neither of these were too helpful.  One day!

Chino Backlot

The Planes of Fame museum at Chino is a fantastic place to visit for any aviation enthusiast.  Many hangars are open and they are filled with all sorts of interesting aircraft, restored either to static or flying condition.  However, they are not all that is there.  There is a backlot in which other aircraft are stored awaiting either their own restoration or for them to provide parts for the restoration of something else.  Some great looking vintage aircraft here including jets that it would be so good to see back in the air.  I decided to dedicate this post to some shots of these less glamorous residents.

Thomas Cook A330

The Thomas Cook A330s do come in to Seattle and I got some distant shots of one once – it was actually one of the Voyagers that is leased out by Air Tanker – but they were not much use.  SFO proved to be a better hunting ground and the light even played ball.  This is not a Voyager – just a standard A330 – but the Thomas Cook colors popped a bit better this time around.