Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dolores II

Dolores Boulevard between 15th and 16th Streets in San Francisco. The windows represented here are facing into the declining, late afternoon sun. When I walk to the drugstore or the supermarket after work, these are the shadows I pass under on my way. Everything along here (the scale of the trees, the width of the street, even the high-ceilinged flats inside their spruce buildings) is spacious. It always makes me feel like I have wandered into one of those lush films they are forever making out of Edith Wharton novels.

This side of the street is the scrupulous side, the well-preserved side, the side the tourists shoot when they wander up from Mission Dolores. The opposite side of the street is better to avoid, dominated as it is by two apartment complexes erected in the Soviet Brutalist style of the early 1960s, spiced up with faux Latin American detailing. In the days when such creations were dreamed into being, buildings like the ones pictured above were not in such great shape, most of them were pretty decrepit, and many were torn down to make way for Something Modern. Others survived (mostly by accident) and are today the stout venerable beauties who gaze down upon the lucky sidewalks we walk on.

Slice of sky between neighbors. The branches belong to one of those nursery-type trees that hail from South Africa or Australia and never need any water and have leaves like bristles.

Oak branches (the California Live Oak, that does not shed its leaves) against ranges of bay windows, their woodwork freshly painted in four closely related colors.