Friday, August 21, 2009

More Dim & More Bright

The light in the lobby of this building in the Mission shuts itself off when the sun comes up. I walk past this doorway every weekday morning on my way to the bus stop. There are a couple of months at the height of summer when the light has already turned itself off by the time I pass. In the course of the present summer, today marked the first morning I noticed that the sky was dark enough for the light to still be on. Farmers measure the changing seasons by slow changes in the natural world, but apparently I measure the changing seasons by changes in apartment house lobbies.

Another apartment house over by Golden Gate Park where my bus ride ends. Sunrise is by now perceptibly pressing forward through heavy fog. Buildings covered with this super-cheap and super-ugly shingling were common where I grew up in a relatively backward and impoverished part of the Middle West, but they are a fairly rare eyesore in San Francisco.

That peculiar floating U-shaped structure is a walkway linking the upper stories of one warehouse-like building to another in this once-industrial neighborhood on the downtown slope of Potrero Hill. The office buildings in the background are in reality more than a mile away, though the flat Northern California sunlight of late afternoon tends to erase the distance.