Thursday, February 25, 2010

Steiner, Largely

In the afternoon I walked from the Mission to the Fillmore. Rain and sun have been alternating with each other on a daily basis for many days. I noticed as I was setting out that somebody had been sweeping cherry petals into tidy heaps.

Above, an attempt at Mies-like public-housing architecture. This is near Duboce Park. I picture a complex something along these lines, but taller, as the one Ayn Rand's idealistic architect-hero Howard Roark blows up with dynamite in The Fountainhead.

And below, a series of Victorians on Steiner, near Alamo Square. We can guess that Howard Roark would not have liked these much either, but probably would have despised their ornamental fripperies less than the Orthodox Brutalism above.

Exuberant, Victorian-looking weed growing alongside a Victorian house of its own.

Admired the letter-carving on this plaque put in place to mark the founding of the First Friendship Inst. Bapt. Church. It looks like gravestone lettering. Probably they got the local gravestone letter-carver to also carve the Bapt. Church cornerstone.

I recently told a friend that it seemed like interesting-looking numerals were never crossing my path any more, certainly not the way they used to. Then today on Steiner I saw all kinds of them: mossy, spidery, overgrown, and free-hand welded.

I cannot explain this final plastique lady. She heralds 3 buzzers.

This would have been a good moment to be consulting the cloud-identification book my daughter and son-in-law brought me from London last year. But I did not have it handy, and do not now. It is in my office at the library, and that is a useless place to keep it, as I now readily see.