TTWWD – The Bay Area

The Bay Area comprises all the land that surrounds the Bay from San Francisco, right around to Sausalito and The Golden Gate Bridge which opens out to the ocean. Each community has its own identity, though to a stranger they don’t appear to be very different. Oakland, for example, is predominantly residential, Berkeley is very much the domain of artists and craftsmen. There are metal workers’, glass-blowers’ and potters’ studios everywhere, and the surrounding shops reflect this aspect. And the pattern is repeated around the Bay. San Francisco, far the most well known and important city on the Bay can be accessed only via The Golden Gate Bridge, from Sausalito and the Marin Headlands

20130510-094922.jpg or from The Bay Bridge, which comes from Oakland across to Treasure Island and then on to San Francisco

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20130510-095112.jpg or by going right around the Bay or by ferry,

20130510-095225.jpg we did all of the above at least once. Returning from San Francisco on the Bay Bridge you go on the lower deck

20130510-095355.jpg which is great fun until you remember the San Andreas Fault! All these bridges are built to be earthquake proof up to a point, though the Oakland to Treasure Island section is not, so a new bridge is being built at one side of it. This has suffered several setbacks, progress has been slow and the costs are rising. At present the delay is being caused by several bolts installed early in the construction which have failed on testing; these have to be replaced obviously, but how many? The new part of Bay Bridge will not be on two levels, and seen from the Oakland side it curves away in a glorious arc. The picture shows it from the Treasure Island side, where you are looking at the new bridge in front of the old bridge, so it is a little hard to make out what you are seeing. It goes without saying though, that if the earthquake is the massive one, The Big One as it is called, then probably all the bridges will be a death trap.
San Francisco is famous for its hills, and driving around can be full of surprises.

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20130510-101342.jpglong vistas going up or down, the tangle of streetcar (tram) wires above. We also took the cable car, for which I have no photo as I was too concerned with hanging on for dear life to take a photo-op. A sublime system that runs on a moving cable, the driver or “gripman” using a clutch to grip the cable to keep moving and a brake to stop. Passengers then run from the sidewalk (pavement) to the middle of the road and climb (this being the operative word) aboard.
The surviving Victorian buildings are a joy to behold, especially around Haite and Ashbery.

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We went also to the newly re-housed Exploratorium, approaching it from the ferry along past all the old piers, now renovated into markets, restaurants and the like. The market is quite fabulous for the variety and beauty of the displays of food.

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As my cousin’s wife is a glassblower we went to her studio to watch the process, it was an extremely hot day, 94 degrees Farenheit, so it was rather uncomfortable watching this amazingly hot process.

20130510-103501.jpg the glass blob is heated in a “glory hole” and then shaped by blowing it into a mould,

20130510-103647.jpg then by alternately heating and spinning the glass is refined into the exact dimensions required.

20130510-103908.jpg Colour can be added by rolling it in ground glass coloured by oxides or various compounds, selenium for example produces yellow, the blues come from copper, red from gold or iron oxide and so on.

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The other part of my stay here has been taken up with Playground in the Bay. This is a festival that celebrates new short plays by residents of the Bay Area. It has run for 17 years now, but in the last two the best plays (six in all) have been filmed, with interviews of the playwrights between each short film, my cousin and his wife did the interviews which is why I have been involved. I arrived late to the opening night party, became the box office on three occasions and finally got to see six new plays as part of the festival on my last night.

www.http://playground-sf.org/filmfest

All in all I think I covered the ground, not running but seeing.

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And I still haven’t cracked my text wrap problem!

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1 Comment

Filed under Select Cinema, Theatre & Stuff, Travel, Uncategorized

One response to “TTWWD – The Bay Area

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