We are fortunate here in Oakland to have several very talented Mural Artists. I drove by this mural yesterday, made a U-turn, parked, and took several shots.
At first glance from the car, this appears to be straight out of my childhood nightmares. So much so that I wondered if the artist, whom I have never met, had a window into the horrors of my brain. This mural is HUGE, painted, as you can see, on 2 sides of the building, and probably 15 feet tall.
From the car, this portion was all that I saw. It is terrifying.
Up close, I saw the full mural.
This mural completely overwhelms you. But once I had gotten up close, I noticed this small courageous figure and the forrest of stark trees, which hadn’t been noticeable from the car.
This young boy, standing up to the wild, fantastical beast, is showing so much bravery, that you think that he just might prevail. He must be terrified inside, but he continues to stand, recorded in paint on a wall. It ends up being a powerful symbol not only of courage, but of resistance. I suspect the world is in desperate need such symbols, haunting though they may be.
This is an example of the bright yellow metal plates that our city puts in the cut out portion of the curb meant for wheelchair users. The bumps slow the wheelchair down a bit, and the yellow shows everyone that the curb is cut out to be a slope from the sidewalk down to the road. In addition, these proved helpful to my husband in the last few years of his life when he was legally blind. He still had a small circle of vision in one eye, but could only look one place at a time (straight forward, down to his shoes, etc.). He thus could either look where he was going, or down at the sidewalk. He obviously chose to look where he was going, As he approached a cut out curb, the texture of the bumps that he could feel both with his feet, and with his white cane, warned him that he was coming to a road and had to stop. They were of great help.
A few weeks ago I was in a very large parking lot with a lot of sidewalks in front of shops, and I noticed that there seemed to be these yellow plates all over. It seemed to be a photo opportunity for Becky’s challenge of October lines&squares. And bumps.
I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.
I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.
Walking the Dog at Twilight
Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉
When I was a little girl in the early 50’s, and then later when my family returned to the Bay Area in the late 60’s, one of the constants was the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. Built in 1939 by the famous local architect Timothy L. Pflueger, it was a huge concrete building where the trains from East Bay and then in 1959 buses from the extended Bay Area would arrive. Even long distance transportation such as Greyhound busses and Amtrak trains would pull up at the terminal. Then all you had to do was walk outside, and climb aboard one of the various forms of public transit available in the City. The East Bay cities had their transit companies and S.F. had another. But all of them worked remarkably seamlessly together. Not flawlessly, mind you, but it was a piece of cake to transfer from one system to another.
My husband and I left the Bay Area for jobs when we got married at the end of 1974. 42 years later we returned (2016), only to visibly discover what we knew from the news: the 1939 Terminal had been demolished and the new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center had been built. This was a HUGE change as you can see below. I took this photo as friends and I were inching our way towards the on-ramp for the Bay Bridge about 2 months ago. We had gone into the City to see a play, and there seemed to be an accident blocking one access to the bridge. At one point it took us half an hour to advance 5 blocks, so it was a long trip home. We laughed, we joked, we carried on, and of course I used the opportunity to take photos by leaning out the window.
Here is one photograph of the new Transit Center taken just as we entered under the overpass, and looking behind us. (It’s now named the Sales Force Transit Center). Look for the garage entrance (Enter and Do Not Enter) in the lower right of the photograph, then follow upward on the slant toward the windows and you will see the steel grid of the canopy reflected.