Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home From Above


After a few days of drizzle and gray, the day broke beautifully. I walked up to Coit Tower for exercise and to capture cityscapes from the top. It is, for all the millions of visitors annually, a most thrilling perspective on The City. The concession makes no effort to bring up the very rich history of the art and tower, though that may change soon. It could be disneyfied, but for now is both a popular and forgotten attraction. When I suddenly moved to this quarter of San Francisco a year or two ago, I looked upon Coit Tower as a new icon. I called it Your Protector, and while in North Beach, at il Triangolo, saw it from my window. Today, I see it reflected in the black glass of the Chinese Hospital across the street from my home in Chinatown.

In this foto, Saint Francis Church anchors the bottom quarter, the oldest congregation in North Beach. From the church to the modern office-looking building with black glass windows is the division line between North Beach and Chinatown. The office building is in fact the modern addition to the Chinese Hospital. The traditional structure beside it is the original hospital, and birthplace of Bruce Lee. Directly across from the modern wing is my building, The Cathay Apartments on Jackson Street.

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