Taking a break

Golden Gate Park

Emily and I got out for a walk to the ocean during a break between two stormy weeks, between her finals, and between the holidays.  We were treated to some spectacular clouds through Golden Gate Park.

I’m a cleaning machine!

Berlin's street sweepers with humorous sayings.
Berlin street sweeper says “I’m a cleaning machine!”

I want to get back to Europe.  I enjoyed Berlin.  I’ve signed up for German 1 at City College of San Francisco.  It will cost me less than $250 dollars for the semester.  This was an easy decision.


Burrows Pocket Park

Mural detail from Burrows Pocket Park
Mural detail from Burrows Pocket Park

I just got back from supporting a neighborhood beautification day at the Burrows Pocket Park in the Portola neighborhood.  This is one of the neighborhood projects that I’ve been fortunate to work with during my time at San Francisco Public Works.

The Burrows Pocket Park was created at the end of a dead-end street and was a collaboration between the Portola Neighborhood Association, Caltrans, San Francisco Public Works, and Architecture for Humanity.  This area used to be an overgrown, weedy lot that attracted illegal dumping and homeless encampments.  A quick online search of the project will show you images of what the site used to look like.  Due to the success of this project, the neighborhood was able to secure Four Barrel Coffee to open up on the street which has been a huge element to activating the space.  Projects like this work because they have a strong community group to help maintain and coordinate programing within the space.  Beautiful spaces need strong organizations behind them to keep them active.

My favorite component to this park is the mural which compliments the planting area and the muted colors of the coffee shop.  This park is a hidden gem in San Francisco, but you can check it out at the corner of San Bruno Avenue and Burrows Street.

Portola Neighborhood Association beautification day
Portola Neighborhood Association beautification day

A quote…

Berlin street scene snapped while cycling along Karl-Marx Strasse

“There are countries in which the communal provisions of housing, transport, education, and health care is so inferior that inhabitants will naturally seek to escape involvement with the masses by barricading themselves behind solid walls.  The desire for high status is never stronger than in situations where “ordinary” life fails to answer a median need for dignity and comfort.” Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, 2004.