Idle in San Francisco

October 11, 2009 § 24 Comments


I have been traveling lately. And enjoying it tremendously. Boy, did the jet lag last long-er than expected!

Well, the good news is that I am back, and ready to share my travel travails with you. My destination was Hawaii. Wisely, I made a quick stop at San Francisco in between. One day to be precise. I had my fears: just not enough time to imbibe the sweet smells of a city or pack multitudes of memories for my way back. Still, a snapshot of this beautiful city did follow me home. And I am glad it did.

Eh, correction: A series of snapshots…as always :)



I walked the city most of the day: along the bay, in North Beach, Little Italy and downtown around Union Square.

It was a sunny day. Also, a wonderfully idle Sunday. Perhaps, that is why my first impression of this city is all about laid back streets and a vast expanse of blue-green waters. I remember the mist rising from the waters, people lying in slivers of afternoon sun and quiet undulating streets. Or perhaps, that is what I was looking to find.




Walking by the bay area, I realized that I liked watching people by the water. There is something mellow and nostalgic about them…sometimes even a bit comical…as if they had just jumped right out of a 70’s film. I turned into an admirer of sorts. These were not tourists prancing about the waves, but locals at home.

From where I stood, they seemed distant, forlorn, and so much at ease doing nothing.









I also realized, that idleness can be beautiful in a city. That’s a whole lot of wisdom to deal with for a New Yorker.

Notes: Hey, the rich aren’t idle just for nothing! And don’t they grow more beautiful every day? :) No no no, it’s not botox or the surgeries! Think again.

Of course, I digress. Sometimes, the lurking comic gets the better of me.

Note to myself: I must apologize for such indiscretions…someday.

More snapshots? Yes there are! Snippets of memories. The ones that stand out in my little head are trees, lots of them. Victorian architecture, all over the place. Cyclists, everywhere.







What I could not do, and would love to soon, is walk across the Golden Gate bridge, capture it in my little D90, and explore the world that lies north of the city.

So when dusk fell, I resolved to visit this lovely city again and come back with more days on my hands to explore its world up-close. More idleness in San Francisco awaits.

A parting shot to remember this day:


– The Juicer at work

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§ 24 Responses to Idle in San Francisco

  • Neil Reid says:

    Shipra you are so so welcome back! This time, to your blog. (And so surprisingly well worth the eager wait!) One could say simply “beautiful”, these quiet postcards of a sort, but that would be so shallow an appreciation. And here, now, you were in my town (or nearly so anyway), my country, my history – so gladly, am more enabled to observe and give thanks!

    And I do, oh yes! What part is that you are an out-of-towner here, what part that is simply your uniquely personal and observant eye? Both, and also no matter the mix. It is not how, but that you “did” arrive. And even if so brief, my dear, what an eye! And I should also say – heart.

    How many memories do I have of these scenes? Yet there is something so very fresh and quietly appreciative in what you’ve delivered here. I have not seen my city ever quite like this before. I thank you more than words allow. And how able you were to adopt this lovely “idleness”. Well chosen word.

    And your commentary is as sweet as your images.

    I love all your photographs in this series, but your first and last are perfect bookends. They so well express both the city itself, and the uncommon perspective of a person newly embossed into these views. I see you in these pictures too!

    Too much praise? But you deserve every drop. And who’d expect all this from a “trip to Hawaii”! Well done, well done. I do hope you’ll find a day to return again. Lovely as it is to me, just as it is, still, this city could do with your pallet here again. And wouldn’t I be lucky to accompany you for even a brief walk around – only I don’t know which of us would have the most to show and teach! Welcome home!

    • The Juicer says:

      Postcards…hmm.. a sort of shallow stereotype in my opinion. And you get it too!! That makes me smile:)
      I am delighted with the nod you have given me Neil. You, who has lived in/around and known San Francisco so closely. Thank you for noting your observations, this was my first time in SF, and your insights are so very valuable. If I could touch a vein, and not look at a place with a jaundiced eye, what more could I hope for?! Not much else:)
      So happy that my words did not take away from the images or vice-versa (you know, I dread that every time).
      I look forward to visiting SF again, and I really do hope I get to see you and share a walk. Not just a tip of the hat, but a genuine desire on my part.

      Thanks again for your lovely and insightful words. I am beginning to get addicted to them:)

      • Neil Reid says:

        Yes, I’ll carry your bag or what you wish! Sweet that thought.

        First time. I am all the more impressed. You brought your sensibilities of eye, yet no pre-judgment of thought – as so well evidenced by your images here. You are a photographer I have come to trust.

        And you did genuinely touch my old familiar eye with brand new sight. I thank YOU for that.

  • Justin says:

    haha you really did captre the laid back feel of the day… i feel like going to sleep out under the sun. to bad its wednesday haha

    • The Juicer says:

      You are funny :D And you play wonderful tricks with your camera too!
      (Must must meet you someday)
      Two more days to go boy, and the afternoon sun is all yours!:)

      • Jusso says:

        haha that would be awesome! i could learn heaps from ya… im actually very slow at picking up on things haha… like im only realising that i should the aperature up when taking photos of people when theya re standing in 2 rows so that their faces at the back dont get blurred haha…

        how is sorting thru hawaii? haha

        • The Juicer says:

          Hey now- should I call you Justin or Jusso? Hehe. Stop confusing me boy!
          You know..I think picking up things slowly is fun…at least we get the time to bookmark the little epiphanies along the way!:)
          Sorting through Hawaii pics…don’t ask..I promise never to take so many pics again!:p

  • Vicki says:

    I think Neil said it best, “You are a photographer I have come to trust” Perfect in thought!

    I love them all , especially since I’m from California! Lots of memories!

    I really like the second photo – yellow houses and trees that look like my Farmville Trees on Face Book! I know, I’m a dork!

    Thank you for sharing your adventure!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks for dropping by Vicki, especially since I’ve been away long enough to be forgotten in this ever quick blogging world.
      Here’s how it goes: You endorse, and I sleep well that night. And when it’s coming straight from another Californian?! Aha! :)

  • Satyam says:

    Hoi !!! Photo-Alexander !!! I see your greatness scaling new hieghts!! What other places are you going to capture with your weapon? I hear the memoirs of your conquest of Hawaii are to follow soon … ?

    • The Juicer says:

      Haha. Go on, make me laugh. I like:)
      (This place is fast becoming my sanctuary. Hmm..Is that really such a ridiculous thought?)

      Yes, yes, mighty Hawaii to follow soon…next week atta boy!!

  • Simone says:

    I am always amazed by your photographs…!!! Wonderful…!!!

  • Great shots Shipra, I was in San Fran a couple of months ago and am still going through all the photos I took. Look forward to your Hawaii pics.

    • The Juicer says:

      Hey FJ…long time!! I myself am taking time coming back home. Perhaps, haven’t arrived yet? Sorting through thousands of pics has been an arduous task my friend, and I know exactly what you are going through:) So many things in life pushing each other back, so much to catch up with.
      Thanks for dropping by, glad you like the shots. I hope to resurface with the Hawaii pics soon! :)

  • Lindsey Best says:

    I really like how you captured the feel of San Francisco in these shots. My favorites are the first two and the last. The trees in the second one almost make it look like it’s a mini set up!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you my dear! Ah yes..the first and last are ‘reaching for picture & tone perfection’ kinda shots…but the second one was a playful one and you caught me there! :)

  • Oh yes, SF has its own quality. I love walking the area from Fort Mason to The Bridge and then on to the Palace of Fine Arts–for its beautiful garden lagoon. I suspect it was a huge contrast for a New Yorker. LOL.

  • vidu says:

    really tidy pics…

  • vidu says:

    :-) :-) :-)

    I’m big fan of clean, balanced compositions…that is tidy for me.

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