"God took the beauty of the Bay of Naples, the Valley of the Nile, the Swiss Alps, the Hudson River Valley, rolled them into one and made San Francisco Bay."
~Fiorello La Guardia
Something of a miracle... well... a miracle for me anyway, took place yesterday. You see, I have been searching for the famous feral parrots of Telegraph Hill for, I don't know, forever! Well, actually, I heard about the mysterious parrots in the late summer of 2004, and since them I have searched, and searched, and for whatever reason, I could never find them. I researched the most likely places to see them, and even did some following on Twitter of folks who would post up to the minute updates, and it always seemed that by the time I got to the locations, they were gone. I thought I had hit pay dirt late last summer when Woody Allen was in town filming his summer 2012 project. I had been following Woody sightings around town, when one Tweeter commented that they had missed Woody at Gaspare's in the Richmond district, but did happen to come upon a large number of the famous parrots feasting on some wild red berries a few blocks away. Well, by the time I saw the tweet, and got to the city, there wasn't a parrot to be found, and the tree they had reportedly been feasting on, was... well... picked clean. Not a single red berry was left on the tree.
I was so disappointed to not only have missed Woody Allen, but the parrots as well! A double bummer! LOL. I thought about my poor luck all those years. I had visited Telegraph Hill many times, and never saw a single parrot. I hung out at Justin Herman Plaza... no luck. I read about a nice population that was hanging out in Golden Gate Park... but apparently not on the days I visited. It was more than a little disappointing to read about tourists going home with all kinds of magnificent photos of the birds, sometimes with them resting on the bird watchers outstretched hands. Sigh. It was getting to me. I considered, on that hot August day last summer, the distinct possibility that I would need to give up. For whatever reason, I would not be seeing the parrots. Perhaps there was some cosmic reason. Who Knows? All I knew was, ... it wasn't going to happen!
But yesterday, that all changed. Alan and I decided to shake off the stress of the day, and head over to the city for some fun. We planned to grab a toasted cheese sandwich, and a hot beverage, and go to the Embarcadero Center to watch the ice skaters frolic about. When we turned off the bridge, we turned onto the Howard street, then headed toward the embarcadero. The lighting was wonderful, everything looked slightly blue, due to the layer of mist and fog. It's one of my favorite conditions to photograph the city in. That misty fog gives the city a cool romantic look, and it never ceases to make me smile. When I was done with shooting new subjects along the waterfront, we made our way back to the plaza, and as we turned the corner onto Washington, we heard a joyful noise... it was the sound of 40 or so of the famous parrots playing/perching/singing happily among the trees of Sue Bierman park...
Eventually we did get over to the ice rink, and I did a lot of photography there as well. Not as much as I had planned to do, but I am happy with what I got done. More than happy... ecstatic! Alan and I are going back over to the city sometime next week, and I will do more in and around Embarcadero Center. There is a lot to see and photograph. Lots of public art, and the last of the autumn in the trees, the ice skaters of course, and hopefully those magnificent parrots!
Wish me luck!
"Two days in this city is worth two months in New York."
To learn more about the parrots, visit the link below... Parrot Pages