Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Naked Summer Day (Rated PG-13)

"No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living."

~William Saroyan

If you blush easily... I apologize, but what you see is just one more marvelous aspect of visiting San Francisco on any given day! If you really study the photo, you will see that those who are clothed aren't really paying much attention to the man with the hat. That's because the sight of the occasional naked person, going about their day, is seen as a generally accepted practice. Now don't get me wrong, the man with the hat was the only naked citizen I saw that day, but San Francisco does have a long history of social nudity, and I frankly I more than approve of it, I applaud them for it!

But again, don't get me wrong. I also believe there is a time and a place for this, because bottom lining things, no pun intended, parents should not have to explain the practice of "clothing optional" to a young child if they don't want to, and being forced into that situation is quite unfair. But the day I saw this young man, enjoying a truly wonderfully warm San Francisco day, we were in the Haight/Ashbury district of the city. A neighborhood known for it's passion for all things self expression, and the freedom to do so! I suspect that children in that neighborhood have already been led in the idea of personal moral choices... at least I would hope so!

Still, late last year the city of San Francisco did pass a citywide ordinance banning public nudity... sort of. You see, after the ban was put into place, the nudists sued the city for violating their freedom of speech. Personally, I understand both sides of the issue. It doesn't particularly shock me to see a naked person, but by the same token, if I never see another naked person in San Francisco, I don't think it will ruin the city for me. Hmmmm. I do like that up until 2012, there was no ban on the shedding of ones clothing, it is a freedom that helped to make San Francisco such a unique place to live and visit.

Generally speaking, I wonder what others think about nudity?

"Conventionality is not morality."
~Charlotte Bronte

"Too much nudity is a turn off. Especially if all that flesh is on one person."
~Jarod Kintz, This Is The Best Book I've Ever Written, And It Still Sucks.

"Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism."
~John Updike

"You don't have to be naked to be sexy."
~Nicole Kidman

"When I was growing up, in our house nudity was defined as the period of time between the shower and your towel."
~Amy Cohen, The Late Bloomer's Revolution: A Memoir

"There's too much nudity on TV, and not enough on the radio."
~Jarod Kintz, Seriously Delirious, But Not At All Serious

"The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up."
~Marilyn Monroe

"Nudity quickly becomes unremarkable when generally practiced."
~Martha Nussbaum

"It is so basic. A human being is an innocent part of nature. Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin. Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude."
~Ruth Bernhard

"Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity... these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed."
~Mark Twain
Public nudity doesn't offend me. But that's me. What I want to know is how you feel about the subject? Should public nudity be banned in all cities, beaches and parks? Should there be designated areas only?


Suggested Reading...

Free Speech Doesn't Cover Nudity 

S.F. Nudists To Stage Another Protest
(San Francisco Examiner)

Nancy Pelosi On San Francisco's Public Nudity Ban: We Have Our Standards
(Huffington Post)

Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Sweeping Metaphor

"It may be difficult, but there will be times we need to pick up our brooms and do some spiritual house cleaning. It is through this process that we find our true relationships, our true heart, our core integrity, and our life's purpose."

~Molly Friedenfeld, The Book Of Simple Human Truths: Inspiration, Love And Wisdom

While walking through the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco the other day, I happened upon this little broom, just resting on the concrete. Sometimes I can be right in the middle of a place of bold, vibrant colors and sounds, and while it's all exciting and inspiring to take in all that, sometimes  it's the subtle things that tend to hit me over the head. Sometimes the little, average things that pleases my eye the most.

There is a superstition that says when you move from one home to another, the last thing you should do is sweep the last of the moving dust out your door, and leave the broom behind. Which, of course, is symbolic of sweeping your troubles, your ghosts out of your live, and not taking them to your new home.

That works well for attitudes as well. Preconceived notions. Old boyfriends, Addictions. Fears. Bad neighbors. Almost any "ghost" that haunts you. I have done it many times. Daily I have swept up the dust of everyday life and thrown it in the garbage, but there is something about the final sweeping of the mind, regarding anything that needed letting go of, that has cleansed my life the most. I like brooms very much.

"When someone hands you a broom, get a few buckets of paint. That is how a janitor becomes an impressionist. If the 19th century French style could improve upon nature, it can make your floor look clean."

~Bauvard, The Prince Of Plungers

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What Does A Semi-Professional Wannabe Photographer Eat For Lunch?

"The history of every major Galactic Civilization tends to go through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question 'How can we ear?' the second by the question 'Why do we eat?' and the third by the question 'Where shall we have lunch.'"

~Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

Breakfast? No, this girl doesn't have breakfast all that often. Yes, I know, it is the most important meal of the day, and it's got a lot more viable choices than it did when I was a child and artery clogging early morning meats and eggs where all the rage, but I just rarely partake of the breakfast ritual. Just don't... don't know why... just don't. But I do admit to dashing off, from time to time, to gitchy little 24 hour diners with Alan from to indulge in midnight eggs. Midnight egg white omelets I should say! Yum. What? Being older than God isn't boring at all!

Lunch? Yes please! I am a lunch girl. I am hopelessly addicted to a couple cute little national chain soup chains, and you might find me from time to time at Panera, ordering YUM YUM YUM. And like yesterday, Starbucks will yell at me, in a soft seductive tone, you want me for a nooner... you know you do! Blushing. Sighing. I say "Yes, yes I do." My favorite Starbucks indulgence being a Seasonal Fruit cup and a Egg Salad Sandwich. The two together only add up to 580 calories, which makes for a light lunch. It's good to eat lightly when you are chasing down public art, or walking the streets in San Francisco looking for inspiration.

It is one of my favorite lunches, and it does my body good! :)

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Art About Town: San Francisco. Street Art And Murals Of Haight Ashbury (Part Two)

Jimi Hendrix Mural, By Artists, Ernest Doty, Max Ehrman, And Sean Griffin

"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life."

~Federico Fellini

Jimi Hendrix. It's hard to believe that so much talent, could die so young. I guess when you are that age, death seems like it's for someone else. I am especially reflective about age and dying because of this week I think. The point driven home about the age of Trayvon Martin, and on the same day, the sad news of the passing of Cory Monteith. At just 31, another artist dead, from the same demons that claimed Jimi Hendrix. Brian Jones. Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. I don't want to speculate about Cory Monteith, about why, or how, he lived or died. It serves no real point. I wasn't even particularly familiar with his voice, as I have never seen a single episode of Glee, but I did hear his singing the other day on a news report about his untimely death, and it made me sad to know that I won't be hearing him sing again. I could have been a fan.

But back to Jimi. In 2017, Haight/Ashbury will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "Summer Of Love" and this mural of Jimi Hendrix is a little taste of what's to come in the way tribute to a significant time in our culture. The mural is on the house, very near the intersection of Haight and Asbury, where Jimi Hendrix lived during that time. The house itself is special, as it was the inspiration for the Jimi Hendrix song, "Red House." The three artists that created this mural, are working on creating another on the other side of the building. I am going to be revisiting the Haight throughout the summer, and I will keep you up to date on the project and it's progress. And you know I will be there in 2017 to see it all in it's psychedelic glory. It's art. So I will be there. Click the link below to read more about the mural, the artists, and their vision.

Fitting Tribute To Hendrix Ahead Of Summer Of Love

Mood: Reflective

~Me :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art About Town: San Francisco. Street Art And Murals Of Haight Ashbury (Part One)

"Imagine you saw a color in your dream, which you have never seen before. It doesn't consist of any colors or shades that you know. Trying to describe that color would be as difficult as trying to believe that there is enough love and compassion in the world so every human can feel happiness."

~Egor Kraft

Street Art And Murals Of Haight Ashbury (Part One)

The Pink Bunny Endures!


The Haight/Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco is basically two intersecting blocks, but the long block of Haight street, and all the surrounding streets provide even the most casual observer a kaleidoscope of creative beauty, from the funky little independent shops, to the amazing street art, there is just nothing like it! I absolutely love the diversity of San Francisco, and the feeling that as one moves from neighborhood to neighborhood, there is a distinct difference and feel to take in. As an amateur photographer, and public art enthusiast, it is always exciting to me to pack up the cameras and head over to the city to explore each neighborhood's expression of life. The Haight is definitely one of my favorite places in San Francisco to spend time and take in the colors of the little world that is their neighborhood.

The funny little pink bunny with the skull in his mouth has had quite a time since the artist, Jeremy Fish installed him, as a gift to the neighborhood, in January of 2011. Vandalism. A fire was started behind the bunny on the platform, you named it, the bunny has endured it. He looks a lot different now, then he did when he was first debuted, but I kinda like the look now. He's a even more edgier than before, not that he needed any changing, but I do appreciate the change from a esthetic point of view. Its like seeing him take a on a new great adventure, without his having to leave home. I like the smile it brings to my face to see him live on, despite having suffered some of life's pain. Does that make sense? Anyway, I am loving this bunny, and that's the whole point of art... right? To inspire not just thought, but emotion as well.

Read More About The Art And The Artist Here...

Lower Haight Mural Gets A Giant Jeremy Fish Statue
(Haighteration The Lower Haight Blog)

Skeletal Rabbit Statues
(Trend Hunter Art And Design)

Know Your Street Art: Untitled Bunnies, Corner Of Haight And Laguna
(SF Weekly)

Jeremy Fish Installs A Silly Pink Bunny Statue In Lower Haight

Part 2 of this series comes tomorrow, and I hope to bring you more before the end of the summer! I haven't photographed nearly enough street art!

Stay Tuned!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Love Story Of Donny And Nina (Not Their Real Names)

"If I throw a stick, will you leave?"

True story. Only Certain Names Have Been Changed.

Okay, so Saturday night I was a bit out of sorts. It's been an emotional couple weeks over my way. The plane crash at SFO really upset me. It was depressing and scary.  It will be at least a year before we have any final word on the exact cause, and while some things seem obvious now, I am trying to wait and see what the NTSB says in it's final report. So I was feeling that stress. Now, the added element of that ridiculous mistake made at KTVU about airing those blatantly racist names as the true names of the pilots of Asiana 214, both embarrassed me and pissed me off! I would have thought that a network affiliate, hell any news outlet, would have checked, double checked, triple checked those names before they ever reached the anchor desk! It's sad. But the news networks have to fight each other to get the scoop. So, there you go. They certainly did get the scoop!

"When I look into your eyes, I see straight through to the back of your head."

As for Saturday night's verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, well, HELL! What do we have to do to get justice in this country? The jurors ruled, and reserving judgement about them because we haven't heard from them as yet, but I feel the prosecution team did a truly less than stellar job, and it was obvious. I am also hugely unimpressed with the forensics team that did such a bad job of collecting evidence, but even with all that, in my opinion, the jury still should have brought back at least a verdict of manslaughter. Zimmerman brought a gun, to a situation that could have been accomplished with words, had he not decided in his own mind that Trayvon Martin was up to no good. Why couldn't he have introduced himself throughout the neighborhood, to all his neighbors, as the volunteer neighborhood watch captain? Or taken similar steps. Why couldn't he have I.D. himself to Trayvon early on that night? Why did he have to assume anything?

"Don't let your mind wander, it's far too small to be let out on it's own."

So I am sitting at my desk late Saturday night, tweeting, and having a good cry for that poor child, Trayvon Martin, when what do I hear? Not Alan snoring, not the cats playing, but rather the shrewish cry of my neighbor Nina (not her real name) yelling at the love of her life Donny (not his real name).  See the above graphic. And for the next 5 hours there was various expletives, and thuds as object flung in passion hit assorted walls and gates. Love was in the air. And I don't know why, but in the middle of all the noise I just started laughing! I went from crying a deep down mournful cry that really hurt, to laughing my ass off! Mood swing much? If I could assign one word to describe the last couple weeks, that word would be ABSURD! It's just been one damn absurd moment, event, decision or discussion right after another, none of which directly affecting me, but still a poignant presence nonetheless.

"I used to think you were a colossal pain in the neck. Now I have a much lower opinion of you."

The last thing I heard from the love birds last night was the sound of the their gate slamming shut. Donny left around 2:15 A.M. or so. He hasn't been back as far as I can tell. It's probably a smart thing to remove oneself from a heated situation, so for that I applaud him! The thing is, this couple has been a pain in the ass to everyone on this property since the day they moved in almost 4 years ago. I would be lying if I said I would be sad if they moved. I wish. I pray that one day this property can just go back to the way it was before they moved here. But I now have a deeper insight into some of the problems. We have heard bickering going on for years. Lots of immature stuff. But, what occurs on me, about why they are so nasty to everyone on the property, is that fact that it all comes down to control. If you can't get along with the person you have chosen to live with, then you are going to go out of your way to not care about others around you. If you feel beaten down, chances are you will probably become a bully.

And they both have.

They have lied about people living here. They make noise after having been told to respect others quiet. They take things, that don't belong to them. They let their dog bark and throw his body against the fence we share, just for the purpose of disturbing others, especially me. I have asked more than once for them to put the dog in when running errands, for my well being as well as "Snoopy's." Not his real name of course. It breaks my heart to hear his little whelp as his body hits the fence. That dog loves Donny with all his heart, and when Donny leaves, "Snoopy" just wants him to come back. I overheard one day, Donny say to Nina... "The property management told us to put Snoopy in." To which she replied a resounding "FUCK NO! No one tells me what to do!" Donny... "But we're gonna get in trouble."

Donny sounded like a little kid just then. And I think I felt very sorry for him in that moment. Not that Nina had dictated to him how things were going to be, like it or not,  but rather I felt bad that an adult couple, both in their 30's, apparently had the emotional maturity of a couple of teenagers. Other people's children, what can you do? Thank GOD for better living through chemistry, thank GOD for Valium!

"Too many freaks, not enough circuses."

Mood: Tired/Emotional/Ok


Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Justice For Trayvon Martin

"First we crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate."

~Lydia Maria Francis Child

My heart and prayers go out to the parents and loved ones of Trayvon Martin tonight and forever!

Mood: Quiet