Growing by the Bay

Category: Uncategorized

AskMen advocates living in San Francisco

The city would not at first seem an AskMen kind of place. But they rank it the third best city in the world to live in (after Chicago — hey, they’re men’s men, the cold and wind don’t bother them — and Barcelona, and before London and Sydney). This is mainly, I guess, because it is one of the healthiest sizeable cities, it is tech savvy and has a “culture of innovation,” and the people are educated and smart.

But they’re a little confused about at least one thing. “The city’s boy-to-girl ratio (male: 51%; female: 49%) doesn’t seem promising at first,” they write, “but remember this is San Francisco, so you can shave a good 8% to 10% off the competition right there.”

I guess if you ask men, only the guys are gay.


Web hosts

Can anyone recommend a good host? I have had too much down time on my sites lately — which wouldn’t be the end of the world except the host’s communication has also been extremely poor — and much as I hate relocating my sites I might be forced to move.

BTW, I hope to get caught up and back to regular blogging this weekend.


Name this city: the answer revealed

This week we’ve seen images of Market Street, Gough Street, Lombard Street, and Fell Street, all located in the same U.S. city. Which city? The answer is revealed after the jump

Name this city: Fell Street

fell street

Okay, over the past few posts we’ve seen Market Street, Lombard Street, Gough Street, and now Fell Street. What’s this city?

Here’s a bonus clue: The city we’ve been looking at features a Holocaust Memorial, located across from the U.S. Custom House on Gay Street.

gay street holocaust memorial

Answer in next post.


Name this city: Lombard Street

lombard street

We’ve seen Market Street, Gough Street, and now Lombard Street. Where are we?


Name this city: Gough Street

gough street

Continuing the series started with the previous post. Where do we find this Gough Street?


Name this city: Market Street

market street

Okay, a lot of cities have Market Streets. Stay tuned for a better clue . . .


Photo Wednesday: Alcatraz guard tower

alcatraz guard tower

This photo of a guard tower on Alcatraz comes from vgm8383’s photostream.


Photo Wednesday: Point Reyes

near point reyes, north of san francisco, california

This exquisite image taken near Point Reyes comes from Miwok.’s photostream.


Friday Roundup

Travels in virtual NoCal



I was siderailed by a medical issue, but now I’m back and blogging.



A pile of dirt

a pile of dirt

Yep, that’s what it is. Some guy was widening his driveway. I’m using the dirt to fill in my swimming pool, which will now be a garden. It will require about ten piles like this one.

Friday Roundup | Link Love

A week of travel in virtual NoCal

Link love
Who’s been linking in


This blog was hacked into, briefly, yesterday morning; little harm was done.

It’s important to plug vulnerabilities, which can exist in themes or plugins, older versions of WordPress, or improper configurations. My mistake may have been in being careless about updating my application and plugins.

Another possible vulnerability was the Democracy plugin. It enables you to host polls via WordPress. But because it in effect gives users a degree of writing permission it opens a little gate that might be exploited. It’s cool, but I never used it much, and I’ve deactivated Democracy on all my blogs. If I need to run a poll I’ll just host it offsite, like B in the D. I also followed Matt Cutt’s advice and created a blank index file for the plugins directory so as not to leak information about the plugins that are active.

Here are some helpful links:

I might not have this absolutely clamped down yet, but it’s certainly tighter than it was.

Merry Frisco, everyone

ice rink at justin herman plaza

Friday Roundup

Notes from a week of travel in virtual NoCal.

Sutro Baths

It’s a pity — at least from the standpoint of spectacle — that the Sutro Baths, a large swimming pool complex built in the nineteenth century, proved impossible to maintain. The baths were destroyed in 1966, when they burnt to the ground. The Cliff House project has a page with many historic photos of the baths, such as this one:

sutro baths, san francisco

The baths were the brainchild of Adolfo Sutro, a leading Frisco fat cat who first made his fortune in the Comstock silver mines and ended up owning most of the Western part of San Francisco.

The baths opened to the public in 1898, promoted as the largest indoor swimming facility in the world. There were seven pools with varying temperatures (at ten degree intervals), from chilly to steaming. Trampolines, flying rings, slides, swings, toboggan slides, and diving platforms were placed around the pools for plunging in style.

sliding into the sutro baths

The vast scale of the baths proved their undoing. Operating and maintenance costs were so high that Sutro’s heirs were unable to keep them running. At the time of the fire they were already in the process of being demolished. The Cliff House Project has before and after photos (and many more photos than I am showing here, as well as links to other sites).

sutro baths, san francisco, before and after their destruction in 1966

Today the ruins of the baths can be visited. Later I will add one or two of my photos of them.

Headlines of the times

Dateline Oakland
Murder Suspect Identified through Gang’s MySpace Page

(Is there any need to read the story?)

Tamarindo Antojeria

tamarindo, oakland

I had a chance to eat at Tamarindo Antojeria the other day. It’s located 468 8th Street in downtown Oakland. (The nicely restored brick-walled restaurant is in the city’s Old Town district.) Their website is, and the phone is 510.444.1944.

Although it was a Wednesday the restaurant was very crowded. We arrived early because we were heading for a 7:30 event, so we got a table right away (the one on the left in the picture above), but people who arrived just after us had to wait.

Tamarindo was voted “Best Mexican Restaurant 2006” by the East Bay Express. But it’s not much like most Mexican restaurants. You won’t find massive burritos here. Instead you get alta cocina, a sort of nouvelle cuisine take on creative Mexican cooking. Small, exquisite dishes, reasonably priced. We had the green salad, which was fresh and tasy, and the mole de tamarindo, which was excellent. Our other dish, a chile relleno was fine, if a tad odd with sour cream and cheese and bits of tortillas that were prepared just to the point of beginning to get crisp.

The food is accompanied by a good wine list, although they ding you a bit on the prices, which are a little out of scale with the food. We had beer, and it accompanied the food perfectly.

Intro page updated

At the home page,, I’ve posted a new site intro.

Also I’m trying using a linkroll as a navigation element (on that same page). We’ll see how it works.

Frisco Vista: Inaugural Post

Recently I stopped at the book sales section of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library and, on a whim, I picked up a copy of a major guidebook to San Francisco. Full of howlers, it brought hours of amusement. But then I thought, “Is this the best we can do for our visitors and residents?” I’ve lived and worked in the Bay Area for more than thirty years, and over that time I’ve explored a lot of its nooks and crannies, from the great swimming beach up by Inverness to the best falafels in town, on Clement Steet. I’ve also worked with a lot of area artists and writers. So in this site I’ll share a little what I know, and over time I hope to offer some insights from others as well. It will take a little time, but I hope that this will grow into one of the best sites for anyone whose travel plans include San Francisco and Northern California.

Meanwhile, here are a few links to get started:

San Francisco via Wikipedia
San Francisco travel via Wikitravel
San Francisco travel via Technorati
Visit California via California Travel and Tourism Commission
The San Francisco Bay Trail Project (pdf format)
CitySearch San Francisco
Offiicial San Francisco City and County Web Page

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