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shewhomust

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The treasures of San Francisco [Mar. 2nd, 2015|08:40 pm]
shewhomust
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Our friend A. takes the New Yorker, and when she comes across something that she thinks might interest us she rips out a handful of pages and sends them, through the post. Because you can still do this. The most recent of these was this article about the Wayback Machine, the archive of the internet. Which is interesting for what it says about archiving, and link rot, and content drift, but also answers a question I had never thought to ask: where is the Wayback Machine? Its physical presence is not in some anonymous server farm on an industrial estate somewhere, but in a neoclassical building ("We bought it because it matched our logo") in San Francisco's Presidio. If we'd known it was there, we could have paid it a visit on the day we were in San Francisco last autumn. desperance, why didn't you tell us? Oh, well, next time. And looking up the location I discovered that the Presidio also has three pieces by Andy Goldsworthy. That, too, next time...

Instead we drove into the city, straight up Highway 1, past the rows of little box houses, all the same size and basic shape, all different pastel shades and every one different in the details - I never get tired of looking at them - and into Golden Gate Park. The Japanese garden was cool and green and full of French people. I asked desperance, how big is the garden? and he told me "It's like your intestines: they occupy a small space, but they go on for miles," This is true. We lunched at the Tea House, and drank different kinds of tea. Japanese pancakes turned out to be drop scones, and the ice cream cabinet was decorated with a cute octopus. The Buddha ignored us benignly:



Back at the car park, there was a flurry of little birds underfoot: about the size of starlings, soft grey all over with iridescent blue-green tails and sharp little beaks.

I wanted to go somewhere where we could be tourists and see the Golden Gate bridge from below (instead of just driving over it), so we went to Baker Beach and walked on the hot sand towards the bridge. Allegedly, Baker Beach permits nude bathing, but there was not a lot of bathing going on: plenty of nude standing about hoping to get in people's tourist photographs, though.

We took the scenic route home, with a pause when we hit the coast, to watch the pelicans flying past, and then along Skyline. There was dinner with Yogis, and I don't remember why we were talking about Le Lorrain, but K. told us about the Claude glass or mirror. I hadn't met this before, and had heard the phrase 'black mirror' without recognising the device it describes. K. explains that it's because she comes from Maine that she pronounces it 'cloud mirror', which adds another level of richness to the mix.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: houseboatonstyx
2015-03-02 09:05 pm (UTC)
Instead we drove into the city, straight up Highway 1, past the rows of little box houses, all the same size and basic shape, all different pastel shades and every one different in the details - I never get tired of looking at them

Thank you for a wonderful few minutes back in SF! I heard that those houses were famously made out of ticky-tacky and they all looked just the same.

Thanks for the nudes. I never saw them, perhaps because we always went across the bridge and stopped on the north side.


Edited at 2015-03-02 09:06 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: durham_rambler
2015-03-02 10:19 pm (UTC)


Here's a naked stroller for you.
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[User Picture]From: houseboatonstyx
2015-03-03 04:36 am (UTC)
LOL, thanks. Very good photo. Er, of the sand, the bridge, the sky, and very good ... composition.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-03 10:04 am (UTC)
I have heard both that those houses are all made out of ticky-tacky, and that no, that is some other houses. I wouldn't be surprised if these houses were made out of ticky-tacky, but they look very individual and different within a harmonious sameness. I hope they aren't the ones, but I really don't know...
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2015-03-03 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful photo!
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-03 05:12 pm (UTC)
Mine or durham_rambler's? (We don't always differ quite so radically...)
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2015-03-03 05:39 pm (UTC)
I only saw the Buddha one, until I came here to reply, and saw the one in the comments!
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[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2015-03-06 02:02 am (UTC)
I have a friend who does the same with Canberra papers, because I tend not to read newspapers much these days. It's a real pleasure to get an envelope from her, because I never know what will be in it.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-06 09:51 am (UTC)
The great thing about random newspapers articles is that I can read them over breakfast - if someone passes on a link, and I look at it, there's almost certainly something else I should be doing (as now *g*).
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[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2015-03-06 03:14 am (UTC)
I thought most of Andy Goldsworthy's pieces were temporary--made with natural materials that melt or blow away. This is only the second time I've come across permanent art. (The other time was a curving stone wall he'd made, which was on a notecard my mother sent me.)

That's very cool about the wayback machine, and now I must read the article to find out what content drift is. I'm guessing it's things like when a blog starts out as a mommy blog but then the kids go off to school, and through involvement in school stuff, the mom finds herself blogging about some cause, instead, like individualized education plans for kids with special needs, or rights for immigrant kids, or something. But maybe it means something else. The answer lies one click away....

ETA: heh, it means something entirely different.

Edited at 2015-03-06 03:17 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-06 09:33 am (UTC)
I love Andy Goldsworthy's work. The ephemeral pieces are magical, but I'm glad he also makes things which endure - like the Sheepfolds project.

I love terminology like 'link rot' and 'content drift'! I'm very conscious of link rot (just had an online bookseller redesign its site and break all the links from the website I run for a small publisher...) and try to avoid it - but the result is that I create content drift, keeping the same filename when things have moved on and the page now says something completely different. The Scylla and Charybdis of web design...
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[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2015-03-06 12:08 pm (UTC)
Ooh, the Sheepfolds project looks like so much fun to wander through! (And I love Goldsworthy's art too--so beautiful.) Sadly, the links within your 2005 entry have succumbed to link rot--everything at www.sheepsfold.org now gives a 404 error, brought to us in Japanese :(

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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-06 02:58 pm (UTC)
Well, that's... apt. Damn.
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[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2015-03-06 03:04 pm (UTC)
It really is a strange paradox that on the one hand one has the sense of all one's online sins and missteps lasting forever and on the other that things do vanish so frequently. Especially sad when it's beautiful things that are disappearing....
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