Posts Tagged ‘island’

Can You Name the Extreme Points of San Francisco – North, South, East, and West? It’s Hard!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:

1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.” So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite - a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.

2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.)

This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.

If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island 

I’m srsly.

1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.

As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:

Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.

2. Southernmost: Seal Rock, South Farallon Islands. It’s south of Southeast Farallon Island. It can be seen on the left side here.

And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:

840mm, on a very clear day.

3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.

Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):

4, Easternmost: Alameda Island. Surprise! Work out your denial issues here.

As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak: 

Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:

Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)

Thanks for playing!

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

Click to expand

So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?

Apparently.

But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.

Iconic Bay Area: Alcatraz, The Slot, Mount Tamalpais

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

West Peak, Middle Peak, and the East Peak of Mount Tam in Marin County, all above a very good place to look for wind and fog and general cloudiness:

Click to expand

Exotic Bird Sightings: Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The SF Chronicle sent over an expedition, but couldn’t find it.

Here’s a recent capture, looks like:

Rare sighting of a Northern Gannet on Alcatraz, usually only seen in the North Atlantic, http://ow.ly/i/5g4uH

Taken with a Samsung Galaxy S III cell phone:

Click to expand

Keep a look out.

At Long Last, a Map That Clearly Shows That Part of San Francisco is in the East Bay on Alameda Island

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

O you can say that this map is wrong, but you can’t say that you don’t get the point, which is that that left piece of Alameda you can see on the wrong side of the line is part of the City and County of San Francisco:

Click to expand

I should go visit sometime…

Carry on.

Here’s What Happens to Your Mylar Helium Balloons: They Fly to Middle Farallon Island and Mess with the Sea Lions

Monday, December 30th, 2013

See?

Perhaps from a Raider’s game, or a black celebration:

Steller sea lion with Mylar balloons near Middle Farallon (photo by CS) – click to expand

Get all the deets on westernmost San Francisco from Notes from Smellephant IslandThe adventures of a wayward biologist living with seals on the Farallon Islands”

 

San Francisco’s Least Demanding Gym Chain: FITNESS SF – Where All You Need To Do Is Simply “BE YOU!”

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’ll put this billboard’s imperative on my bucket list:

BE ME!

Now I’ll scratch it off, job done:

BE ME!

Click to expand

Next up:

FIGHT DINOSAURS ON AOGASHIMA ISLAND.

Island/ Blimp/ Boat – 2000/ 10/ 1000 Souls Aboard – Belvedere/ “Despicable Me 2″ Airship/ Pacific Princess

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Tony Belvedere is on your left, and there’s the DreamWorks “Despicable Me 2″ blimp, and then there’s Pacific Princess steaming away towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

Click to expand

MS Pacific Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises and operated by Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. She was built in 1999 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. NazaireFrance as MS R Three for Renaissance Cruises.

An Arresting “Snapshot” from Photographer David Yu: Shifting Shafts of Shining Above Alcatraz

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Right here:

Click to expand

All at once the clouds are parted 
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams 
Follow men’s eyes as they look to the skies 
The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams

San Francisco’s Connection to the North Korean Crisis: Pier 80, USS Tripoli, and THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”

From 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

And from 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill. See?

Click to expand

Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?

Courage.

The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli